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Messages - petekelly

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Press Releases
« on: May 09, 2010, 03:05:34 AM »
Lots of replies !

Personally, I'd prefer to read a press release that refers to an artist's use of instrumentation/source sounds or their approach to making the work,
rather than some more 'creative' text, but I can see that an artist may want to express their thoughts concerning the work in this way too. In a
sense, the press release can give an artist the opportunity to do their own 'mini-review' of their own work.

Also, as John said, factual info is pretty useful as well !

I have no idea why someone would say 'sounds like X' or 'if you're a fan of Y', you'll love this release' but each to their own.
Lastly, I don't why some artists write things like 'expertly crafted' or whatever - surely that's what samples are there for ?
A continual reference to words such as 'classic' and 'Amazing', can diminish the value of those words in the context of the press release. 


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...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Seeking guitar recs/advice...
« on: May 01, 2010, 01:15:00 AM »

A set neck doesn't make a huge difference to sustain in my experience - the wood used in the body is more significant. Big lumps of mahogany or maple will create more sustain than alder. However, the guitar will weigh a lot more. I had a Les Paul DeLuxe and a Yamaha SG 1000 and they weighed a ton !
If you want infinite sustain get an ebow :)

I've found the strat type bodies to be the most comfortable for me. Then there's the neck to consider (size / the type of wood used in the
fingerboard), the action etc. A tremelo arm is another consideration. There's a lot of 'snake-oil' attached to guitar tone in general, you've got to
make your own choices. For example, there's a ton of amplifier / cabinet modelling software out there and I've heard great reviews of some of them and tried them out and thought they were awful.

In terms of pedals, I would personally recommend a volume pedal, particularly for 'ambient guitar'. 


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Igneous 2010 releases
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:33:45 AM »
Thanks for the interest and comments fellers,

David, I'm not sure about the release format at present. The 'synth album' may turn out to be a double album release at the rate its going !


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 26, 2010, 07:28:55 AM »

I very rarely listen to my own work. I always hear things I'd do differently now. In fact, if I'm listening to 'Drone Zone' or 'Stillstream' and one of my tracks comes on, I usually pause the player a few seconds into the track and wait for it to finish.

However, I focus on the work very intently when I'm creating it. When its finished, I release the work for other people to hear.
I'm happy with it at the time. 


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 / Re: Chemtrail free skies
« on: April 20, 2010, 01:05:38 PM »
Any comments on this from UK / european folk ?

This a real once 'in a lifetime' thing we are experiencing - or maybe not, if the volcano keeps on erupting.

There's a lot of stories in the media about people living near Heathrow and hearing birdsong /being able to sleep properly for the first time in years. Its prompting some debate on the increasingly noise-ridden world we live in and is unlimited flying a totally positive thing in our lives ?

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...


Everything and Nothing / Re: Cleo 1997-2010
« on: April 07, 2010, 12:09:36 PM »
Wayne, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. These canine critters really are special beasts.


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 :)



I've had no MiniDisc problems myself and some of mine are 13 years old. Sturdy little beasts, they are.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 27, 2010, 01:00:20 PM »

'Hero Max' from 'Look at This! Ha Ha Ha!' by Kettel - Ingenium !

I've just found out that this track can be downloaded fer nowt on Lastfm, here:!+Ha+Ha+Ha!


Everything and Nothing / Re: Board Advice
« on: February 25, 2010, 01:14:48 PM »

Technical question:  Is 320 kBs the way to go on MP3s?

People may be interested to know that there are artists who have collaborated (recently) by sending 320 kbps mp3s back and forth to each other via Yousendit (and other such services)

I have platinum ears and can hear mice breaking wind in the Himalayas, but the '320's' are fine for me.


In my own opinion, as an addition to many of the superb observations that have already been stated, I believe that an enjoyment and appreciation for ambient music is partly reserved for those people who have a heightened sensitivity to this world, to its turbulance and its serenity. There is much evidence that countless people today live in a rather hurried and restless state, and turn to the television for their education and entertainment. How many do you suspect sit at the top of a forested hill, and quietly observe the sun sinking lower and lower on the horizon, observing the changes of the wind, the reflections of the light upon the clouds, or the sounds of birds? Those that can do the latter (circumstances permitting) and not be bored or impatient, but  in awe, are better suited to recognizing the power of ambient music. I don't want to suggest that ambient music can not be appreciated by a business-minded city dweller, always on the move. But I think that the committed listener to this genre is a special class of people, who can look inward and outward, can be silent in this noisy world, and are aware of things that others take no notice of.

I think that's very well put, actually.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:09:30 PM »

Curious to know the reasonings behind your analogy, a cassette release now or in the past ?
I can't see the comparisons.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 22, 2010, 08:09:36 AM »

I'd say that after being confident in the work and having spent a great deal of time and money to record and master, $1200 CDN to get 500 completed CDs, all in, is nothing

Yes, in the scheme of things, a pressed CD run is relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of things we procur/buy/own.

The point I was trying to make for an individual (or small label) its still a significant sum. When say, am artist releases 2 albums per year over a number of years. My point was more that I don't want to lose a lot of money along the way !

I should point out that it's not my primary goal in making money from my music. However, each release takes approximately 6-9 months of work, so I don't think its unreasonable to try to sell it.

Incidentally, My CD-Rs are made up by some fellers in Leeds who I know and trust. They use Tayoi Yuden/Sony blanks and Plextor drives. Since 2003, I've not heard about any failures.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Questions for artists and labels re: Piracy
« on: February 20, 2010, 03:33:30 PM »
Also, what's the deal with CD-r's?  I see them mentioned as a bad thing on this forum all the time; are they just CDs bought from Office Depot with a sticker on them to make them look better, or is it something different? [/quote}

You might be interested to view this thread:

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 ?


A humorous thought...   My wife tells me that no one will ever notice my music until years after I'm dead.  So, now the problem for me is how do I make it so that it will be available in the 23rd century?

Yes Wayne,

In the 23rd century, I believe we will be looked upon as pioneers - but alas, at present, we are in the realms of the wildly esoteric :)
Saying that though, I believe ambient music will gain a larger and certainly more diverse audience over time.


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« on: February 17, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »

Great question John :)
Ah, the mythical rules of ye olde ambient.

Here's some keywords which initially spring to mind (all just my opinions, mind you):

Ignorable yet Listenable
Tonal (debateable)

As for rules, I don't know if they are any or should there be any...


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