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Messages - Bill Binkelman

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Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Samsara (follow up to Baraka)
« on: October 02, 2011, 09:14:15 PM »
As someone who saw Koyansquatsi (sp?) in a theater when it first came out and did the same with Baraka (and I own that DVD), I am looking forward to seeing this, but I wonder if it's just more of the same, in a way. No doubt it will be visually stunning - after all, Fricke is a genius, but I hope it's not just an amalgam of Koyansquatsi and Baraka, because in a way, that's what it sounds like. Still, I will certainly see it if it comes to the Twin Cities.

I really dislike the latest changes to Facebook in how my friends' news displays. As a result, I might not visit FB for 2-3 days at a time whereas previously, it'd be up to 5-10 times a day. Why they keep changing things is a mystery to me.

Jeff Pearce called me about a half hour ago, Bill, and we talked about you!


I figured it would be Pearce....I've been waiting for that sonuvabitch to invite me to Indiana for a beer for over a dozen years. But no! Well, I'm done being his lackey. He can just get someone else to provide hero worship, admiration, genuflection and worship...

Just kidding, Jeff.....need your car washed?  ;D

Maybe I could have worded it little more artfully, but I think there is more of a danger of the artist's own selectivity (or, to be more blunt, posting only positive reviews) if the reviews are filtered through the artist first.  Who would want to post a negative review of their own work?


Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

I was reading this several times and still donīt understand it.

The usual progress is: reviews are made from 3rd persons like website, blogs magazines, it makes a difference for you if a customer or the reviewer post the same review instead of the artist?  ???

True, agree on this point!

On the other hand, critical reviewers are very care in today...actually i got a very "nice" response back after asking for sending demos. I will be "fair" and not mention the name here, even a lot of people know this person and the radio station behind but the answer was...yes, sent me your stuff, but i charge 10$ for each review...isnīt it a great answer? Just imagine what happened if iīve sent 30$?  ;D ;D

Useless to say itīs not worth to support this nonsense.

I hate to say it but I have heard of this practice and it saddens me. I have been paid to write liner notes and press releases and bios, and in fact I actively solicit the opportunity to to do so (in case anyone needs something done) as I think I have a knack for it, as well as layout skills for one sheets. But I have never taken a dime from an artist or a label for a review and never will.

I wouldn't criticize a reviewer if he/she asked for a fee IF they are not being paid to review, and most are not...but it does cast a suspicious light on the nature of the review - obviously.

I also understand that when artists post reviews, it can be the case of hand-picking the best...but on the other hand, some reviewers simply don't circulate their reviews either. Some artists ask me to post my review on CDBaby or Amazon and others do it themselves or don't post it period. I don't mind being asked to do so and am surprised more people don't ask. Sometimes, I think my posting reviews seems, somehow, that I'm blowing MY horn, not the artist's! (okay...poor choice of words on my part  :o ).  So I don't post many any more. I have reviewed some ambient CDs for New Age Retailer, e.g. The Road Eternal, but I guess I'm afraid that since the review is in New Age Retailer, people here wouldn't be interested in what I wrote....guess I've gotten insecure in my old age.


On a totally random tangential note here, and I do mean random and tangential, John's earlier statement: "The people that know me really well... text me - or message me - or google talk me - or facebook chat me - or rM.ning chat me - live and instant. "
prompts me to ask the following:

How many of us IN THIS COMMUNITY (and I also include members who only occasionally or even never post here but are mentioned here frequently, e.g. Robert Rich) ever talk by phone any more? Back in the days of W and W the magazine and even the early days of the website (2000-2002), I FREQUENTLY spoke to folks on the phone. During the magazine, I think Mike and I talked at least once a month. I know I spoke to Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary, Jeff Pearce, Barry Craig (RIP), Lloyd Barde, and many more on a regular basis. But how many here still do that? Do members, who have known each other for years, ever call each other any more or is it all via electronic media? I think the ONLY person I speak to on the phone any more is the promoter Ed Bonk, Jamie Bonk's dad, who runs Lazz Promotions.

Frankly, I miss it. It's ironic (or is it? maybe... after Alanis M, I can never be sure) that I FINALLY got Comcast digital voice with unlimited long distance and now I never have to call anyone!  ::)

Back in the magazine days, my long distance bill was HUGE every month.

Just it all text, email, FB, etc? Do we reserve our personal contact for the rare face-to-face? My last contact face to face with ANYONE in this community was with SunDummy when we had a beer together then attended the Robert Rich concert at the Cedar Cultural Center in Mpls at least 6 or more years ago...hell, it might've been 8 years.

Gee, I'm rambling again...see? You get what you wished Gene Wilder said to Terry Garr in Young Frankenstein...."HAPPY?"

" a Binkelman treatise "

Frankly - we need a few more of those.

Hear, hear!  :)

Be careful what you wish for.... ;D

While I think there are things here that could do with some tweaking, overall, the Hypnos forum seems fine. It is relatively uncluttered, but I also don't think RM is "cluttered" as much as it is what it is...a NING community. I joined it, and two "new age music" ones but left the latter two when ALL they were was either self-promotional or discussions that started but never went anywhere. RM, at least, seems interesting...although sometimes the variety of people who post is a bit staggering (to me). I'm used to smaller communities.

I also think that, while there has always been ebb and flow in online forums and communities, I think we are in a paradigm shift (I know, I hate that term too  ::) ) I have NEVER seen the ambient@hyperreal list so dead. Part of this is that some live wires simply have faded away, both here and elsewhere. But, as Mike stated (I think somewhere earlier), people are re-aligning their online communication relationships, whether it be through Facebook or whatever. Again, the ebb and flow is natural, but I also think if you plotted the traffic here or other venues from, say, 2000 to now, you'd see a steady downward trend, irrespective of the ebb/flow.

Another thing is this...and it's just my opinion...ambient is no longer "new." Meaning it's been around now for over 30 years. I remember how exciting it was when, e.g. Strata and Soma came out, i.e. the first two collaborations between ambient wunderkinds Roach and Rich. Part of that was because it was all so new. I'm not saying that either (a) no one is making great music anymore or that (b) there are no "new" talents around. It's just that the element of "new" is relatively gone. And with it, a sense of excitement which led people to discuss more.

Also, (and sorry this is turning into a Binkelman treatise), with the exception of a few newbies now and then, most of us really KNOW each other pretty well, esp. from a music standpoint. Again, once we know our likes and dislikes, it leaves a lot of discussion moot, IMO.

I think it's VERY telling that one of the most discussed topics over the last few years are people dying, e.g. Jim and Barry. It's almost like we suddenly become aware of a world OUTSIDE the minimal discussions here. I know I am in the TINY minority who misses the contentious days of the Everything and Nothing being no-holds-barred and I understand no one wants that any more. But, again this is only my opinion, I can only read so many "currently listening" posts or posts about new releases that, if I had the time, I would buy and listen to (my reviewing backlog is so monumental at this point that buying anything but the occasional soundtrack is pointless).

Maybe nearly everything relevant to ambient music has simply been discussed..."what is ambient?" "how are new age and ambient different?" "does ambient have beats?" "is Eno relevant any more?" etc etc etc.

OTOH, for me personally, I just am not all that interested in some topics and even when I have opinions, I seldom post them. One is because I feel detached from the entire community anyway, and the other is because I don't see the that I mean, a discussion on the merits or downsides of CD-Rs...I mean, so what? Artists will do what they will, no matter who says what. Sometimes, I think some discussions are almost on the level of whining, but that's just me.

Wow, I am in full on rant mode now and LOL'ing to myself. Sorry to all the old timers who know me well from the past. I don't mean nothin' by it. Maybe I just don't like getting old! ;)

Mike, you have done wonders keeping the Forum alive all these years, with John and Anthony's help. Frankly, with everything else you got going, I say leave it as is. My only suggestion is to consider taking the "currently listening" tab and whittle away the really old stuff. Does anyone go back to page 3 or 4 and read it?  ::)

I wish I could get reignited and feel connected to not just here but the ambient community in general...time is just so short but I do hope to once again, at some point, contribute something of worth.

Thanks for indulging me.

I can't be sure but each of those COULD be from either Desert Solitaire OR Western Spaces, both of them collaborations between Roach and artists like Stearns, Kevin Braheny, and Richard Burmer. If I can find my Western Spaces cassette and Desert Solitaire CD, I will see if they match up. It sure does sound like a collaboration between Roach and Stearns, though.

As a reviewer, I find the listing of instruments used in the making of a CD to be HIGHLY important, esp. when it comes to this genre. More than once when the instruments are not mentioned, I have erred in stating something in a review which was untrue. There's only so much one can figure out based solely on one's hearing - and since I am not nor never have been a musician, I would prefer to know, even in ambiguous terms (e.g. "synthesizer," "electronic keyboards" etc.) what was used. But I don't need to know too many specifics, e.g. I don't need to know the brand of synth or which model.

Hi Matt. Welcome to the Forum. I've been a fan of the Peccaries since Howard Givens launched SP. I'm curious to know who your faves on the label are, if you care to chime in on the subject.

I'm happy for you and I hope the job works out well for you. Must be quite a relief  - and kudos to you for hanging in there until your luck changed.

Another shocker. The two Thought Guild recordings I have heard are excellent. And to die at such a young sad. I just attended a memorial service for the husband of a colleague yesterday. Too much death lately  :(

My sincere condolences go out to Chris' family and loved ones. Our small but well-knit community has lost another talented musician.

Mike, I have the interview scanned as a two-page PDF. Should I email it to you? What email address? mg (at) hypnos (dot) com?

(edited by Mike to remove my spam-crawler-readable email address)

Mike, I will try to scan the interview either tonight or tomorrow. Here is the cover (boy, does this take me back, as I 'm sure it will other of us "old timers"):

Bill- I think I did point Barry in your direction, long long ago.  And Mike- you wrote Barry around the time you wrote to me- Barry and I talked shortly after, and he asked me "what's up with this Hypnos label?" and I said that it was run by a pretty level headed, ego-free guy who appeared to be in it for the long term.  I remember Barry stating, dryly, "then he'll never last in the music business!"  :) I talked with Barry not terribly long ago, he was pretty excited about the (then) unreleased cd with Loren, but spent a lot of time asking about my wife and kids, wondering how it was possible that I was now the parent of a teen-ager.  I always appreciated how Barry was interested in, and willing to talk about, things other than music.

LOL! That does indeed sound like Barry! He had such a wickedly dry sense of humor. And yeah, he and I bemoaned the lack of serious attention ambient music got and how screwed up some things were. I thought I had found a real soulmate when it came to ranting at times! LOL! Yeah, I remember, Jeff, that I got in touch with you prior to my W and W days...I think you and Tim (Story) were the first artists I ever showed my "fan boy" side to back then. At some point Barry emailed me as a "Jeff Pearce" referral, I think...or maybe you told me about this great artist A Produce. I don't recall if I bought Land of a Thousand Trances from Lloyd or from Stu at Dark Star in Milwaukee. I think it was Lloyd (and I bought The Hidden Rift at Stu's store on Milwaukee's East Side. Man, the past we all shared. I so wish we could all be together tonight to raise a glass to Barry, a la the ending scene in Waking Ned Devine....(sigh).

I've already written some responses on Facebook, but I must say this is terribly sad news for me. Barry and I got to know each other quite well over MANY long distance phone calls shortly after I started up Wind and Wire in 1997. Barry was extremely supportive (as were you, Mike, and Jeff, too). I remember Barry telling me "It's easy, Bill, for someone to publish one or two issues...but if you can make it to 6 or 8 or 10, THEN people will start taking you seriously." His passion for music was just as engaging and contagious. The first album of his I got was Land of a Thousand Trances and MANY times I have stated that it is as essential an album as exists in ambient music. I think it was Jeff who put I and Barry in contact at first. If so, thanks, Jeff.  I interviewed Barry for issue 4 and, if Mike approves, I can find the interview and maybe post it here somehow. And yes, Mike, the photo was the cover image I used for that issue. As important and visionary as Barry was as an artist, he was also one of the nicest people in this business. That he helped me, who was a total unknown and a naive babe in the woods at the time, was a testament to his generous spirit. He had a great sense of humor and was a genuinely kind person. The world at large has lost a wonderful human being and the ambient community has lost one of it's pioneers and artistic geniuses (IMO, Barry was a real original). Safe passage to the next level, Barry. We will all miss you something fierce.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Happy Birthday - Bill Binkelman!
« on: August 18, 2011, 02:18:04 PM »
Thanks, everyone...and especially to John for spreading the word. I turned 57 today. I appreciate the kind words...I don't even have anything remotely cynical or curmudgeonly to say! I am sincerely and deeply touched.  :D

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:52:56 PM »
Steve Roach/ Erik Wollo - The Road Eternal
Thom Brennan - Signals In Moonlight
Deepspace - The Glittering Domain
Matt Borghi - Huronic Minor

There's a classic from the past!

just noticed this!
is this the actual cover or not? feels a bit retro for nowadays but most probably intentional with this re-release :)

The original release of CD (at least the one I own) features the MIDDLE one of those three pictures. Color scheme of the rest of the cover is also identical to the original.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Special Editions
« on: July 07, 2011, 09:39:01 AM »
Kraftwerk's The Catalogue

Extremely COOL and numerous images were snipped to preserve bandwidth


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