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Topics - petekelly

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Eno interview
« on: November 11, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
Eno interview in the Indy (including some shocking typos !):

Not a wildly exciting interview, but good to see he's still at it. I'm interested to hear this 'Lux' album.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Interesting Steve Roach Technical interview
« on: October 27, 2012, 03:25:26 AM »
I don't know if this is the most appropriate place for this, but here's the interview :

Everything and Nothing / Speed of light ?
« on: October 16, 2012, 03:32:20 AM »
What are we NOT capable of ? :)

Seriously though, reporting aberrations aside, an amazing feat.

Cassette ! (and other obselete media nostalgia)

My second hand B & O cassette player player finally died and went off to the recycling tip, which made me revisit that big box of cassettes I’ve carted around from house to house for many years. I grew up (musically) in the era of cassette, when the new fangled Sony Walkman was the must have thing of the day. Like everyone else, I recorded onto ‘tape’ and this was my primary listening medium too.

In the eighties, I lived in houses with fellers who were into Hi-Fi, they had high-end cassette decks such as Nakamichi and Denon models, they who would only use premium metal / Chrome tapes and Dolby C, or more esoteric types of noise reduction. It was the best that people could do at the time without spending insane amounts of money on audio equipment. Even though the dynamic range and frequency response of the format was pretty unacceptable by today’s standards, it didn’t stop people recording music and enjoying it at the time.

After my stint of being in bands in the late eighties, I was very keen to record my own ideas, so I bought a very humble Vestax 4 track cassette recorder. This was the start of my ‘home-recording’ activities, I used that thing until it died and learnt an awful lot regarding making the most of 4 tracks. In hindsight, it was pretty dreadful quality wise, but saying that, even so-called ‘professional’ units of the time weren’t great either by modern standards of fidelity. I dare say tape hiss will not be remembered fondly by too many people !
I tried to get the most out of it by using the best quality tapes that I could. I also used a ‘ghetto-blaster’ to record guitar noodlings and jams I had with other musicians and that was even more awful in terms of sound quality, but very useful nonetheless. In the nineties a friend had a studio set-up based around an Alesis ADAT machine, which was a big step up in recording quality and extra had 8 tracks. We mastered onto a DAT machine, as that was considered to be the best format at the time. I recorded an awful lot of material at the time and was very diligent in documenting it and auditioning it, but I came to the realisation that it was just ‘work-in-progress’. None of these (home) recordings were ever released. However, some snippets of the better stuff have been recycled in my ambient work, ‘Colour my World’ from my ‘Hydra’ album being an example.

Four of my Cassette favourites :

Original Text here:

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Gear Acquisition Syndrome related blog post
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:12:46 AM »
I think I need a 'purge' ! (Process mini-blog)

I spend an awful lot of time trying to determine as to whether software programs – synths, effects, samplers etc. may be useful (or not) for my musical projects. If I decide to buy a certain program, I spend even more time figuring out how it works. Of course, some things are pretty straight forward, but something like Native Instrument’s ‘Kontakt’ (for example) has an awful lot going on ‘behind the scenes’ as it were, and I’ve spent a significant amount of time with it, trying to figure out how I might find some interesting elements to it which aren’t immediately obvious.

I’m wondering now if I’ve succumbed to that most odious and insidious condition that musicians can be afflicted by – ‘GAS’ (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I have a relatively humble set-up, which probably cost me less than a half-decent 5 year old car would do. Saying that, I have a LOT of stuff and as I’ve said earlier, I spend a lot of time working with that ‘stuff’.
When it works, it’s cool, in that it gets used in my music and I get to broaden my sonic palette and look at new techniques and ways of working. Also, it keeps the old noggin ticking over, I feel it’s always good to try new things out. Some of my ‘core’ techniques have come out of happy accidents with working with some program or using a program in a different way in which it was intended to be used.

However, I’m starting to wonder if is less is more and do I need to stop looking to new ‘shiny’ things and concentrate on what I have ? I think that marketing people know that a lot of musicians are looking for that killer application that will improve their work markedly in some way. Look at the amount of ‘ambient themed’ sample libraries / synths / loops and the likes that are out there. Whole synths are marketed as making great sounding ‘pads’, for example. My feeling is that you need to spend time with what you know in a lot of cases, to come up with interesting results. I’m fortunate in that I’m quite an imaginative chap, so new ideas are never too far away. ‘Ambient X Super synth’ may yield great results, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in the DIY approach, methinks.

On balance, exploring synthesis and sound-mangling techniques is something I’m deeply fascinated by, so even though a lot of this experimentation never sees the light of day in my material, I believe that the time energy ‘invested’ is never wasted in the pursuit of artistic endeavour and it feeds into the final work, one way or another.

Original text here:

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous Flame September news
« on: September 14, 2012, 01:30:24 PM »
Including information about my upcoming album 'IRIS', Independent artist musings, a mini-review of the Korg microKEY25 and more.

‘IRIS’ new 2012 Igneous Flame Album:

I have a new album in the pipeline, it’s working title is ‘IRIS’ and I’m planning to have it finished and released by the end of this year. In terms of format and duration it could go any number of ways at the moment. A lot of time has gone into the work-in-progress as it stands and there’s still a lot of work that needs doing yet ! I’m striving for something with a more 'colourful' tonal sound palette and some different (to me) processes / ways of working with this album. More information will be posted nearer the release time.

Original blog post here:

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Ambient – Quiet music for all ages
« on: August 25, 2012, 07:11:15 AM »
Some thoughts on ambient and artists / listeners age, which may be of interest to some folks here:

'I recently watched a documentary about the age of the first generation of rock stars such as the Rolling Stones and other artists of their era, who were still going well into their sixties. It made me think about ambient music and the age of it’s artists and listeners. A few years ago, you could have said that ambient was primarily for middle-aged fellers, judging by the online forum discussions, groups, reviews and the like. I think it’s fair to say that the artists / listener demographics at the time would have shown this to be the case.

However, when I look at my page, for example. I find that a much wider cross section of people listen to ambient music than might have done so in the past. I think this is great, I would much rather have all manner of people listening to my (and other peoples) ambient material and I find it particularly interesting that this trend seems to be continuing. As regards artists, I think this diversity is the case as well, again I can only think this is a good thing. Unlike say, pop music, ambient isn’t defined by a young artist / listener base and I think artists will release for as long as they want irregardless of age and (hopefully) listeners will still want to hear their work.

In my case, I got into ambient at the age of 20, I would imagine that may be unusual case, here’s the background – I was living in a house with some Buddhists in Leeds, we had no TV, so we used to play a lot of records. One guy put on a record that I had not heard the like of before, it was ‘The Pearl’ by Harold Budd and Brian Eno. I was immediately taken by it’s beautiful, delicate ethereality and I was ‘turned on’ to ambient, so to speak. Even though I was a very mentally speedy kind of person, the calming qualities of early Eno ambient works (in particular) were very valuable to me. Now that I’m approaching middle-aqe, I feel I’m slowing down much more in lots of ways and ambient is perhaps more important to me. I couldn’t imagine not creating ambient music at this time in my life and I can now see more subtlety and nuance coming into my material as I get older...'

Full text here:


I know this isn't directly relevant to the world of ambient, but interesting nonetheless, in terms of an artist endeavouring to release their work in a different format. I'm quite a fan of Beck and it's cool to see his imagination at work and the enduring legacy of 'sheet music' even today.


'Pandora' by Igneous Flame / Ensueno

Montage of the eight tracks on the album, video by Igneous Flame

Exclusive 24 Bit FLAC version now available at Igneous Flame's Bandcamp page:

This is the first ambient digital-only album released on LuminaSounds and will be available on iTunes, Amazon and the like through CD Baby in the near future, more details to follow.

Press Release:

'Pandora' by Igneous Flame / Ensueno

'Pandora' is the album that arose out of the collaboration between Igneous Flame (UK) and Ensueno (Russia).

In 2011, Rudy (Ensueno) got in touch with me asking about the possibility of us releasing a collaborative album. From what I'd heard of Rudy's work, I was always impressed with what he had created, so I was happy to agree to this. He sent me a considerable amount of music, which I listened to intensively, chose the work I preferred and then proceeded to work with this material.
The source material for the album was entirely Rudy's and my involvement was primarily reworking and production. I added certain sound elements, manipulations and (spatial) processing in particular. Rudy's original material was extended and 're-composed' extensively. This collaborative process took seven months and resulted in our album 'Pandora'.

The Internet facilitated the work, from Rudy initially sending me his full resolution source material from his studio in Russia to my studio in England via download links, to the final stage of releasing the album on CD Baby to be digitally distributed to the major download sites.

Pete Kelly (Igneous Flame), August 2012.

Produced and Mastered by Igneous Flame at Nimbus Studios, England.
Artwork Image by Kati Astraeir.
LuminaSounds Label release, catalogue number: LS-07.

Titles and running order:

1) Imagination (rules the world)
2) Deep Purple
3) Persephone
4) Light on Water
5) Lightstorm 
6) Fiat Lux
7) I Walk the Earth
8] Immaculate

Duration = [80 minutes]

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Kontakt !
« on: July 16, 2012, 08:51:56 AM »
I finally bought the full version of Kontakt as NI were having a 50% off sale recently, I'd stumbled along with the Kontakt player for a while as I had bought some libraries that were compatible with it.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was quite a bit of good to very good stuff in the full (43GB) Kontakt library - there was very little available info on the library that I could find.

So now, I've got lots to get my head around in the spirit of lifelong learning. It's funny, I find some things just don't entice me to really get to grips with them (Reaper was a case in point), I tend to spend most time on the things I think I'm most likely to use in the future.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Two free tracks
« on: April 29, 2012, 03:45:44 AM »
Two tracks that were only previously available on the DVD disc releases of my 'ION' and 'Orcus' albums released in 2010.
I felt that they've been 'exclusive' for long enough and I'm now making them free to download. They are both 320 kbps mp3s and tagged:



Tectonic Mass


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Ambient (ish) guitar video
« on: April 03, 2012, 06:03:40 AM »
I've set up a Youtube channel for some of my guitar noodlings that don't really get used in my ambient work.
Here's a short vid which is more on the ambient (ish) side of things though:

I've created one of those new fangled blog things:

It's fairly sparsely populated at the present, but I intend to build it up as I become more familiar with things at Wordpress.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Under-rated Ambient
« on: February 19, 2012, 10:58:26 AM »
Following from the recent over-rated albums post. For sake of balance,I thought I'd add an under-rated artists / albums post.
Here's a quick list of artists I feel deserve more exposure:

Matthew Florianz
Lucette Bourdin (RIP)
Peter James
Rudy Ensueno
Jim Cole

Speaking about under-rated albums, 'Out and About' by Alp (Roger from 'O Yuki Conjugate') is a really refreshing sound.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / SoundExchange ?
« on: February 13, 2012, 08:49:02 AM »
I got a recent email from CDbaby regarding 'SoundExchange' and I'm on a list of artists that may be owed money by them. Apparently I have to register with them to get any owed royalties.

Anyone have any experience with them ? I'm sure it'll only be a few quid, so it's more curiosity than anything else.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Ambient Music Generator
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:46:55 AM »
Interesting take on looping random-ness:

the Ambient Music Generator by Charlie Slick

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Igneous Flame 2012 News
« on: January 03, 2012, 04:48:57 AM »
Igneous Flame 2012 Releases news

2011 was a reasonably productive year for me, I released the 'Jazz-electric' album with Achromus in March and my 10th solo album 'Lyra' in November. I also created 50 or so videos to accompany tracks from my previous albums, as well as other work-in-progress projects.

As regards 2012, I plan to release at least two albums, one collaborative and one solo.
The collaboration I'm keeping under wraps for the time being as I've barely started working on it and the solo one could go a number of ways at present. I've spent 4 months on creating work-in-progress material, some of it quite diverse.
I've been getting into samplers and sample libraries recently to expand the sound sources I can work with and plan to use the following synths on the 2012 releases:

NI (Native Instruments) Razor and NI Prism
(NI Skanner - possibly)
Wusikstation (for wave sequencing synthesis)
Ambitron - a new one to me, with lots of potential.

On a personal level, I wish people all the best in these times of great change and uncertainty.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Native Instruments Thanksgiving Offer sale:
« on: November 26, 2011, 03:56:45 AM »
50% off some of their stuff (til monday). I'm tempted by a few things, I must say... :)   


Released 11/11/2011

Artwork by Kati Astraeir

A year in the making, Igneous Flame has released his 10th solo album 'Lyra'

Since his 2003 debut release 'Tolmon', Igneous Flame has sought to create an evolving body of work and whilst 'Lyra' continues in that theme, it differs in that the approach taken to creating this work was significantly different to that taken for his previous albums.
The work was created using a previously unused set of tools and processes in order to experiment and explore in new directions. A diverse range of sounds sources and textures were employed and extensively processed. The primary instrumentation being electric guitar, nylon string guitar and synthesizers.

The work was created whilst engaged with the natural world as a primary source of inspiration - work in progress mixes were auditioned whilst walking through local woodland and re-worked back at the artist's studio. This process was repeated many times, until they were felt to be finished.

The material is primarily ethereal and meditative, with intermittent high-energy bursts and characteristic 'trans-tonal shifts'. In terms of production, a 'clean' approach was employed - full dynamic range was observed and preserved.

Special thanks to Kati Astraeir for deeply connecting with the music, to create the artwork for the album.

'Lyra' is a long-form double album release, both discs 1 and 2 run to almost 80 minutes of material each. Available as a limited edition high quality double CD-R package on the LuminaSounds site or digital download through CD Baby soon.



My track 'Fire in the Sky' has been included on the Kalpamantra mega-compilation
'Saur Maas'

Also includes tracks by Kammarheit, Troum, Phaenon, False Mirror, Mystified and lots of other artists.
Free download here:

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