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Messages - doombient

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Would you pay $1,000 for a CD?
« on: February 26, 2016, 07:07:59 AM »
You see these items listed on eBay, Amazon, Discogs, Barnes and noble, etc.  Some seller is asking $1,000 for a CD.  Goes without saying nobody would pay that much.  So what is the motivation for creating these listings?  I just don't get it.

Artificially inflating prices is a good way of making simple minds believe they've got something exquisitely precious and expensive in their possession.

I think this is a symptom of rather low self-esteem.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Whatever happened to....?
« on: February 19, 2016, 03:34:44 AM »
[...] Stephen Parsick (disappeared from the forum and music making apparently) [...]

Thanks for asking, I'm still around. Now that's a relief.

Making ends meet isn't exactly getting easier but more and more time-consuming. Basically, it's all about art and life interfering with each other :).

Running a tiny label enterprise (ho-hum...), being creative, and earning money to pay the electric bill at the same time takes more time and energy I have to spare hence I had to cut back a little (in fact, three years ago I decided to take a sabbatical from releasing music for an indefinite period of time). And gosh, I do need electricity...

I hope to be releasing a new album or two in the course of the year but I am not all too keen on live performances, simply because I do not have the time to prepare myself for any.


PS: Thanks Jez... wish we could have had more time for a little chat.

I have noticed on some recent purchases the practice of printing inner booklet liner notes in German.  Two that come to mind are Mathias Grassow "Wisdom of Fate" on Swedish Gterma label and Klaus Schulze "Shadowlands" on SPV.  Any theories on why the text wouldn't be translated into English?

I guess it´s because most Germans suck at writing, speaking, or understanding English... it sometimes makes me cringe to read English texts written by Germans. They simply don´t seem to get it into their heads that both British and American English are languages which have absolutely nothing in common with German idiomatic speech. "Oh, these languages are different from each other?" Yep, they are.

Hello, I am becoming a Hamburger. Siss issnnt propper Inglish.

Misschien ga ik volgende keer mijn cd-boekjes in het Nederlands schrijven...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Vintage Gear
« on: March 31, 2013, 01:03:54 PM »
[...] Why will people pay $10.000 for a Leica camera.....[...]

I can´t and won´t speak for the vast majority, but in my case, I´d pay that much for a Leica M5 (with a set of lenses) for the same reason I´d pay that much for a Hasselblad, Nagra IV, or a Glashütte watch -- because they are wonderful pieces of engineering and craftmanship.

There are more practical solutions around.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Vintage Gear
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:09:00 AM »
Well, the article was more about studio technology rather than synthesisers. In terms of production techniques, analogue -- or "vintage", for that matter -- can be a blessing and a hindrance at the same time. As nice as a perfectly aligned Studer A-80 24-track analogue tape recorder can sound at 30ips, with Dolby SR applied properly, it is a behemoth of a tape recorder. Not to mention the cost of recording tape and maintenance.

I for one would prefer a nice blend of analogue and digital techniques, like a great-sounding analogue desk with nice EQs and preamps (API, Neve, Cadac, Calrec, you name it) going straight into a high-end digital recording system (Apogee, ProTools...) to capture the essence of the analogue desk. Same thing with synthesisers -- a Waldorf Blofeld just doesn´t deliver the digital grit that makes the PPG Wave so loveable, Prophet 12 doesn´t get the classic unison Polymod stuff of a Rev. 3.3 Prophet 5 right.

I can´t understand the "vintage" fetish in studio technology, really. As nice as an EMT 250/251* space heater can sound in some environments, I wouldn´t want to be bothered with that sort of bulk and maintenance (*enter any other early digital reverb here). Same thing with Fairchild or Tubetech outboard stuff. There are plenty of modern renditions around (Chandler, Shadow Hill, Thermionic Culture, Avalon Audio etc.), and I guess most of these are still quite over-priced. Even worse when talking about vintage microphones...

After all, it´s the music that is being produced using whatever equipment. There are loads of great albums around that have been produced on cheap Mackie desks. In some circles, though, the studio has become either a thing to brag with, or you can write it off (or tell your local revenue office where all the beautiful money has gone you earned with your top-ten single).

What I find most irritating in this context is that most music which is produced using this extremely expensive type of studio gear is condensed into lossy audio formats and played back using the internal speakers of a mobile phone... pathetic.


Hi all,

as some of you may know, I released a series of limited-edition CDR albums between 2006 and 2010. As I´ve run out of materials, it´s nearly impossible for me to make these anymore, no matter how much some people have begged me to :).

There are currently a couple of them for sale on eBay, I´m not affiliated with the sale but I can confirm they are all legit (I know the seller, which is no surprise at 25 copies each). Here´s the auction, just go from there:!/m.html?hash=item460da390fd&item=300876534013&pt=B%C3%BCcher_Unterhaltung_Music_CDs&rt=nc&_trksid=p4340.l2562

Thanks for reading, and good luck. I hope these albums will find a loving new home :).


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: What's happened to Depeche Mode?
« on: February 23, 2013, 05:32:55 PM »
They´ve become rich, they´ve become a trademark. They are no longer hungry, and they do no longer have to care whether or not their new album will be innovative, trail-blazing, or just great listening because they´ll be selling enough copies not to be bothered by questions like this.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: AMBIcon 2013 Update
« on: January 20, 2013, 05:47:43 PM »
This line-up is to die for. Shame I´d have to add tickets for a flight from Germany and back again...

Seriously, this is the type of line-up that would make me attend EM festivals over here in Continental Europe.


I thought I´d share this with you:

"STAR'S END Update - 9 December 2012 
 Stephen Parsick hears the call of the wild, and answers it. His concert CD Astral Disaster (76'28") plays like a souped-up rebuild of Ricochet or Departure From the Northern Wasteland. Answering The Berlin School's challenge Stephen Parsick and his 'ramp project ratchets up the dramatic tension, nearly matching the intensity of his previous Steel and Steam (2011). Sections of this album extend further into sequencer darkness than even Parsick's closest contemporary (Mark Shreeve and his impressive Redshift project). But to prolong the comparison would undermine Parsick's achievement. Surging and dangerously thrilling Astral Disaster holds us in its grip. The first of two ample live pieces begins with strange drones and an amassing density. Here the composer shows his teeth as sets of deep tones build into complex multi-layered sequencer patterns. Running at full-tilt the bass notes nearly blast out of the speakers - burning in a warm distortion. Gentle electric piano melodies and classic Mellotron voices somehow soften this section's expanding motorized pulse. And with so many rhythms being introduced, brightened, altered and then dormanted the piece never wants for much more in the way of melody. The program concludes with an ascent into brighter territory with crystalline notes echoing through cosmic voices. Parsick focuses the concert program's second half on a more gentle gravity - meant to open vast new spaces within the listener. As a sustaining abstract landscape haunts the soundfield, Parsick works his strange and mysterious spell. Well into this floating zone we sense the engine again turning over. Heightening this work's urgency the sequencer lines gradually run bigger, brighter and bolder - yet the closing moments reveal a tenderness that seemed impossible in the earlier thunder. Never less than intriguing Astral Disaster is not like anything else we will hear this year. Delving deeper into his musical obsessions Stephen Parsick has crafted an album that captures the careening, adventurous spirit of the 1970s without ever seeming overly retro. Astral Disaster, and the concert it was taken from, feels fully willed and artfully conceived.
Please tune in to STAR'S END this weekend for new music from 'ramp and the recent release Astral Disaster

For more on Astral Disaster and 'ramp please access:

Related Content:
Steel and Steam by 'ramp"

Thanks for this review, chuck!

Saw Martin and his Sphäre Sechs mates last Saturday (3rd November, that is) playing live at Phobos Festival (no pun!) in Wuppertal. Quite nice. I wish I could have fallen asleep to it :).


Reminds me of the Sony PCM-F1 machines which used video tape for recording digital audio like this:

We have these at work just for playing back old concerts from the 1980s, I also mixed my first album (Point of Arrival) on the Nakamichi version back in the mid 1980s. State of the art digital recording at the time until DATs took over.


I used an F1 for mastering once in my life. I am so happy there are alternative solutions around :).

I still have hundreds of cassette tapes which cover my childhood days (purchased my first cassette player in 1979) until the mid and late 1990s (this is when CDRs took over). Still longing for another Sony WM-DD II... I had one in the early 1990s, and I literally wore it out. Possibly one of the most robust pieces of kit I´ve ever had so wearing it out took quite a while...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Interesting Steve Roach Technical interview
« on: November 11, 2012, 02:54:40 PM »
Kindred spirit.


Hi all,

just to inform you that the new ['ramp] album "astral disaster" will be released on 31st October 2012. The album will feature the live show at Bochum Planetarium of 7th July 2012. There are eight tracks on it (grouped in two sets of roughly 38 minutes each), and if you liked "return" or "steel and steam", I am confident you will most certainly enjoy this one as well. The CD comes with an eight-page booklet with a couple of pictures assembled from studio and live work, plus liner notes written by Archie Patterson of Eurock. Here is some music to listen to:

and a bootlegged audience recording ;-) :

Lots of analogue goodness, and the first proper ['ramp] live album since the release of "oughtibridge".

German KEYBOARDS magazine also published a report on the (technical side of the)show in their current issue which can be ordered here:

The CD will be available in a limited edition of 300 numbered copies and can be ordered directly through me. Price for a copy is 15 Euro with shipping and handling included (valid until 31st December 2012). If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me at stephen at

Thanks for reading,


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: October 04, 2012, 04:25:19 PM »
I hate all of doombient's stuff, early or otherwise!  ;D

See, this man is what I would call an educated listener  ;D.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: October 04, 2012, 04:27:13 AM »
I for one hate most of my early stuff and I advise everyone not to buy it. I don´t get tired of saying how much I hate some of it. Which is no bad thin IMO because I don´t believe these albums were of any significance, neither to myself, nor to anybody else.

After all, I´m the one who created it and who has every right to value his own work, positively or negatively, because I know exactly what I was striving for -- and where I failed.

What drives me particularly mad is the implication of "your earlier work was much better than what you´re doing now" because I guess I know best what my personal quality standards are and to what extent I´ve evolved since the recording of album XX or XY in 199X.

Record companies influencing the empetus of an album in a way that suits the label would be an entirely different story altogether.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: 808 documentary
« on: September 20, 2012, 04:33:04 AM »
For a specific style of electronic music, the TR-808 is the only drum machine that really works well within that context (think Tangerine Dream "Logos" or "Poland"). It´s just one organic-sounding beast with a wonderful timing. To some extent, the same can be said about the CR-78, and I´m happy to have both :).

I tried the mighty Linn LM-1 Drum Computer (which I used to own for many years), just to find out it didn´t work for me -- it always made me sound like either Kraftwerk, Moroder, or Prince -- but that wasn´t where or what I wanted to be. Same thing with the Oberheim D(M)X (although I found it nicer than the Linn). As soon as TD started using those early digital units, their rigid timing did the feel of the music no good.

Never liked techno or house, though, and anytime I hear an R´n´B or Hip Hop track using the 808 to death I find myself thinking "now, this would a good point for selling the 808". The first ten minutes of "Poland" is the best argument for keeping the 808, though ;).


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: September 09, 2012, 11:12:44 AM »
When talking about *ambient* music, there are two entirely different *ambient* camps that would define *ambient* by completely different parameters:

a) There is the school of thought that defines *ambient* in the style of Brian Eno´s original works (and those who have followed him). This is the school of *ambient* I would subscribe to as well.

b) There is the type of sedated, Seconal-heavy slo-mo "Techno" that came from the "chill-out" areas of 1990s Techno movement, i. e. 70 instead of 140 bpm when using beats. This would be The Orb, FSOL, Aphex Twin, BOC and countless others that jumped the bandwagon of the Techno hipster movement. As you may have guessed already, this is the type of *ambient* I´m not really interested in because I´ve always found it blatantly boring and uninspired -- and it sounds dated and passé to me. Music that could only have existed in the time bubble of the 1990s.

I thought I´d throw that in.

Stephen (being-clever-mode off)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: 808 documentary
« on: September 09, 2012, 03:15:05 AM »
Just from watching the teaser I was tempted to sell mine :).


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Alesis Andromeda A6 FS
« on: September 09, 2012, 03:14:08 AM »
I think I could make do with that three-panel Serge quite as well :).


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