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Messages - chris23

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Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:27:35 PM »
Sand looks really interesting. I'll have to check that out.

Just re-read Ready Player One. Couldn't help myself.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:20:57 PM »
I streamed Exit in Gray via Bandcamp and enjoyed it quite a bit--especially the last track.

Playing Today at Work:
R. Andrew Lee - Dennis Johnson's November
This is a four-disc release containing a modern performance of Dennis Johnson's November by pianist and minimalism scholar, R. Andrew Lee. There is a detailed description of the history of the piece on the webpage linked below, but, in a nutshell, the original composition was written in the late 50's, lost in time, recently rediscovered, translated from bad audio cassette to sheet music, and rapidly became beloved among a number of folks. It is an intensely minimal work for piano and, if you're into the kind of experimental modern composition that is often celebrated by labels such as Sonic Pieces, early Type releases, or Hibernate, you'll probably enjoy this greatly.

I was only tangentially aware of this release after reading some rave reviews of it last year. But, while I was in Austin, TX this past week, I stumbled across a live performance by R. Andrew Lee and had the opportunity to hear him play. (He is quite talented, by the way. Sometimes these minimal pieces don't always showcase a performer's true skills.) It was a serendipitous event, to say the least, and I bought the November box set as a way of memorializing and celebrating the occasion.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Austin TX Record Store Suggestions
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:24:43 PM »
I managed to visit both End of an Ear and Waterloo during my visit. Both were great stores, but End of an Ear was a truly special treat. They had a great selection of classic and modern experimental, ambient, and electronic music. It was nice to have a physical browsing experience again!

I appreciate the tips, guys.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: ROACH Road Trip. . . .the Long Trip
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:22:24 PM »
Sounds like a great experience.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:13:33 PM »
Thanks for the tip, Joe. I will give Exit in Grey a listen!

Recently playing:
Alphaxone - Living in the Grayland
New release from Cyro Chamber. Dark ambient for Iran. Pretty good with a nice use of textures and varying frequencies.

Sabled Sun - Signals III
Lost in deep space, from Cyro Chamber's curator.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Austin TX Record Store Suggestions
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:02:32 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions!

Everything and Nothing / Austin TX Record Store Suggestions
« on: February 11, 2014, 08:35:40 PM »
Anyone on the forums familiar with good record stores in Austin, TX? I'll be there for a few days this week. Wouldn't mind hitting something that has a good selection of ambient, new age, em, world, etc.

Got to agree on the Cell album - excellent stuff. 

I just stumbled across something last week and now I'm totally forgetting what it was.  Ack!  I can't remember.

Temporal Arc?  ;)

I recently pulled out Broken Voyage by Kelly David--after the new release with Roach came out. I recall liking this when it came out 12 years ago, but I had completely forgotten about it. It stands the test of time well. But, I'm a bit reluctant to admit that some of the tribal ambient layers don't quite resonate with me the same way they used to.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 10, 2014, 03:20:14 PM »
Mick Chillage - Saudade
Thanks for the head's up, thirdsystem. Loving this. Synth-driven ambient from Carpe Sonum.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 08, 2014, 06:18:30 PM »
Ian Hawgood and Friends - Wolven (A Modern Interpretation)
According to Hibernate, Wolven is based on "modern interpretations" of the 2009 release Wolfskin by Ian Hawgood." The first disc contains reworkings of Wolven by Ian Hawgood with assistance from Aaron Martin, Dag Rosenqvist, Spheruleus, Pillowdiver, y0t0, and Hakobune. The second disc contains three beautiful tracks by bvdub. Each track is outstanding, and although some of the tracks are derivations on the same theme, it is really cool to see how each artist approaches it. Seriously cool stuff.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 06, 2014, 10:22:13 PM »
Johann Johannsson - Fordlandia. New discovery for me on spotify. Utterly beautiful music. In fact I am gobsmacked at the beauty of this. Hints of Baroque, beautiful haunting melodies, gorgeous.

That's some nice stuff! Thanks for making note of it; I hadn't heard that before.

Today has been an Ithaca Trio day:

Ithaca Trio - New Music from the Delta Quadrant
Experimental ambient on Hibernate. Not a coherent package, but each track is neat for its own reasons.

Ithaca Trio - Music for Piano and Patience

I think I've mentioned this one before. Great stuff from Home Normal. Reminds me a bit of the Basinski's Disintegration Loops meets The Caretaker meets a piano meets that sensation of passing seamlessly through solid objects.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 01, 2014, 10:42:16 AM »
Tomas Weiss - Zeitlos
This just arrived in the mail two days ago and I've been listening to it practically non-stop ever since: at work, while sleeping, but not while operating heavy machinery. Zeitlos is, simply put, one of the better ambient releases I've heard in a while. The tracks are, for the most part, synth-driven soundscapes, typically leaning toward the dark side of ambient. The standout tracks, at least for me, are Alignment (particularly rewarding with headphones), Near Nothing, and Zeitlos. Each of these combines drone-inspired ambient with subtle, but lovely melodies. The last track in particular, Zeitlos, overlays some nice reverberating electric guitar with synths to create a majestic, dreamy atmosphere. Sometimes I get the urge to put that track on repeat; therefore, I'm thrilled to learn that there is an expanded release coming out soon that highlights that track in particular.

Two thumbs up. I hope I'm not making Tomas blush by raving a bit here, but I think virtually everyone who participates in these forums will find something to love in this release. It is a special one.


I haven't picked this up yet. Has anyone else heard it yet and have any thoughts they're willing to share?

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 28, 2014, 07:12:47 PM »
Non-ambient listening:

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (aka Crystal Castles I)
Bizarre and awesome. A malfunctioning Atari video game + female vocals.


Marsen Jules - Beautyfear
Okay, maybe not classic ambient. This is the latest Marsen Jules release. I wasn't a big fan of his last release on 12k, so I was a bit uncertain about what to expect with Beautyfear. Fortunately, this album is perfect in the sense that it retains elements of what I would consider his "roots" (i.e., orchestral or acoustic samples manipulated, looped, and layered in creative ways) while still trying to innovate beyond that. As the title suggests, Beautfyfear is a collection of tracks of that span the spectrum from ethereal and light to the darker and more foreboding. The cool part is that the tracks cannot be discriminated by name; the tracks are simply numbered, leaving the listener a bit uncertain about what will come next. The instrumentation itself doesn't vary much and leans more toward the synthesized end of the strings spectrum more than the acoustic one. The homogeneity of the instrumentation coupled with the split personality lurking in the atmosphere makes for a really cool listening experience.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 27, 2014, 09:18:35 PM »
That is such an awesome song.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 25, 2014, 12:30:19 PM »
Alio Die & Sylvi Alli - Amidst the Circling Spires
Stefano's cathedral-style drones mixed with ethereal vocals from Sylvia Alli. I've been eagerly awaiting this release since it was first announced this past summer. It is perfect. I'm a sucker, however, for dreamy music that contains haunting female vocals; it is an old 4AD hangup.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:17:44 PM »
Through a first listen I'd say the voices also remind me of what would happen if the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica were somehow reprogrammed to be peaceful and they all joined a hippy love cult- and I mean that in the best way possible.

I think we have a winner.  ;)

Forrest: Good points. But, given that fans can be discriminating with respect to what they choose to buy, I assume everything balances out in the end.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:41:59 PM »
Some listening from today:

E and I - Putting Off Stars
2013 EP from Cotton Goods featuring Emmanuel Witzhum and Craig Tattersall. This is an 18-minute piece based mostly on viola, dusted tape loops, and other assorted samples. The music is quite sorrowful and wistful. The process by which the music was created is noteworthy; here is a brief description from Boomkat: "The score was generated by transcribing the poem into musical notes using a Hermes Baby typewriter, the letters on the keyboard being replaced with musical notes and the poem being retyped into music. Emmanuel played the score on his viola and the pair processed the strings back-and-forth with tape loops and digital manipulations." Sometimes I'm a bit skeptical about things that seem excessively artsy, as if the process, rather than the result, is the purpose. But there is always something playful yet sincere about Tattersall's work that continues to appeal to me on multiple levels. Samples:

Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
A 2006 release from City Centre Offices. Great stuff: looped and processed acoustic samples that evolve into layered, complex structures. Constructed with patience. One of my favorites from him.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: January 22, 2014, 05:45:04 PM »
Finished a few things recently:

Veronica Roth - Divergent (Vol 1) and Insurgent (Vol 2)
This series is concerned with a society in the near future that is organized with respect to people's core character traits--whether they value bravery, truth, compassion, etc. There is a conflict among the factions, however, and the way the conflict plays out drives the meta-story.  I'm a bit embarrassed to say I read the first two books of this series since they are billed as teen lit and, God knows, I haven't been a teenager in several decades. I saw a preview for the upcoming Divergent film, however, and thought it looked interesting and decided to give the books a shot. The basic ideas motivating the book work well as a sound bite, but things seem oversimplified, there is too much kissing, etc.

H. P. Lovecraft - At the Mountains of Madness
Excellent tale of an expedition to Antarctica in which the explorers uncover unspeakable horrors.  ;) This was wonderful; I hadn't read this before and it is now one of my favorites.

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