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Messages - chris23

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Everything and Nothing / Re: A Favor from my Hypnos friends.
« on: October 21, 2013, 05:43:04 AM »
Thank you, we have already counted your vote.

I'll try again from the office in 30 mins if the poll is still open.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:20:21 PM »
Sonmi451 - Hummingbird
My sentiment is similar to Dave's. This release is pretty good, but somewhat forgettable; I've already found myself returning to previous Sonmi451 releases since Hummingbird came out. Despite saying that, there is clear evolution here: this album feels a bit more polished than some of the others and it has quite a bit of acoustic sampling as opposed to the more prototypical bubbling digital sounds. So, if you're a fan, you should definitely give it a listen; there is a chance that some of the new stylistic components will appeal to you.

Porya Hatami - Land
Excellent. This reminds me a bit of some of the bubbly digital sounds that I referenced above mixed with the recent experimental-acoustic leanings of 12k. Inner Ocean Records has also released a CD of remixes, featuring Pleq, the Green Kingdom, and others.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 15, 2013, 06:43:48 PM »
Spinning the three releases by Broken Harbor, thanks to his October Bandcamp sale:

Excellent stuff. I had streamed some of this at 128 in the past, and enjoyed it, but now that I've dived in and given everything a deep listening with headphones, I must say that this is really impressive work. I'm not sure if I have a favorite. The self-titled release has the darker feel of the three, but I think I find the imagery and atmosphere of Gramophone Transmissions to be really compelling.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: October 15, 2013, 06:38:50 PM »
Dave Eggers - The Circle
Fiction. The Circle is a Bay Area tech firm modeled after Google and Facebook--a company that is increasingly focused on making the private public as a way of enhancing social relationships, reducing crime, and facilitating transparency. The novel focuses on a young woman, Mae, who lands a job at The Circle and slowly becomes involved in its ethos. Mae eventually becomes an Internet celebrity and the "face" of the company, but at the expense of her relationships with parents and friends.

This is a pretty good read. In many respects it feels like an Orwellian 1984 for the Social Media Age, but one in which we are Big Brother. This particular story hit me pretty hard because I'm someone who can see the benefits of social media, but am reluctant to auction off my privacy. The book does a nice job at capturing that tension without being overly preachy. Eggers clearly has an opinion on these matters, but actually reserves his most sophisticated writing for the monologues of the anti-privacy advocates.

Everything and Nothing / Re: A Favor from my Hypnos friends.
« on: October 15, 2013, 04:32:49 PM »
Vote cast--and will do so from home and office tomorrow.

I agree with Mike: Both the music and the art were great.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Drone Masters
« on: October 12, 2013, 08:15:32 AM »
haha  ;)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Drone Masters
« on: October 11, 2013, 04:21:47 PM »
I have a weird feeling that you might get a different answer to this question from everyone who chooses to answer.

I define drone music as music that emphasizes texture and tone over melody and rhythm. Incidentally, I think it also tends to be more repetitive, utilizing loops and sustained sounds over carefully structured and dynamic pieces. I'm not a music historian, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone made the case that modern drone work has some distal connection to meditative, trance-induced rituals and practices (e.g., chants, didgeridoo, singing bowls).

In our ambient neck of the woods, I tend to identify the following as some of the more salient Drone Masters of the last 15 years: Alio Die, Mathias Grassgow, and Oophoi. 

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 09, 2013, 07:51:09 PM »
The Ashes of Piemonte - Datura Notes
A brilliant new release from Wil Bolton and Lee Anthony Norris, from the Perth-based Twice Removed label. This double CDr album contains four long-form drone works based primarily on acoustic samples with a mix of environmental sounds and light, distant synths. The tracks are airy and ethereal and, combined with the track titles (e.g., "Endless Sleep in the Garden of Dreams"), serve as a guide along a foggy path between dreaming and waking. This is pretty fantastic stuff and I strongly encourage folks to give it a listen if you haven't heard it already.


BTW, M. Griffin, there are some blatant Lovecraft overtures here; share it with your friends.  ;)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 05, 2013, 04:50:06 PM »

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 05, 2013, 10:14:01 AM »
Re: Light Folds: That is weird. I've only ever received download codes from Facture via paper slips in the packaging. That's great news for you, though, Anthony: you can start digesting hours and hours of music right away! And it appears they've sold out of the extra copies; that link is dead and they've removed the non-deluxe version of the release from their main web page.

I've managed to listen to the CD and Vinyl tracks a few times; I'm setting aside the DVD tracks for a dedicated listening  next week. I must say that this is an absolutely brilliant effort. The release, as a whole, has a somber, isolationist feel to it, with the primary instrumentation being piano, strings, and trumpet (yes, trumpet!). Those recorded fragments are looped and obscured in a variety of creative ways, leading both to tracks that skirt the fringes of minimal, modern composition (e.g., Light Folds, CD2) and tracks that are experimental and glitchty (e.g., the various permutations of "Her Whispers" where processed static and tape hiss provides part of the structure for the pieces).

Is it too much music? I worry that Forrest may think so once he has a chance to listen to it.  ;) In one of my favorite movies, Wonder Boys, there is a well-regarded author who has delayed releasing his sophomore novel for years. Many people are worried that he's blocked and he hasn't been able to produce anything of interest. The problem turns out to be the opposite: he's been writing and writing, but hasn't been able to reign the material in to provide it with an arc that contains a natural beginning and end.

In some ways, Light Folds reminds me of this author's manuscript: There are multiple versions of the same song, using manipulations of common source material, and the artists simply chose not to edit it down to an album of a more manageable length. I appreciate this, however. The sheer vastness of the material is part of what adds to its mystique and makes me want to dive in and explore it. And, even the tracks that are variations of the same theme (e.g., Tear In the Sails --> A Void in the Sails) diverge in ways that enrich the listening experience.   

Thanks for doing this. I've enjoyed listening to your work on Bandcamp, but for various reasons never took the leap necessary to actually buy and download the work. I'm looking forward to giving your releases a more careful listen.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 04, 2013, 05:50:41 AM »
I hope you two enjoy it!

Exciting news for you, Phobos. I hope you have a blast and treat the audience to some lovely, dark drones.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 03, 2013, 02:46:25 PM »
I think An Aerial View is a great release. It is quite subdued and, like some of his better long-form work, has a journey (no, not Steve Perry) or voyage-like feel to it.

Currently digesting Light Folds, by The Seaman and the Tattered Sail. Really interesting work, but it will take a good week to give it all a deep listening. I managed to grab a copy from Experimedia before they sold out. If anyone is still interested in the release, Fluid Audio sent out an email today announcing a few extra copies of the CDs + DVDs for a good price: I wouldn't be surprised if the included download codes also contain codes for the vinyl too. (The original package contained download codes for all the relevant media.)

Some helpful reviews and samples:

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Breaking Bad
« on: October 01, 2013, 05:54:44 AM »
Finally got a chance to watch it late last night. I agree--it was a fantastic finale. The entire series is simply outstanding. And the conversation with Skylar couldn't have been scripted better.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Breaking Bad
« on: September 29, 2013, 02:55:32 PM »
Anyone gearing up for the finale this evening? I might not be able to watch it until Mon or Tues; going to be hard to stay away from discussions of it until then.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 29, 2013, 10:36:10 AM »
Hey Chris- I used to love ANYTHING by Oophoi, and played it almost constantly, but somehow I lost the feeling for his music, and most other dark ambient as well. I don't understand it!

You're probably just going through a phase. A terrible, terrible phase. ;-)

I just listened to the samples for Aether Blueprints. This seems like pretty dark stuff too. ;-)  I really liked certain tracks, and the "listening to the far off sounds of life and activity" really captures the spirit of the album well. Glad I followed up on this!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 28, 2013, 06:55:15 PM »
I love The Seed.

O÷phoi & Ran Kirlian - The Physics Of Heaven
I ordered this disc based on Richard Gurtler's fine review.  This is an outstanding recording. I think it would be easy to write it off at first because it isn't terribly dynamic. But it is beautiful in many respects. It is mostly drone-based work, but it evolves in ways that give the full work a great amount of depth and diversity. The stand out track, for me, is the 20-min White Shores I, which contains some nice ocean sounds that, when combined with the theme of the disc, creates a experience that is both terrestrial and ethereal. My only real complaint is that the recording feels very "mid range;" there isn't much going on in the low registers. I don't know if that is a mastering issue or a recording issue.

Buy/Samples here:

Richard's review:

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: September 28, 2013, 06:42:04 PM »
Recent reads:

Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
A classic in the mystery genre. One of my favorites as a kid and one that I revisit every once in a while. Ten individuals from different walks of life are invited by a mysterious host to an island. One by one, each of the ten is murdered. No one other than the ten were present on the island. Clever, suspenseful, and quite terrifying at times.

Daniel Quinn - Ishmael
This was a gift from a friend. Pretty interesting philosophical novel in which Ishmael, a wise gorilla who can communicate telepathically with people, explains to a human student the mythologies that people construct about the world, their place in it, and the inevitable conclusion to the myth that that many civilized societies live by. This novel feels a bit preachy in places, but there are some profound passages that make it worth a careful read.   

I do think that too much self-promotion is counter-productive in this little world of ambient music and that the things that established bands or indie artists do, isn't necessarily relevant to the ambient world either.

That's a good point. The potential audience is relatively small to start with and it is accustomed to taking a more active role in searching for music. Sometimes simply having the music "out there," mailing out a few codes/discs to reviewers, and being part of an on-line community is all the self-promotion that is needed to get some exposure.

Speaking of the digital era and promotion: I'm currently listening to some of Andrew Lahiff's releases. They are FREAKING AMAZING. I'm not sure if this guy does any self-promotion, but, thanks to the Internet and word of mouth, I was able to discover his excellent work.

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