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Messages - jkn

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Everything and Nothing / Re: What is the Hypnos Forum to you ?
« on: September 29, 2014, 05:36:06 AM »
I love Loren's "old shoe" analogy.  I love to slip that well worn yet still totally darn good looking shoe on and say hello here now and then.  It's always been a good place to be.  I've met a lot of people here over the decade+ I've been hanging around.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Electronic Music Flow Chart
« on: September 25, 2014, 08:32:13 AM »

here's the image:

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:27:21 AM »
"In my experience, some people have a difficult time getting started not because they've lost the creative knack, or the impulse to create, but because they've begun putting pressure on themselves to create something "great" or "important" rather than just creating for the fun of it."  - Mike

Dead on awesome comment.  I admit - I've had that bad totally not constructive "it must be great" issue.  My solution?  Start recording me play my piano on my iphone and post to youtube.  It's been liberating for me.  A "i just don't care i'm just playing" thing - that I also share.  Which is both fun - and reminds me of old ideas. 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Robots and Donuts - the art of Eric Joyner
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:22:26 AM »
There's a ton of them - he's actively working on some larger scale ones - like a carnival - so much detail!  I've decided I must have a print or two for my studio someday.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Remasters: To tweak or not to tweak?
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:21:30 AM »
All I can really do is agree with this thread.  In general "remastered" on a commercial release is a turn off for me.  Nirvana's remastered collection... holy mother of horrible mastering.

Julio illustrated the issue perfectly.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Chef Thread:
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:18:50 AM »
ok.  i'm hungry now.

NOTE:  I posted these over at and thought they'd be of interest here...  the "SOURCE" link give you pictures and audio and such - so click there...

A Quietus Interview - SOURCE:
In Pole Position: Jon Hassell Interviewed
Daniel Patrick Quinn , September 17th, 2014 09:30

Daniel Patrick Quinn interviews Jon Hassell about his long overdue book The North And South Of You and recent reissues of his music

"The basic metaphor is that of the north and south of a person as a projection of the north and south of the globe. A mind formatted by language and located in the head compared with the area of wildness and sensuality below the waist where dance and music and procreation reigns. Mirrored in a global north of "developed" countries that control the world by superior technology. A global south where there's a "technology" of the samba. Which one would you rather have more of when life ends?"

This is Jon Hassell on the thinking behind his long-awaited book The North And South Of You, the writing of which is still in progress. It has been on the annual list of 'must buy' books written on the front page of my diary for countless years now and if it takes him another decade to complete then even then it will have been worth the wait.

For those who don't know, Jon Hassell is a 77-year-old visionary trumpet player and composer whose intoxicating output since the 1970s could initially be described as organic, wordly, futuristic and overwhelmingly sensual. Even before you hear the music, you get the idea from many of his album covers: alluring, often semi-abstract landscapes that you want to leap into. Select one of his albums at random and you will hear what appear to be recordings from an idealized version of Earth, in which beings similar to humans wear ornate grass skirts, sit pleasantly resting at the base of trees gazing off to the distant forest-clad hills.

This fantasy land is full of philosophers, insect noises, and avant-garde conga pageants framed by lush rice terraces. It's a environment in which the intellectual and the sensual have fused, in which cutting edge technology and primal urges have come together in balance. This place must be located somewhere on the equatorial beltline – the point at which Hassell's 'north' and 'south' meet. It is, perhaps, a highly optimistic painting or dream of what the Earth could be like, a century or two from now.

To trace the beginnings of Hassell's unique worldview one need look no further than the first album recording that he appeared on, the original 1968 version of Terry Riley's minimalist masterpiece In C. Not far off half a century later, here are Hassell's recollections:

"I can't separate the session itself from the 2-3 months of getting to know Terry, playing an all-night concert at the University of New York at Buffalo student center, dragging some Moog equipment up from the studio to play (I think) the first synth bass line. He was a big influence to me (and everyone). After studying in Cologne with Stockhausen he was a breath of american fresh air, describing the European music as 'neurotic'. That clicked with me as an audaciously insightful and accurate description. Referring to above: very 'north' and behind the wave of american minimalism with its re-discovery of trance, raga, psychoactive drugs."

Whilst thousands of hitherto 'unlikely' musical hybridizations are commonplace now in the age of being able to research and download sounds from anywhere and anywhen, equal temperament tuning still very much dominates popular culture in the West. Hassell's early projects with Terry Riley and La Monte Young were both doors to vast realms of alternative tuning systems that one could argue remain relatively neglected by the majority of modern composers.

"Of course my playing with La Monte Young in New York was a real baptism in the harmonic series. The oscillator was tuned to 60 cycles (USA standard, he tuned to 50 in Europe!) in order to avoid any unwanted frequencies. There was also a hashish milk shake in the picture and in these performances there was a crystalline world of overtones (the voices and instruments attempting an ultimate tune-up of natural harmonics) that I had never experienced. I later (1969) did a piece - Solid State - that was a growth out of that experience with a stack of eight perfect (2:3) fifths creating a dense harmonic block which was time-sculpted with voltage-controlled filters. Maybe to be released on Warp. Flash forward to recent times. Not into purity, I often tune harmonizer pitches in natural intervals but on keyboard for example you get a hybrid. And - look at hip-hop with all those samples tuned weirdly to get rhythm synch. That's opened ears to a plethora of exotic tunings."

An expanded version of Hassell's 1990 album City: Works Of Fiction has recently been released on Warp as an expanded edition with two bonus discs. I got to know this new release whilst re-reading JG Ballard's The Drowned World and found it the perfect musical companion to the vivid imagery in the text. The lands that Hassell and Ballard detail are both from an imagined future however many weeks, months or years around the corner. On Hassell's collaborative album with Farafina (1988's Flash Of The Spirit) is a piece entitled 'Tales of the Near Future', an obvious nod to Ballard's 'Myths Of The Near Future'.

The original album is, for me, the least interesting because it is atypical of Hassell. City sounds resolutely urban (hence the title!) and over-reliant on then-contemporary technology that paradoxically allows the material – particularly the percussion - to sound a little dated. The sonic atmospheres here are also often too specific, the places they evoke too limited. When one hears the sound of a drum machine there's less room for the imagination of the listener to set to work constructing elaborate imagery. That's just my opinion – others are bound to disagree and preferCity to the wide open, mysterious, beautifully vague landscapes suggested by the majority of his work.

What for this reviewer are far more enjoyable are the many gems on the two bonus discs. The second disc is entitled /Living City and is a live set from New York in 1989, live-mixed by Brian Eno. The finale is 'Nightsky', 18 minutes of shimmering drones and tropical insect accompaniment. Things reach such an ecstatic climax that you could imagine the performers levitating metres above the stage. Like much of Hassell's work, it's music for a magic carpet ride.

"I carefully edited the three nights of performances in NYC into one show so it's a sort of idealized concert but still live. I'm irritated by reviewers who think that Brian had anything to do with all the natural sounds except for a cross-fade from the Rainforest environment in the beginning. These sounds were part of my sonic palette in those days."

Psychogeography is the title of the third disc, and it's a collection of remixes of Hassell's work plus unreleased recordings that simply didn't find their way onto an official release at the time. The remixes certainly demonstrate how Hassell's ideas have been hugely influential on DJs and experimental composers of all genres. However, they sit uneasily next to Hassell's own pieces which, on Psychogeography, are frequently dazzling.

'Favela' is atypical Hassell in that it is funk-blues-rock, but what an album could be made of this unusual coupling of empty American South bar-room groove with Hassell's otherworldly snakecharmer melodies superimposed on this backdrop. It's as if Hassell's regular group of collaborators caught the wrong bus and he simply enlisted the help of a few heavy drinking guitar-wielding audience members for an improvised jam session instead. Other, more familiar sonic territories are explored on pieces such as 'Aerial' as synths bubble and drone whilst Hassell's treated trumpet swoops and soars across the canvas, sculpting curves over the evening sky.

Hassell's work spans six decades. I wondered what his secret to longevity was, not just as a musician with a career but as a creative person in general. He replied in reference to The North And South Of You, that book I and many other fans are patiently waiting for. There's a line from the book that asks you to ask yourself:

"What is it that I really like? Following that is a long process of self-excavation from being buried by what you've been told you should like."

City Works Of Fiction is out now. Listen to Acting The Rubber Pig Redux by Daniel Patrick Quinn here

Ambient fans will know Kenny Wheeler from his ECM releases and 4 albums with David Sylvian:


Jazz trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler, who lived in UK since 1952, has died

Kenny Wheeler
Kenny Wheeler Photo: Rex Features
Martin Chilton
By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online
10:27AM BST 19 Sep 2014

Kenny Wheeler, the distinguised Canadian-born trumpeter, has died at the age of 84.
Wheeler is considered one of the modern greats of British jazz and he had a dedicated following.
Wheeler's ECM albums of the Seventies – recorded with Norma Winstone and John Taylor – remain a touchstone of quiet and unflamboyant ensemble playing. Wheeler, also a flugelhorn player, was a fine composer, as he showed in works such as Jigsaw, with its clever harmonic patterns.
He was born on January 14 1930 in Toronto but had been based in the UK since 1952. His father was a semi-professional trombonist, who encouraged his son to learn the cornet. He studied briefly at music college before leaving for Britain to avoid being drafted for the Korean War. Once here, he worked with West Indian Carl Barriteau, with saxophonist Tommy Whittle and eventually, from 1959, with John Dankworth. He was active in many British jazz bands of the Sixties, including with groups led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott.
For many jazz fans, though, Wheeler's artistic highpoint came in the Nineties, with excellent albums including Music for Large and Small Ensemble and Kayak. In 1997 he won critical acclaim for Angel Song, a quartet album featuring Bill Frisell, Dave Holland and Lee Konitz.
Wheeler was a thoughtful man, saying once: "I’ve always liked losers, and I think a lot of very talented jazz musicians have a streak of it, that thing of being an artist with dreams, but not really knowing how to make your way in life, like Charlie Parker or Chet Baker."

In recent years, he became the founding patron of the Junior Jazz programme at the Royal Academy of Music and was the subject of a year-long exhibition by the Academy Museum. He celebrated his 80th birthday with a concert in 2010. Wheeler died on September 18 2014 after a short period of frail health at a nursing home in London.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:03:24 AM »
I posted this to my "pause box" on the other day - and it pretty much defines me right now:

"Writing about writer's block is better than not writing at all." - Charles Bukowski


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:01:50 AM »
I'm curious what these "chef awesome recipes!" are... I missed something somewhere.  :-)

Pete - yes - I know... that's the funny thing... I know.  I've been through it before - been through writers block, plowed through anyway, kept working. I know the highs, know the lows.  My lack of recording has become so long, so distant, and so over talked about - that it's become a joke I'm sure to everyone.  And I joke about how bad I am. 

I know what I need to do.  I know what I want to do.  I just need to ... do.

"His point of the work bringing ideas as it progresses is the primary one for me." <--- that.  Is perfect.  And I know that feeling well - or I used to.  I may have an inspiring moment - an image, a title, a sound that inspires something... but it's the working on it and letting it flow.  Working with it, changing it, and letting those new ideas in as I work on it.. that's what's truly exciting. 

The divine point of inspiration isn't the exciting thing for me - the working on it and continuing and evolving the music... that's what's wonderful. 

At least... it is on piano for me now - and it was when I recorded then.


Everything and Nothing / Robots and Donuts - the art of Eric Joyner
« on: September 19, 2014, 06:11:04 AM »
Many people know I have this crazy thing for robots - especially the iconic older tin toy robot "look".  While I don't own any classic tin toys... (and probably won't as they're crazy expensive even for many of the reproductions...) - I love the artwork and images of them.   Hey, I said I was crazy. 

So... I'd like to point out the wonderful artwork of Eric Joyner.  Who combines classic tin toy robots and ...  donuts.  And has been for quite some time now.  These are gorgeous paintings (not digital... actual paint here folks... :) 

Below are just a few of my favorites... there are so many more in his galleries.  Know of other "robot" artists?  (paint, pencil, or digital!) - let me know!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 05:59:49 AM »
p.s.  I'm really happy to see things calming down and I commend Mike and APK... and Julio for offering the first apology. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 05:53:55 AM »
I have to admit...  I'm suffering from that amateur view of waiting for inspiration... or rather - I'm waiting for the "right time" to record.

And there is no right time to record for me.  So I just have to do it. 

And I *know* better.  I've been around the block.  Many times now.  What is my problem? 

I need to stop asking myself why, and just do... and yet - I still don't "do". 


is this a midlife crisis of sorts?


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:34:23 AM »
recent spins

Gapfield - excellent beaty stuff from Specta Ciera and Jacob Newman)
Earlyguard - drone drone drone
HAT - Hosono, Atom Heart, Tetsu Inoue - fun album
Kloob - ambient - coming out on Relaxed Machinery in 2015
Steve Brand - his new one coming out Oct 3
B12 - classic Warp
Bola - in a four letter band mood, see below
Jega - in a four letter band mood, see above
a dub techno mix on youtube

I've already thanked you over at Relaxed Machinery - but have to thank you again!  :-)

Reposting from my label site:

We are very proud to present Steve Brand’s newest release, The Space Between.  Even better?  Rusty at SomaFM is going to premiere the entire album at 8pm Eastern on Drone Zone!   – AND – We’ll all be in chat for a listening party!  Join us, won’t you?!?!



Times throughout the world:

Oct 3:
2:00 pm – Honolulu
5:00 pm – San Francisco
8:00 pm – New York
9:00 pm – Rio de Janeiro

Oct 4:
1:00 am – London
2:00 am – Berlin
3:00 am – Helsinki
4:00 am – Moscow
5:30 am – Mumbai
8:00 am – Perth
9:00 am – Tokyo
10:00 am – Melbourne
Noon – Auckland

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 16, 2014, 01:42:21 PM »
on topic...

Yes - really good quote, Pete - thanks for posting! Similar to the famous 1% inspiration 99% perspiration... or the one about doing it every day actively allows for those moments of inspiration to strike when you're prepared for them... or something like that. 

Gear ...  I've always held that "tools are tools are tools" whether you like hardware or software, vintage stuff, a few old pieces you know really well - or you love the constant inspiration that comes from new hardware or new VST's...  or acoustic instruments or well you get the idea.

It just doesn't matter.  A fantastic guitar player with a total junk guitar can still mesmerize you.  Early techno was on cheap cheap stuff begged and borrowed and on 4-track tape.  Some of my favorite musicians only use laptops.  Some of my favorites have massive basements full of freaking gear I'll never be able to afford. 

It just doesn't matter.   Tools are tools are tools.

Use the tools that feel right to you - and if you feel the need to judge others about their gear or techniques... maybe you should take a look in a mirror sometime.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 16, 2014, 01:29:18 PM »
Seriously ...  are you kidding?   

Can we please have a conversation about *anything* that doesn't get into name calling / idiocy?

Cosmic Fabric - would you please stop antagonizing and posting rude things.  I haven't read every single post in this thread but all the ones that have annoyed me have your name on them.  Please stop, please only post when you feel like being civil again.

Thank you.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 05, 2014, 06:37:11 AM »
Some of my favorite artists have released albums that just didn't resonate with me. The vidna obmana one Drone On referenced is one that comes to mind. I also didn't really enjoy some of the collaborations with Asmus Tietchens.

Exactly! And ironically - the 2nd disc of Dirk/Asmus - Motives for Recycling is one of my favorites - it took a while to grow on me but when it did... wow. Love it. 

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