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Messages - 9dragons

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Tetsu Inoue
« on: May 03, 2010, 04:24:29 PM »
Listened to Ambiant Otaku the other day and realized it is still one of my absolute favorites. It was one of the first ambient/electronic albums I bought, and surely one of the best. The bright, flowing tones, deep emotion, and the intelligence of it are remarkable. Brings back vivid memories of previous listenings. Also have been listening to and becoming in awe with Slow and Low, World Reciever, and Inland. Amazing works. I still would like to get a hold of Organic Cloud, but don't know if a reissue will happen soon. Does anyone know if this is still in print, or where to find it?

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fiction in the Age of E-Books
« on: April 24, 2010, 12:30:55 AM »
Books are just words which are symbolic of reality, (or somebody's twisted take on it) the menu not the meal. I imagine there was a little outrage when the move from stone tablets to paper occurred.
Same for CDs and DVDs which are both artificial reality. I wouldn't get too caught up on which artificial medium reality (or altered reality) is represented on. Tonite  I'm going to watch Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon from '73 which I missed the first time around on the big screen medium. I also have the option to stream it online sans DVD but I only have broadband with Wi-Fi.

Ok, to get an idea of what I am talking about, imagine you are watching that Floyd video on a small black and white tv. Makes no difference, right? It's the medium, not the message, right? Now imagine how annoyed you would be at the diminished experience, watching that video, and ask yourself if it really is the message. This is how some people feel about books. Sure, the words are the same, but it's how they are presented, how they are printed on the page, the feel of the paper, the suppleness of the binding and the texture of the paper and cloth cover. It is not just the provenance of digital technology that can express itself in multiple ways. Things have a reality, they cannot be separated from their thingness. Being aware of this is an interesting dilemma. If you disagree, would you be just as happy with a tv half the size with terrible sound? Probably not. Now just transfer that same feeling to how someone might feel for a non-digital medium and it might make sense.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 23, 2010, 12:39:38 AM »
Datacide II (Inoue/Atom Heart)- Just reissued.

Where to get this one? I liked the other Datacide, Flowerhead.

Ginormous - At Night, Under Artificial Light. Brilliant electronica.
Move D - Kunststoff. A lovely classic.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fiction in the Age of E-Books
« on: April 23, 2010, 12:35:31 AM »
I agree Forrest, there is something magical about holding the physical object in one's hands. Especially a book. It is truly a talismanic object.

The other night I was talking with a writer and a designer who were zealously promoting all this e-crap. I adamantly stated that no matter how many gadgets they come up with, the book will remain an object of use and veneration, not to be supplanted. They disagreed, and I couldn't even argue with them because they were on such a different planet when it comes to the love of objects. I guess if it means nothing to you, you never will get it.

I think it is great that many mass market paperbacks and heavy textbooks could be efficiently switched to digital format, in order to save trees and provide "convenience", but the happy few will still crave for real quality books and all the pleasures that accompany them.

Sometimes it strikes me, and I hope I don't offend anyone, that many people have this manic, pointless obsession with reducing everything down to digital and screens. I spend a lot of time on my Mac, and enjoy it a lot (it's a huge part of my work and life), but I would like to keep some things that still have surface texture, that I can look at by candlelight, thumb through freely while smelling the pages

Why are some people so obsessed with getting even more staring-at-a-screen time?

Everything and Nothing / Re: How do you do?
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:57:41 AM »
I had a monumental session of printing today and am enjoying glasses of beer. I enjoy this forum so much, and the regulars here. Wow, I lurked for a couple of years, then finally signed on when I moved to Seattle from China back in 2005. I remember the big crash when the posts were all wiped out. How many years ago was that? I've personally contacted one or two of you on the forum, but, inspired by this thread especially, I hope to become better aquainted with people here in the near future. Life is too short not to make more friends. And I am looking forward to meeting some forumites up here in the Northwest when Robert Rich comes to our area. My spare futon is open if anyone needs to crash in Seattle for the gig.

I compulsively check this forum, and get a little sad when the posts die out and things seem to go in hibernation. There has been good activity lately, it is now fun to check back in more frequently.

I used to be an English teacher, now I am studying printing and graphic design. It has taken over my life, and I get an immense amount of joy from doing it. This happiness keeps me fairly firmly rooted in Seattle, though I am deeply in love with the city of Portland, where I got to live for six months. Before that, I lived for years just travelling and working around the world.

Hypnos and ambient in general became a great part of my life in troubled times during these travels. Kept me grounded, for which I am thankful.

I will be highlighting artistic activities and such during the coming days. I like how the musicians here really get into it, but I want to start something for the artists and illustrators, and potentially get things going for audio/visual collaboration projects. To plug my work, I'd like to mention my brother's music at Very good music and amazing letterpress packaging designed by myself and printed in Portland by Stumptown printers thanks to Mike's recommendation!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Ylang
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:36:52 AM »
I've been listening to Ylang everyday since I received it, and my appreciation for it is great. I can agree that I wish Robert would indulge in deeper ambient works, but comparing this album to his drone based work doesn't really make sense. This album is absolutely great, I would say a classic, on its own. I do hope Robert's next album is a completely far out droney piece, but that in no way diminishes my enjoyment of this work. This kind of sound is rare these days, something so elaborate and indeed so musical, so well made. There is plenty of drone out there, but not enough albums like Ylang.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Ylang
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:05:27 AM »
Ylang is definitely more musically and rythmically structured than what could be called ambient. But it is unique in having an immense ambient sense in its background and foundation. This album will make you feel like you've been on a wonderful and extended journey though. I do hope for some more formless work in future Rich albums, but I am enjoying this for the masterful work that it is. So few, if any, albums like this are coming out these days. In fact, this album reminds me of Soma, the collaboration between Rich and Roach. It reminds me how well an ambient style album benefits from having outside voices to contribute. We need more of this type of collaborative effort, it brings out the best in all artists involved.

Where can one acquire mini discs for burning? I'd love to find those red ones that Waterscape uses...

Everything and Nothing / Re: 10 most addictive sounds in the world
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:26:14 PM »
Forgot to mention this excellent album Natural Sounds of Japan I picked up by chance at the Kinokuniya bookstore. Beautiful packaging too. The cicada sounds are wonderful and extensive, among many other amazing sounds...

Everything and Nothing / Re: 10 most addictive sounds in the world
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:24:03 PM »
I've got to concur on the late night train sounds. Such a lovely sound. Used to hear it a lot more when I lived in Portland. I do so a bit here in Seattle, but not as much as I'd like. It's funny, whenever I do hear it, the pleasure is distinct. Vidna Obmana catches that ancient train tone on some albums, it's a good substitue if you can't get the real thing...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 03, 2010, 03:12:25 PM »

Natural Sounds of Japan

This is a great album of field recordings. I don't think I've heard better. Purely natural sounds very well arranged.

Everything and Nothing / Re: 10 most addictive sounds in the world
« on: March 02, 2010, 11:26:40 AM »
Cicadas chirruping in deep blasting hot summer days. Has to be my favorite sound...

I like how lively the forum has been lately. It was getting pretty quiet for a while there.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich: Ylang
« on: February 28, 2010, 08:18:06 PM »
This release definitely deserves its own post. Ylang has been running repeatedly in my stereo since Friday afternoon and I just wanted to hear if others are as excited about it as I am. I'd first have to admit that my devotion to Rich's work was flagging a bit in the past couple of years. Interest in albums like Electric Ladder, Eleven Questions, and the collaborations with Boddy just wasn't sustained for me. The quality was there of course, but I just wasn't feeling any kind of emotional connection to the music. Ylang seems to pull in what Rich has been doing in recent years and ensoul it with the kind of lifeblood that is in Temple of the Invisible, probably the most masterful Robert Rich album so far. At least since this new album. Ylang is just about everything a fan of music could want. A more detailed review will be written soon...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich New CD and Tour
« on: February 27, 2010, 02:09:25 AM »
Ylang is amazing. Many repeat plays tonight and just can't listen to it enough. Robert has brought together all his skills and experience on this one, fusing his styles in a seamless way. This album will knock you over with its seemingly effortless beauty. The sixth track stands out as being incredibly sublime amidst an altogether unreal set of tracks. He has brought together an excellent set of players to contribute as well, adding great depth. And Forrest brings it home with some wizardly violin playing on the final track!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 26, 2010, 06:59:37 PM »
Robert Rich:


Just had the first listen. 53 minutes of music and it rushed by in what seemed like a few. My first impression is that it's a fusion of different currents of Rich's work...a masterful fusion at that. And the main element itself could be called a fusion of world musics. Inspiring work this is.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich New CD and Tour
« on: February 26, 2010, 05:41:41 PM »
Just got the new album out of the mailbox and am listening. Haven't been this excited to hear something new in a long while. People have been mentioning Seven Veils as a comparison point...haven't heard that album in a long while so I can't comment, but this is a most welcome style Rich has created, very refined...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 24, 2010, 05:23:13 PM »
Robert Rich:

Calling Down the Sky
Temple of the Invisible

These albums are absolutely incredible...made my night last night.

I've been enjoying all the responses here, and feel like I generally agree. I'd like to add, from my personal perspective, why ambient might not be as popular as before. I am definitely not in the camp that thinks that the majority of ambient music is crap these days - in fact, some of the best music in this genre has come out in the past few years. And while I do think our society is becoming more and more detached from human contact, and the ability to appreciate a more nuanced sonic experience, I think something is increasingly disappearing from the ambient world. I am by no means the avid collector I used to be, and that could be due in part to a feeling that the thrill and sense of discovery in ambient has faded considerably. It's likely it is just entirely my own feelings that have led me to this, but I am curious if others feel this as well. Back in 2003, when I first discovered this music, it was the entry into a bottomless and wonderful world. Sitting in my little concrete apartment, hiding out from the smoggy city and listening to Soma was an experience I will never forget. I am so thankful to this music for pulling me through some hard emotional times and enhancing my life in so many ways, but I have felt like in the past few years that sense of excitement and discovery has diminished. Most of the music, even stuff I admit is extremely polished and well put together ambient, is starting to feel cold and a kind of going through the motions. The realization of this came a couple weeks ago, when I put on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II, the first real ambient record I ever bought. There is so much emotion and heart rending beauty in that album, it actually brought me close to tears. It made me re-evaluate a lot of what I listen to. It also made me aware that I may be jaded personally. But it just doesn't feel like this kind of truly essential record, where something is really being expressed, is coming out these days.
But even though I am jaded I am still able to experience this music fully when the moment strikes. Last night I played Rich's Temple of the Invisible and Calling Down the Sky back to back and it brought back my faith in ambient music. But it was more like a thinking back to the glory of the early days of my ambient expericne that a hope for great ambient records to come. I am still very much into the masters and the music they release, but I have pretty much ceased buying cds in general. Again, I think this partly due to my lack of funds lately, but I can't help thinking that even if I did have the extra money to spend, I would no longer be buying music. Am I just personally jaded, and unaware of the great work that is being produced out there, or is there a sense of excitment fading, and what is causing this?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich New CD and Tour
« on: February 18, 2010, 11:45:10 AM »
I am so happy Robert is coming to the Northwest. It will be monumental to see him live after being a fan for so long. I am hoping to catch all the dates in Portland and Seattle. It would be excellent to meet up with any forum members at this time as well.

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