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Messages - chris23

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 13, 2015, 07:18:45 AM »
offthesky - The Serpent Phase
I have a confession to make. When Jason Cordor debuted Cold Distances (dataObscura/databloem) in 2003, I thought it was the bee's knees. I listened to that disc on repeat for weeks and practically wore it out. I continued to follow Cordor's work over his next few releases, but I eventually started to feel that he was moving in directions that did not always sync with my audio palette. Sometimes his work hit the right spot, but often it didn't.

With that as context, The Serpent Phase really resonates with me in a way that none of his releases have since 2003, even though this album is nothing like Cold Distances. The Serpent Phase is seven short tracks based largely on acoustic instrumentation (flutes, violin) that, of course, are treated in the ways you might expect with modern processing methods. The atmosphere is serene and mysterious; the sounds bellow and fill the sky. This is great drifting ambiance and will likely be one of my favorites of the year. Frankly, if I had heard this one "blind" with no knowledge of the artist, I never would have pegged it as offthesky.

I'm a sucker for good art and packaging too. The cover reminds me of something that might be seen in the v23 days of 4AD, and the digipak itself is a 6-panel matte finish. Lovely.


Max Richter - Sleep
This has been resurfacing in my listening over the course of the week. This is a really ambitious and lovely release. I complained about it a bit in the thread dedicated to this album, largely because it is not conductive to sleep. But is an outstanding piece of work for waking.

Richard Allen nails my thoughts on this album in his review at A Closer Listen: If you're not a huge fan of modern classical/composition, then at the very least check out the "space" tracks (what Allen refers to as his "space playlist"). Those tracks alone are worth the price of admission.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 04:35:29 PM »
I recall the "Lisa Franklyne" incident; I thought that was amusing too. And the Haunted Stick. I was trying to find some backup saves of the image on an old computer, but it seems lost forever. Something about eBay page that cracked me up. Ooooo. I miss Jim Brenholts, his tireless engagement,  and his silly jokes.

Anyhow, one thing I've always appreciated about this place, past and present, is that it is a comfortable place to exist, even as a fan rather than an artist. I don't have any clue what you guys are talking about half the time when you go into Gear Mode, but I always appreciate the passion, energy, and engagement. 

Like Pete, I'm a bit wary of Facebook. So, although I'll check out a variety of sites, artist pages, and the like, this is the only site to which I actually contribute and participate.  I do wish it had a bit more active participation from members, but, then again, I kind of like the current pace too.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 10, 2015, 04:45:50 PM »
This is a special place that unfortunately lost a ton of it's core group years ago during a time of troubles.

What happened? I disappeared for a few years, starting around 2007, due to being distracted with fatherhood and a WoW addiction. I didn't get back until 2012 or so and it is so much quieter than it used to be.  I really miss the input of Brian B. and others.

Regarding Ello and rM: I would check out the rM Ning site about once a week and enjoyed it. I didn't participate in anything, but I tried to keep up with what was scrolling down the front page, the new releases, and the fun robot-retro-future pics that John would post occasionally.

I'm not sure if I understand yet what Ello is. I only see things that John posts or reposts. Is that the point? At least until it has the "groups" functionality?

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: Mixcloud favorites
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:26:31 PM »
Nice leads. Thanks! I've never really explored mixcloud before, minus checking out Dave's lowlight mixes.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Excuses Used by Ebay and Discogs Sellers
« on: September 07, 2015, 11:30:32 AM »
i am very sorry to say that the album is not available anymore :(
I put all my items in a bulk action offline before my holiday and when i put them online again it seems that discogs also made my already sold album available again.
Please apologize, i wasn't aware of this.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Max Richter 8-hour lullaby
« on: September 06, 2015, 04:10:22 PM »
I ordered it via iTunes; I don't think I'd want a FLAC version of something that is 8-hours long.

I've listened through it twice thus far, but not in an attentive way. Overall, I think the release is pretty cool, and certain tracks are incredible (e.g., Sublunar).

The album makes for great work/reading music. However, in my opinion, it fails spectacularly as sleeping music, partly because the frequencies used and the volume is too variable from track to track. If the first few tracks lull you to sleep, for example, the fourth one, Path 3 (7676), will wake you up with loud (even if lovely) vocal loops.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 05, 2015, 11:42:09 AM »
Jaja - Endless
Quiet, reflective synth-based ambient, perfect for stargazing and contemplation. This particular release also features electronic piano, which gives the tracks a nice Budd-like vibe at times. Excellent release, with beautiful artwork/packaging to boot.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 03, 2015, 08:36:01 PM »
It is tough to give recommendations because there are a diverse number of styles explored across the various releases. If you sample them on Spotify, you'll probably find something that resonates with you pretty quickly. And, from there, it is down the rabbit hole. . .

My personal favorites are Infinite Garden and Emerald (under the Elve alias) and Under a Hexagon Sky (under the Ishvara alias). Those first two are unlike anything I've heard before; truly remarkable recordings.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 02, 2015, 04:32:04 PM »
Ishq - Futurology, Beyond Time, Deep Space Objects
Every once in a while I get into a mad Ishq craze. I've been in one for the past few weeks, listening to various discs on repeat, dropping stupid amounts of cash on Discogs to pick up discs to replace digital files, and dissecting the art and aesthetics of the releases.

Right now I'm obsessed with the side of Hillier's work that focuses on space, time, and imaginary worlds. The most recent of these releases, Martian Chronicles, is really funky, with a nice retro-future vibe. 

I enjoyed reading the blog; thanks for sharing! That's too bad about the injury, but it sounds like you two found a way to make the most of the trip. What a great experience.

And amazing photos too! Beautiful!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 28, 2015, 03:33:28 PM »
Finally back online after a house move. Almost 2 months for British Telecom to sort out my phonel ine and broadband in my new build. Incompetence abounds!

Ugh. Welcome back!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 27, 2015, 06:12:14 PM »
Jacob Newman & Devin Underwood - Sending the Past
Excellent new release from Carpe Sonum. This is classic drifting ambient, with lots of experimental flourishes. Despite having a traditional feel to it, this duo has a few signature moves that makes their sound distinctive. Love this.
Buy/Listen: (Note: CD delayed a bit, but digital is available now.)

Motionfield - Luftrum
Another recent Carpe Sonum release. Well paced ambient washes and sequences, punctuated with the occasional layer of beats. Some of the tracks get a bit monotonous, but the overall diversity across the album is perfect.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 22, 2015, 08:09:00 AM »
Question for those of you with AoC6: Is it mostly a remix of older tracks? (The first track sounds like a reprise of the first track from AoC1.) Regardless, it sounds nice. I'll have to pick up the digital at some point; it does look sold out from the sources I normally scout.

Sinepearl - Through Water She Spoke  + The Dance of Affinity
Excellent psychedelic ambient from Björn Ekegren in Sweden. The first of these releases really shines: drifting electronic ambient soundscapes with some really clever experimentation with sequencing. The latter was released originally on the Ishq Virtual label and is now OOP, but available digitally on Bandcamp. It is my least favorite of the two, but nonetheless reveals some really creative ways of using sounds. If you're a Hillier fan, you'll love this stuff.

Digital: Name Your Price

Ditto. I forgot to mention that. Nice track!  :)

works well here (midwest USA)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 13, 2015, 08:55:50 PM »
Andrew Forrest - One: Source Quartet, Vol. 1
Decided to check this out after reading Bert's recommendations here: . This is some really beautiful work; ethereal and drifting, with crisp electronics. The second track is a bit too day spa for me, but the other tracks are outstanding. A bit of an Alpha Wave Movement vibe here. Digital only.

Jordan De La Sierra - Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose
This is a CD reissue of a double album that came out in the 70's with which I wasn't familiar.  Four long-form tracks featuring prepared pianos, lots of repetition, morphing, and an atmosphere that is somewhere between Budd and the mystical. The physical reissue, by the way, is lovely: detailed and lengthy inserts with an incredible slipcase.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 11, 2015, 08:50:22 PM »
Really loving these new Jacob Newman and Underwood/Newman releases on Bandcamp:

Beautiful, percolating sounds and textures. Plus, you can't beat their low, low prices.

Everything and Nothing / Re: People proof CD jewel cases
« on: August 07, 2015, 07:24:46 PM »
I like digipaks the best. Jewel cases scuff and crack too easily. But I still want a plastic tray in my digipaks. I appreciate the desire for some labels to release eco-friendly sleeves and to not use trays, but the collector in me isn't planning to place my collection a landfill anytime soon. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Grassow on BC
« on: August 06, 2015, 07:54:58 PM »
Glad to hear the praise on some of the other GS discs. The 4-disc set arrived here a couple of days ago and I'm loving it. You're right: It is a lot to absorb. I'm especially fond of the first disc. The second one is a bit monotonous, even for drone work. The artwork is lovely.

Everything and Nothing / Re: People proof CD jewel cases
« on: August 06, 2015, 07:52:12 PM »
lol, I've had the problem too. Sometimes the discs arrive in the mail with the spindle half-way smashed. And sometimes it seems that the spindle is stronger than the disc.  ;)

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