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Topics - petekelly

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Computers, Internet and Technology / Soundcloud
« on: August 01, 2010, 06:29:39 AM »

I recently bought a Soundcloud 'lite' account and I've started to use it a bit more actively now. I think it could be a very useful thing -
particularly having a 'widget' that you can paste all over the sites you frequent.

The 'private' features are pretty interesting as well.

Any one else using Soundcloud ? Thoughts, tips ?


Everything and Nothing / World Cup anyone ?
« on: June 14, 2010, 01:35:48 AM »

I know that there probably isn't a great deal of interest here regarding the world cup, but I thought I'd start a thread anyway.

Watched the Germany / Australia last night - wow ! the Germans looked impressive.
I look forward to seeing the really good teams and players showing off their talent, am always keen to see Brazil, Holland and the like.

I know football isn't to everyone's taste, but its a massive global cultural event nonetheless.
People go a bit mad over here when England are in it, but that doesn't usually last beyond the opening round :)


Everything and Nothing / Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: June 08, 2010, 03:25:50 AM »
Whilst checking out snake oil/valid opinions on the merits of HiFi interconnects. I came across this gem:

Nice one  :D

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:19:02 AM »

I found this to be a Interesting read, particularly as a travelogue. I was struck by finding that even the 'premier league' ambient dudes can
experience disappointment and uncertainty. I found this quote to be quite inspiring about what Robert was trying to achieve:

'...Once again Iím a bit concerned about low turnout here in Burlington. I donít think many people here know about my music, and I feel a whisper
from the shadow of uncertainty; trying to overcome lingering doubts about perpetual obscurity, while trying to communicate something quiet and
personal in this distracted and overmodulated world...'


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Press Releases
« on: May 04, 2010, 08:38:59 AM »

Was wondering what people think about press releases ?

I know that the majority of ambient artists (myself included) have some kind of press release/verbage on their website to accompany the release of a new album. Sometimes descriptive, sometimes to try to convey the intent of the work / what inspired the artist or whatever.

I have to say the amount of times I've seen something like "destined to be an all time classic in the ambient world" is far too often...


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous 2010 releases
« on: April 22, 2010, 08:37:55 AM »

For anyone interested, I'm currently working on 3 albums at present:

1) An album consisting of tracks made exclusively of sounds made from virtual synths. I wanted to get away from just using the guitar as a sound source and to work with new (to me) instrumentation. So far, its pretty ethereal/sonorous and is far from complete ! I currently have about 90 minutes of raw mixes to work with. Plan to get it released in the summer.

2) A very dark album made from processed binaural recordings/synth textures. Very heavy going - think 'outerstellar-industrial'. Plan to release this this year.

3) A collaboration with 'Achromus' which is more of an instrumental 'song' album. Very different to anything we've released to date. Again, planned to be released this year.

I've spent a lot of time recently working with a vst program called 'Nebula'. This is a program that 'samples' hardware such as reverb units, tape, valve channels. plate reverbs, compressors etc. It really is fantastic, I'II be posting more about this at some point.


Everything and Nothing / Chemtrail free skies
« on: April 17, 2010, 08:25:23 AM »

The UK's (and most of Europe's) airspace has been shut down since Thursday due to the ash cloud coming from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

On a human level it must be very frustrating being stranded away from home, but to be able to see the skies completely free of chemitrails and planes is almost surreal in its beauty. I'm now looking up to the sky just seeing birds and quite unusual cloud formations.

The situation appears to be impossible to predict, so who knows how long it'll go on for. Quite unprecedented...


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Sideways through Sound mp3 store
« on: March 28, 2010, 03:29:26 AM »

'Sideways through Sound'
is a great radio show hosted by Mark Ward AKA 'Thee Sonic Assassin'.
He has now set up a store specialising in folk, electronica, acoustic etc. There's some Fabia Orsi stuff up there as well.
It's at:

I've noticed that 'Harmonium' - Dean (Disturbed Earth) and myself's damn relaxing album is 'Recommended this week' - good taste that man :)


Everything and Nothing / Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 20, 2010, 02:17:03 PM »

I find it frustrating when people say something along the lines of 'Oh do it properly and release a pressed CD - I don't trust CD-Rs etc'
Well, I'm sure if artists were able to they would release a pressed CD they would do, but here's some points to bear in mind:

A CD pressing of 500 discs would cost £650 or thereabouts in the UK (including printed artwork, booklets etc), factor in other costs such as
mastering engineering and artwork and it starts to become expensive (unless you're pretty well off). The primary consideration is, how many of these discs could an independent label/non 'big-timer' actually sell ? - is it worth their investment ? My feeling is that most artists are currently
re-evaluating whether to release CD-R's these days, let alone pressed CDs !

Regarding the 'known' established artists. even Steve Roach and Robert Rich are selling less CDs these days, compared to what they used to. I'm wondering who can afford to fund such a venture on a basis that sales are not an issue ? There's nothing worse than having loads of lovely looking pressed CDs lying around in boxes.

Say I want to release 2 albums a year. As pressed CDs I can't do it, as small numbers of CD-Rs, I can, as download only releases, I could release as many as I want to. I can see the advantages of download only releases from the artist's point of view. A digital release provides a revenue stream (well a trickle more like!) over time. I sell a lot more downloads now than I used to and all my albums apart (from my most recent ones) have sold out as CD-Rs and its unrealistic to get some more made up. The downloads will continue to sell in the future.
Look at Atmoworks, look at JKN's relaxed machinery label, look at Hypnos even, to see where the pressed CD / CD-R thing is going.
For an artist, IODA and CD Baby enable you to get onto to iTunes, Napster, emusic et al for very little.

On the point of diminishing CD sales meaning that the genre is less popular than it was, then I'm not so sure if this is the case. There's arguably
more people now hearing ambient music through the likes of Lastfm and streaming radio stations - hearing something on lastfm and then buying it there and then from iTunes or Amazon.

In my view, it's not being tight , or lacking in artistic vision, it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons of is it worth it ? and will it be
worth it in the future ?



Ambient : Emissions of Sonic Beauty

#10 Igneous Flame (special mix)

Niels Mark (Podcast presenter) got in touch with me regarding selecting some of my material for a 30 minute podcast. I decided to take excerpts from 3 or 4 tracks from each of my 7 albums and make a mini-mix of each album and then to montage them together to make the full mix. The excerpts I chose were my favourite selections of some of the tracks on each particular release, in reverse chronological order.

'Electra' (2009) montage
'Hydra''(2007) montage
'Astra' (2006) montage
'Satu' (2005) montage
'Oxana' (2004) montage
'Intox' (2003) montage
'Tolmon' (2003) montage

57.7 MB

The introductory voiceover is in Danish, so is pretty much lost on me !
On the site, there are also Podcasts hilighting the work of Oophoi and Sleep Research Facility amongst others.


Everything and Nothing / Constructive criticism
« on: January 09, 2010, 09:41:20 AM »
Following Austere's recent post about their thoughts on recent ambient music. I thought it would be interesting to take things a bit further.

Constructive criticism - do artists really want it ?
I've seen a few comments over the years about the need for constructive criticism in ambient music. I tend to agree, but its a double-edged sword and some people's skins aren't as thick as others. Of course it all depends on who is making the criticisms and if you respect their opinion in the first place.

I'm wondering what the place is for self-criticism ? On one hand, artist 'X' may never release anything as they feel their work will never be good
enough and on the other hand, artist 'Y' wants to get as much out there as possible. Obviously there are various positions between these opposites.
Personally, I'm pretty self-critical and I reject a fair bit of what I do. Incidentally, I've just checked out a bunch of recordings I made onto DAT
tapes about 10 years ago. Cripes ! I'm glad I didn't release them at the time !

Here's an example of constructive criticism and my reaction to it:

My 2004 album 'Oxana' generally got very good reviews, but some reviews referred to a percieved shortcoming in the production of the album. I'II
admit that at first I didn't take it very well, but it kind of stuck. The issue was that the overall sound was a bit 'muddy'. It was true that
there wasn't much in the way of high frequencies on the album. On my subsequent albums, I started to add more HF content to 'fill the spectrum' to make them sound somewhat more contemporary (in terms of production). As time has gone on, I realised that the 'warmer/muddy' sound of 'Oxana' was appropriate for it and that the 'zing' and 'ping' production thing isn't that important to me now.

What I took from this was to take things on board, but to bear in mind that one's own judgement and sense of discrimination are core to creating work in the first place and that these things will change over time. I listen back to some of my material now and find things I didn't do very well, but it was the best I could do at the time.


Everything and Nothing / MySpace pratting around
« on: December 27, 2009, 01:15:24 PM »
Logging into my MySpace profiles, I noticed some new 'friends' whose requests I didn't remember accepting.

It seems that Myspazz is now setting itself to auto-accept any requests, making a mockery of having any kind of a 'real' profile.
Here's what I did to stop this:

Log in, go to 'My account', then 'Spam' and uncheck the following boxes:

Friend Requests
'Automatically accept all requests'


'Allow non-friends to send me new messages'

Its either a bug or they're losing the plot... ???


Everything and Nothing / RATM versus X factor clone
« on: December 15, 2009, 08:42:24 AM »

I've never watched the X-factor thing, but from what I hear, its a right load of tripe.
Here's an interesting thing going on over here:

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / One for the reverb-heads
« on: November 16, 2009, 07:20:27 AM »
Free TC M30 plug-in:

I've just grabbed it and will now find out whether it transports me to 'verb heaven'


Other Ambient (and related) Music / The ambient 'scene'
« on: September 20, 2009, 07:01:46 AM »

I started looking on the Internet around 2003 for forums, review sites and radio stations that were
concerned with ambient music. I was surprised with how much I found back then.

It seems to me that the ambient 'scene' has changed, in that in a sense, it has become more
'underground'. There aren't the number of review sites around that there were, for one thing. The Internet radio
thing such as Somafm, Stillstream, lastfm et al, all 'broadcasting' 24/7 is an interesting
phenomenom. Myspace and lastfm (in particular) have shown to me that there is a much more diverese
audience for ambient music than I realised. The musical element of the networking sites have changed
things significantly, as has podcasting.

Regarding this here forum, it's interesting to see people come and go. People who were once very
prolific in their posting now don't post at all (that's just an observation, not a criticism).
I think this forum is still a significant resource for ambient music. For example, the
self-promotion element hasn't changed - most artists still do that (myself included). However, the
sheer volume of releases out there and all the free stuff made available seems to have diluted
things somewhat, When I first came here there was quite a 'buzz' regarding new releases. There seems
to be less debate about ambient music and more in the way of recommendations, promotion and

Curious to hear other people's thoughts, particularly people who have been part of the 'scene' for
some time.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / 'Compiled' on AtmoWorks
« on: July 27, 2009, 03:46:12 AM »
Taken from the AtmoWorks site:

'AtmoWorks is proud to bring you a first in our label's history; a compilation of AW and other highly respected ambient and electronic artists into one cohesive release that we like to call 'AtmoWorks Presents: Compiled'. AtmoWorks owner Matt McDonough (MjDawn) had this to say about this new and exciting venue for the label.

"We at AtmoWorks are very excited to bring together a collaboration that speaks about our label, artists and vision. This compilation is the first in what will be a series of "AtmoWorks Presents:" albums. Our hope is that we will be able to showcase our established artists, but also bring light to new talents we are exploring. You can look forward to future releases involving these great artists."

A seamless blend of styles and influences carefully mastered and molded together by the tag-team of Vir Unis and MjDawn, 'AtmoWorks Presents: Compiled' is a wide-ranging set sure to please the most discerning electo-heads. From the deep drones, guttural drones of Gydja and Bunk_Data, to the minimal beats of Interstitial and the organized choas of MjDawn, this collaborative effort has something for everyone.'

I'm pleased to have a track included on the compilation. My track is called 'Lyke Wake Dirge' and is an ambient rework of an ancient folk-song sung by monks as they walked across the North York Moors to bury their dead.
I was inspired by Pentangle's fantastic version of it, which is on their 'Basket of Light' album. Also I live near the moors, which are very inspiring in their own right.


Everything and Nothing / Music, free or for sale ?
« on: April 09, 2009, 12:20:24 PM »

I didn't want to hijack the 'US copyright rant' thread, so I've started this one.

My take on this is that i have no intention of giving my music away for free. Here's why:

Value. I spend a lot of time on my material. Even if the amount of money I make on selling my
material is small, the fact that people are prepared to buy my work is very significant to me.

How much more Exposure (let alone feedback) would I get if I released a free album ?
I would presume that the appeal of net-labels who have some 'visibility' might be a better way of
doing this. As opposed to simply uploading an album to some server space and posting a link on
forums, MySpace etc. Incidentally, I'm finding lastfm to be a great way to get exposure currently.
There's a lot of people on this forum up there.

Also, I think that if you give something away once, people may be unwilling to pay for something in
the future.

Lastly, I'm selling considerably more downloads than CDs at present and I recently was told the
following by a Japanese distributor, who has recently folded:
'...but music retailing has changed, CDs are no longer a profitable means of music distribution, and
we would like to move on and put our energy and effort into other projects.'

The times are changing, indeed.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous News
« on: March 07, 2009, 01:57:00 PM »

2 releases for 2009:

'Electra' Amorphous guitar-scapes. 7th Igneous Flame solo release

'Harmonium' Darkly serene, ambient Harmonium. Igneous Flame/Disturbed Earth

Artwork by Kati Astraeir

More details/info to follow...


Everything and Nothing / Ergonomically speaking...
« on: November 20, 2008, 09:14:26 AM »
I know this isn't the most fascinating topic, but I'II guess it affects a lot of people here, so
here goes...

For about 8 years now, I've been working on my computers usually 6 to 9 hours a day (pretty much
every day) and I've developed pretty bad RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my right wrist and right
shoulder. This was due to using the mouse (I don't have any problems with keyboard use). It was
significantly debilitating, so I started to look at solutions that could address the problem.
After a fair bit of research I settled on this here rodent:

It's a Microsoft (I know :o) Natural Laser Mouse 6000
It's a so-called 'ergonomic' mouse and forces the wrist to rest in a much different manner to a
conventional mouse. At first it felt like a potato, but I've adapted to it pretty quickly.

Info here:

I use two computers - one for Internet browsing/writing documents and another just for music. I
recently had the 'brilliant' idea of using a mouse for each of them, but learning to use one with
my left hand to distribute the usage. It feels a bit 'cack-handed' but I'm getting to grips with it
I am naturally left-handed which probably helps. I'm also using mouse mats with wrist gel supports.
It's hard to say at such an early stage, as to how well this may work out, but my right wrist is
starting to ache less already.   

Anyone else with RSI experiences ?



Other Ambient (and related) Music / New work and changes...
« on: June 30, 2008, 01:42:17 AM »
My self-release imprint 'Chillfactor10 records' is no more. It was something
that I inherited and I think its outlived its purpose. I've set up a new label
with UK based artist 'Achromus' called 'LuminaSounds' The website is at an
early stage of development, but I'm adding content daily.
It's here:

I've made a link to the Chillfactor10 site which I'm keeping 'alive' as an archive
as theres a fair bit of info there. 

Achromus and myself will be releasing two albums in July, 'Flicker' and 'HALO'
We've set up a MySpace profile for the collaboration:

'Flicker' will be released as a CD-R on 'LuminaSounds', and 'HALO' will be
released as a download on AtmoWorks.
More info to follow...


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