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Topics - APK

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I have a new album just out on DataObscura.

NUNC STANS :: Further Afield

Ten tracks of lush and subtly inventive drone-style works that flex and evolve, and conjure up
vast landscapes, imaginary flights, and curious excursions. These are works of emotion and are
ripe with fascinating details. So strap on some headphones, settle back, and enjoy the trip as
you travel Further Afield. 

The album is available as a physical CDr release at DataObscura, or as
a download from our Bandcamp site, where you can stream a bunch of full tracks:

Further Afield @ BANDCAMP - best for listening.

Further Afield @ DataObscura - has samples from all tracks.

Please do have a listen.

Comments always welcome.
Many thanks.



Nightfall drifts towards a darker and more experimental territory than the previous Full Circle
release from The Circular Ruins. The mood more mysterious and exploratory -- a journey into
night, and into wormholes that sparkle with curious energies, and have unpredictable
destinations. Expect a fascinating and totally absorbing ambient electronica trip.

The album is available as a physical CDr release at DataObscura, or as
a download from our Bandcamp site, where you can stream a bunch of full tracks:

Nightfall @ DataObscura

Nightfall @ BANDCAMP

Please do have a listen.

Comments always welcome.
Many thanks.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Thinking of buying a new synth?
« on: March 06, 2015, 05:12:05 PM »

Lots of fun stuff.


Full Circle is a collection of nine intricate and absorbing ambient explorations that show
APK at his very best. Subtle rhythms, beautiful compositions rich with details, and a
yearnng melodic structure that speaks volumes. A work that will delight again and again.
This one is a little different ... but the samples will tell you a lot more than any words we
can say, so please check them out.

The album is available as a physical CDr release or as a download (320kbs MP3).

A slightly more expensive download is also available on the new DataObscura Bandcamp
site for those who want lossless. You can stream the first 5 tracks.

There is a player with a full set of samples and tracklist here on the purchase page:
TCR - Full Circle @ DataObscura

Please do have a listen.

Comments always welcome.
Many thanks.



This is a mighty fine technical essay on digital audio that shows why higher and higher bit and sampling rates is a waste of time ... and space. Well worth the read if you don't already know this stuff. Or if you thought you did, but actually dont  ;)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Twin Peaks revisited
« on: October 07, 2014, 06:10:31 PM »

Apparently we are going to get a new series of Twin Peaks !!   8)


A collaboration between Specta Ciera (Devin Underwood) and The Circular Ruins (APK),
and as you might expect it is a rich electro-ambient offering, full of depth and subtle
sonic surprises. Both artists exhibit a range of working methods and styles in their
solo releases, and it is that diversity and the remarkable collaborative synthesis achieved
that make this release so musically fascinating. From the lush dronescape of the title track,
through the solo piano of Solitary Window, to the stray electrics of Tesla, the album seems
to present a new face at each turn, and yet there is a pervading mood and continuity
throughout that will certainly reward discerning listeners.

The album is available as a physical release or as a download.

There is a player with a full set of samples and tracklist on the album page:
Middle Distance @ DataObscura

Or here are the straight samples::[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Please do have a listen.

Comments always welcome.
Many thanks.


THE WINTERHOUSE :: Gathering Autumn

A special new 2CD release from the studios of Robert Davies and APK, and the
fifth in The Winterhouse series of lush and expressive ambient landscapes and
explorations. The theme is autumn, the mood sombre and introspective, the music
detailed and intimate.

The album is available as a physical release or as a download.
CD version includes a pro printed glossy card of the cover image.

There is a player with a full set of samples and tracklist at the link below:
The Winterhouse - Gathering Autumn @ DataObscura
please do have a listen.

Comments always welcome.
Many thanks.


If anyone is interested, this whole set is now available as a download purchase from Bandcamp. 60 tracks of ambient curios. Top five album of the year for me.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Blue Cat plugins
« on: December 04, 2013, 05:22:43 PM »

Interesting looking new multi-band plugin from Blue Cat. The ability to host plugins that act on particular bands is brilliant.
I like the whole multi-band concept.
Anyone used it yet?

LAMMERGEYER :: Between the Lines

Lammergeyer returns with a precious collection of what could be called minatures.
Eighteen tracks of inventive and often visceral ambient electronica that varies from
achingly beautiful to enigmatically intimate and experimental. Expect both a delicacy
and lyricism, plus an underlying sensibility that gives to the tracks the sense of
listening to a single undulating storyline.

The album is available as a physical release or as a download.

There is a full set of samples at the link below, please do have a listen.

Lammergeyer - Between the Lines @ DataObscura

Many thanks.



ROBERT DAVIES :: Forgotten Harbors

Over numerous well-received releases Robert Davies has carved out a distinct and respected niche for himself within the broad realm of contemporary ambient music. Like an archaeologist seeking a singular artifact or a philosopher contemplating one great idea, Davies is an artist on a mission. His music delves into an almost mystical encounter with very particular, secluded and intimate recesses of nature. Deeply involved and seriously consistent, Forgotten Harbors continues the exploration. This time journeying into more coastal landscapes, but always without cliche, and with the deft delicacy and sense of disembodied drifting that we have come to expect. It is an album that will delight fans of detailed and well-crafted pastoral ambient.

The album is available as a physical release or as a download.
There is a full set of samples at the link below.

Robert Davies - Forgotten Harbors @ DataObscura
Please do have a listen.


Music video for "Unconscious Movement" by Jacob Newman & Devin Underwood
from the album The Vivid Unmapped (dataobscura). Video by Devin Underwood.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Eno Interview
« on: June 28, 2013, 05:17:31 PM » 

Rosa Roedelius talks to Brian Eno about Chance ... and other stuff.
Has his usual eloquence and clear thinking.
There are five parts.
It won't embed, so copy the url and paste it if interested.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Vintage Gear
« on: March 29, 2013, 07:29:30 PM »
Article from the recent Sound On Sound. APK

Why are we lusting after vintage gear?

So the awards season is over for another year. Bucket-loads of Grammys, BAFTAs, Brits and Oscars have been delivered to their stunned and tearful recipients, while the unfortunate losers look on and applaud, wearing permafrost smiles. The audience agonise with the shortlisted nominees and argue amongst themselves as to the relative merits of each. Subjective opinion rules. CD and download sales will increase after the Grammys and Brits, box-office receipts and DVD sales will increase after the BAFTAs and Oscars.

One ceremony that has more to do with musical excellence than sales is the Music Producers Guild awards, at which I was fortunate enough to be shortlisted for my mix work on Paloma Faithís Fall To Grace album. Although I came away empty-handed, it was a great event, and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with a lot of the studio people who Iíve got to know over the years. The undoubted highlight of the evening was witnessing Sir George Martin receive the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, fittingly presented to him by the current Producer of The Year, Paul Epworth. Sir Georgeís work with The Beatles is the stuff of legend and he is undoubtedly the godfather of modern record production. There was also a lot of chat at the awards about Dave Grohlís film Sound City, which concerns the studio where Nirvanaís classic Nevermind was recorded, using a vintage Neve 8028 console and tape. Grohl now owns the console and advocates analogue recording over DAW use.

The evening got me thinking about the trend of worshipping vintage studio equipment and recording methods, and Iíve come to the conclusion that a lot of people are really missing the point. Donít get me wrong, I love analogue gear and I love the sound of tape, but I also love Pro Tools and plug-ins. I have a studio with racks of analogue goodies and an analogue console, but itís all modern... and here are my reasons: vintage gear is vastly overpriced and it goes wrong a lot. There, Iíve said it! The pricing factor is a combination of rarity and nostalgia. Everyone wants a Fairchild compressor because the Beatles used them, but they are rare and expensive to maintain. The same goes for vintage consoles and tape machines. Poor reliability is just a function of age. The argument goes: all the classic records of the í60s and í70s were made using this equipment and tape, so I need to use it to make a classic record. This is flawed logic. Of course they used that equipment, because it was the best available at the time. The Beatles were renowned for using each new generation of multitrack machines to their full potential, adding more and more tracks to more and more elaborate productions. For them, the equipment was modern. They were innovators, forever looking forward. Imagine what the Beatles would have done if theyíd had Pro Tools? Would they have become creatively stifled by too much choice?

When I started working in a studio, 25 years ago, almost all the sessions were analogue. Editing was difficult and time consuming; copying and pasting parts was done using half-inch tape and a chinagraph pencil, and largely discouraged. Tapes were noisy and a lot of the equipment was unreliable. We could not wait for the new technology. I learned how to use sequencers and samplers the minute they arrived and never looked back. I can understand where the vintage gear fans are coming from but I think their passion is somewhat misdirected.

My suspicion is that the obsession with vintage equipment has more to do with a desire to impose limits and discipline on the process than anything else. The Ďlimitlessí possibilities of modern recording and production can lead to laziness of performance and a lack of decision making. Musicians and producers are spending more time working alone on a computer rather than collaborating in the studio with like-minded souls. Bouncing ideas around with others can be the most creative and fun part of recording, and itís easy to get bogged down in isolation. The lack of discipline that the technology can promote isnít the fault of the equipment itself ó itís the fault of the users. Making music shouldnít be about the equipment at all: it should be about the music makers. What kind of equipment you use doesnít matter that much. What really matters is what you choose to do with it.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / DataObscura New Releases
« on: February 16, 2013, 02:17:12 PM »
November 2012: do058

PLEQ and PHILIPPE LAMY :: The Birth Of Tragedy

Momentum constructs immersive worlds from microsounds, noise fields, glitches,
mutated drones and field recordings. The result is rich, fascinating, unpredictable and
endlessly absorbing. Includes remixes by Machinefabriek, mise_en_scene,
and Yukitomo Hamasaki.

"Dropping Waves"

Samples from all 8 tracks are at the link below
(in a convenient flash player & as regular mp3 files).

Available on disk or as a download :
Momentum @ DataObscura
Please do have a listen.

Many thanks for checking it out.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Korg MS20 remake
« on: January 24, 2013, 05:45:50 PM »
Remake of the analog version. Just a little smaller.

Looks like it will be a decent price.
Kinda fun to have.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Star's End :: year in review
« on: January 13, 2013, 06:20:20 PM »
Some interesting things in Chuck's year's end roundup.
Though it worth posting.  APK


* 2012 - Year in Review Part One *


Robert Schroeder - Esthetique - Esthetique (spheric)
Dan Pound - Life Stages - Cocoon (self-released)
Liquid Stranger - Cyra - Cryogenic Encounter (interchill)
Superpitcher - Jackson - Pop Ambient 2012 (kompakt)
Berlin Heritage - Spectral Enso - Land of the Rising Sun (spheric)
Mark Harris - Softly Lies Sleeping.In Slow Motion - An Idea of 
North/Learning to Walk (n5md)

Synk24 - Sequor - Comfortable Void (ultimae)
Marconi Union - Always Numb - Different Colours (just music)
Gentoo - Light - Light EP (simulacra)
Forrest Fang - Tailing Wind - Animism (projekt)
Bruno Sanfilippo - The Grey Umbrella - Urbs (hypnos)
Strom Noir - Poppy Seeds - Standing Out Against the Sea (dataObscura)
Seren Ffordd/Oophoi - Unremembered - The Martian Chonicles (hypnos)
Loren Nerell - Persistence of Dream Imagery - Slow Dream (projekt)
Caul - Oblivion and Holy Drunkenness - Let the Stars Assume the Whole 
of Night (hypnos)

Glenn Main - Floating.Outward Bound - Ripples (ad music)
loscil - Fifth Anchor Span - Sketches from New Brighton (kranky)
Parallel Worlds/Dave Bessell - Heterodyne - Morphogenic (DiN)
The American Dollar - Faces in the Haze - Ambient Three (yesh)
The Circular Ruins - Q.E.D. - The Birth of Tragedy (dataObscura)
Darshan Ambient - The Immense Window - Falling Light (lotuspike)
BT - Our Dark Garden - If the Stars Are Eternal
Mike Wall - Reflections - A Time for Healing (self-released)

Wave World - The Desert Riding the R'yad - Hieroglyphs (virtual factory)
JR Plankton - Regen - Neon (karaoke kalk)
Alio Die - Layer's of Faith - Deconsecrated and Pure (projekt)
Porn Sword Tobacco - Painting World War 3 - Lost in the Humming Air (oktaf)
Amalaise - Ancient Astronauts - Twinning Pools (slobor)
The Tangent Project - Signals in Between - Fuse (self-released)

Phillip Wilkerson - Among the Nebula - The Stars and Afterward (self-released)
Air - Moon Fever - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (emi)
Nunc Stans - This Forgotten Place - Peninsula (dataObscura)
Amongst Myselves - Greybox Shadow.Bay of Dreams Ambient Landscape and 
Space (self-released)
Sam Rosenthal - Rae - The Passage (projekt)
Pjusk - Granitt - Tele (glacial movements)
Cygna - Broken Dream of a Little Snail - Greenosophy (ultimae)
U Schnauss/M Peters - Underrated Silence - Underrated Silence (bureau)

STAR'S END  1-6AM SatNight/SunMorning  Playlist for 1 January 2012
88.5fmWXPN Philadelphia|99.7fmWXPH HarrisburgPA|90.5fmWKHS Worton/BaltimoreMD|
Host: Chuck van Zyl

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