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Topics - APK

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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

On WINTER GARDENS (63'21") Anthony Paul Kerby and Robert Davies
achieve a tranquil and understated sonic poetry. Recording their
fourth CD together as The Winterhouse the duo goes deep into sound's
relationship with space. The result is marvelously direct. WINTER
GARDENS conjures snow, ice and frost and a sense of scale -
registering in both the brain and the gut. In a genre where there
still is room for intuition this music is not about how your ears hear
the tones but how your body reacts to its cold emanations. This album
has its own drifting rhythm - and it is easy to lose one's bearings in
the quiet force of its slow storm. More than just a self-swallowing
void WINTER GARDENS is comprised of six tracks across several sections
of slowly shifting drones. The seemingly static opening segments are
meant to turn the attention of the listener inward. Once safely
chilled the music becomes more harmonically active. Synthesized
strings create tension and release as crystalline tones tinkle and
twinkle in the hovering reverberation. Maybe there is an electric
organ sound, a stretched flute, or some kind of bell ringing through
an echo. There might be breathing or metal grinding, and possibly some
tape feedback. It is impossible to know. The sounds arise, combine,
change and melt away - slowly, as all things sub-zero must. When we
play this CD we may feel as if we are hearing something pure, but
maybe we are not supposed to be listening - too personal, too dark,
too cold.

Please tune in to STAR'S END this weekend (Dec 22) for new music from
The Winterhouse and their CD WINTER GARDENS

For more on WINTER GARDENS please access:


STAR'S END Solstice in Space

To mark the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Festivus and other regional
holidays... this weekend the 12.23.12 broadcast of STAR'S END will
present a Winter Soundscape edition. Please tune in for a true
Chillout session featuring our favorite Wintertime Spacemusic
classics, as well as some new additions to the ever-growing library of
cold weather, low Ambient temperature Music - including a traditional
carol turned electronic by synthesist Terry Furber, performing on his
restored vintage 1969 Moog 1P modular synthesizer.

Happy Holidays!


Visit STAR'S END on



STAR'S END broadcasts every Saturday night/Sunday morning
from 1am-6am (EST) on:

88.5fm WXPN Philadelphia, PA
88.7fm WXPH Middletown, York and Lancaster, PA
90.5fm Worton/Baltimore, MD
99.7fm Harrisburg, PA
104.9fm Lehigh Valley, PA
W285DH Whitehall, PA

and live on the web at

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Cloud Atlas
« on: November 26, 2012, 04:55:54 PM »
Anyone seen this from the Matrix guys?
It looks very good.

New release now available from DataObscura:


Arboreal spins a gossamer web of natural field recordings and delicate
synthesiser pads that will both entrance and transport the listener to a
secluded earthly sanctuary, a sonic Eden. Masterfully crafted, subtly detailed,
and serenely beautiful, this is ambient music at its very best.

Here is an excerpt from the title track:


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

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

Robert Davies - Arboreal @ DataObscura
Please do have a listen. It's a beauty.

Many thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions always welcomed.


New release now available from DataObscura:

THE CIRCULAR RUINS :: The Birth Of Tragedy

The Birth Of Tragedy is a finely crafted and intimate album of sonic storytelling. 
The tracks flow like an enigmatic existential jigsaw, composing a broad introspective
tapestry of melancholic and harmonic visions. Expect lots of interesting details, moody
atmospheres, and subtle leads.

Performed by Anthony Paul Kerby (Canada).
My first solo release of 2012.

Here is an mp3 of the full 3rd track.
- Simple Truths

Samples from all 10 tracks are at the link below (in a convenient flash player or as regular mp3 files).

Available on disk or as a download :
The Birth Of Tragedy @ DataObscura
Please do have a listen.

Many thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions always welcomed.


Independent Music Reviews / It's like ...
« on: June 11, 2012, 11:45:02 AM »
the battle of the reviewers in here !


For a month or two there is a 2hr podcast of tracks from various
DataObscura albums available for listening on soundcloud.
The collection is composed by neonlogic (StillStream).
Settle back and have a listen ... its an excellent collection.

Lost satellite transmission 17

Other Ambient (and related) Music / 10 from John @ Echoes
« on: May 11, 2012, 11:30:24 AM »
John Diliberto (Echoes) posted these to the Hyperreal group recently.
They are "some thoughts about electronic music".
I kinda liked them, and agree ... except perhaps with the last one.  ;)


1. Hitting the laptop space bar for play is not a live performance.

2. If youíre going for a cheesy sound, you canít go wrong with saxophone or trumpet patches.

3. Before you create that loop, just consider:  How many drone zone CDs do you think anybody really needs?

4. If you arenít a very good keyboard player, playing a piano or piano patch will only highlight your deficiencies.

5. Does a remix mean you always have to put a thudding dance beat on it?

6. A sample of a complete musical phrase is not your creation.

7. Unless youíre doing something really interesting on top, the same rhythm for 30 minutes is not trance-inducing.  Itís just boring.

8. You can modulate the key signature.

9. Itís okay to have some stage presence.

10. There is electronic music after 1978.


Very absorbing and intelligent history of the German post war avant-garde electronica movement.
Thanks to Robert Davies for pointing this documentary out.


New release now available from DataObscura:

THE WINTERHOUSE :: Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens is an intriguing set of wintery landscapes crafted with an underlying
blanket of sonic beauty, a flurry of ambient details, and an icy delicacy. Expect something
a little more experimental than their previous outings ... but every bit as magical.

Performed by Anthony Paul Kerby (canada) and Robert Davies (usa) using a variety of
synthesisers, with occasional field recordings. Final compositions and mastering by APK.

This is the fourth Winterhouse release.

Here is an mp3 of the opening track.
- Winter Hymn

Samples from all tracks are at the link below (in a convenient player).

Available on disk or as a download :
The Winterhouse @ DataObscura

Many thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions welcomed.


New release now available from DataObscura:

STROM NOIR :: Standing Out Against the Sea

On his first DataObscura release, Strom Noir (Emil Maťko) from Slovakia delivers
a collection of mesmerizing transmuted guitar textures and noise drones that
show a keen persistence of vision, with dark tensions that draw the listener
into all-encompassing sonic depths.

Emil has previously recorded on such labels as Hibernate, U-Cover,
and Resting Bell.

Here is an mp3 of the opening track. Its fairly mellow compared to what follows.
- Poppy Seeds

Samples from all tracks are at the link below (in a convenient player).

Available on disk or as a download :
Strom Noir @ DataObscura

Thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions welcomed.


New release now available from DataObscura:


ROBERT DAVIES :: The Alchemy of Nature

Composed over the latter half of 2011, this new ambient collection from Robert Davies
further solidifies his name as a leading light in pastoral ambient. These six tracks seem
to meld into a sustained aural treatise, revealing a more intimate, veiled, and perhaps
mystical side of nature. Both relaxing, immersive, and exquisite, this is a work to nestle
down with and simply let it work its magic.

Here is a long excerpt from the opening track:
- Intrinsic Essence

Samples from all tracks are at the link below (in a convenient player).

Available on disk or as a download :
The Alchemy of Nature @ DataObscura

Thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions welcomed.


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Out now : NUNC STANS - Peninsula
« on: December 02, 2011, 06:45:59 AM »
New release now available from DataObscura:


NUNC STANS :: Peninsula

A new collection of beautifully sculpted aural landscapes inspired by
isolated coastlines and their desolate but curiously intimate vistas and

Expect a contemporary flowing northern drone-based ambient style,
but of course with a host of subtle melodic lines and other interesting

Here are MP3 samples from all tracks :

- Peninsula
- November Rain
- We Must Leave
- Fathoms
- The Sea Becomes Still
- The Clarity of Darkness
- When The Sea Burns
- This Forgotten Place

Samples are also at the link below (in a convenient player).

Available on disk or as a download :
NUNC STANS: Peninsula -- at DataObscura

There is a full track on the DataObscura Radio page: HERE

Thanks for checking it out.
Comments and questions welcomed.


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