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Messages - doombient

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141

1.  Artists that sell their music:  How does piracy affect you?  What is your reaction when you hear that your music is pirated?


First reaction: Anger. Sheer, fucking, foaming *anger*! It just goes to show how little respect people have for one´s mental, intellectual, and emotional property. Some people really seem to be stupid enough to believe that, once they´ve paid for a CD or whatever, they are free to do with it whatever they please.

I had my band´s name registered as a trademark as a consequence as this would allow me and my lawyers to apply a legal crowfoot because the folks who infringe on my copyright do not only do this, but they also infringe on a registered brand. While music might be considered a bit vague in terms of criminal prosecution, unauthorized use of a trademark (and mentioning the band´s name on one of these torrent sites is nothing but just that) is quite obviously an illegal act -- and will be treated accordingly.

It affects my small label enterprise greatly as I can feel sales decline quite drastically. When the commercial success of one album determines whether or not I can produce another, every album sold counts. We´re not talking about buying Hummers and Lamborghinis here, mind you, we´re just talking about mere production costs (not even buying some new gear for the studio, let alone new instruments). Not to mention royalties that I never receive for illegal downloads... also just minuscule amounts, but -- as the word implies -- they will also *amount* to something noticeable at some point.

As for free downloads, I occasionally do that when the target group is different from the one I would usually reach and thus helps me generate more interest in my work.

Whether I release a download album (paid or for free, no matter which) or a physical CD or CD-R release, I make sure that the product my clients can buy has the best possible quality I can provide. There´s no point in sneering at other musicians who do not pay attention to quality control -- like I do not get tired of doing --, and then go honking the same horn and ask money for something that I wouldn´t want to pay for myself. And there´s no quicker way to irredeemably destroy your reputation as a serious musician -- or artist in general -- than fooling your audience. If you do, you better pray they will never realize...

Stephen

142
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich New CD and Tour
« on: February 21, 2010, 01:23:08 PM »
I hope Robert will be touring Europe again in the future. Alfa Centauri Festival was in 2000...

Stephen

143
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 19, 2010, 02:41:12 AM »
Blackfinity,

Yes I am a snob! I wear that badge proudly. I am the guy who will drive 2 towns away to buy coffee beans roasted that day VS my local Starbucks, I will not drink domestic beer, I only drink loose leaf high-end teas although I am also frugal and hate name brand clothes, advertising and most pop culture media (IE Pop music, most top rated TV shows and such). So thank you!

In music I want to hear the best of the best, best recorded, best performance, best vision, best experimentation...in other words, my time is sacred (as is all of ours) so please don't waist it with mediocrity, or saying "its good enough..."

Oddly enough I think you misunderstand me. I completely agree with you that music should be about the unknown, experimentation and the magical moment. I also agree with you that more often then not, it helps to learn the language of the musical territory you wish to travel in 1st...even if it is just enough to ask, "which way to the shoe store?"

And even in previous posts of yours you seem to be grappling with and looking at more expensive and better gear / plug-ins to aid you in your music creation. I applaud you for that. I am not even saying that great results cannot be achieved with low end gear and a great idea. Often all better gear gear means is achieving your goals faster and easier.

What I am pushing back on is the notion that "my music is sacred and can only be created, mixed and mastered by me!".  Stop holing on to your art so tightly...set it free.

I am suggesting that if your music is good, adding a 2nd set of ears, a professional mix engineer and especially a professional mastering engineer, should never ruin your vision, but should in most cases make it better and elevate it beyond your original dreams.

And even if it doesn't why not try it anyway...just for the experience, added knowledge and surprise.

I am also pushing back on the notion that being an ambient musician means also being an audio engineer, a mastering engineer and the composer all rolled into one. It might, but it will probably take years or decades to become truly proficient at all 3, so why arn't more musicians content to be that? Be the best ambient composer you can and leave the engineering and mastering to someone who may know how to do it better than you? This is just a possibility, not a rule as you so interpret.

Having an m-box and a computer, doesn't necessarily make you an audio engineer any more than having a first aid kit makes you a surgeon.

Just more thoughts.

Bravo! This was spot-on!

Being a snob only means that you know exactly what you do *not* want. And if it is snobbish not to want *bad* music and *bad* production... count me in!

Stephen

144
What do you need a mentor for?

Trust in your own strength, make your own mistakes, learn from these... this is what life is all about.

Stephen

145
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 17, 2010, 04:05:23 AM »
What we should keep apart are "mastering" and "producing" an album.

If I sent, say, Steve Roach five hours of music and have him assemble an album from that material and from the bits he deems best, this would be "producing" an album. This would, of course, include a lot of artistic freedom like relooping, remixing, "recycling" (to use the phrase by Dirk Serries) etc.

If I sent him a finalized album and asked him to improve on the sound (e. g. making it sound like "Magnificent Void"), that would be mastering. Mastering irons out minor flaws (like too much hiss, balancing frequency response and hence shifting loudness structure a bit) and, in an ideal world, makes a good album sound even better.

Stephen

146
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 17, 2010, 03:48:58 AM »
This myth is probably still perpetuated by the ignorant numbskulls who still insist on calling ambient/electronic "NEW AGE" and who believe it takes little skill to produce and is a matter of pushing buttons.  I was in a record store recently, and after a good-natured jabbing at a girl who asked for help at a listening station to hear "Money Over Bitches" (some gangsta rap garbage), she asked me what I listened to, and I told her "electronic." "Oh, you mean computer music?" she asked.  I just rolled my eyes.

"Computer Music" is still something, erm, demanding. When I mention I make "electronic music" and "ambient", over here in Europe everything is measured against "Techno". And when I say "industrial", everybody says "Rammstein" or "Böhse Onkelz"... Throbbing Gristle, who´s that?

"Ignorance is a terrific protection." (Z´Ev)

Stephen

147
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 14, 2010, 02:48:16 PM »
I would name the earlier work of Robert Rich. There are quite impressive dynamics in his recordings. His more recent output tends to be a tad too loud for my liking, I would rather turn up the volume on my hi-fi amp than getting something which is so loud already that I can only minimally turn up my amp in order to keep voume under control.

Stephen

148
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 12, 2010, 03:05:23 AM »
I guess it is always tempting to name-check a more famous name on one of one´s own releases (probably to make oneself look bigger than oneself is). I was tempted to have Robert do the mastering of the "ceasing to exist" album by ['ramp], and in fact I had already talked things over with him, but in the end I decided to bail out and do it my way. After all, I think it is one´s own music, and it should also *sound* and *feel* like one´s own music.

I´d rather listen closely to my favourite albums and figure out *why* exactly I like the sound of them, and how I could get close to it. The learning process itself is a very pleasant thing in its own right.

Stephen

149
Thanks for all the postive response, btw :). Much appreciated!

Bob Rusche who runs the weekly radioshow X-Rated on KINKFM chose "cambrium" as his personal favourite of 2009, here´s his review (hartelijk bedankt daarvoor, Bob!):

Stephen Parsick – Cambrium; Music For Protozoa

Stephen Parsick is a busy man. Apart from his solo career he is also a member of [‘ramp]. Debuting in 1998 (as RAMP) with Nodular (444 Oscillators) on Manikin Records they obtained themselves a place between the so called Berliner Schule (Berlin School) sound. Cosmic space sounds with sequencers , a bit like the old Tangerine Dream. Together with Frank Makowski [‘ramp] made a couple of excellent albums where one could hear the evolution to a more and more darker sound, and the invention of the term Doombient. Makowski and Parsick split up, and Parsick took the name [‘ramp] with him.

Solo became Parsick more active and produced a string of cd’s and cdr’s. One of these solo albums was Hoellenengel, which in sound was some sort of combination between Vangelis and Lustmord. The cdr’s were all deep and dark ambient, or doombient…..and most in a limited edition of just 25 copies.

And now 2 new cd’s saw the light of day, one new [‘ramp] (Debris) and a new solo disc called Cambrium; Music For Protozoa. I picked the solo album for this review, but the fact remains that both albums are the work of Stephen solo. And this work is amazing. On Cambrium you will experience a journey through dark space. Actually it’s a nice combination of the old [‘ramp] and the newer dark sound. And we are talking analogue here: the ARP 2600 synthesizers and sequencers, the Putney synth, various analogue processors, and some digital sampling systems. Occasionally the sound of a delicious sequencer , but it’s too dark and too slow to be Berlin School. It’s the combination between these both worlds that makes it all so exciting here.  Where most dark ambient acts make music from graves is this music from space and makes it one of the best electronic albums of the past year.
 
Every electronics and space lover should have this album, this is space music as it should be; doombient. And mark the words in the booklet: Thanks for buying this album and even bigger thanks for not uploading it illegally on the internet. It can be obtained by sending Stephen an email through the website. You won’t regret it…

www.parsick.com

Thanks for reading,

Stephen.



150
Here´s a lovely review, written by Phil Derby/www.electroambientspace.com (thanks, Phil!):

"Stephen Parsick “Cambrium: Music for Protozoa”

(CD 2009)

10 tracks, 67.45 mins

Fans of Lustmord’s Where the Black Stars Hang should immediately seek out Stephen Parsick’s Cambrium: Music for Protozoa. Continuing on his quest for the ultimate “doombient” sound, Parsick delves ever deeper into the dark crevasses. “Proterozoikum” jumps right into the blackness, a swirling vortex of emptiness put to sound. This would be the perfect soundtrack to a bleak sci-fi film. This is hardcore dark ambient and white noise, with normal musical conventions conspicuously absent. “DNA Sequence” bubbles and churns with a bit more brightness as punchy percussion lends just a touch of electronica to the mix. Back to the stuff of nightmares we go with “Electric Soup Kitchen,” dark and dank. Song titles like “Primordial Glurp”, “Trilobite”, and “Amoeba” aptly portray the primitive yet futuristic sound. I prefer the ones with just a bit of structure to hang onto, like the momentum-building pulsations of “Trilotbite” and the restless electronic buzzing undercurrent of the title track and “Urge to Live.” The latter reminds me a lot of the dark, industrial take on Berlin school that Redshift created on Down Time. If you like dark, organic ambient from Robert Rich or Steve Roach, you will love Cambrium."

 

© 2010 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

If you want to order your copy locally, you might try and ask Archie Patterson over at Eurock whether he has got some copies left.

Cheers,

Stephen.

 

151
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: ['ramp] -- debris
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:31:43 AM »
Another review, lifted from www.electroambientspace.com (thanks, Phil!):

"Ramp “Debris”

12 tracks, 76.06 mins

Debris continues where Oughtibridge left off, a great combination of dark ambient and industrialized Berlin school on steroids. Interestingly, most discs like to grab your attention early, but Stephen Parsick (now the only force behind Ramp) starts with the gloomy, dark shifting textures of “Rail.” Really, though, it serves as a lengthy intro to the main course, the nearly 14 fantastic minutes that are “Skeletal.” Fans of  Redshift and Node absolutely must hear this stunning track. It is at turns edgy, moody, dramatic, and aggressive - an instant classic. The disc has great flow, going from active numbers like this one to the dark formless bridging piece “Girders” before rich, thick bass and gritty synths kick back in on “Wreckage.” After virtually abandoning sequencing for his foray into purely doombient releases, Parsick rediscovers the technique with a vengeance here, continuing seamlessly into “Pieces” and the title track. The album is divided into four parts of three tracks each. The third three-part epic reaches its peak on “Hamburgised”, another powerfully restless sequencer fest with rumbling pulsating bass. The fourth and final section is every bit as good as the rest. Debris is hands down the best, most potent electronic music album of 2009."

So if you haven´t got it yet... drop me a line :).

Stephen





152
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Phobos I dark ambient festival
« on: December 06, 2009, 04:11:24 AM »
I would have gone there, had I had a little more time. The location is really awesome, I played there once together with Phelios, and it was wonderful. We had a great PA system which literally blew the audience away.

Stephen

153
Another review, written and translated into English by Sylvain Lupari (merci beaucoup, Sylvain!):

"The least we can say is that Stephen Parsick is in a shady period where the atonal forms of a tetanized music seem to be far from its conceptual priorities. In the same stride as Debris, although less heavy and more atmospheric, Cambrium - Music For Protozoa is a more psychedelic than structured musical journey, depicting the microscopic universe which surrounds us on atonal movements mixed to heavy and full of life musical structures of a reverberant life. Recorded in concert on May 29th, 2009 at the University of Bielefeld for the annual night of sounds, this last realization of the German synthesist is a sound reflection of an effervescent microbiological world. A surprising musical journey where the microscopic life bubbles towards ARP 2600 and VCS-3, synths known for their warm tones to facets as astral as hallucinogenic.

Emerging softly from meanders of a boiling life of metaphoric streaks, Proterozoikum floats in a spectral universe where choirs and caustic breaths flavor a micro organic life of strange luminous parasites who tie themselves to knot as sound jellyfishes. Strange laughter of ash blond witches emanate from this context where subjacent life reigns with color palettes proper to Stephen Parsick. The first stammerings of a world out of control appear on DNA Sequence opening. Spasmodic sequences which collide in a strange merged ballet to dance in a dislocated way such as marionettes that we imagine to be germs, or enzymes, which converge on some point of entry.

An abstracted dance for a microbiological world which spreads its tones among structures so ambient, atonal and atmospheric as we hear on Ekectric Soup Kitchen, Amoeba, Medusa and Radiolaria and lively structures animated by sequential pulsating rhythm as on Tribolite who dances under somber stratas by an arrhythmic flow and the title track which merges on heavy reverberations, while the heaviness’s and the reverberates roundness’s of Urge to Live are similar to the sound vividness of the last Ramp; Debris.

Cerebral journey, abstract or sound exploration of an underlying life, Cambrium - Music For Protozoa presents us a Stephen Parsick in great shape who brings us where he wants to, either to the borders of a spiritual journey where the stellar merges marvelously to a sonorous world that only Parsick can define with a multitude of organic tones which can easily survive in both worlds.



Sylvain Lupari (Phaedream) from Guts Of Darkness

The French Magazine of Dark & Experimental Music"

154
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: ['ramp] -- debris
« on: November 27, 2009, 04:11:40 AM »
Here´s another review, written and translated into English by Sylvain Lupari, published on the Canadian website www.gutsofdarkness.com (merci beaucoup, Sylvain!):

"A loud caustic wave wraps the intro of Rails, of which the starting engine sends ochre vapor which spreads a strange cosmic aura in a world nevertheless industrial. Recorded in the turmoil of a stormy separation from the other half of Ramp; Frank Makowski, Debris will take 3 years before being born. The result is an album which allies the dark weightiness of Ramp to tempestuous and strangely violent sequential movements.

Following the hard move forward of Rails wheels of which end on strange metallic percussions, Skeletarl moves blindly towards squealing and sweating feeble-lights with an arrhythmic pulsations bass line. A sound violence is pointing out. It is latent and shouts out with spectral rustles and scattered flickered percussions on a hesitating movement. A movement that is mold as roller coasters which have difficulty to pull their wagons. Biting reverberations and industrial sound environment, without knowing it but while feeling it, Skeletarl plunges us into a heavy and violent sound universe where resonances eat our eardrums on a rhythm strangely vague of which the essence is pulled out of the somber depths of Redshift. A magnificent hard and corrosive track which winds the meanders of lifelessness, while robbing the steel walls of sharp claws, which feed a twisted and howling metal. A track that depicts marvelously the raw and metallic atmosphere which overhangs this last Ramp release. Because from Girders to Residual Oxide, Ramp passes by all the subterranean levels to offer a sound slaughter, sometimes static sometimes sequenced, to the stabbing and terrifying roundness’s of a ruined factory. Some Ramp, but also some Stephen Parsick who likes cement mixers atmospheres stiff of ambient aromas. But who also exploits sequenced movements of an inebriating intensity as on Wreckage where drum roll on contaminated oil barrels which entangled to an abrasive sound universe full of howling sequences which are melting to sieved lights of Pieces, to continue to pulse in an industrial world adrift, before meeting the movements of sequenced ball bearings of the title track Debris who tears simply away the metal from the tarnish towers, before the sequential heaviness’s of Coventried and Hamburgised ends this work of demolition.

Sunk in concrete in tempered steal in only one long track segmented into 12 shutters, Debris offers few ambient or quiet moments. In fact, if there is a moment of tranquility it begins with Dresdened and its long atonal breaths which circulate among the fragments of a factory ground. Although heavy and incredibly disaster, Slow Corrosion hiccoughs of heavy sequences to random migrations, which pulse heavily under metallic and flickered percussions. A movement to the approach so sinister as Skeletarl, but who does not explode and who preserves the oscillatory linearity of a big starving tortoise who ruminates upon her appetite until the last biting breaths of Residual Oxide.

Debris of Ramp is a whole brainwave. While we had become used to the calm universe of tetanised atmospheres of the Doombient series, Debris arrives with its big clogs and kicks down the atonic armature of this suite as cold as biting. In fact, Debris is a sublime mix of both universes; Stephen Parsick molds subtly and skillfully the metallic and biting drones in sequences to heavy reverberations which literally melt the last vestiges of the Doombient series. Debris is a great album which suits very well the visions and the perspectives of Guts Of Darkness. A must for fans of Dark Ambient with heavy resounding oscillations. The underworld of Redshift!

Sylvain Lupari (Phaedream) from Guts Of Darkness

The French Magazine of Dark & Experimental Music"

Thanks for reading,

Stephen.


155
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: ['ramp] -- debris
« on: November 15, 2009, 03:30:12 AM »
The first "debris", written by Bert Strolenberg (bedankt, Bert!):

[‘ramp] – debris
CD, Private Release, 2009
“Debris” is a deep, strong organic flavoured ambient journey coming in four sections. It’s composed solely by Stephen Parsick, as he and Frank Makowski parted ways a while ago. As Stephen explains, the outcome (for which he used basic tracks composed between June 2000 and January 2005 as a start) is based both on textural ambient soundscaping, ambient field recordings of steelplants, railway trajects, and factories at night, and grinding sequencer rhythms, so there’s most certainly an industrial/experimental edge to it all. Those familiar with his privately released cd-r’s know what magical, cinematic and dense vintage ambient music can be like. “Debris” once more sees Stephen treat his gear expertly, triggering some great analogue sequencer patterns in the tradition of Node and Redshift, next to offering crispy, multi-layered synth pads which he masterfully mixes with industrial, organic and minimal flavours and a whole range of effects.

Although I highly recommend “Debris”, I’d like to remind those familiar with the album “Ceasing to Exist” to keep in mind there’s far more rhythmic, edgier electronic territory and alienating soundscaping covered on this new release, which won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.   

Bert Strolenberg
www.sonicimmersion.org

156
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sigur Ros' first CD
« on: November 10, 2009, 02:56:41 AM »
I attended their live show at Cologne Philharmonic Hall in 2002 and was gobsmacked. Probably the most intense concert I´ve ever been to. Yet I must agree that their style tends to veer towards the "kitsch" and "campy" side of things, and the singer -- although I really enjoyed it on the first two albums -- is becoming more and more of a nuisance. A one-trick pony on vocals...

Stephen

157
Matt Howarth kindly reviewed the download version of "cambrium" on his soniccuriosity website (thanks, Matt!):

"STEPHEN PARSICK: Cambrium: Music for Protozoa (DDL on Parsick Music)

This release from 2009 offers 79 minutes of cerebral electronic music recorded live at Bochum Planetarium, Germany, on December 13, 2008.

The astral textures employed in this music are designed to create the impression of the audience’s displacement in time, transporting the listeners back through prehistoric ages where they are exposed to hordes of blooping diodes marking the evolution of micro-organisms.

The atmospherics possess an eerie, vaporous demeanor. While maintaining a constant presence throughout the concert, these cosmic airs undergo substantial evolution of their own, swelling to evoke celestial importance and focusing to draw attention to microscopic events.

The bloopings are all generated by an Arp synthesizer, lending the strangeness an earthy character. These sounds are entrancing in their vivacious diversity. They run the gamut from staccato gurglings to undulant stellar winds.

Rhythmics evolve from the sinuous arrangement adopted by the blooping noises. As the music progresses, these pulsating tempos achieve a lavish series of helixes that produces engaging melodies as they swim through the gaseous tonal foundation.

One is witness to the genesis of basic life-forms. Amino acids coalesce and form bonds with each other, producing single-celled organisms that gradually mutate and develop methods to refuel themselves. Habits are gestated, simplistic though they are, bewitching nonetheless in their awesome implications.

Wandering from ambient passages to outbursts of electronic activity, this tuneage is a moving experience.

According to the liner notes, this music was inspired by Parsick’s fascination with an “earth time scale” encountered in Bielefeld’s Arboretum."

Thanks for reading,

Stephen.

158
The album is now available and can be ordered directly through me. Prices (with shipping, Paypal, and handling included) are as follows:

Germany: 16 Euro (bitte kein Paypal, nur normale Überweisungen)
Europe: 17 Euro
Worldwide: 18 Euro

If you have any questions, please feel free to get back to me.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Thanks,

Stephen.

159
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: ['ramp] -- debris
« on: October 01, 2009, 03:29:46 AM »
Thanks for your kind words :)...

The album is now available and can be ordered directly through me. Prices (with shipping, Paypal, and handling included) are as follows:

Germany: 16 Euro (bitte kein Paypal, nur normale Überweisungen)
Europe: 17 Euro
Worldwide: 18 Euro

If you have any questions, please feel free to get back to me.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Thanks,

Stephen.

160
Hi all,

I´m very delighted to announce the release of my new official solo album which will be made available on 1st October, 2009.

The music was recorded live in concert on 29th May, 2009, at the annual "Nacht der Klänge" (night of sounds) held at Bielefeld University. It was a three-hour concert performed in front of an audience of roughly 500 spectators in a completely black room.

The main difference from the first issue of "cambrium" is that I not only used an ARP 2600 for creating all the electronic sounds but I also added an EMS VCS-3 to the timbral scope in order to populate an acoustic environment of 500 million years ago. You can say that the ARP was used for all the pitched stuff while the EMS allowed me to do extensive live electronic improvisations and live looping which is all the abstract soundscaping in the background.

You can of course order your personal copy directly through me by sending an email to stephen at parsick dot com (no forum PMs, please!), or -- if you don´t want to order it blindly -- you can wait until some distributors have made audio snippets available online to listen to it first. Please don´t expect me to answer to your email between 11th September and 27th September as I will be away for a while.

Thanks for reading,

Stephen.

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