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Messages - jkn

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It was a great broadcast and chat.  Eric / Massergy is very passionate.   Except for Eric's intro and outro - SomaFM played the album straight through - so you're hearing it on Bandcamp exactly as intended.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:22:45 AM »
I posted what I hope will help the Ello community be more of a community and not a curated list from me...

join in the chat tonight if you're available - always a great time and I have a feeling this will be such an interesting one with Eric / Massergy being so very passionate about it.


Join us tomorrow for the premiere of the new album by Massergy - A Novel Sense of Calm on SomaFM Drone Zone!

There will be a live chat during the premiere with Massergy there to answer questions. It's always a great time! Details for the chat will be on the label website:

You can listen to the album today if you'd like!


Massergy's new ambient album is a tribute to the passing of his younger brother. He recorded this album:

+ entirely outdoors in a nature preserve
+ at night with just a headlamp
+ no sequencing, no software, no post-effects
+ the only in-studio changes were volume levels

This is passion. This is dedication. In the outdoors, Massergy can reach that 'zone' musicians strive for. This album was recorded year round - he mentioned he was bundled up like a mountain climber in the winter and barely dressed during the summer months.

Ignoring "how" it was recorded... the album itself is beautiful and to my ears... stunning. Massergy is new to Relaxed Machinery and I'm so happy we brought him on board!

posted originally to ello this morning - but totally fine to discuss here and not there....

Topic of the Day: "Subscription Services"...

Bandcamp Subscription
What do you think? Have you used them? Are they good for the fans? Are they good for the Artists?

It's back on my radar this morning because Bandcamp just emailed me about setting one up for my artist page.

I thought this part of their Subscription Details Page was interesting:

Is this yet another crowdfunding platform?

A few years ago we noticed many artists using Bandcamp to fulfill the digital piece of crowdfunding campaigns, so we asked them whether they wanted crowdfunding built right into Bandcamp. Their response surprised us. As they described months spent focusing on campaign rewards, the word we heard most often was unsustainable. At the same time, our own experience contributing to crowdfunded projects was that we were motivated by a desire to help an artist we loved, not by a wish for a t-shirt, signed plastic disc, or potpourri sachet. Our hunch is that your biggest fans are less interested in funding studio time or mastering for just one album than they are in supporting you in a sustainable way. Speaking personally, we dont want you to knit us a beer koozie, we want you to keep making more great art.

Another one that's been around is Patreon.

I don't see a lot of musicians getting much backing (unless you're @amandapalmer - and she's awesome more power to her). But if you look for ambient musicians - you won't find many.

There are cool projects there. For example - awesome Elloer @kseniaanske has supporters on her Patreon - $157 / month right now. She's a writer (follow her - I love her posts).

Finally we have Drip.

Drip was created by Ghostly International (fans of ambient techno, Tycho, and a ton of great music will know them well). Another way for you to subscribe to an artist and get exclusive content from them.

You can subscribe to someone, for example Christohper Willits for $5 per month.

Or They Might Be Giants Dial a Song... 52 weeks / 1 song a week...

@atomtm has 95% of his massive catalog online:

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 15, 2015, 01:30:52 PM »
Pete - that's exactly it.  I totally agree with that description.  It's curated and not a community.

Which is why I wrote the post and was very happy to see the Ello devs taking notice of what I wrote.   

I see what I'm doing on Ello Ambient as a curated list of ambient related posts - and a stopgap / interim step to get from where we were at Ning to where we're going at Ello when Private Groups gets implemented. 

Until then - I hope everyone just pops over to see the curation now and then and if Ello doesn't appeal to you - post here or at Ambient Online or on the various Facebook groups.   Eventually I'll have the Ello Ambient group where people can actually post and interact.

And if that never actually happens.  I really enjoyed the Ning and the friends I found there.

I do think Ello will become an awesome place.  but if it doesn't... that's ok.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 10:50:47 AM »
For the rM / Ello question earlier... 

For @elloambient - I try to repost everything I can. I do it in different ways.  If you're on ello -then be sure to follow @elloambient - that will put all those summaries and pausebox and whatever posts there.  It's totally a stop-gap interim step until Ello has groups.

Maybe worth popping over once a week or every couple weeks and skimming through.   Just like a lot of people did at rM.   It's so not the same - but I knew that would happen. 

Hypnos - yeah - I've loved this place - and Mike is becoming quite the author and it makes sense the label is taking a backseat to that. 

Troubles... lemme see...  Lisa Franklin, the Anything Goes section and politics and having to ban people, the trolls that just wouldn't go away - holy cow (that's not that long ago).

But good Hypnos times... the infamous Haunted Stick, something about playing music with jars of jelly?, Jim Brenholts. 

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:18:37 AM »
I haven't tried anything - right now I just use itunes... and it can be played in my living room through an Apple TV.    I use an ipod at work and I stream more and more from mixcloud and bandcamp these days. 

I stopped buying CD's a few years back.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:15:41 AM »
Ello won't be a "community" until they figure out private groups - which I know it's on the dev list and they've asked for my input on it in the past. 

I truly believe some people love forums, and some love mailing lists, and some love bigger social networks like facebook, twitter.

Ello is somewhere in between all these things. 

I mentioned in a comment on the Ello post that I used to try to make the "perfect place" and it took me a long while to realize I just can't.  And it's a silly thing to do... as eveyone's different.  It's like music - some love long drones, some love short experimental noises, some love blues.  And most of us love bits and pieces of all of them.

This is a special place that unfortunately lost a ton of it's core group years ago during a time of troubles. rM had a similar problem on ning... some heavy spam and just amazingly persistent trolls.  (maybe the same ones that were here?)

I've decided to continue building Ello because... it's a platform I love working on.  Nope - totally not perfect - and when it seems much better I'll bug people to give it another try - but I think it has a ways to go yet. 

I'm just happy I can find the awesome people that make and love this music - wherever they cluster together in communities. :-)

Everything and Nothing / ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 09, 2015, 10:58:41 AM »
I posted about my involvement with communities over the years and how Ello is doing - what's right what's wrong.  I mention Hypnos and Ambient Online - and point people here.

Just thought I'd mention I'm babbling about you.  :-)

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Mixcloud favorites
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:54:10 AM »
I know I'm late to really getting into Mixcloud - a lot of reasons for that. The big one is I couldn't stream at work for years so I always listened on my ipod. Now - we've got a big fat fiber pipe and... umm... I'm enjoying it.

There's my profile, you can scroll down my listens.

A few recommended mixers - these are people I keep coming back to and listened before I bothered to sign up for a mixcloud account.  Some, of course, post here.  :) <- truly oustanding < - Ambient Landscape / GAB on forums - does a great job <- long time mixer <- circumambient series from thomas matthie / we are all ghosts <- brilliant, not always ambient < - yep - slow... and drifty <- old friend from chicago - he does great mixes, not always ambient <- the name says it all...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach Etheric Imprints
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:51:17 AM »
I enjoyed this one.  Then again - I'm a fan so enjoy most of them.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Michael Mantra RIP
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:50:18 AM »
I didn't know this.  wow.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 10, 2015, 06:12:11 AM »
listening to "Vintage Ambient Jazz - ECM and Illbient Mix - De Benedictis" on youtube - ECM

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. 


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