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Topics - drone on

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221
Hello, just thought I'd share with all drone enthusiasts like myself (with a name like Drone On, what did you expect?) a new label out of Belgium run by Daniel Crokaert of the amazing Mystery Sea.  Unfathomless appears to be more based on environmental soundscapes, from my understanding, than the typical drone style.  First release is by Mathieu Ruhlmann.  These releases will be limited editions of 150-300 but pressed CD's instead of CDR's and a higher quality paper for the booklets (no inkjet printer).  There's also a limited edition companion CDR (50 copies) by Ruhlmann that can be purchased as a special edition set with the main release.  Nice website, too, with sound samples for the two Ruhlmann discs. 

222
Any Groove label fans here? I bought a couple of the new releases via Hypnos. Ron Boots' "Beyond the Boundaries of Twilight", has been in heavy rotation here.  If not the best thing he's ever done, it comes close.  Powerful, majestic, and beautiful from start to finish.  He really nailed it on this one.  Then there's "In the Blink of an Eye" by Create.  This was disappointing in that I like this artist's past work on Groove (thought "Spacetime Continuum" was excellent), but this album isn't very cohesive. More like a collection of tracks, and the Berlin-school sequences are good but nothing special.  If I had to grade it I'd give it a C+.  I also ordered "Lost on an Island of Adventure," which I'm hoping will be more satisfying.  There's a new Paul Ellis disc and Gert Emmens, which I also haven't heard yet...

223
Other Ambient (and related) Music / David Sylvian "Manafon" new CD
« on: September 16, 2009, 12:01:56 AM »
Went to my local record store to pick up Robin Guthrie's new one on Darla ("Carousel") and lo and behold the clerk stocking all the new Tuesday releases holds in his hand a brand new release by David Sylvian, which I wasn't even aware of until today.  The cover art on this is gorgeous!  Bought it of course with hopes that the true followup to "Secrets of the Beehive" had finally seen the light of day.  My biggest fear: that it's the followup to the awful "Blemish", full of atonal glitch noise, little or no melodies, and more avant-weird gloom packed lyrics.  Unfortunately, it's the latter: sparse, barely-there music, atonal guitars, Fennesz (again), no atmospheric synths, no drums, disjointed and bizarre lyrics, etc.  This album is a bit warmer and a few tracks are quite good (but would've been better with a full band arrangement).  I dunno what DS is aiming for with his releases now.  I don't think he's going to win many new fans with stuff like this (and possibly he doesn't care one way or the other).  It's interesting, it's avant garde, it's different, but is it good?  I may grow to love this, who knows.  One difference I hear now compared to the "classic" Sylvian is the romantic side to him seems to have been replaced by a kind of bitterness and increasing isolation which manifests in somewhat bizarre, non-sensical lyrics.  It's hard to relate to much of the imagery, it is so esoteric and "out there" (or should I say "in there"?)  Sometimes I think after his divorce he went a little extreme with the gloomy lyrics and bleak music.  With such sparse backing music now, I don't know if the records hold up on the strength of THE VOICE alone, but it seems to take precedence now whereas soundscaping and the MUSIC was the true strength of his earlier solo career.  I guess I am still hoping he will snap out of it and get Steve Jansen (playing real drums instead of laptops/programming) and Fripp back in the studio and produce something gorgeous (and more traditional) again.  Any opinions on this subject? I apologize for this long-winded post, especially if you hate Sylvian. 

224
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Sigur Ros' first CD
« on: September 14, 2009, 01:01:47 AM »
"Von," the Icelandic band's first album, is some seriously GREAT ambient space music.  In fact it shouldn't even be filed as a "rock" album.  I had heard most of their output after this 1997 debut and thought they were interesting but highly overrated.  Von is nothing like the post-indie rock Radioheadish stuff they did after this.  How to describe this...if Edgar Froese circa '74/'75 met the cosmic space guitars of Slowdive circa '93/'94, while Pink Floyd circa '71 and Eno circa '83/'84 sat in at the mixing desk, it might have sounded like this.  If you go on Amazon and read the reviews, most SR fans didn't seem to care for it as there weren't any "songs", save for one track (and it's the best "song" of anything SR did after this debut).  I see Amazon has 30 used copies starting at $6.99.  Don't miss this one, it is spectacular!!!

225
Hypnos News and Announcements / Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« on: July 26, 2009, 11:16:28 AM »
I was wondering whatever happened to the planned new release by Viridian Sun and the reissues of Jeff Pearce "Daylight Slowly" and Nebula's second album.  The only news updates I ever see are for new items in Hypnos store...

226
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Faryus/Bondarenko 8 Atmospheres
« on: July 15, 2009, 12:25:06 AM »
Hats off to the Faria label for this wonderful album of Budd-like piano mixed with haunting, gently disorienting drones and electronic treatments.  ONe of my favorites of 2009 so far.  The Mac Mavis "Report from the Lake" disc is also excellent.  Some very interesting sounds here, an artist to watch who has his own style. File under: aquatic ambient.  PS: I believe he is no relation to crooner sensation Mac DAVIS.

227
Everything and Nothing / slow (like molasses) music mailorder
« on: July 09, 2009, 06:30:51 PM »
Although it's unreasonable to expect every mailorder/online music company to be as quick as Amazon, I've run into some recently that really do take their time in getting out items, and I really don't understand this.  The worst offender: RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL.  These guys proclaim all orders will ship within 7 days of payment, yet my last order shipped 16 days after payment.  Another RMI order I placed before that was similar, took almost 3 weeks to get my item...  I finally received a LOTUSPIKE order after almost 2 weeks, which was shipped from the same state I live in.  I placed an order on a Monday, and that weekend received a message stating my order had shipped.  When I finally received it at the end of the following week, the postmark indicated it shipped two days after it had supposedly already shipped.  Music mail order with speedy delivery: HYPNOS, DiN, Rapoon--they are consistently excellent!

228
I was just going to mention this one in "now playing" but this is just too great to mention in passing.  My expectations of "Mirrorball" were not that high after the recent Foxx collaboration album with Steve Jansen (ex-Japan, Sylvian, etc.), which was so disappointing (a bunch of ambient noodling with no soul is how'd I'd describe that one).  Guthrie's guitars are chiming and gorgeous as usual, but it's Foxx's Gregorian chant-like vocals a la his "Cathedral Oceans" series that really shine and bring everything together.  A very beautiful, spiritual album, and highly recommended.  Definitely a high position on my Top 10 list for 2009 so far.

229
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Rapoon "Dark Rivers"
« on: June 07, 2009, 11:52:54 PM »
To those who "gave up" on Rapoon releases, this one's for you.  I decided not to order this one initially from the short sound samples I had heard, plus the last couple of releases were pretty uneven and too experimental for my taste.  Dark Rivers, however, is one to get: dark, very droney, and much more like his earlier music, but with a more hi-tech (i.e. not "lo-fi") sound.  No weird female vocals, no overuse of spoken samples.  He got it right on this one. 

230
Tonight I picked up the new Harold Budd/Clive Wright CD, "Candylion."  Wow, this one is SO much better than "Song for Lost Blossoms"!  While Blossoms was a good release, some of the tracks were just too long and I felt it could have been a stronger album overall.  Candylion benefits from shorter pieces/more musical ideas, plus it is just stunningly gorgeous music.  This has everything I ever liked about Budd's music.  Some of his best music in years!!! 

231
Everything and Nothing / Have you ever paid for sex?
« on: June 06, 2009, 10:39:55 PM »
If I don't get, ahem...relief, soon, I am contemplating doing this.  Besides being illegal/risky healthwise/morally wrong, is there anything good about it?

232
Hypnos News and Announcements / Hypnos store problem
« on: May 17, 2009, 11:51:42 PM »
Anyone else having a problem ordering from Hypnos store? I keep getting "internal server error," and I've tried ordering on three different computers, with the same result. 

233
Everything and Nothing / They Don't Make Them LIke they Used to
« on: May 08, 2009, 07:52:00 PM »
Is it just me or is the state or current rock music incredibly sad??  Am I just getting old (41) and just not "hip" anymore?  I've been playing a lot of "old stuff" like early/classic Journey, Genesis, Yes, etc. and DAMN it makes you wonder where the MAGIC went in rock n'roll.  Now playing: Journey "Captured".  What a f'ng KICK ASS band they were!!!!

234
This is an amazing disc, seek it out if you like deep floating ambient.  Thanks to the review on Electroambient Space.  This album delivers what I had hoped the Eluder CD on Infraction would do. ;D

235
Am I just imagining it or is the sound quality on the Japan mini-LP replica CD's better than the digipak reissues of the Brian Eno catalog?  I compared Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks --digipak and Japan reissue--and was convinced Japan version sounds better.  I've replaced them all now, with the exception of "The Pearl."  Cannot find a Japan issue anywhere online. 

236
Listening to this new Cyclic Law disc by Lacus Somniorum, "Tideshaper."  This is a collaboration between Gustaf Hildebrand, who has two CL releases to his credit, and Amanda Votta aka The Floating World, who was featured on the recent Hypnos compilation "Echoes of Polyhymnia."  I loved her track on that, and "Tideshaper" definitely does not disappoint.  Hildebrand's dark ambient soundscapes are given a new dimension with Votta's voice, flute, and electronics.  The album concept as stated in the press release is describing places unseen by modern civilization or that we will never see ourselves.  This album definitely succeeds in that!  Spooky and surreal yet very beautiful and mysterious, this reminds me of the soundtrack to the final sequence in Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey.  "Tideshaper" is without a doubt one of the best Cyclic Law releases to date.   

237
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Asianova?
« on: November 30, 2008, 04:12:09 AM »
Anyone into this group?  I had seen the name for years and recently discovered some group members made up Voice of Eye (from the mid-90's).  I checked out their Soundclick page and the samples I heard were amazing.  Cosmic drone stuff, very intense and "out there." I think they've only had one CD release (on Eibon Records), the rest have been on CDR. 

238
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Audela: great cosmic space album
« on: November 30, 2008, 04:07:44 AM »
I happened upon this self-titled CD by Audela (on Plague Recordings) in El Hypnos Store-O under the "closeouts/last copies" section.  Man I'm glad I got this. This is one awesome disc. Highly recommended if you like: Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Viridian Sun, etc.  Spooky, mysterious outer space headtrip.  Apparently the inspiration for the music was Jupiter's Great Red Spot.  Check out the amazing cover art, too!!! The disc itself is a photo of Jupiter, nice!  This was limited to 222 hand-numbered copies.  Don't know much about this artist but  will be investigating more for sure.

239
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Undiscovered Moons of Saturn
« on: November 26, 2008, 12:39:17 AM »
I discovered this artist via doing some research on Procyon-X (see my post on his excellent "Ghost of Orion" CD), and found UMOS's music is as amazing as the name of his project.  The artist is from New Zealand and style-wise, like Procyon-X, this artist appears to align his work with the "dark astral ambient" genre as opposed to the "ambient space music" category, although some self-descriptions found online referred to Klaus Schulze, Eno, T. Dream, which makes sense once you hear the music.  His one album so far, "Lost in Cosmos," fuses deep floating space synths, neo-classical elements, and doom metal via some menacing grungy guitars that weave in and out of the mix.  If you liked Oophoi's "Celestial Geometries," Lustmord's "Black Stars," or some of the more cosmic Cyclic Law releases, you will probably be into this.  It's dark ambient space music but maybe less abstract and more melodic/structured than those mentioned above.  Apparently his album was originally released on CDR but will now be reissued shortly on CD.  I am definitely ordering this when it comes out.  I'd be interested in opinions about this music, so check out his myspace page, search "undiscovered moons of saturn" in myspace music.  3 nice long track samples available. 

240
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Steve Roden "Airforms" CD
« on: November 23, 2008, 11:04:54 PM »
"Airforms" is a very good disc of ambient minimalism which reminds me of Eno's sound installation recordings.  Anyone familiar with this artist? He appears to be more of a "sound artist" than "ambient musician", and judging from his website and a couple interviews online the "art" he does is (to me anyways) pretentious modern art, in that the methods and/or explanations of how the art was created seem to be more important than the end result.  On "Airforms" low-end electronic drones are mixed with processed breathing sounds.  It was created for an art installation in which concrete is poured over balloons.  Anyways, photos from the installation make for a very esoteric cover art for this Line/12k album, which was limited to 600 copies.  Bottom line: I like this sound art release, but I don't foresee filling up my music collection with too much more of it.  :-)

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