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Messages - Bill Binkelman

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Just finished my first full listen of A Quiet Light. Fantastic contemplative warm floating spacemusic! Some gentle rhythms are present on some tracks, not so much beats as melodic pulses (reminded me a bit of John Lyell's Dimensions CD and also his previous album with Brent Reiland, Synthetic Universe, but Meg's music is warmer, flows more, and the rhythms are less "in your face"). A Quiet Light also shares some qualities with Geodesium's (aka Mark Pedersen who, BTW, also has a new CD out as well) quieter more subdued work. Finally, of course, there is also a similarity to Serrie's earlier classic works such as And The Stars Go with You...but despite all the comparisons I make, this is definitely A Meg Bowles CD, not an imitation of anyone else. Every now and then I heard textures and instrumentation similar to Blue Cosmos or From the Dark Earth (less the latter). This is not dark ambient at all, IMO, but is not feathery light either. It's not uber-dramatic, like Telomere's (Chris MacDonald) Serge synthesizer, or Demby's spacemusic...the music is laid back and relaxing, yet richly evocative and not in the least bit syrupy (as some have characterized such Serrie discs as Lumia Nights and Midsummer Century). The titles aptly convey the music that awaits you: "Nocturnal Flight," "Glacial Dawn," "Beyond the Far Shore," and the title track, to name 4 of the 6 songs. Track length runs from 8:22 to the closing title track at 14:38, so it's ideal "spacing out" music with distinct gaps between cuts but seamless transitions. Recording quality is excellent. I listened on headphones and the mix and engineering is spot on...different textures, rhythms, and musical both coalesce and stay distinct, which is as it should be IMO.

Cool cover, too!

Welcome back, Meg! It's obvious that not only have you not lost a step, but you've have actually reached a higher level of spacemusic mastery!

Looks like you lost the beard, Bill.

I actually think the guy looks like you, Mike!  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Jim Brenholts birthday today
« on: March 04, 2011, 03:19:51 PM »
Still hard for me to believe he is's to you, Jim. Hope the music wherever you are is as good at is here...if not better!

I've only listened to the first two tracks, but here is my reaction:

Welcome back, Meg! You were missed!

The man behind the curtain of this pseudonym and others (e.g. synthuser) is one Daniel Byerly and, having known him since the late 1990s, one thing I can tell you about him is he is a man of integrity above all else. He is 100 percent no-bullshit. If your message finds him, he will respond. The man is the real deal. I have had contact with literally hundreds upon hundreds of people since I started reviewing in 1997, and Daniel is someone who stands out as a genuine person with no pretensions and who I know has no hidden agenda. He may be a bit reclusive, but if you reach him, I doubt you will be let down. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top 10 Ambient/Space Music albums
« on: February 07, 2011, 01:34:23 PM »
I assume you have heard Constance Demby - Novus Magnificat?
Part 1 is one of my favorite pieces of music ever made.
Not exactly ambient, it's very melodic. I'd call it a new age/classical/spacemusic hybrid.

Yeah, Novus gets left off a lot of lists....not sure why. And while it is melodic, the same could be said for a fair amount of Stearns' stuff, too. Everytime Demby gets to the crescendo near the end (which the subtitle of the CD describes as..."Through the Stargate"), I get chills up and down my spine...there's this huge cosmic WHOOOOOOSH!

Man, if you haven't heard it, give it a listen!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Cassette tapes..
« on: February 07, 2011, 01:30:52 PM »
I have a number of genre-related cassettes, including a few HOS shows from back in the late 80s. Also, relatively rare stuff like The Way Home (Braheny), Lagoon (Nik Tyndall), Western Spaces (Burmer, Roach, Braheny), and a few more. I have a boombox if I feel like playing them. Ever since my falling out with S Hill (in 2000/2001), I haven't been able to muster up the nerve to listen to any of the old HOS tapes, though...just the sound of his voice and I feel creeped out. (Don't ask...). Anyway, I used to love scouring Cheapo (both Uptown and Snelling Ave.) for cassettes before I got my first CD player. My car only has a CD player, so it's the boombox or nothing. I have an old Technics dual well deck for my system, but the heads would need to be professionally cleaned and recalibrated, I'm betting.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: January 30, 2011, 11:14:23 PM »
And if they toss you too much dough-re-mi, feel free to send some my way!

"Don't touch that dwarf, hand me the pliers". Heh, that's actually the name of an album, isn't it? I know I've heard it somewhere, and I love it! So bizarre and off-the-wall.

A hilarious comedy album by the group The Firesign Theatre....but the title is "crush" not "touch"

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: January 30, 2011, 07:46:11 PM »
Damn....some of y'all have a lot of money to spend. When you run out of music to buy, how's 'bout throwing a working stiff some dough-re-mi?  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Forum upgrade notes
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:41:53 PM »
I really like the new look, Mike. Much more "warm" and less mechanistic. Just my two cents. Sorry for all the spam trouble you had. That sucks. I hope the change makes your situation a lot better.


That is one KILLER cover, Anthony! Wow!!! Well done indeed!

Here's the line-up I went with for tonight and tomorrow (well, obviously, not all of it will be consumed by then)  ::)

For the holidays:

Scotch: Balvenie Double-Oak or Cragganmore or Dahlwinnie
Bourbon: Makers Mark or Jim Beam Black usually but may go high end and try Baker's or Booker's this year
Wine: Either Dry Creek Vineyards or Hogue Fume Blanc (dry sauvignon blanc)
After dinner: Either B and B (Benedictine and Brandy) or a good cognac, e.g. Courvoisier, Remy Martin or maybe Hennessey

Mike knows that I always drink my scotch (single malt, not blended, that is) straight. If I do drink a blended, it's always Dewars and I drink it on the rocks. Bourbon I drink one way or the other but the higher priced bourbons I usually drink straight up as well.

Happy (hic) Holidays!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 21, 2010, 07:54:02 PM »
I've stated before that, IMO, if one owns higher end audiophile playback equipment (i.e. good turntable, cartridge, etc.) than a decently recorded vinyl album will sound "warmer" and more natural but mostly within certain genres, particularly classical or orchestral soundtracks (my "test" record would be the soundtrack to The Man from Snowy River which sounds amazing on LP on a great system). Electronic music...I dunno, as I sold my Thorens during the early ages of EM (late 80s). For me, one of the reasons I may get back into vinyl again, even with my current mediocre turntable is because I am lucky enough to live in a city with used record shops. I can pick up all kinds of great stuff from the 60s, 70s, and 80s...albums that I still "like" but not enough to spend $10-$20 bucks on a remastered CD...If I can get a "VG" or NR MINT" (Cheapo's ratings, last time I looked) LP for less than 5 bucks and hear the 3-5 songs on it I want to hear, great. I have bought some 60s and 70s albums in remastered CD versions and, sure, they sound tremendous and all, but I realize "Shit, this music was groovy back then but now its kinda lame except for a song or two." So, for me, it's a cheap alternative to reacquire music from my youth that I am still fond of but I also know after 2-3 playings, that might be about it for a few years!  ;D

Also, I love going to the semi-annual record collectors convention here and seeing what's available, too. OTOH, I can't believe the utter gonzo stuff that STILL merits a CD release from back then. I mean, who in their right mind ever even heard of 50 Ft Hose's Cauldron but me??? But you can buy it at Amazon, as well as Vanilla Fudge's totally non-commercial and utter sales failure of a pseudo-progressive experimental album The Beat Goes On (yeah, I had that one too). Both of these would be worth $5 but $15-$20 - I don't think so.

Sorry for the long-winded story

Everything and Nothing / Re: Silly Question on disagreeing vs. attacking
« on: December 13, 2010, 03:52:19 PM »
Does MILF mean   Maverick I'd Like To _________.



I wouldn't know nuthin' 'bout that...  ;D ;D ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Silly Question on disagreeing vs. attacking
« on: December 13, 2010, 02:24:05 PM »

Yeah, the pun was definitely's tough to be a liberal and yet find yourself, ahem, "interested" in a Tea Party MILF. You betcha!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Silly Question on disagreeing vs. attacking
« on: December 13, 2010, 11:40:01 AM »
I think part of the issue is not just the "reactor" (i.e. the person who is doing the reacting) but also the originator. Example: A person loves Steve Roach's music. Someone else on a forum writes " I don't like Roach's music. I think it's boring." As the reactor, a person now has the opportunity to engage the opinionated poster with one of two approaches "Why do you think it's boring?" OR "Well, you just don't 'get' his music, obviously."

This kind of thing is always a two-way street. No matter how incendiary an initial comment can be, e.g. instead of the example above, suppose the first comment was "Roach really sucks. He's a no-talent ass clown." it's still up to you, the "listener" to decide how to react. Yes, the second comment appears to be mean-spirited and, at least in your opinion, it may also be ignorant and abusive. But, IMO, you only show your insecurity if you counterattack, so to speak (and this 'wisdom' is coming from someone who used to counterattack all the time, so I am pointing the finger at myself too). You may feel threatened by a contrary opinion or feel at least somewhat compelled to "defend" your opposite view. The latter is fine as long as you don't 'come after' the person. After all, it's just that person's opinion, really.

If I were to write "Sarah Palin is wholly unfit to be president." you might disagree with me and state that. But if I write "Sarah Palin is an idiot, but she sure is one hot MILF who I would happily nail." you might, if you respect her, want to come after me. It's totally understandable because, as humans, we have feelings and they get aroused. But, remember that your reaction says as much about you as the initial comment says about the poster.

At work, since Kathryn works in the same place I do, I hear negative things about her and about her department. As much as I want to defend her with passion, I need to step back and only make my own contrary opinions known in a calm, intelligent manner.

OTOH, in some forums, e.g., flame wars erupt and they are almost done in the spirit of a "game." Obviously, the Hypnos forum is not like that and I respect that. Not all people find that kind of thing entertaining. But, it is sad that incendiary opinions can spiral downward so easily, as they seem to here. Frankly, I don't care what people say/write, no matter how "out there." I would only feel the need to disagree vehemently if I felt someone I knew personally (emphasis on the personally I don't feel I know hardly anyone here that well, except maybe Jeff Pearce) was being attacked via patently untrue statements. If someone wants to opine that a musician is either (a) highly talented or (b) talentless and I hold an opposite opinion, I would just say that and be done with it. Same thing with an elected official, etc.

Lastly, it would be great to see people just be able to joke around with each other, even when virtual "tempers" flare. Life is too short to get that angry about someone just because you don't see eye with them.

Everything and Nothing / Re: New Dog Story
« on: December 09, 2010, 09:47:29 PM »
Damn, have me almost in tears. You are DA MAN! It's so great to see someone as in love with dogs as I am! I SO admire your patience and perseverence! I have no doubt that Gwenie thinks she is now in some kind of doggie heaven at your loving house. Kudos to you, your family, Ringo (good dog, Ringo!!!) and, most of all, Gwenie. YOU GO, GIRL!

PLEASE keep me informed about her, either here or via private message. This is just so great that you have saved such a gentle soul. I can't wait to tell Kathryn about it (I'm heading home from a late nighter at work in a few minutes). Man, I had a real shitty day but it just got a WHOLE helluva lot better! Thanks, man! If we ever cross paths, I am not buying you a beer, I'm buying you a LOT of beers! ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Jonn Serrie = FOX News reporter?
« on: December 05, 2010, 10:33:19 PM »
Let's put this to rest once and for all, shall we?!/profile.php?id=591411227

(not sure why the whole link won't work, but just cut and paste it into your browser...check out the bio blurb at the left hand side of his Facebook page)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Jonn Serrie = FOX News reporter?
« on: December 04, 2010, 11:39:32 PM »
Can't possibly be the same guy. Serrie is actively involved on a day-to-day basis with Air Sea rescue activities...I see his Facebook posts all the time alluding to his flying with that outfit and flying in general. Not to mention all his planetarium live music gigs. Can't imagine he'd have any time for anything else.


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