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Messages - chris23

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 27, 2013, 06:43:58 PM »
The new Stay Theories release sounds great.

Listening to some City Centre Offices favorites from the early to mid 2000's:
Porn Sword Tobaco - ST
Swod - Gehen
Marsen Jules - Herbstlaub
The Remote Viewer - You're Going To Love Our Defeatist Attitude

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: August 26, 2013, 05:29:16 PM »
The Innocent: A Novel - David Baldacci
Finished this one recently. Baldacci has a talent for writing fast-paced thrillers that don't make you want to roll your eyes. This one tells the story of Will Robie, an assassin working with the U.S. government, who is being hunted for reasons he has yet to uncover. What stands out about this novel is that the set of events that set everything in motion are really quite simple. But, when you don't have the benefit of seeing how it happens, sorting through the resulting complexities is quite difficult. I appreciate it when the premise of a novel is actually simple because I think authors sometimes assume that complex outcomes must derive from complex causes. 

I'm currently reading the next in the series, The Hit. Also a good Will Robie story (so far). He is charged with assassinating another assassin.  That's a whole lot of scopes and rifles!

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: August 25, 2013, 08:27:22 AM »
The package from Projekt arrived well over a week ago and I've given everything a few listens now. My first introduction to Forrest Fang was Gongland. That album always struck me as containing a creative mixture of various eastern instrumentation and styles and em-based ambient. It is really unique album and one that has remained in rotation around my house despite its age. With that as context, it is really fascinating to hear releases prior to Gongland that seem more firmly rooted on one side of that coin vs. the other. I'm really enjoying Wolf/Migration, but I, must confess, I also feel a bit like an archeologist who is uncovering the origins of the modern Forest Fang sound; it is hard for me to appreciate the albums on their own terms. Some of the tracks really stand out as brilliant. I'm particularly fond of The Luminous Crowd, A Quiet Place, Silent Fields, and Karina. I also prefer Wolf over Migration. Many of the songs on Migration have a one-track quality and don't have the richness of the multi-instrumentation contained in Wolf.

I'm somewhat reluctant to note, given the fact that this is a re-release celebration, that what I really enjoyed from this package was the "free with your order" copy of Unbound.  That is some of the best drone work I've listened to lately. It is just as good with head phones and deep listening as it is as background ambiance. A true gem.

No comments at alL?  :-X

I think it sounds great. When will we hear more?

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 20, 2013, 06:26:34 PM »
Meg Bowles - The Shimmering Land
Nothing unusual here. Good, solid ambient. It is easy to drift away listening to this. Samples here:

Now Playing / Re: Heavy music: turn it up to eleven!
« on: August 19, 2013, 05:55:35 PM »
The side of me that likes "heavy" music leans more towards 1980's American/British punk rock than metal, death metal, etc. Some of my favorites include Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Crass, D.R.I., and 7 Seconds. I also have a soft spot in my heart for some of the heavy metal and rock bands I grew up with, such as Rush, Van Halen, etc.

I'll have to check out Skullflower.

Now Playing / Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« on: August 18, 2013, 02:59:35 PM »
Brian B. recently posted in another thread:
"What's the music you've listened to with regularity over the long term?"
Which made me think this would be an excellent topic of its own.

Necro, I know.

I have opinions on what some of my long-term favorites are. But I thought it would be interesting to see what iTunes has recorded as my most-played albums over the last two years since a lot of my listening in that time has been iPhone or iTunes mediated. (Yes, I can hear the sighs from CA all the way over here in IL.  ;D  )

Here are the albums--in order--that I have listened to the most during the past two years. Each of them has been played over 200 times. Some of these would be on my "all time favorites" lists (e.g., I think I'm one of the few people in the world who actually thinks Midnight Moon was frigging amazing). Some of them I was surprised to see appearing (e.g., Absolutely Deep--an album I adore, but had no idea I had listened to it so much). Many of these are the kinds of albums that I'm likely to listen to on repeat; they fade into the background nicely when reading or writing.

Some of my self-nominated favorites, it turns out, have not been in heavy rotation in recent years despite the esteem in which I hold them (e.g., Roach's The Magnificent Void, Budd's The White Arcades, Rich/Alio Die's Fissures ). That's kind of interesting too.

Aglaia - Absolutely Deep
Steve Roach - Immersion: Three
James Johnson - Cube 4 Voices
Steve Roach - Midnight Moon
James Johnson - Entering Twilight
Steve Roach - Immersion Four
Steve Roach - New Life Dreaming
A Winged Victor for the Sullen - ST
Max Corbacho - Breathstream
8 Shades of Sound - Formaria

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Geosonics ?
« on: August 17, 2013, 12:52:49 PM »
Way cool

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 17, 2013, 08:43:33 AM »
The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Deep ambient synth washes. Occasional dub influences. Great music for going to sleep and relaxing.  ;)

I would happily purchase a book titled "Bill Binkelman's Non-Authoritative Reflections on Ambient Music and its History."

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: August 15, 2013, 03:14:49 PM »
Salt, Sugar, Fat - Michael Moss
Nonfiction. This book presents a history of the processed food industry, with an in-depth look at how foods are made, how the industry has evolved over time, how regulation and public pressure has affected it, and the science of processed food. I thought that this book would be one of those books that is designed to scare you away from eating processed food. But, it isn't (at least not on the surface). It is a quite thoughtful and balanced and has as much to say about consumer psychology as it does the food industry itself. The coolest part of it, in my opinion, is the discussion of how food scientists go about determining what they call the "bliss point" of a product--the threshold at which the amount of sugar maximizes people's positive impressions of a product.

My wife is reading the new Gaiman book. I'm eager to hear what she thinks of it.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Digipack vs Jewel Cases
« on: August 15, 2013, 03:04:07 PM »
I used to favor jewel cases, but have gradually come to appreciate digipaks more. A nice digipak--with a matte finish--can really bring out the artwork in a way that a jewel case cannot. One of my favorites is the Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces collection. Something about the 2xCD sized digipaks rocks my world.

There is a lot of variation in digipaks, however. I'm not a huge fan of the sun-worn, recycled cardboard look that has characterized some of the 12K releases of late. I also don't like the envelope-styled packaging, such as those that Kranky uses and some of the Projekt releases.

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Next stage in our summer sale.
« on: August 13, 2013, 05:31:37 PM »
I think you want my wife to kill me...

For those who were there: Did he fly in and out for his presentation? Or did he get to spend some time with the artists who were present? Maybe he's now the newest Robert Rich fan in London???

That's great!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 09, 2013, 03:24:41 PM »
Nautic Depths - Elsewhere I
Lovely ambient done work by Tomas Weiss. Beautiful artwork to boot. 

Samples here:

At the risk of poking the hornet's nest here:

The term "ambient" is often used to reference music that is rooted in disparate traditions, using diverse kinds of instrumentation and techniques, and based on a non-uniform set of principles.

I think it would be impossible for someone like Prendergast to be familiar enough with all the niches to be able to speak with authority on all of them. He definitely seems to know his music history--and I learned a lot from listening to the video of his presentation. But I can hardly fault him for failing to cover every nook and cranny.

Nonetheless, I think Loren's question was a good one. I do consider it an omission that Prendergast didn't tip his hat to some of the ambient legends who were in his presence. Perhaps he's more familiar with this end of the genre now. My guess is that the ambient musicians that we often celebrate on the Hypnos forums (e.g., A Produce, Oophoi, Robert Rich) have a greater following in North America than they do in England. I could be wrong about that, however. Regardless, it seems quite reasonable to me that someone like Prendergast would be more familiar with and focused upon, say, club/DJ-driven ambient music rather than, for example, the desert-inspired soundscapes of Steve Roach.

I'm a bit reluctant to chime in because I know I have a tendency to conflate "what I've listened to recently and enjoyed" with "best of the year."

One of the "older" 2013 releases that I'm still listening to regularly and enjoying immensely is Martin Fuhs' Grauton. It definitely stands out as a unique album, at least against the background of some of the other ambient I've been enjoying. Samples:

I'm also still regularly playing Resonant Drifts's Full Circle. I think that came out in the tail weeks of 2012, but didn't arrive in my mailbox until early 2013. Samples:

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 06, 2013, 05:53:41 PM »
ASC - Time Heals All (Silent Season, 2CD)
I have to agree with drone on that this is an awesome release; I have no doubt that this will be one of my favorites of 2013. Each track appears to be organized around a brief sample that is looped repeatedly, with various other sounds (some based on samples, field recordings, and others synthesized) that are heavily processed and layered on top. The result is something that feels organic and ethereal at the same time.

It reminds me a bit, both in its structure and its effect, of some of Marsen Jules' early work, in particular, Yara and (kind of) Lazy Sunday Funerals. Most of the things I've heard by ASC and his various monikers are more beat driven, so this is a pleasant surprise. Samples here:

You suffer from moon dust allergies, no?

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