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Messages - Hypnagogue

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281
Everything and Nothing / Re: A game just made for ambient music
« on: May 09, 2008, 08:17:44 AM »
Both games were very cool.  Bill, you have a sick sense of humor! ;)  I didn't do that well, either, though I was able to get my head into the paper shredder twice. ;D

Forrest

I particularly like putting on the paper mache horse-head and having my co-workers slash me...

It's a pinata!

282
Everything and Nothing / A game just made for ambient music
« on: May 08, 2008, 01:22:57 PM »
A friend sent this link earlier. I clicked over to it and naturally happened to have a bit of ambient going in the headphones. Something slow and quiet and ethereal. (Like right now...Jeffrey Koepper's "Distant Light" from the Etherea CD.) And it was a match made in heaven.

So grab a nice drifty disk, or bring it up on the 'pod, put on the headphones and mesmerize yourself playing The Hell of Sand.

283
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 14, 2008, 06:30:55 AM »

Speaking of Sword 'O Truth...  the first book will be a tv miniseries coming soon.


Hmm...wonder how they'll handle the S&M overtones... :-)

I met the author one day in Cambridge, MA. Briefly. He was doing a signing for "Wizard's First Rule" at a little sci-fi bookstore. Sitting there, quite, quite alone...

I rather imagine he'd be swamped now.

(I read the first three and got very tired of them at that point. But "First Rule" is a superb novel.)

284
Everything and Nothing / Re: Hello Hypnos!
« on: April 11, 2008, 01:27:14 PM »
Let me beat Andrew to the punch a little....his disk "Xenofilika" is a great listen. I reviewed it late last year, and said: "Throw Shadowfax and Planet Drum into the same room, close the door and let them jam. The result will undoubtedly sound a lot like Rhizomorph." Very nice stuff. Welcome, Rhizomorph!

285
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 09, 2008, 07:30:53 AM »
Ah, Tom Covenant. The series responsible for no fantasy writer being able to sell a single stand-alone novel, ever again. ;-)

I tried to revisit these a while back. I remember that the first three seemed fresh and intriguing back in the day. But I also recall that the second three were depressing and slow-moving. The real problem I had with the series, especially in trying to re-read it, was that it's just so hard (for me) to buy into that whole "I must not use this amazing power I have been given" concept. Give any normal guy the power of the white gold ring and point us toward our enemies, and we'll pretty much burn a swath through the bastards, howling with glee and holding a cold beer in our free hand. (Conan had it right..."To drive the enemy before you...to hear the lamentation of the women...") But all the heavy, angsty "Oh no what have I done" stuff that permeates this series (and so much fantasy fiction)....gah. If you can't handle the ring, Tom, give it to someone with some balls and let's get this Lord Foul thing cleared up! :-)

Have any of the fantasy geeks out here read any David Gemmel? (Legend, Heroes of Dark Renown)

[Oh my...I just Googled him. Seems he died two years ago...] :-(

286
Everything and Nothing / Come closer, Philly...
« on: April 03, 2008, 06:54:33 AM »
I just wanted to share my pain with the board. Last year I made the trek from Boston to Philly for The Gatherings to see Steve Roach and Jeffrey Koepper. More than just the concert itself, the whole Gatherings experience--helping Chuck & Co set lights and run wires (inept as I may have been), being invited over the studio (after playing roadie and lugging gear, which was actually a blast)--just to be in that whole incredible atmosphere, among people who didn't look at me funny when I mentioned Steve Roach, was a really addictive thing for me.

So yesterday I got Chuck's postcard for the upcoming season. And I wept. Because while the whole card is good (of course!), three shows absolutely tug me toward Philly....and this boy just can't afford three treks. (Buying a house, friends...to quote the esteemed philosopher Simply Red, "Money Too Tight to Mention.") Therefore--lament with me, friends!--I shall not see the Jeffrey Koepper/Jason Sloan show in two weeks. (And this, after Sloan hooked me on his music with the live broadcast a few months back.) Lo, I shall not make a cool fall journey to see Ministry of Inside Things (who reside perpetually within my iPod!) and M. Peck and Mark Mahoney (same for them! O, Gallery of Subtle Smiles!). But I do hope that come cold November, having endured, having saved myself for them...I will indeed be there for Tim Story, Dwight Ashley, and H-J Roedelius.

But damn, it's hard to pass up those other two shows....

287
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 02, 2008, 12:43:05 PM »
While looking in the library for a copy of a book I saw at Borders, with all of Moorcock's early Elric stories crunched into one volume (I don't usually buy books because I rarely re-read), I decided to give a long-overdue read to Larry Niven's "Ringworld." Quite enjoying it. Loved Niven's Known Space short stories as a kid--rediscovering him as an old guy.

That's me being the old guy, not Larry. Who is even older.

288
Hope no one minds if I toss my freshly finished review in here....

The new Hypnos compilation Sounds Of a Universe Overheard is another of those disks that are hard to review cogently because it’s another of those disks where somewhere in the middle you suddenly realize just how far you’ve drifted along the soundcurrent without realizing it. And then, noting same, you try to be more mindful but within a short while you’re floating again, quite pleasantly so, and you wonder how you’re ever going to comment on something you can’t entirely recall, other than to say it was so lulling and lush that you can’t entirely recall listening to it. Hypnos head M. Griffin has done an amazing job not only of culling together from disparate sources a soft and dark blend of slow-moving ambient, but of seamlessly melding them one track to the next. There are no bumps here, no abrupt switches in styles. Griffin opens the disk with the geometic precision of Jonathan Block’s “The Language of Rocks” before fully immersing us in the flow. The listener is carried through the shadow-cave depths of M. Peck’s “Somna” and “Nitrous” by Freq.Magnet, the latter coming dangerously close to inducing a hypnotic state, and on through the descriptive aural text of Kirk Watson’s “Scarecrow” as it glides from its creepy beginning to a more soothing sense. From there, dreamSTATE launches into the spacey drone textures and sighing distances of “Ghost Nebula,” depositing the listener in the nervy, penumbral landscape of Seren Ffordd’s “Strange Attractor,” perhaps the darkest and sparsest track on the disk. The dark continues through Dwight Ashley’s “Behold the Trampled Wheat,” painted as always in the artist’s beautifully murky palette. This track takes the listener briefly out of the drone zone toward the end with some gracefully orchestrated string sounds. Justin Vanderberg dials it all back down with the smooth, drawn-out washes of “Infection.” Glimmers of light peek through the well-drawn shadows across the span of Igneous Flame’s gracefully soaring “Pandora” and Tau Ceti brings the disk to a gentle close with the soft fluidity of “Float.” Universe is dense, rich, and heavily layered with sonic imagery. I cannot call out a highlight here, despite the inclusion of several artists I rank as my personal favorites, because the disk simply has to be taken as a whole—a whole and wholly engaging voyage through a universe which does, indeed, deserve to overheard. Often. Sounds of a Universe Overheard is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

289
[To be posted soon to the Hypnagogue site]

Kudos to Ben Fleury-Steiner at Gears of Sand for consistently finding superb new artists. This time around it’s Con_Sense with Compass—a rich, deep work that seamlessly melds dark ambient textures with irresistible beats for a fully immersive listening experience. The disk begins with the sinewy electronic slither of “Threshold,” a thick undergrowth of drums and jumbled sounds punctuated with sudden balalaika-like bursts. “Tarika” ups the beat ante with a mechanical clank-and-throb over the rise and fall of ghostly vocals, and begins a gentle Middle-Eastern vibe that carries into the wailing voices and percussive atmosphere of  “Gathering From Step Beyond.” From there, “Structures” insinuates itself quietly with a jazzy downtempo beat and hushed tones like half-heard secrets. The fantastically hypnotic “La-U-Tir” charges in next powered by a driving beat and a barrage of electro-birthed sounds. Halfway through the percussion drops away suddenly, and it’s like a reprieve, however temporary, from a forcible groove. This is the pure highlight of the disk. The lengthy drone of “Sirius” then moves in slowly, a welcome sonic balm that calms like a long, soul-felt exhalation. An easy beat rises to complement the quiet base without disturbing the relaxed feel it’s imparted. This is a beautifully meditative stretch, time well spent inside the sound. Then it’s back into high gear with the potent bass twang and long-hanging pads of “Compass Error” as they swirl upward in an ever-more-complex spiral of sound. The disk closes with “Starry Sky,” replete with appropriately twittering, glistening sequencer lines. This is a disk that will most certainly get a lot of repeat play, and offers enough depth and layering of sound to reward subsequent listens. Have I gushed about Compass enough yet? Clearly, this is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

290
Everything and Nothing / Re: terry fator
« on: March 02, 2008, 10:07:54 AM »
Don't worry, Mike. We're all here to support you during this difficult time.

And though it may seem a small consolation, I do want to point out that at least Lena didn't confess to having a thing for mimes.

Because for that you really would have had to kick her to the curb.

291
Everything and Nothing / Re: terry fator
« on: February 29, 2008, 09:58:04 AM »




Can't.....stop..staring at.......his...hair.....

292
Everything and Nothing / Re: terry fator
« on: February 29, 2008, 09:57:02 AM »
Terry's amazing. I really enjoyed watching him on America's Got Talent. I think when you first see a ventriloquist dummy (unless it's in Jeff Dunham's hands) you go, "Ohhhhh....no." And then Fator breaks out with the singing and....wow!

But I must say, the guy Fator beat out, singer Cas Haley, is something to listen to as well. Great voice, funky blend of reggae and rock on acoustic guitar. www.cashaley.com.

293
Everything and Nothing / Re: CLOVERFIELD!
« on: February 20, 2008, 10:29:02 AM »
Have to agree with Bill on this one. I geeked out and had to see it. Normally I hate going to the movies. I always feel like I've pretty much peed away my $8 and lost 2 hours. Not this time 'round, oh no.

Agreed that this HAS TO be seen on a big screen. Your TV's not going to do it justice. The whole point of this movie is to put you smack-dab in the middle of Hell, and it takes 20 feet of screen and an ass-kicking sound system to do it. When this thing gets going, it doesn't let up.

I loved that you don't get a big "here's the monster!" shot for the vasts majority of the movie. You get glimpses--glimpses like you'd get if you were in the middle of downtown Manhattan with smoke and dust and craziness all around you and this enormous thing is wending its way between buildings and you really, really don't feel like standing there trying to get a look. Especially not when jet fighters are slamming missles into it and it's a block and a half away.

I have to add, though, that digging into the viral marketing that was done around the movie fills out a lot of information that was not in the movie. There's no typical monster-movie moment where a scientist conveniently explains where this thing might have come from and how. This isn't a big lizard woken up by an atomic blast--but it IS awoken by something, and that something makes the very, very smallest of appearances very, very late in the movie, and unless you read the viral stuff--which I only did after the fact--it's not going to make an, ahem, splash with you.

I love that Abrams & Co. didn't go the easy-explanation route. Because if you were in this situation, you wouldn't know. You'd have nowhere to stop and get your convenient information from. You'd only get to know much later....if you survived.

See it, see it large, and try not to puke. Motion sickness is a definite threat. But damned if the flick isn't worth a little hurling. :-)

294
Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 19, 2008, 02:29:59 PM »
Major Matt Mason had some serious adventures in my neighborhood, exploring planets on his jet sled. And I was all about that cool yellow visor you could open and close.

Another fave was a helicopter toy--had a central "base" with the chopper attached to it by an arm. Up, down, forward and back was all you got out of it...but then there was the hook that you could lift stuff with...oh, yes, I lifted stuff.

295
Everything and Nothing / Re: Help the playwright do some research
« on: February 07, 2008, 01:55:06 PM »
This is perfect, folks. Perfect. You're a blessing.

peace & power,
js

296
Everything and Nothing / Help the playwright do some research
« on: February 07, 2008, 11:55:51 AM »
So maybe an ambient discussion forum isn't the place to ask a question about recording technology during the hair-metal days, but I know there are some folks here within my age demographic who may have, in their day, slung an axe with great sonic force while wearing spandex--for which they may be forgiven--so maybe one of you will have an answer.

In a piece that I'm currently working on, the main character had been in a fledgling metal band in the early 80s. (Think Ratt, Poison, Cinderella.) The band was offered a recording contract by a very small, extremely modestly funded local record label. A master was cut for an album. Here's where the questions come in...

At that time, for an outfit that probably couldn't afford the best of the best in recording equipment, what would the recording/storage media have been? Would the master be cassette, reel-to-reel, very early digital? How many tracks might it have been? 16? 32? (I'm thinking 32 might actually be too high for the type of operation that's in my head.)

In essence, the main character ends up in possession of the master--in whatever format--and has been keeping it hidden for 25 years, working on it here and there. So I need to know what it is he's got.

Any takers?

297
Everything and Nothing / Re: Your MySpace experiences ?
« on: February 01, 2008, 11:41:44 AM »
In my tiny little mind, I like to think that my myspace presence helps get the word out about this community of artists. I've purposely limited my friends list to musicians, and I have a listen to their stuff before I admit them. I've gotten requests from pop bands, folks bands, etc. But I started it as an adjunct to the Hypnagogue site, and it's my hope that here and there a non-musician or two, one of the curious and unwashed masses, might wander in and discover a Lena or a Pete Kelly. But the guard's always at the door...you know, so no Suicide Girlz slip in undetected. :-)

298
Glad to see another artist grabbing hold of that ustream.tv thingy that Sloan used. Will have to try to stay up like a big person to watch Altus perform!

299
"At first we called ourselves The Originals, but there was another group of lads called The Originals, so we changed our name to The New Originals..."

300
Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 12, 2008, 10:27:11 AM »
I don't mention it much when I'm wearing my Hypnagogue mask, but yes--been writing plays since 2002, and it's been a blessing.

For the curious: www.johnshanahan.net.

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