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Messages - petekelly

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Cassette tapes..
« on: February 11, 2011, 02:33:58 AM »
Forrest, I should add that at the time I was very into cassettes, but I wouldn't want to go 'back there', so to speak.

I sought out the best chrome and metal tapes I could get and I've still got a big box of them from my 4 track days TDK SA-X, Thats metal etc.). I bought a Bang and Olufsen Beocentre from a carboot sale recently to listen back to them, but most have stretched. I seem to remember the commercial album cassette releases were pretty shoddy construction-wise, my copy of Thomas Dolby's 'A Flat Earth' has certainly seen better days ! 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Cassette tapes..
« on: February 10, 2011, 02:48:12 PM »
Cassettes were dead handy but that's the best you can say about them. To think that here were 'audiophile' Nakamichi cassette decks and metal tapes and all manner of esoteric Noise Reduction systems for such a sonically awful medium.

Apart from the 'arty' element, I can't see the point of a cassette release. I'm sure there are hiss and wow / flutter plugins that can be put onto a soundfile to emulate the 'sound' of tape, why not go the whole hog and go for a 32kbps mp3 release as well ? :)

Everything and Nothing / RIP Gary Moore
« on: February 06, 2011, 02:48:25 PM »

That didn't do much for me, mirth-wise.
'Father Ted' on the other hand...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / 'Celerium' - free download
« on: January 30, 2011, 04:42:38 AM »
'Celerium' [20:17]
Unreleased track, free download.
2009 rework of an (un-included) track from the 'Satu' album sessions.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient video ?
« on: January 18, 2011, 06:32:21 AM »
Bumping up the thread a bit, here's some recent videos I've made:

'Heart of Darkness'

'Lost at Sea'


Just re-watched the Sylvian / Sakamoto 'Steel Cathedrals' film, the imagery certainly adds to the music.
Perhaps I need to nip back to Teesside to get some more Industrial imagery.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 16, 2011, 10:08:58 AM »

From my point of view, the experience of listening to the music is the primary thing - whether it's being played
back on a portable device listened to by someone on a train, a plane or up a mountainside. Equally if it's
being experienced at home on a good system / headphones, it's all the same to me.

Very nice video, suitably evocative.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Jazz-electric
« on: January 13, 2011, 07:54:49 AM »
'Jazz-electric' by Formbank (Pete Kelly) and Achromus (Michael Stringer)

Due to be released in the near future.
Difficult to categorise and describe, a fusion of hyper-electronica with occasional ambient lull. Hints of Japan, Sylvian and Peter Gabriel pervade throughout. Pete Kelly's real and fake guitar parts combine with Michael Stringer's melodic sensibilities to make for an intriguing, sometimes oblique listen.

Soundcloud link:

(moved from 'Everything and Nothing' section)

Everything and Nothing / Ambient video ?
« on: January 12, 2011, 10:13:57 AM »
I must admit that I was somewhat 'sniffy' about ambient videos until I came across a posting on a forum where people listed their favourite ambient tracks and pretty much everyone posted a youtube video link - either of a video someone had made of an existing track or the artists 'official' video.

This made me re-think about making some videos as 'ambient eye-candy' for my material (I'm always looking at ways to get my work out there). So I did some research and found Sony Vegas to be a very good tool for creating videos. Years ago I used to make animations for installations / projections in a program called 'Swish' (cut-down version of Flash), but that never really worked as I would have liked, but Vegas does the job indeed.

I've posted some initial pretty rudimentary videos on my Youtube channel, but now I'm now starting to make them a bit more interesting (hopefully), I recently made one from Kati Astraeir's images that were used in the 'ION' artwork. I'm at a bit of a lull regarding working on my next album, so I'II be working on this side-project for a while.

I've now noticed quite a few ambient artists have been making videos for some time.


My Youtube channel is here:


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 09, 2011, 10:36:18 AM »

I find some of the original comments by 'Leaf' to be somewhat puzzling. Why
wouldn't an artist want as many people as possible to hear their work ? Do you
have to be in an exclusive 'ownership of the lovely physical object' order to have
access to the sacred sounds ?

Unusually, I find Eno's comments a bit irritating as well, it's easy to have made
your career from selling music to turn aroud and say 'it's just a blip' - well
that's easy to say in hindsight.

Mike , I hope you're not under the impression that all UK ambient types are off
fox-hunting during the day, then settling down with a copy of 'the Telegraph' in
front of the roaring fire on an evening. :)

Oh and I don't think CDs are dead, either.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Best Releases of 2010
« on: January 05, 2011, 01:21:16 PM »
Two very good quality releases in 2010 (both free)

'Koude Handen' by Matthew Florianz

'Domestic Aerospace' by Ensueno (a very under-rated artist, IMO)


Everything and Nothing / Re: Mick Karn has passed away
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:06:39 PM »
Sad news indeed. He was a truly innovative bass player.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 23, 2010, 03:31:13 AM »
I can see the appeal of vinyl as 'art object', but I always felt that static
ruined ambient (and choral music). An album like 'The Pearl' played on vinyl
didn't do it any favours, as I found the static very distracting.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Any last-minute 2010 gear purchases?
« on: December 21, 2010, 02:28:11 PM »

Bought recently a Schatten pickup for my nylon string guitar and the preamp to go with it.

Installation wasn't too easy (to say the least !) but I'm pleased with the sound - much better than the guitars I tried with under-the-saddle piezos. Will be using the combination to record the nylon string parts on my next album.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Silly Question on disagreeing vs. attacking
« on: December 14, 2010, 06:14:59 AM »

It seems some people have an almost evangelical zeal to 'convert' people to their
way of thinking and yes it must be hard work for them (as it is for others).

Lots of these people go into politics, as for Sarah Palin, frankly I don't give a
damn !

Everything and Nothing / Re: New Dog Story
« on: December 11, 2010, 02:15:38 PM »
Good man Wayne !

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Igneous 2010 releases
« on: December 10, 2010, 08:29:08 AM »

Hypnagogue review of 'ION' and 'Orcus'  - thanks John !

When an ambient artist notes that a work is “long form,” it usually means it’s one piece that takes up an entire CD–73 minutes or so. On his two latest releases, Ion and Orcus, Igneous Flame (aka Pete Kelly) set his sights higher. At 130 minutes and 95 minutes respectively, these offerings require DVD format to accommodate their heft. (Kelly wisely uses the ample disc space to offer both MP3 and WAV options.) Taken together, the two releases stand as contrasting meditations, one built on a dreamy lightness and the other on grim, often stultifying darkness.

Ion is the lighter of the two. Here, Kelly sets aside the processed guitars that have formed the bulk of his past few albums and instead calls all of his floating forms from keyboards. The feel here is classic ambient: cloud-motion drifts in airy, angelic-choir pads and soft bass exhalations that lazily nudge each other along for two hours. In that regard there’s nothing groundbreaking happening here; it’s just that it’s all done extremely well. Ion is one of those listens that creates moments where you suddenly realize that your breathing has sympathetically slowed to match the music and that you’ve allowed yourself to wander off somewhere, mentally. Sometimes you’re brought around by a Kelly shimmer or a shift in tone (as at the beginning of “Earth Metal”) that tugs at your attention, but soon enough you’ve returned to that quiet section of headspace Ion has been gently hollowing out for you. Obviously, this disc truly comes into its own when it’s looped quietly, as the artist intends. Kelly’s meditative, time-stretched imaginings will simply curl around the space and make themselves at home.

By stark contrast, Orcus grabs hold of all the right dark ambient memes and proceeds to hammer them into shape. Kelly’s web site notes that the sounds and sonic images herein are meant to call to mind “the current corrosive energies unleashed into the world,” and they do. Metallic sounds grate and rasp against one another. Static spatters the soundscape. A sense of unrest pollutes the space–by design. Kelly effectively varies the work from overloaded sonic detritus to sparse nuclear-winter stretches of near-nothingness. There is loneliness and there is noise. I’ve been listening to Igneous Flame for several years now, and this is absolutely the densest and darkest he’s ever gone. It’s to his credit that there’s no sense of pretension here or the feel of an artist overstepping his bounds. Kelly is clearly comfortable making listeners uncomfortable. Given its length, Orcus isn’t something I’m likely to put on often for a full listen–I have a hard enough time getting through dark ambient CDs of normal length. But it will certainly stay in iPod rotation for those times when I need a little blackness and despair.

Kudos also go to Kati Astraeir for her stunningly detailed cover art on these discs–particularly the swirling, Necronomicon-ish depths of Orcus.

Ion and Orcus are both excellent discs that showcase the breadth of Pete Kelly’s talent. Whether you’re in the mood for light sounds or gripping darkness, Igneous Flame has what you need–and plenty of it.

Available from LuminaSounds.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »

I've seen KJ play three times - on the 'Brighter than a Thousands Suns' tour at
Leeds University and on the 'Extremities' and 'Pandemonium' tours at Leeds
Metropolitan University (formerly Leeds poly).

I went to see loads of bands when I was younger and these were three of the most powerful gigs I've ever seen. Geordie
Walker is a hugely under-rated and very powerful guitar player and of course, all of the KJ
incarnations can play, they're not jazz-funk musos, but they certainly know what they're doing.

I'm in two minds on this one. On one hand, I'm always endeavouring to technically
improve my work and getting good gear is a pre-requisite for this. However, there
comes a point where sonic differences become so subtle and the cost differences so
large that things start to enter some kind of rarified audiophile realm.

I very much take exception to being told that 'A' sounds better than B, if I can't
hear any difference, then for me there isn't a difference. I read on one forum
that you should use product 'X' even if you can't hear a difference, because your
customers/audience may be able to !

Experience is critical as well as having quality gear. I remember reading copies
of 'Home and Studio Recording' in the Eighties when big studios were the order of
the day and thinking how unattainable this recording lark was and how expensive it
was. Now listening back to a lot of Eighties material recorded on those 48 track
SSL desks, it sounds pretty awful.

Back onto the subject of preamps. I bought this library recently for Nebula:
I was a little sceptical initially, but found that some of them were pretty coloured (especially the valve emulations).


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