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Messages - petekelly

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Guitar
« on: April 22, 2008, 01:36:28 AM »
Well it appears I may well have been wrong about 'ambient guitar' being overlooked,
judging by the many artists (mostly unknown to me) named here

Dave, I checked out the Scott Solter album's mp3 snips - very nice.
Hi Jeff, cool to see one of the top (IMO) ambient guitar geezers reply. I tried that Ebow thing - wierd one ! I couldn't get much out of the one Sundummy posted - maybe I was doing it wrong.  ???


Not wishing to hijack this thread, but I think it might be interesting to open out the 'ambient
guitar' discussion into a wider er, forum. So I've started a separate thread in the 'Everything and
Nothing' section, if anyones interested.


Everything and Nothing / Ambient Guitar
« on: April 14, 2008, 09:11:54 AM »
The electric guitar as the primary source for creating ambient music seems a tad overlooked.

I agree with Alan that it can be the processing that makes the sounds interesting, but not
necessarily just a bit of scratchy, glitchy jiggery-pokery kind of thing. The software available now
can really transform the source sound - naturally, it helps if people play something interesting in
the first place ! All manner of looping, granular synthesis, spectral manipulations and the like
allow for a lot of scope.

I was pretty much introduced to ambient by Eno's music, so I initially thought it was all treated
synths and Rhodes Piano, but I discovered lots more.

For me one of the most evocative 'ambient guitar' styles is David Sylvian's volume pedal / tremelo
arm combination. 

I've used electric guitar as the primary sound source on almost every one of my albums and I'd like
to develop some guitar ideas further - I'm working on a technique to get a kind of a Harold Budd
'sound' on the guitar and am still working on various ebow techniques.

Interested to hear people's thoughts.

Pete K

To me, the 3 minute sample of 'Static' really does sound very good.
I have to say I'm somewhat ambivalent about a lot of material that is raved about on this here forum - but this is right up my street.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: March 31, 2008, 01:32:55 PM »
Curious to know why this kind of debate is always about Steve Roach ?

How come you never see something like this about Robert Rich (for example) ?
It seems Robert is allowed to just get on with his music without some people feeling the need to
publicly 'big him up'/chastise any 'off-message' nay-sayers periodically.

I'm stating the obvious, but any artist isn't going to appeal to everyone and saying something
to the effect that a listener 'doesn't get it' if they don't like artist 'X' is a bit pointless. 


Everything and Nothing / Re: State of the music business
« on: March 14, 2008, 10:23:26 AM »
Part of the changing nature of the Record Industry is the way that music is made.
The 'democracy' of doing everything in-house (or 'in bedroom' more typically :) ) naturally has positives and negatives. One area this applies to is mastering. The tools are now affordably available (I'm referring to software here primarily). Given experience and a good ear, the artist can do a good enough job themselves. I agree with Tony's points, but there's also great sounding 'bedroom creations' out there as well.

I would imagine most ambient artists can't afford to have their work externally mastered any more than they can afford a pressed CD run (and have hundreds of lovely pressed CDs in the basement for years to come)

For most people, 256/320 kbps mp3s are indistinguishable from CD quality audio. I'm not making any judgements on this, but I agree that a higher quality option would be a welcome option for the people who are more concerned with fidelity. Ian Boddy's 'Musiczeit' venture offers Flac downloads as well as mp3s.

Personally, I don't think there's any difference between a pressed CD and CDr in terms of audio quality - unless (as has been said previously) the CDr has been burned too quickly. I also believe that audiophiles should enjoy their systems as much as most people with average to good quality gear enjoy their music collections - Depeche Mode's 'Songs of Faith and Devotion' album sounds pretty lousy to me these days, but I'm not going to stop listening to one of my favourite albums for that reason alone.

The download music genie is well and truly out of the bottle, the big record labels are doomed and piracy is rife. I wonder how the indie labels will fare in time...


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 06, 2008, 02:24:57 PM »
'The line between plagiarism and intertextuality/recontextualiztion has become blurred anyway, as notions of authorship and originality have been problematized.'

Alan, could you explain your point a bit more lucidly ?. I'm curious as to what you mean by this statement.
How has the the issue become 'problematized' ?  - is it a problem ? 

Transcontextuations !


Have had chance to listen to this properly now, here's some of my thoughts.
I actually think it's quite a diverse compilation (I don't get any 'theme' as such)
There's a high production standard throughout and the artwork is very effective (as is the title).
Well done Mike, a very professional production all round !

The hilight tracks for me are the following:

'Scarecrow' by Kirk Watson - Very interesting sound design / textures

'Ghost Nebula' by dreamSTATE - Probably my favourite track, great use of Tonal colour and texture

'Strange Attractor'by Seren Ffordd - Very dark and very effective as a dark ambient piece - ominous bass !

'Behold the Trampled Wheat'by Dwight Ashley - Builds ominously then concludes with a beautiful outro section

I also particularly enjoyed the M. Peck and Justin Vanderberg tracks.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 15, 2008, 01:22:50 PM »
The Gasman - bloody marvellous IDM. It's like some kind of warped mental excercise 'following' his stuff, such is it's quirk. Current faves from his 'The Grand Electric Palace of Variety' album:

'Electric Coconut' (says it all really)
'Bontempi Lutein'

and 'Spector' from his 'Love Collection' album.

Also listening to (and reworking) the fantastic Mrs Jynx


Don't be concerned that you may not understand some of Alan's (Undershadow) writings.
I'm English and I don't always follow them !
I think he's working on a new variant of the english language :)


Everything and Nothing / Re: Your MySpace experiences ?
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:01:12 AM »

Sorry to hear about your experiences with undesirable types. I have to say, I wouldn't set up a
personal profile myself.
I find it interesting to see how artists are using MySpace, some artists really 'work' it and are
busy leaving thank you comments and the like, they seem to be getting the most 'traffic'. I've found
that it takes quite a while before your profile reaches a 'critical mass' and you start getting a lot
of requests from people outside your 'circle' of friends.

I really do dislike the way some artists really 'whore' themselves though, if I see loads of tarts on
their friends list, then I always refuse their requests. 

As a contact point where you can have a blog, 6 tracks for people to stream/download, the ability to
have videos/pics and be able to sell Cds from your profile, it has quite a lot going for it.
The hacking/phishing is a pain - I change passwords regularly and approve comments before I let them
go on my profile and I've not been hacked (so far!)

Finally, (IMO) it's not ideal, but it is a great networking site for musicians and being an ambient
musician, I need all the help I can get !


Very stylish design and aesthetics.

Interesting material (Irezumi), but the line on the snowblood site referring to him as 'Without any
doubt the best ambient artist of his generation,...' may be contentious.

I do like the 'Eksynyt' tracks I must say.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Tools for rhythm-making
« on: February 03, 2008, 07:03:48 AM »

I very much recommend FLstudio (formerly known as Fruity Loops)

It's a fantastic program for 'beat based' stuff, I do all my Formbank stuff with it.


Everything and Nothing / Your MySpace experiences ?
« on: January 30, 2008, 10:21:34 AM »
Was wondering about people's experiences here of MySpace ?

In some ways, I think it's something of a 'Fake Space', full of no-hoper bands and 'Suicide Girls'
tarts and the like. I've seen lots of profiles with awful music on which are heaped with praise in
the comments section. There's also some quite shocking images posted on some profiles.

On the other hand, (for a musician) the networking side really does work. The correspondence I've had
with other ambient musicians has been very encouraging (the private messages thing that goes on
behind the scenes), as has been the comments and messages from fans and 'friends'.   

I would say that the vast majority of previously unknown artists' music I've come across recently has
been from Myspace and the 'viral' nature of it leads to a degree of 'cross-pollination' that I don't
think exists anywhere else. To me it seems that all too often in the ambient world, people are
communicating with the people from the same world (usually about the same artists)...

Any thoughts ? 


Chuffin' 'eck Alan !

I'd say that there phrase were right elegant - does tha not get blokes's gist like ?
(I hear they speak proper funny in Brizzle)

Apologies to the US dudes for lapsing into ye olde northern English, but sometimes one simply has to.
Yup, Friday night is Chardonnay night too here in Flame acres.

chin chin

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: AtmoWorks Releases
« on: January 10, 2008, 01:14:44 PM »
The work of Peter James and Disturbed Earth (and 'Still Earth', their collaborative project) is very strong. I rate these blokes highly.

Good on Atmoworks for making their music available.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 08, 2008, 03:16:13 PM »
Someone has put up the Tube performance of Stump's 'Tupperware Stripper'
Fantastic !

I would imagine Joe R will dig this.


Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 08, 2008, 01:16:10 PM »
'Flicker' - Collaboration with massively talented UK based ambient artist 'Achromus' (Michael Stringer)

I'm producing it effectively, as I'm reworking Mick's original tracks and adding the 'Igneous touch'.
It will be finished spring 2008. We're both big fans of David Sylvian's 'Gone to Earth' and while it
won't reach the dizzy musical heights of 'GtE', it's a kind of template I'm bearing in mind.

Pete K


Have downloaded 'Dark Edges'. I re-assembled my (temporarily dormant) surround setup to hear it.

Very cinematic, great production and dynamics - very impressive.'Dark Edges' is much more percussive
and dark than what I've heard of Stuart's other work. It's a pity more people couldn't hear it as it
was intended (DVD-A), but it's great that Stuart is making it freely available in this format.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: December 28, 2007, 02:18:31 PM »
A shot of my studio would be very dull - as I use very little hardware. However, here's an arty shot
of 2 things I use a lot - My Ebow and my lovely Tokai Les Paul copy.


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