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Messages - Robert Logan

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81
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: April 23, 2008, 04:24:07 AM »
There's a sample of 'A Deeper Silence' up now. Sounds quite nice, though obviously with a two minute sample it's impossible to tell...

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I also think 'sublime' doesn't mean quite the same thing to people anymore, so the sense of opposition between beauty and 'the sublime' wouldn't necessarily be apparent (unless somebody was already familiar with the content of Burke's essay.)

I haven't read this essay by Burke, but Robert have you ever read Nietzche's "On Those who are Sublime"?  It's a chapter from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and I've always found it a wonderful read.  A link here with a translation not too familiar to me:  http://nietzsche.thefreelibrary.com/Thus-Spake-Zarathustra/37-1

Thank you very much for this! I was indeed a great (and challenging!) read. The only Nietzsche I'd read until now was 'Beyond Good and Evil', which I really enjoyed.

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Thanks for the kind words Lena and Leech! It makes the obsessive hours put in all the more worthwhile.

I changed the title of the album for quite a boring reason really - it was shorter and sounded a bit less bombastic! The Edmund Burke essay is still referenced by a quote from him on the album sleeve. I also think 'sublime' doesn't mean quite the same thing to people anymore, so the sense of opposition between beauty and 'the sublime' wouldn't necessarily be apparent (unless somebody was already familiar with the content of Burke's essay.)

By the way, leech, I showed your description of 'Garden' to Sarah Sarhandi. She seemed very happy that the music had such an effect on you. :)

Thank you Mike for all your help and for getting this project out there!

(ps - I'm twenty years old. :P Not that that's relevant, anyway. It's just the music that matters. :))
 

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:59:49 AM »
[...] Check this dude's (from ambientmusicguide.com, which dubs itself 'a guide to essential ambient and downtempo albums) review out:

During the 1980's Steve Roach albums were modest in number but consistent in quality. The 1990's and beyond are a different story. Literally dozens of solo and collaborative works have appeared since Sound Of The Earth and their appeal varies enormously. The most difficult of these tend to be works centred around the themes of palaeontology, shamanism and the primordial mind. The dominance of these themes marks a shift in focus from the outer worlds of his middle period music (eg. the impressionism of Western Spaces) to exploring the evolution of our own inner worlds. Unfortunately albums like Origins (1993), Artifacts (1994), The Magnificent Void (1996) and Early Man (2001) retreat into dark worlds of dissonance and strangeness where melody and harmony are virtually outlawed. The sound is one or a combination of rhythmic tribal elements, atonal soundscaping and grim atmospheres. It's fine in moderate doses, certainly, and some hardcore Roach fans swear by such works. But like most dark ambient they are an acquired taste and if you're a newcomer to his music, forget it.[...]

I’d say that this 'ambientguide' is a very poor guide, failing to properly represent the nature of the music while smearing the representing of the tastes of the ‘guide’ all over it. For a start, it departs from the premiss that the 80s Roach albums are some kind of benchmark of ‘quality’ against which what follows is somehow degenerate. This is a value judgment presented as simple fact. The ‘ambientguide’ sets up a kind of opposition between the early period Roach (= ‘quality’), against which later period Roach is assessed (= ‘difficult’). The question of ‘difficult for whom’ is begged. Personally, I find more Roach works from the pre-90s period ‘difficult’ – this is entirely subjective admittedly, but the guide somehow smuggles his value judgments in under the guise of analysis or description.
And it is simply wrong to state that the later works mentioned are characterised by ‘dissonance’, and that ‘melody and harmony are virtually outlawed’. This is based on a simplistic assessment that’s clearly  made by a non-musician. I can state - from my knowledge as a (non-practising) musician - that there is plenty of consonance, melody and harmony in these works, albeit much of it not of the dully conventional kind that must have been deployed by our cloth-eared ‘ambientguide’ as part of his inadequate assessment scheme. The last parts of this ‘review’ consist of lazy journalistic tropes and facile dismissals. I can think of any number of newcomers who would respond to e.g. Mystic Chords... or Early Man far more positively than, say, Now Traveler or Stormwarning, for the sake of example.
This piece is just garbage, basically, dressed up in well-turned prose, through which it gets through, masquerading as authoritative. I don’t know how any authority can become attached to such toss. If this guy were my ambientguide, I’d soon lose interest in the journey.



Very well said. I too find his 80s stuff far harder to listen to, simply because I've been spoiled by the more adventurous music he released from the 90s to this day. When I go back to his earlier stuff, I can appreciate it in context and can hear that it was doing something special, but it somehow just doesn't move me like later works do. I think the presence of dissonance and the moments of suffocatingly dense sound design in his later pieces really take them somewhere very special.

That article really irritated me! :)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: March 28, 2008, 12:06:40 PM »
I love Steve's music, and his website is great for listening to clips and easily finding releases and press information - but does anyone else find that the descriptions and imagery surrounding his music can make it hard to get other people into his stuff? I mean people who normally like to explore the more unusual areas of music; people who most likely would love the musical content of Steve's discs. I know it's stupid to dismiss anything as "newage" before even giving it a try, but that does seem to sometimes happen to me when I tell people to explore the Roach catalog.

I'm not too bothered by it, and often the covers and names of his albums actually help rather than hinder my listening experiences of his music. Sometimes, though, the write-ups and names can seem a bit bombastic, while the music is actually potent in a very subtle way...



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Thanks for the thread mgriffin!

What do you think of it yourself, leech? ;)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: March 26, 2008, 02:13:32 PM »
That's funny - 'InnerZone' has become my favorite Steve Roach collaboration disc recently too. It's just epic, dense, and incredibly potent.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: February 02, 2008, 07:33:46 PM »
Yeah, I see what you mean after checking out the YouTube vids. Their later stuff is not easy to listen to. Kind of sounds like avant-garde noodling as opposed to their old music which is songs.

Mike S.





That is a perfectly valid opinion, but the quality of the audio in those youtube videos is so appalling that it is rather unfair to judge the tracks based on them. It would be unfair to judge any piece of music at that level of quality. I don't like the Draft one as much, but the CD-quality version of Ipacial Section is quite brilliant. imho.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: February 01, 2008, 05:53:22 PM »
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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: February 01, 2008, 05:55:49 AM »
Ipacial Section is great fun! Especially loud in the car - some really satisfying drum thwwwaccks to get pummled by. It's not serious or deeply moving, but it sure is enjoyable to blast it out (and possibly dance to, if you're feeling strange). I really like all the different movements and variations within the track and that ridiculous circus-melody that suddenly pops up half way through. I'm honestly not "trying" to like it, and I can see why people into "deeper" music wouldn't enjoy it too much, but I just find it very catchy and immense fun to listen to once in a while. It was immediately likeable to me.   

If I'm feeling introspective or in need of something moving, I'll put on Arvo Part, John Adams, Robert Rich, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Eric Satie - lots of others. If I need some slightly abstracted, bizarre dance music, Ipacial Section fits the bill quite nicely...(Although, a lot of Untilted is very disappointing, and that youtube version of Ipacial Section sounds terrible compared to the CD-quality version.)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 31, 2008, 05:08:37 PM »
I'd be curious to hear that! It could well end up sounding rubbish - but that'd be no different to a classically trained composer/musician having a first attempt at Max/MSP! I think you're right in suggesting that a competent combination of these two worlds is what would be very interesting - and I have yet to find that, though I'd love to. Often, I find one side or the other lacking; either the orchestrated/acoustic elements are too obvious and overly predictable in terms of harmony, or the programming is not terribly engaging.

I find what you said about acoustic vs synthetic sounds interesting, as I've heard a lot of people say that, and it does make sense. I do get moved by instrumental and orchestral works, but for me, personally, electronically created sounds can be just as moving, if not more moving.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 31, 2008, 10:43:58 AM »
I have to respectfully disagree (although I'm listening to Quaristice and finding it a little  disappointing at the moment, to be honest...)

I mean, I do find their music emotional - but not in the same way more traditional music might make me emotional. Confield especially sets my imagination on fire in places in a very unusual way; even if I can't state whether it makes me "happy" or "sad" or "nostalgic", or whatever, it does make me feeling something - something quite new and strange and very pleasurable in all its dark, organic, weirdness.

And I don't think they're simply lead by technology - they're pushing it in very interesting ways and it allows them do things that normal instruments could never do. I wish more artists explored software and synthesis in as much depth and with as much daring as they often do! Granted, what they do is very composed and often based on programmed processes and is not at all "live" sounding, but that's just them; if you want live live music, stay away! As someone who has looked into max/msp a little bit and also used some of the same live equipment they use, I can see that they're doing some very interesting things. That's not the main reason I like them, though; I like them because all that experimenting leads to bizarre sounds that do provoke an emotional response in me.

Chiastic Slide is still my favorite of theirs, though, in spite of my appreciation of their new material. Cipater is just such an awesome track, especially the way it shifts into the second section half way through and changes time signature. That whole album has such a beautiful, dark, emotionally-charged atmosphere and it was also demonstrating  some really innovative programming techniques.

Ok, enough Autecre defending for one day.  ;)I just think they deserve more credit than they're getting here; they could have easily gone on making Tri Repeataes for the rest of their careers, but I guess they didn't want to do that. I respect that.

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Looking good. Hypnos marches on, tall and strong. Roaaarrr.

I'm watching Planet Earth. Those deep sea creatures would make an amazing cover.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 31, 2008, 02:01:22 AM »
Wow, what an interesting thread. I don't know who these Autechre guys are, or what their music is like,  but seldom have I read such consistently vitriolic criticism of a band's style of music (or non-music?) You guys really do sound like scorned lovers!

However, someone out there must enjoy their music, right?

I disagree wholeheartedly with all the posts here and I do like their new music. A lot. :P

I just find a lot of their new stuff very intense, complex, alien, and yes, emotional. When it hits the mark it makes for a very exciting listen. If you want melodies, pretty harmonies, or beautiful atmospherics, there's plenty of other musicians covering that ground quite nicely. I actually really like "Confield", strange as it might sound; listening to that loud with all the lights off is a potent experience. I can see why people would find their music difficult, but I just can't help but love it. I didn't need to "make" myself enjoy it, either - it was was like finding something I had always been looking for.

I do like traditional beauty in melodic and harmonic elements etc too, and my favorite composers explore these elements in ways I love, but who says they have to be there? Why should Autechre compromise when there's plenty of music with less dissonance (including their own early stuff) out there? It's all available. I'm quite enjoyimg them pursuing these different directions, and I look forward to them becoming even more unpredictable, intricate and experimental yet. For me, what they're doing isn't random; it's involving, logical, music - it's just that they're a bit more playful with the rules than others might be. Like I said, I appreciate less "deranged" music, too, but when you're in the mood, Autechre provide something quite special. I understand why people are upset with their new direction, but my bizarre brain seems to enjoy it.

I think they are still pretty popular - the special 2cd edition of Quaristice (priced at a ridiculous £25) sold out within a day. There were a thousand copies of it...

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Hi everyone,

I just did a mix of my music and had an interview with BBC's Mary Anne Hobbs. If any of you are interested in hearing my more beat-driven, aggressive music, please give it a listen! I'm about 45 minutes into the show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/maryannehobbs/

ps - I'm not very good at interviews! I would have given completely different answers had I not been so nervous and bad at talking to strangers about my music spontaneously. And I am aware that Igor Stravinsky is NOT a 21st century composer. ;)

Enjoy!

96
I enjoyed that interview - was it live, or did you email the answers? I especially liked the more technical stuff about your setup. ;)

You did a lot better than me - I was just interviewed the other day for the Mary Anne Hobbs show, and running up to it I had all these great answers planned. But when it came to the actual event, I mumbled some fairly mundane inarticulate stuff and was too nervous to go into as much detail as I wanted...

Ah well. All with practice, eh?

97
Hypnos Label Releases / Re: Viridian Sun
« on: January 14, 2008, 04:34:11 AM »
Looks great. Will you post any samples up from the sessions before it's edited into the release? My curiosity has been kindled. ;)

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Hypnos Label Releases / Re: CD release: Nverxion - A Look Within
« on: December 25, 2007, 08:49:19 AM »
These samples certainly sound beautiful. When I get back from California I'll purchase this. Nice work, Nverxion! I especially liked From Where I Stand and In This Place I Rest, but I'll give more detailed feedback once I get the actual CD, as I'm sure samples don't do it justice.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: between interval
« on: December 24, 2007, 06:40:46 PM »
I have Secret Observatory and the Autumn one. They're both pretty lovely discs, up there with the best. I was surprised on how minimal his setup is; shows you can make good music with anything, providing you've got the imagination.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: December 17, 2007, 01:30:03 PM »
I'd be really interested in your opinions on the workshop things Steve Roach and his wife are doing...

http://steveroach.com/live/workshops/

I've never heard about that horse stuff before. Has anyone been on one of these retreats, or knows anyone else who has? Is the price fair?

I haven't got an opinion either way. Just curious.


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