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Thank you, Richard !

Audio samples are here : www.dataobscura.com/proddetail.php?prod=DO-063
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'Music for Bats' ?

Of course 24/192 is the way forward - but more for our canine friends than us :)
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Specta Ciera + The Circular Ruins "Middle Distance" CDr

Specta Ciera is Devin Underwood (Boston, MA), while behind The Circular Ruins is hidden no one else but Anthony Paul Kerby aka APK (London, Ontario), the leading mastermind behind DataObscura label and several other projects. His extensive discography since 2002 needs no bigger introduction here (also Nunc Stans, Lammergeyer, The Winterhouse), but Specta Ciera is a rather newer name on the map, although I came across Devin Underwood's name for the first time in the summer of 2011, when focusing on his collaboration "The Vivid Unmapped" with Jacob Newman, released on DataObscura the same year in May. "Middle Distance" (CDr), was released the end of March 2014 and is packaged, as usual for all releases on this sympathetic Canadian label, in a slim poly case. Featured are also subtly elegant graphics by Angela Weiser.

The album unfolds with the title track "Middle Distance", a soothingly floating and meandering drone piece, carefully enriched by various, constantly emerging embellishments, always richly colored, some breathy, some rather ear-tickling, some nearly intangible, but always appearing in authentic harmony with scenic expansions. Calmly immersing intro!!! The 3-minute "Promontory" is intenser, heavily percolated with shoreline sounds and crossing through gorgeously evocative archipelagos. Brief, but very effective. On "Solitary Window", which reaches only one and a half minutes, distant sea waves can be heard and observed, but the center stage is stolen by deeply pensive piano and glitchy reminiscences. Very short, but long forgotten memories are immediately unlocked and hauntingly expressive ambience fills the room. "Falling Into Place" quickly slips into more eclectic terrains, sculpted with assorted peculiarly sounding emergences, although some relieving glimpses can be caught when children's voice samples permeate here and there. The middle part is slightly calmer, while toward the end the piece moves back to noisier soundfields, albeit continuously decreasing into murmured undulations. "Depth Perception" returns to drone terrains, but reinforced by an array of sonic accompaniments, ranging from lushly twinkling to high-tech piercing. Uniquely yearning and reverberating. "Past Tense" incorporates a slightly cavernous feel, but soon harsher drones invade, again augmented by various fragments like tinkles, sparks, groans, stringed tensions or noisy swells. 10 minutes of quite bizarre soundsculpting. "Virtual Image" opens with windy restless drones bridged with trickily arising sonic subtleties and nostalgically permeating picturesqueness. "Gathering Evidence" dives into soothingly floating realms, but too ephemeral, because diverse voice fragments step in along with piano morsels and various, nearly ear-splitting tinkles. But the closing part returns again into pure tranquility, and is hauntingly embracing. "Tesla", with 10-plus minutes the longest piece, opens with cavernous drone, progressing and creating resonating spirals, perforated by crystalline tinkles, enigmatic echoes, dissonant circuits and jarring outbursts. Weirdly mindscaping!!! "Empty Verandah" closes this album and it's another, slightly longing composition precisely merging background monochromatic drift with touching crescendos.

"Middle Distance", nearly one hour long, is certainly an amply flavored joint release requiring deeply perceptive listening, so plug in your headphones and explore this unconventional soundcarving. Always fully ingenious with many rewarding entrances into uncharted drone ambient territories. Immersing, disturbing, transcending!!! Together with this physical CDr album was released at the same time on Bandcamp a digital download only EP featuring 6 additional tracks from the same sessions, entitled "Different Perspectives". And last but not least, both artists have now in the pipeline their new releases. The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr has been announced already by DataObscura, release date in November 2014. And Devin Underwood will return too, with his second collaboration with Jacob Newman, "Sending The Past", on Carpe Sonum Records. So stay tuned, but in the meantime make sure to discover treasured "Middle Distance" recording!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 20, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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There is a lot going on Pete in a very good way.  The diversity really works.  It flows, comes and goes, disappears, resurfaces.  Looking forward to Iris!
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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« Last post by thirdsystem on Yesterday at 04:19:55 AM »
A good few things posted in this thread recently I need to check out urgently, especially that Winged Victory for the Sullen.

Currently listening to.....



Pete Namlook/ Tetsu Inoue - 2350 Broadway 3. I think, for me, the Broadway albums are the definitive ambient series on FAX if not ever. Just wonderful.
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Independent Music Reviews / Robert Scott Thompson - Arcana
« Last post by Morpheus Music on Yesterday at 03:20:48 AM »
STYLE    
Electroacoustic ambient.
Robert Scott Thompson releases here an album that is both full of enigmatic ambient space and elegantly understated melodic forms. The drone textures are intricate and multi-layered, employed in masterfully intangible motion, elements of familiarity and peculiarity within constantly rising into focus and dispersing once more. The melodies at their best are truly sublime: sometimes simple patterns that hang within the ambience, sometimes auditory lattice-works that balance the drone forms, then unexpectedly developing into climactic flushes of emotion that really touch something important inside. The tracks ebb and flow between uncomplicated hovering atmospheres and uncluttered tuneful motifs with a pleasant balance that keeps the attention hooked from start to finish.
 
IN DEPTH         
Arcana is one of those precious few albums that truly deserves to be referred to as deeply immersive. The complex layers of involvement of this album will both send you into wistful abstraction and draw the mind into attentive examination of constantly evolving detail. Promotional material explains that "the Hartmann Neuron is strongly featured on this recording, as is the prepared piano, acoustic percussion of various types and also extended percussion techniques." Guest percussionist Stuart Gerber is credited with percussion samples and performances, most evident on Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight where his studio performance is further enhanced by Robert's own treatments and modifications. Presented with a professionalism and musical sensibility rarely experienced, Arcana unfurls climactic moments of aching beauty with delightful subtlety. That said, this is not an overly emotional creation: often minimal in structure and form, Arcana at times reveals barely-lit voids that suggest nuances as much as describe them.
 
TRACK BY TRACK         

LIMINAL WORLDS
The album opener Liminal Worlds is a lazy, gravity-free piece of meandering charm that spirals in the shadows of beguiling possibilities. Near-percussive, ascending phrases repeatedly climb up from a lush, textural bed lured by ethereal voices that move back and forth between the electro/organic divide. The listener is invited in, to cross the sensory threshold...

IMAGINATION IS MEMORY
A searing swirl of layered tone sweeps us into Imagination is Memory. The sombre low-light obscurity that opened Arcana gathers here whilst similar ponderous phrases shift slightly in their upward motion - a little more buoyant, warm and restful. The notes seem comprised of multiple voices: effected piano, struck strings, oriental metallic bowls - it's hard to tell where the ears are working and where the imagination takes over. At just over three minutes, this piece quickly passes...

NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES
The air of mystery that wafted through the first two tracks thickens at the introduction of this track as shaken particles fall across discordant piano and cow-bell tinkles. As the great ambient drone bed of this composition wells up a huge sense of depth falls open, yet instead of tumbling in, sonic light beams seem to keep the listener afloat. These gentle, inviting synth strains of heavenly elegance are cast into the air creating a delightful interplay of melancholy beauty and uplifting luminance that seems apt to last forever.

ARCANA
The title track - the longest track at eleven minutes forty eight seconds - retains the radiant beauty of its predecessor. The darkness that surrounds everything is by now a familiar friend perfectly suited to perception of the nuances of gossamer tone that float and drift in shifting flux. Now the strongly-effected melodic patterns seem deep within the mix; piano-like/guitar-like embellished with chimes, peculiar disturbances and snaking air movements. An echoing rhythm sets in as the track progresses propelling the piece onward with an easy, nodding motion that finally fades once more into the expanse.

UNWOVEN
Whirling winds drop the listening temperature as a weave of harsh metal fibres and atonal threads push through dangling chimes into a night-time emptiness that carries a sense of disquiet and anticipation. Still the sonorous note patterns of previous tracks remain - muted strikings, woody at times, then more like large, thick metal bowls - barely melodic, wandering.

EPOCHÉ
The title is an ancient Greek term describing the theoretical moment where judgment regarding the existence of the external world is suspended. It suggests the act of refraining from any conclusion for or against anything including that of judging whether anything exists or can exist. Robert Scott Thompson chooses this concept as a doorway to a build up of warmth and tranquillity: airy synth breaths and weightless strains floating freely in graceful simplicity.

LAST HOURS OF ANCIENT SUNLIGHT
This is perhaps the most overtly beautiful track on the whole album. Opening with light finger-cymbal, gamelan bell, splashing bowl tones the mood is quite exotic and mystical - swaying rhythmically. But then at about the one-minute fifteen-second mark there is a delightfully climactic release followed immediately by a welling harmonious build toward further such moments. Lustrous, aglow amid the enveloping darkness, this meditative nocturne hypnotically teases the senses conjuring colours and faint fluorescence into meandering spirals that finally fall away into obscurity.

IN SITU
Less percussive than its predecessor, In Situ is a vapourous wafting of fine layers that ponderously heave in slow-motion undulations of pitch and intensity. Very much retaining the uneasy mix of introspective serenity and enshrouding gloom, this track seems to loop and cycle in endless reverie.

WANING IN THE GLOW OF UNKNOWNS
The set finale looks back to the melodic approach taken in Arcana and The Last Hours of Sunlight: uplifting, dulcet phrases dreamily wandering through a heady ambient fog. Again the sonic sources are hard to identify, calling to mind struck or plucked notes with Eastern timbre often prominent. The eventual final fade to silence is one of pleasing consonance - aptly titled.
 
ARTWORK          
Arcana is delivered in an elegant, tactile two-panel digipack. The front and back covers show details of a painting by Victoria Bearden that is revealed in full within. Brush marks, paint scrapes and sharp expressive movements curve and roll across the surface in almost metallic shades of grey and blue. A classical white border frames the front panel wherein sits the title; on the rear the white ground becomes a central panel holding track titles each with running time alongside. Here too are credits and label logos. When opened out, the inner cover reveals a powerful painting of a female figure that spans the whole spread: brightly lit, yet surrounded by darkness into which the face turns, this enigmatic character physically embodies the album's themes.
 
OVERALL         
California's Robert Scott Thompson delivers his latest release through the Relaxed Machinery label. Taking around two years to complete, the music explores the composer's interests in quantum physics and recent discoveries that are shaping our views regarding the nature of reality: infinite parallel universes, the power of thought, dreams and memory. Infusing his ambient arrangements with a wealth of electro-acoustic instrumentation; software synthesis/signal processing and hardware synthesizers form the backbone of Arcana. Robert explains, "I collect sounds and use them in a variety of ways, from placing them in samplers for compositional use to using analysis based techniques for modification and extrapolation. The nine tracks of the CD release are complimented by "several exclusive bonus tracks" found only on the digital release including the immersive 24-minute ambient track "Zero Point Field". These bonus tracks were recorded during the making of the album. You can explore the music for yourself at Robert's Bandcamp page or via the Relaxed Machinery website both of which provide images, audio and additional information.
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Thats a great essay APK.

I have been running my studio through a Lavry AD/DA setup for quite a while.  The man will not create anything above 96k.  Below is an introduction to a paper he wrote.


The Optimal Sample Rate for Quality Audio By Dan Lavry, Lavry Engineering Inc. May 3, 2012

Imagine that you and a friend were standing at the base of a lone hill in an otherwise flat plain, and you start walking up that hill towards the top. Now imagine that when you reach the top, your friend tries to convince you that you can go higher up the hill if you simply walked twice the distance forward from the base. You would probably pause for a moment, look around, and quickly realize that continuing forward would just take you back down the other side of the hill! This concept of an optimum is not hard to understand, but in digital audio circles more and more people are taking the word of their friend the salesman, who tells them to keep on walking.
In this paper, I will cover some of the myths of higher sampling rate and illustrate how higher sampling rates can actually reduce accuracy in audio conversion. Moreover, I will attempt to elucidate the existence of an optimal sample rate and how conversion at higher or lower rates compromises the accuracy of the audio signal......

Heres the link to the continued white paper highlighted above. Have to say a fair bit of this goes way over my head :o  http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-white-paper-the_optimal_sample_rate_for_quality_audio.pdf
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This is what the future of physical product will be....welcome to the  "Audiophile" domain.  Physical media is becoming a commodity.  A collectors game, (obviously not you drone on) where price does not matter, the more limited and the more it costs the more it needs to be possessed.  Why make something and price it as if its out of print when its just released or will be shortly

The soundcloud demo is astonishing beautiful.  I wish in a way it was crap, because that pricing is BS but i have great respect for the artist and love their work so Im torn.

Is 750 limited?  Perhaps for these two it my be.  Maybe they normally press 50,000 cd's!   

Heres a link....https://soundcloud.com/timstorymusic/lazyarcexcerpts
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Old story, but just let people believe in this myth…there is clearly a market with huge money for it.

Congrats to the industry  ;D
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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Technical: bit rates, sampling frequencies, and digital audio.
« Last post by APK on October 22, 2014, 01:30:48 PM »
This is a mighty fine technical essay on digital audio that shows why higher and higher bit and sampling rates is a waste of time ... and space. Well worth the read if you don't already know this stuff. Or if you thought you did, but actually dont  ;)

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html#toc_lt

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