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Messages - jkn

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I just posted an interview with Rusty Hodge of SomaFM - who is a massive supporter of ambient music.

I also did an interview with Don Tyler a few weeks ago  - who records ambient music as Phase47 and as part of Acendant and is a grammy nominated mastering engineer.

Hope you enjoy them.

John Koch-Northrup
owner / artist
Relaxed Machinery - organic .: ambient :. techno

Ello Ambient & Relaxed Machinery Community:


Wondering what your thoughts are on the transatlantic polarisation regarding Steve Roach's desert/native roots soundcapes and the european EM/electroacoustic influenced offerings ?

I think this question is begging for an answer.  :)

Hey - we're having a premiere / chat party tonight for our new rM album by Roy Mattson.  Stop by if you can for chat!

All the details at

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CD vs. CDR
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:33:26 AM »
Yep - I'm very familiar with the sticky label problem that James had (he did a run of my solo album released on Red Antenna) - pretty much all of them had issues.  James always replaced what he needed to and the cdr's got better. 

However - James has gone pretty much off-grid these days.   He did put up just about everything for free so I don't think there's any issue with you trading the files like you are.

Ning hasn't updated their development plan in 2 years.  The last post was from 2013 I think talking about a new round of bug updates.  The original founders left long ago.  New owners had interest - but then the new, new owners seem to have none.  Rumor is it's totally dead and just keeping the lights on because there are still quite a few communities on there.   We're still paying $240 per year there...  all images with a .png extension were turned to a lot darker on ning - I was locked out of editing the admin of the site for a week - then it worked - then locked out another week - then locked out 2 weeks.  Sometimes sections disappeared - all the photographs just disappeared for like 3 weeks and then poof they were back.

Ning site goes dead end of July.  I need to start my "how to join ello and not be scared of the blank white wall you first see" posts.  :-)   I'm kind of dragging my feet a bit only because I know the iOS app is almost out.  And that will help a lot of people.  (I'm on a Droid so not me - but it works fine on my droid.)

Google - yes I explained to Ello that going to Google was out because so many people in our community do not like it for various reasons including the privacy issues.   

Here's my post to Ello about why I chose Ello over other places for moving rM to:

For me - Ello has all the right attitude and intentions and everyone seems to be making their best efforts to make Ello happen.  It's not all there yet - it doesn't all work (read my post you'll see I'm unhappy bandcamp isn't embeddable yet... and private messages...  and groups!)  But I have faith it's all coming.

I also thought about doing something like Hypnos and just being a forum.  But I really loved the aspects of Ning with all of it's media so easy to use... post video's and images and songs right into posts (ello does it a heck of a lot easier than ning ever did).   

Anyway - I love it here - won't leave.  I love it other places - won't leave.  Ello Ambient / Relaxed Machinery is my new "home base" though.

I haven't mentioned this here yet - but I'm shutting down the Ning community.  I've run communities there for 8 years - 5 as Relaxed Machinery.  Ning is falling apart - especially the last year.

I've found a new "home" on Ello - as the Ello Ambient Music Community -

rM is moving there. 

Now - I love it here on Hypnos - this is just another outlet for you and ambient related talk and posts. 

Ello is not everyone's favorite platform although it's getting tremendously better and better - I've been there 9 months and the improvements are staggering - and the level of interaction with the developers, owners, and users - is wonderful.  (Mike - you should check out the writer community - some really good people).

I just did a MASSIVE interview with Don Tyler (mastering engineer, records as Phase47 and in Ascendant and other ambient collabs).

I'm interviewing Rusty and Soma FM next.

Join in if you like. 


I've been here since the beginning of the forum - at least pretty darn close. 

Issues have always been handled carefully - long before I started helping out as a moderator - and ever since.  Almost every warning is behind the scenes unless the person has just shown themselves to completely disregard every attempt.

Thankfully ambient music fans aren't necessarily the most riled up unruly group...  I haven't had too many problems over on Relaxed Machinery over the last 5 years (and 2 years more before that as  AtmoWorks).  I've banned I think about 3 maybe 4 people total for being total idiots.   

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Hypnos releases for 2015 ?
« on: May 13, 2015, 11:46:02 AM »
nice to see Max joining Hypnos..   cool.

I removed the post that just annoyed the heck out of me - which was a direct personal attack on Pete from Horizon. 

Several others on here are borderline - mostly because of nudging on from Horizon.

Haven't we figured out by now that music is music and tools are tools and different people make music in different ways?   Many of my favorite musicians never had a class, don't read music, never played anything but a laptop, or plunk around until they get the right sound.

It's like the brilliant author who can't type... and types everything with 2 fingers.

Independent Music Reviews / Re: PDFs of Wind and Wire, the magazine
« on: February 09, 2015, 10:47:56 AM »
I had a ball flipping through issue #2!   It's like this cool time capsule - thank you for posting these!

I got addicted to Skyrim - started on January 1 this year - finally unwrapped it and put it in ps3 - hasnt' been out since.

Also played through "Journey" which is flippin' brilliant - did the whole thing in an afternoon (new years eve) - i was that engulfed in the game.

Also playing  SimCity BuildIt on ipad and 4 Seasons 2 on ipad.  Nice.

Also on that same show will be the premiere of Frore - Cyclic Movement which just came out on Relaxed Machinery - there should be a number of chatters chatting away on Saturday!

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Ovod - Between the days
« on: January 13, 2015, 07:52:01 AM »
"imitation of helicopter blades in Swamp helicopters track from my album"

a helicopter, flying through a swamp...  the sound of the helicopters blades spinning.

I think that's what he means.  He's recreating helicopter blade sounds - and in this case - in a swamp.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Amazon sucks!!(?)
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:03:52 AM »
Amazon - depends on what you're looking at.  I used to buy a lot from them - I don't very often now (my music is all bandcamp these days - and I stream instead of buying dvd/blu ray).  Over a decade ago I used to buy from a lot - they got the EFA distributed stuff faster.  now EFA is gone and I'm sure AB-CD is changed - haven't looked in years due to my switch to digital.

Yes - I grew up near Peoria, IL on Tenth Street - in a 10 street town.  Our front window looked out at corn fields.  Even in the heyday of record stores there weren't many record stores.   I now live in Northern Indiana kind of near South Bend / Michigan City...  much the same (and so very different at the same time). 

photo of the field across from where I worked in Morton, IL on a hot and humid day in August years ago:

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Interstellar
« on: December 26, 2014, 07:36:59 AM »
I still haven't seen it - I will when it gets on Netflix or somewhere. 

Zimmer's Thin Red Line - yes - my favorite soundtrack of his.  Agree with previous.  There's a sublime moment of awesomeness in the movie where the score completely overtakes the audio of the movie - a magnificent drone - over the battle up the hill. Amazing. 

I've heard the organ at times overtakes the movie in Interstellar as well. 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2014 - non-ambient
« on: December 22, 2014, 07:02:06 AM »
I was introduced to Mastadon.  And while it was mostly their older stuff - their new video cracked me up - great tune - and hilarious video.  I will say - this is really NSFW and involves a whole lot of twerking to metal... and it's a riot. 

I think of Loscil as ambient- huge fan but don't have the new one yet.

I rather liked Afghan Whigs - Algiers video 

Mostly - I really loved Deepchord / Echospace releases.   Yagya.  But that's me.  I love that dubby minimal techno - which also nearly borders on ambient.

The bright and shingy Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj - Bang Bang song - yeah - that a fun one.    hard to get that out of your head once you hear it. 

Good luck getting Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk out of your head after hearing it:    I've only heard it once on the radio so it hasn't worn out it's welcome with me yet.  It probably will.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Best of 2014
« on: December 18, 2014, 01:36:11 PM »
hahahahhahahahah!   I love the replies! 

obviously I'm half kidding half serious.

Read the paragraph about Modell, Die, and Roach.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Best of 2014
« on: December 18, 2014, 08:59:35 AM »
This will look like total blatant spam but too bad... I really loved Steve Brand and Roy Mattson's Meltstream on my label, Relaxed Machinery - wow - that is a great beatless ambient drift album.  We had a year where I just went "wow" every time we released a new album.  Andrew Lahiff, Steve Brand's solo stuff, Robert Scott Thompson, Seren Fford, Arbee / Specta Ciera's almost techno ambient album really kicked my booty nicely... AND we had reBOOT come out in January.. Wow - what a great year.   

I know I know - I'm cheating. 

I seem to spend more time catching up with older music than new ... my big obsession this year was Rod Modell  / Deepchord / Echospace ... and Yagya.  Most that I got were not 2014 though.  Also some older Robert Rich - which was awesome - and a few Alio Die gems.  Again - nothing "new".  Oh - backfilled some serious Steve Roach this year - probably added 8 albums to my collection - some of the "classics". 

Everything and Nothing / Re: My Mom, age 72, has a boyfriend! Ugh.....
« on: December 18, 2014, 08:53:04 AM »
I agree.  You don't have to "like it" but pretending to like it would be very good for your mom.  In time you might accept him.  It's not an overnight process.

You totally have the rights to feel like you do - but you also have to think of your mom - and her happiness. 

Sometimes you do things for others even though you don't like it.  I think you've reached one of those times.

I had a hard time with my dad's girlfriend after my mom died.  He's still seeing her almost 20 years later.  Is she like my mom?  Oh sheeesh - no.  Not by a long shot.  Does she seem to make him happy - yes.  I'll take that. 

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Twin Peaks revisited
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:00:14 AM »
I'm very excited about the new season - what a fantastic thing.

The new season will end with "see you in 25 years" ...  hahahahaha

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