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Messages - Mark Mushet

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 08, 2011, 12:35:21 PM »
I suspect that the packaging for ipods, etc. (and the materials to make them) is not greater than the materials for cds, LPs, etc. but I could be wrong.

I can't imagine we could get a complete data overview at this time but it would certainly be helpful.

There is no contest between, say, a CD digipack in a light wrap vs. virtually any hard plastic encased, plastic insert nestled iPod. Even the little ear buds are way overdone in terms of packaging. Then there's the retail floorspace now dedicated to the marketing of such things.

Now, as CD/DVD sales move online, more packaging is required and more transportation infrastructure and energy is used in the music retail industry equivalent of the single occupancy vehicle multiple trip model!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Serious listening?
« on: November 08, 2011, 11:10:44 AM »
I completely agree. Worse still is the fact that the conditions you describe affect our ability to communicate effectively in other aspects of our lives. Politics and daily social discourse is affected in myriad ways. Relationships suffer, levels of potential connection to art suffer. After that, producers begin to pander to the condition so that complexity and nuance in all aspects get dumbed down.

OTOH I see some glimmer of resistance from young people who are seeing this all take place.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 08, 2011, 10:17:42 AM »
I think the whole movement toward downloads (music, books, movies, whatever) is a good thing, in the long run.  Seems like a huge savings in packaging resources, fuel for shipping, etc.

Unfortunately there is a grim parallel to the photo industry here. People thought that the near-death of film would be better for the environment. Bzzzzt! It meant that even more mining and orgiastic production of gadgets took its place. And instead of film sections in photo and drug stores we now have massive racks of batteries. 

All those Chinese e-waste peasant worker-bound obsolete Kindles, iPoos etc. need replacing at ever increasing rates. All of this, of course, eventually relates to our corporate overlords' need to ensure supplies of heavy and other metals from sources in Africa and, in China's case, the sea floor. The political ramifications are obvious. This is why the US has forces in central Africa right now, not for Obama's stated reason of doing the right thing vis-a-vis the excesses of the Lord's Resistance Army or whatever.

And in terms of packaging, one only has to look at the layers of plastic even the smallest gadget accessory comes embedded in.

In short, we are doomed as a civilization. Meanwhile I am grateful to Amazon for keeping Canada Post alive with all the *individual* CD shipping needs necessitated by the demise of bricks and mortar outlets.

OK, now to put on the new Harold Budd CD and pretend there is nothing wrong in the world...  ::)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 07, 2011, 05:52:37 PM »
I was just in a record shop yesterday and stood by as several 20-somethings bought up vinyl records. I continue to see beautifully done CD packages produced on a small scale by those who weren't even around for the peak of CD consumption. So, not too worried really. As long as players are made...

Though I will say that cassettes really can and should disappear!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: November 04, 2011, 05:14:45 PM »
Tetsu Inoue - Yolo CD

Love this cover! Um, how does it sound?

I know Barry very much preferred properly pressed CDs to having to go with CD-Rs. If I recall correctly we had a few conversations about the Opal Eno installation soundtrack CD-Rs (at $28 bucks apiece) failing soon after release (all but one of mine are now toast).

Your thinking on this does make a certain amount of sense but I've had too many non-labelled CD-Rs fail on me as well. In this case, Barry's CD-R is playing in one CD player fine. But in the MacBook it literally grinds to a halt. That may be the result of the combination of the drive design/sensitivity and sticker placement thickness.

But in any case I must ask: "What would Barry do?" I think he'd be pretty frustrated and wish it had been pressed as a proper disc!

Another reason to absolutely loathe CD-Rs: I just found my copy of Barry's  "A Smooth Surface - Special Edition" disc. Of course, it loaded and virtually self destructed in my MacBook's CD drive. Was barely able to get 5 of the 6 tracks loaded into iTunes to salvage them. It's made by TDK and appears pristine. CD-Rs are absolutely fucking evil...and I can't e-mail of phone Barry to get a replacement...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Tiny House Blog
« on: October 27, 2011, 11:23:47 AM »
Going small does seem to make an affirmative statement about our materialistic, consumer-driven culture.  To keep my space manageable, I've tried focusing on a few things that can be controlled incrementally, like the size of music collections and space for newspapers, books and magazines.  Limitations force you to make choices, which can be a good thing.

In Vancouver, 600 sq. ft. is a typical condo size. For one person, as long as essential amenities and social and cultural facilities are nearby, this is totally fine. For a couple/family? Not so much.

I find a well laid out space of that size (mine is around 675 including a balcony) is there's room for 2000 CDs and a reasonable number of books!

PS, Forrest, thanks for the CDs you sent awhile back. Much appreciated! I wasn't sure if I'd gotten back to you to say thanks.

Interesting viewpoint on a new six-hour song by the Flaming Lips.  Though the author of the article mentions Andy Warhol's long films, he doesn't mention Robert's Rich Somnium, LaMonte Young's "Well-Tuned PIano," or even Philip Glass' "Music In Twelve Parts":

I think I'd rather have six-hours of ambience than of experimental skronk.


Exactly. There's a reason the Lips languished for so long before hitting it big: they didn't have anything interesting to offer until they started to write some great, keening pop songs a la those found on "Yoshimi".

Viva Somnium!

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Moving eye-candy
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:42:14 AM »
I finally watched Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" yesterday and enjoyed it immensely... aside from the pretentiousness of it all.  Beautiful cinematography, and he really captured "childhood moments" in an amazing way.

I saw this last night and was enthralled with the visual approach to the childhood/family material. But I totally lost interest when he started ladling on all the stock footage, CGI dinosaurs and imagined, romanticized computer renderings of the cosmos. It just ruined the creation of a universe in a backyard which, really was the greatest strength of the film. Let's leave the other stuff for variation of Baraka.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 16, 2011, 11:17:06 AM »
Harold Budd - In The Mist

I was initially a little concerned for the presence of a string quartet on this but I think the use of strings on this is so perfectly and lightly integrated into Harold's usual gossamer touch with impossibly beautiful yet melancholy moods that...well, it's perfect!

Ernst Reijseger - Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Soundtrack to the Herzog doc which is best not seen in 3D. Short, atmospheric vignettes for cello, cello and voice, wood flute and choir and various combinations thereof. Really lovely.

Magazine - No Thyself

A high school-age, post-punk fave miraculously re-appears with solid new material in 2011. It may not have the initial impact that was possible some 30+ years ago but it's growing on me and does manage to sound both like their past and present selves in just the right balance.

bvdub - I Remember

Let's face it; there is a tsunami of escapist, middling-quality drone music out there struggling against a tide of indifference. I need a few more listens to this but I think and hope it may be one of the standouts of the year.

Binary Orchid - Radioactivity

This trio of Arve Henriksen, Gulli Gudmundsson and Wolfert Brederode is a previously unknown (to me) gem! Discovered it in Amsterdam at a fantastic 5 storefront-long CD store called Concerto. Subtle, lovely and a must-have for Henriksen fans. Brederode also has a new release on ECM which is top-drawer as well.

Charanga Cakewalk - Chicano Zen

An always enjoyable modern blend of Tex/Mex, cumbia, various folk and other musical traditions orchestrated by Michael Ramos out of Austin, Texas.

The Doors - Morrison Hotel

I'd never listened to the entire album in all these years. It's great, really.

Mark, those old pictures of Barry on Facebook certainly surprised me when I first saw them. He was one of those people with no qualms about putting 20-30 year old pix up on social media sites. I heard at least a couple of people guess he was much younger based on these old photos.

Don't most people do that? He had a mix of photos and was always clear when they were from. I think he did lack a nice, more recent portrait though. That's common too.

From Barry's FB page. Taken in 1980 in the desert. Love this shot of him!


Those of you who have followed Hypnos for any length of time will certainly have noticed that our releases stick to a sort of visual template. This is intentional, an effort to create a visual identity for the label, something to bind all the releases together. Barry had a number of requests as to layout, type, artwork, packaging and so on, and I had to insist over and over that we couldn't diverge from the Hypnos template to the degree he was requesting. Once I make an exception like that for one artist, then the next guy wants a 16 page booklet, and the guy after that wants a white border instead of black, and a different font and eventually your label's visual identity is gone.

That's not to say everything everything went smoothly. The average Hypnos CD package design might go through 4 or 6 or 8 revisions before we get the artwork and the text all worked-out, proofed and dialed-in to everyone's satisfaction. The design process for SOTV took several months, perhaps 30-40 revisions. But when it was done, Smile on the Void was a beautiful package and a wonderful recording.

Thanks for the back story to that, Mike. I do recall one or two testy moments with regard to orientation of my photos for the package. Barry flipped on me a bit for not wanting the images flipped! But it was a minor glitch and all is, as you suggest, worth it in the end.

I knew Barry from the 80s when he sent cassettes to me for a radio show at UBC.
Barry was very generous and kind and I was happy to see him more recently in fighting spirit on Facebook and taking a keen interest in all things LA.

One of his FB posts a few months back was a news clip about prostate cancer and there was a small hint that it was now of concern to him as well. Not sure how/if that became a bigger issue in light of this news.

Anyway, as we all know, the music is still with is that great pic of Barry from years ago with the shades, in the car, in the desert...some kind of great Antonioni outtake!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 15, 2011, 08:58:21 AM »
John Foxx/Harold Budd/Ruben Garcia-Nighthawks

How is the new component of that, the Ruben Garcia disc? I have the original edition of the other two and can't imagine it needed remastering.

np: A. Produce & Loren Nerell's "Intangible" just starting to get into this one and let it sit in the player for days on end!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: loscil interview
« on: June 09, 2011, 10:08:03 AM »
Unfortunately the VR is too much of a "general interest" read, so getting hyper-esoteric about ambient music (as we do here) wouldn't have flown!

BTW I'll trade you affordable housing for the view any day now! ;)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / loscil interview
« on: June 06, 2011, 01:40:45 PM »
Hi all,

Just posted an interview with loscil on the VR website:

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 02, 2011, 08:03:11 AM »
coast / range / arc - loscil
As Pleat - FourColor
Emeralds - Robin Guthrie

A more static, steady state take on mountain ranges from loscil
Excellent mix of acoustic and subtle electronic micro bits from FourColor
More of the lovely same from Robin

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 25, 2011, 02:49:04 PM »
I've been playing 76:14 a lot lately, after a few years of not as much.

Personally, I like the extended re-mix: 76:15

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