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Messages - 9dragons

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Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: January 20, 2008, 12:58:44 AM »

9Dragons, have you ever tried out William Hope Hodgson?  Judging by your enjoyment of Dunsany and the rest, I'm sure you'd like him also.  I have been picking up the new volumes of Clark Ashton Smith's work, finally a complete edition of his fantasies.  I have always thought he was underrated so it's nice to see him get first class treatment.

I've been wanting to pick up some William Hope Hodgson recently, as the urge to read weird fantasy continues apace. What do you recommend as a good starter? Also, have to compliment your good taste in picking up those new Smith volumes. I really want to pick up volume three: Vintage From Atlantis I think it's called, mainly in order to read Demon of the Flower and The Double Shadow in definitive form (as many of Smith's tales were cut down or dumbed down for publication in Weird Tales). I really like the fact that CAS is getting the fine editing treatment he deserves. Though I find his work uneven, when it is good it is sooooo mind blowingly weird and great (like Garden of Adompha, or Voyage to Sfanomoe).

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Alio Die
« on: January 20, 2008, 12:43:50 AM »
9 Dragons-

Oddly, Mother Sunrise had the same effect on me- couldn't get into it, couldn't get into it, and then suddenly, "Click"! Now I consider it one of Stefano's finest.

Next step: you simply MUST get Apsaras! Drop-dead gorgeous drones & watery sound samples, along with Amelia Cuni's wordless vocals. I put off ordering this at first, because I had misgivings about vocals on an ambient disc, but her voice adds to the ambience rather than distracting. Perhaps Stefano's finest.

Another highlight for me is Password for Entheogenic Experience- deep, intense, trippy & hypnotic. Smoke a joint and wear headphones for this one, if you're so inclined... (no, forget it, that would be against the law. ;))

Listened to Apsaras this evening, and it is as gorgeous as ever. I tend to save it for special occasions, but it sounds so luxuriant and soothing that it is tempting to listen to every day. Speaking of headphones, I think in part it is due to some really nice headphones that were gifted to me recently that I have been getting back into some neglected music. Having a nice pair of headphones seems to make all the music as if heard for the first time. This is especially great for Oophoi and Alio Die, where it is so layered and so rich with subtle detail. Finally was able to blow my mind to Distance to Zero, which took quite a while to finally crack, but is now one of my favorites. I've owned Password for some time now; I think it is one of the first Alio Die albums I got hold of, and probably one of the first truly 'Ambient' albums I bought, and it quite blew me away when I first heard it! It is due for the headphone treatement soon...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Alio Die
« on: January 18, 2008, 06:23:04 PM »
Listened to Mother Sunrise recently, after wrongfully neglecting it for some time, and I guess it was the right moment because it blew me away more than ever before. This prompted me also to bring out another Sola Translatio, Ad Infinitum, which for some vague reasons I could never get into, and which had been languishing in the 'to sell' pile for many months. I listened to it in recumbent position while reading some bizarre literature, and found it to be the perfect accompaniment, clicking for me as it had not done before. This is the kind of music whose realm you really have to 'get' to get into. It is such an enveloping world all its own, where the laws of Ambient (if these can be said to even exist in any solid form) truly do reign. Pure celebration of texture and tone, an unsurpassed (except perhaps by compatriot Oophoi) evocation of place, and a beauty all the more deep and strange for being undefinable, ungraspable. I've always like Stefano Musso's music, but it was kind of in the shadows of my collection, never collected to the level of Rich, Roach, Oophoi, and Vidna. I'm looking forward to an infusion of albums (Khen Introduce Silence, the two most recent 5000 Spirits albums, Raag Drone Theory, Suspended Feathers, and Enigma) to correct this imbalance, and wanted to reopen the discussion of Alio Die's work...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Kombucha tea
« on: January 17, 2008, 11:41:46 AM »
Kombucha is great! I assume there are health benefits to it, but I also really like the bubbliness of it, texture and taste are exciting and seems to help with digestion.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: December 13, 2007, 08:51:37 PM »
One other thing I've been meaning to write is about Steve and Robert's work together. I just wanted to point to whoever it was that wished their was more colboration work from these two, that the compilation CD "Dali: The Endless Enigma" has two tracks from them as a duo, plus one from Steve and a lot of other interesting tracks from various other artists (including myself to be upfront). So, if you don't have that disc you'll have to track that one down too.  ;D I think you can still order it via the Projekt website.

This one looks very interesting, thanks for the tip. The urge for more Roach/Rich collaboration came up last night, while listening to recently aquired copy of World's Edge (thanks to Judd for the recommendation). Had disc two on late last night, looking at art books and winding down. It is one longform track, and I was fully drifting off to it, when I suddenly felt something change in the air. And I realized that what was floating in the mix was the signature lap steel sound of Robert Rich. I hadn't read the liner notes, so it caught me unawares, which perhaps made it all the more wonderful. The music at that time took on a complete sense of the beyond, of a dramatic alienness. This illustrates to me just what a great combo Roach and Rich are. I can't claim to know anything about their individual personalities, but I feel that musically, perhaps Roach is more 'warm' or earthly while Rich is more philosophical, geometric. Both are of course sublime musicians in their own right, and have an amazing range in their respective solo efforts, but somehow their work together creates this dynamic. Just speculation of course...

Everything and Nothing / Crazy Indian Video and Laughter Club
« on: December 13, 2007, 03:47:14 PM »
This insanely hilarious video was previously posted by Jesse:

It made me laugh so much that I kept watching it and kept laughing. It's great to find something that is so silly that you can continually force yourself to laugh by looking at it or even just thinking about it at some random time in the day. Being a video of Indian origin, and being so hilarious, it reminded me of a BBC report on an Indian doctor who had started Laughter Therapy Clubs around the world. The way he got people to laugh at these meetings was so goofy that it actually worked. He made some crazy sounds that at first you might have thought was just insane but then it would allow you to trigger maniacal laughter in yourself. And then you can do it any time. But I find just thinking about the moves they make in the Indian video (especially that whack move that happens right between 2:40 and 2:45!) works just as well, if not better.

Here is the official Laughter site of the doctor:

And a random article about it:

Laugh in someone's face today! And feel better for it!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ancient Gugin Music
« on: December 13, 2007, 03:29:32 PM »
Many thanks for reviving this one, Harry. I kept thinking about doing it, but only had the links from the most recent post. I guess it's as good a place to start as any, and actually a great resource for exploring the Guqin:

The above site led me to this list of videos:

Scroll down a bit and check out Li Xiangting playing Xiao Xiang Shui Yun (Mist and Cloud Over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers). Wonderful! Improves the air, sets a relaxed yet powerful mood for the day... 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: December 13, 2007, 02:32:41 PM »
I really like "Early Man". There's some wonderful and unusual sound design and processing on that one, and it sounds quite different to all his other albums, too.

Anybody else a fan of "Trance Spirits" here? I'm not that keen on all of it, but the title piece is perhaps my favorite tribal-ambient work ever.

Never could get into Trance Spirits, it just never seemed to click. Couldn't quite define why, it was just one of those albums that, after the first listen, I never felt compelled to put on, and when trying to get myself to listen to it, just couldn't. As far as Early Man, I agree, it is such an amazing work. I've had it for a few years now, but seem to listen to it only rarely, because it is so dense, multilayered, and involved that it feels like it demands a really intent listen. I keep thinking about having a special session of listening to both discs back to back, just fully paying attention to it and trying to take as much of it in as possible. Perhaps accompanying it by looking at a photo book of Lascaux cave paintings...

Hopefully Arc of Passion will appear in the mailbox today. It will be good to have a full-on live album of Steve's music, as I have never been able to see him play (missed out on the Grace Cathedral - damn!) Thanks for sharing the info about the recording process, Loren; knowing the process behind the album, and the fact that it is one long marathon show, makes it all the more interesting.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 12, 2007, 02:56:18 PM »
Hawkwind - Space double album of some of the most mind-blowing sounds on earth. So driven, so exquisitely weird, a primitive-futurist feast of jams infused with wondrous sci-fi lyrics, divinely inspired instrumentation, all resting on a loamy bed of absolutely amazing mutant electronics. Music of the spheres!

Tangerine Dream -, only recently and finally got some albums by this group. How did I neglect this for so long?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: December 09, 2007, 08:49:39 PM »
Getting in the habit of having an Immersion for late night reading/sleep mode. Harder to find better, in my collection at least, for complete chill mode without any distraction. Seems like Immersion 1 and the 'Sleep Chamber' disc from Immersion 3 are the best for sleeping, though 'Still' is good for sleep as well. I'm kind of taking the titles literally, and even use 'First Light' ease me into the waking world on early mornings. Seems to fit perfectly, but doesn't demand it either. The Immersions are fascinating, and I hope to put some of them on in the work room for a more active and loud listen. I like to imagine they are a kind of Bach organ work, or what he would be playing if transported to our time. It's a pretty tall order to be compared to Bach, but I think over time it is borne out by the music, and how it seems fresh, honest, and deeper over time. Also looking forward to Arc of Passion, which I was going to try to skip over, but couldn't resist, due in part to the sequencer stuff it has on it. Been getting in to more of this kind of electronic music via Ian Boddy and Tangerine Dream, and don't have any of the Roach sequencer albums, so it will be fun to see how Roach works with it. Looks like Arc of Passion will have a less dissonat sound than the Immersions, which I enjoy sometimes...

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: December 08, 2007, 02:27:37 AM »
It's nice to see a fantasy/sci-fi lit discussion coming up. I can echo your sentiments about the return to reading great sci-fi and fantasy at a later date, Mike. I've just got back into reading some old favorites that I had rejected long ago, after a long stint of only reading nonfiction and journalism. Somehow, in this warped time we live in, I feel allowed to return to the true and wonderful place of fantasy. I've jumped back into H.P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, and Clark Ashton Smith, whose stars seem to shine brighter even from the distance of first read to now. Amazing and beautiful as ever, but offering something deeper to me this time, a commentary on the age we live in, a state of wonder long lost but found again...At this point, actually, it feels like fantasy/sci-fi, especially of an older cast, is the only thing worth reading among fiction.

Among newer writers, I am a fan of Gibson, but only enjoyed half of 'Spook Country', the rest feeling kind of limp and over-programmed (but the first half really was genius), and also enjoyed China Mieville's 'Perdido Street Station' and 'The Scar'. Anyone checked these out?

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 07, 2007, 01:37:13 AM »
This feels strange, like coming home to find the house cleaned out by thieves. First priority must be to get that My Loony Bun is Fine Benny Lava youtube video back online!!

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