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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Jaja news
« Last post by richardgurtler on April 01, 2017, 08:00:08 AM »
Wow, what a great news, Jaja, I definitely stay tuned for 3CDr edition, I can't miss it!!! My order will follow soon. All the best and keep on stargazing!!! :)

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Jaja news
« Last post by stargazer on March 31, 2017, 11:32:18 AM »
My new album is out now:

This album features pure instrumentation by the Roland XV-88 and the Lexicon PCM92. As always, this is ultra quiet music.
The recordings are from live sessions in late sommer nights of 2016. The music is totally inspired by the star Arcturus.

One day on Arcturus in a dream of time....

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / The making of the music for Arrival
« Last post by Julio Di Benedetto on March 28, 2017, 06:35:51 AM »

Amazing movie that I highly recommend if you have not seen it.  This is a fascinating look at the making of the film score to Arrival

The composer Johann Johannson is score the upcoming Blade Runner movie  8)

I replace the original video with this similar one. 4/23/17
Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Starfields" 2xCDr by Jaja
« Last post by richardgurtler on March 27, 2017, 10:23:23 AM »
Richard: Thank you for sharing your wonderful review here. Yes, I plan CD releases of Through the belt of Orion, Beyond the horizon & my upcoming album.  :)

Wow, what a great news, Jaja, I definitely stay tuned for physical editions!!! :)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Last post by Seren on March 27, 2017, 12:29:09 AM »
A number of Terry Pratchett discworld books found in a charity shop:
Soul Music
Thief of Time
Interesting Times
The Colour of Magic
Lords and ladies
Small Gods
Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Starfields" 2xCDr by Jaja
« Last post by stargazer on March 26, 2017, 02:01:05 PM »
Richard: Thank you for sharing your wonderful review here. Yes, I plan CD releases of Through the belt of Orion, Beyond the horizon & my upcoming album.  :)
Yamaha CS-15 synthesizer - Ambient Chillout Soundscape Music

Performing relaxing ambient music on Yamaha CS-15 analog synthesizer.


► Buy Music:
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Starfields" 2xCDr by Jaja
« Last post by richardgurtler on March 25, 2017, 07:12:39 AM »

Jaja "Starfields" 2xCDr

German deep space voyager Jana Rockstroh alias Jaja has released "Starfields" originally as digital download during March 2015. Its physical version is out since December 2016 on Jaja's co-owned Cyan netlabel as a double pro CDr edition packaged in a transparent poly double DVD case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, featuring immersing astronomy photographs by Roy Uyematsu, who already contributed to several previous releases by Jaja, for example "Stellamare" or "Starlight". The double album is available in a limited edition of 20 copies and as usual for all Jaja's physical editions, it looks really elegant!

First CDr, comprised of four longer pieces clocking between 12 and 23 minutes, unfolds with 22-minute "Starfield I". Warmly gliding stratums immediately invade my listening room, precisely counterpointed by distant contemplative bells and intangible eerie groans, while smoothly evolving introspective vistas permeate here and there. Additional continuously ascending and evanescing movements join rather monochromatic-driven layers along with unexpected ephemeral cyber-tech rumbles. "Starfield II", the longest ride here, moves into slightly heavier, persistently undulating and intriguingly reverberating domains infused with weeping quietudes, rawly ear-tickling glimpses and embracing traces of silence. The shortest part on this disc, "Starfield III", straightly dives into unfathomably nebulous realms propelled by drifting, sinuating, humming, expanding and diminuendoing layers and reinforced by subterraneanly titillating cyber-biotic vestiges. Dronescaping bliss certainly awaits here!!! "Starfield V" is announced by crystalline effects and then it slowly unfolds with hovering flatlined, yet serpentinely gliding drone pervaded by resurrecting, both transient and magnifying cybernetic patterns and oracularly abyssal calls. Stunningly engulfing soundscape!!!

"Starfield IV", with 26:45 the longest track on the whole journey (thus the switching with "Starfield V"), opens the second disc with monumentally expansive drone, masterfully cascading from ambiguously spellbinding through desolately awe-inspiring to warmly panoramic realms. Transcendentally gossamer disruptions arise occasionally along with crescendoing meridians and invade delightfully monolithic magnitudes. Wow, a truly mind-bending odyssey!!! "Sternenmeer" (or "Sea Of Stars") is as much intense, although more weeping and meditative than its predecessor. Constantly traversing through breathtakingly expansive plateaus and tenebrously enrapturing stillness, yet always fastidiously augmented by a myriad of ear-tickling bells and diaphanous chinks. The listener is unlocking the gates of deeply contemplative heaven and the closing "Starfield VI", only a few seconds shorter that part IV, focuses on soothingly meditative, microscopically granular embroideries, but this magnificently enveloping extraterrestrial emptiness is infrequently punctured by assorted ear-piercing scraps. A profoundly minimal sonic alchemy at its most efficient!!!

"Starfields" double set offers over 150 minutes of fascinating tour de force stargazing adventures, meticulously shaped by one of the best deep space soundscapers on the scene. Jaja's potential is amazingly broad and tremendously flexible, even if always strongly connected to outer space theme. "Starfields" is an exemplary showcase of this highly accomplished artistry, but these words easily apply also to a number of other outstanding Jaja's releases such as "Endless" (I have reviewed this one in January 2016), "Sparkles", "Milky Way", "Stellaris", "Starlight", "Stellamare", "Cosmos Vol. I (collaboration with Spanish kindred journeyer Ran Kirlian, spotlighted in January 2014)... And since the New Year's Day 2017, two brand new albums "Beyond The Horizons" and "Through The Belt Of Orion" are available, both in digital formats only, but as always, I really hope one day they will end up on physical formats as well. Bravo, Jaja, your creativity deserves to be applauded!!! Keep on odysseing!!!

Richard GŁrtler (Mar 23, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Mythology and folklore are alive today because we retell the stories. With each telling, a new interpretation is born and new meanings are added, taken away, enhanced, or erased. With each new medium, stories evolve, they can highlight new areas of myth that werenít there before, or had been previously lost to history. Mesopotamian stories, the stories of Gilgamesh, Tiamat, Marduk, are were many of our myths began. Yet so much has been lost or remains untranslatable. So much so, I believe, that it is up to mythopoeia to begin recreating it, retelling it, revitalizing it. In a world where new mediums are developed all the time, what is their goal, their purpose in myth recreation? Valanx, an experimental drone project Iíve talked about before, is releasing a new album called Radiant Orbs of Abzu and it deals with, I believe, the recreation of the primordial myth: The Absu.
Nearly every culture on earth has a creation story, and in those creation stories, the world as we know it came into being in a violent manner; from chaos, from void, into order. The Hebrew concept of the Tehom, the primordial abyss, the Nordic Ginnungagap, and the Mesopotamian Absu. Each of these is where creation came from. For years and eons beyond count there was nothing but these voids, these nothings, these abysses from which nothing came. This is chaos, formlessness. Absu, or Abzu as Iíll call it from here on out, are the formless, fresh waters that exists beneath the world in ancient Mesopotamian mythologies. Abzu, both a primordial being and one of the primordial forces of chaos and entropy, is the mate of Tiamat, the salt waters. Their offspring slew Abzu and in retaliation Tiamat created monsters, creatures that she hoped would destroy her children and revenge her mate. Yet out of that chaoskampf came the world. Order, such as we see it now at least, came out of the formless chaos that was before.
But why? What was the point of creating, well creation, in the first place? For eons beyond measure there was simply nothing. Chaos doesnít necessarily mean there was chaos or anarchy as we see it today. Chaos is the amorphous, amoral thing that existed before creation, before time itself existed. So, truly, what was the point? Why was creation necessary? Was it something that was bound to happen? Did the primordial forces of chaos and emptiness have no choice? Was this their choice? Did they set things in motion by producing offspring or were they merely pawns in the game of existence? In reality? Is reality what we call this order?  Why? Chaoskampf is the struggle against chaos to create order, but what is the struggle of chaos to remain? Does chaos have a right to exist? Was the creation of order a violation of reality?
Does the Abzu still exist? Is it a physical place like Lake Vostok or the hundreds of underground lakes and seas we find in cave systems? Is it one of those things that existed but no longer does? Did it pass from reality to the realm of ideology? Does it exist there today? What are we meant to understand about the Abzu? Why have stories about it still persisted to exist even today?
That is where I believe mythopoeia comes in. We cannot fully realize what the Abzu, and the cosmological concept of chaos meant to the old world. We can learn bits and pieces from the writings they left behind but we are still, overall, powerless to create what it. But does that mean we cannot recreate it? Mythology and folklore have always evolved; we can see that much at least. Look at Mesopotamia even. There have been dozens of civilizations that have come into the area, empires that rose and fell, all of them adding layers and layers of story into the mythology of the place. Absu was Abzu, Apsu, Apse, Abse, and a host of other names. It grew, evolved and transformed. Slowly, but it grew nonetheless. Somewhere, though, the growth slowed or even stopped altogether. Is the fault of the new religions in the area, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam, trying to stamp out anything from the old world rather than build off of it? Perhaps. But we are in an age where we can recreate, retell, and revitalize the mythologies and folklores of old. You can see it every day in the new forms of media and story telling that blossom each year. Look at Viking Metal, itís a new way of retelling the old stories, adding layers of mythopoeia without even realizing it. Thrusting new ideas into the light, retelling old stories with new methods to reinforce their importance. Calling new generations of people to search for the stories and to tell them again and again. So too, does the album Radiant Orbs of Abzu.
I donít believe all experimental drone, or any genre for that matter, set out to recreate the old myths but in the case of Valanx, I believe that is its purpose. Each album focuses on an old element and retells the myths, with music and sound rather than words and poetry. Valanxís last album, Ouroboros, focused on the recurring myth of the serpent that eats its own tail, symbolizing the recurring, endlessness of time and reality. Now we are given Radiant Orbs of Abzu, a two song anthem to the most ancient of all things. I thought this album, for the purpose of mythopoeia and storytelling was perfect. The entire album is just two songs, two nearly 20-minute epic pieces that recount the ancient feel of the Abzu as well as the extreme depth of the waters.
Adjectives like ďdeepĒ and ďthrummingĒ are absolutely appropriate, so much so that Iíll get them out of the way here instead of saying them over and over again. The album itself feels as though half of it were recorded in the Abzu, or at least a decently deep body of water while Arne Weinberg, the mastermind behind Valanx, used myriad percussion, drone, and distortion effects to tell his own stories of Abzu. The atmosphere created by Valanx here is akin the movies like The Abyss, and Europa Report, two movies that I think are another way of telling stories about the Abzu. The sensation of being so far from the surface that not a single ray of light can make it is terrifying, and thatís what Radiant Orbs of Abzu thrives on. Emptiness and void are terrifying in their own way, we are surrounded by ďorderĒ in the form of other people, noises, sunlight, smells, and tastes that we are familiar with. But take all of that and get rid of it, we have chaos. Isnít it odd to think of chaos as a lack of life and strife? Perhaps our idea of chaos has shifted over time as language has changed from those days in Sumer. Language has grown in complexity and variety and words that we think of now have completely different meanings.
Valanx is probably my favorite artist for this kind of music, music that purposefully retells and redesigns myths. Valanx takes everything into account when it comes to the myth. For instance, so many of the myths from those days are now connected with ďalienĒ intervention (a theory which I soundly reject, but thatís just my opinion). Everything from the Fertile Crescent has been subjected to ďtheoriesĒ of ancient aliens, from the book of Ezekiel to Gilgamesh. Valanx even gives these ideas a fold in his own retelling with creepy, otherworldly sound effects. Add to that the use of ultra-low frequency drones, you get the feeling that even in the emptiness of the great waters, something is there. Something that is not human or earthly in origin. Thereís a strange rhythm in the sound effects, in the percussion that made me, at least, feel as though there was something influence from beyond what we are aware of. Thereís a darkness in the album too, a darkness that has always existed but is rarely visited because itís not the same kind of darkness that we experience in metal or ambient. Sure we see darkness, thatís the whole point of those forms of music, right? We listen to them to experience darkness. But even that darkness is influenced and affected by the light. The darkness of the Abzu, and thereby this entire album, is devoid of even the knowledge of light. Every sound, every drone, every echo, is done in darkness, the primordial, chaotic darkness that existed before the light, before anything. Before Nietzscheís abyss, before the Saganís void. There was the darkness of the Abzu. Even if we have never, and will never be able to, experience that sort of darkness, this album offers a tiny glimpse of that darkness. Of what exists and thrives in the darkness before the light. Itís fascinating and itís terrifying. Itís worthy of hours of study and analysis and itís worthy of shunning and running from.
Is this an example of me overanalyzing something? Possibly. Was everything I found in the album something that was meant to be found? Likely. Was the way I interpreted it the way it was intended? I hope so. Yet even so, I think this is an example of the text (the music) growing beyond the intents and purposes of the author (the composer). Just as myth is wont to do, it grows beyond what the first teller means, it grows in the minds of those that listen to it and expands beyond what its original purpose was. Valanx has truly created a new wrinkle in mythology. Well done, sir!
I cannot help but say good things about this album. It was everything I hoped for from the moment I looked at the name. The Abzu, or Abzu, has always fascinated me and Valanx clearly respects the source material while adding his own dimensions, his own wisdom, his own interpretations. This is the kind of album I want to hear when I see mythological references. I want something that retells the myths. I want new angles to old stories. I want to see the folklore in a new light (no pun intended) and Valanx gave me that in Radiant Orbs of Abzu. The only thing I could have wanted more was another song, another 2o minute opus to the darkness, but considering the tactile format (a cassette) I donít think another song would have been good. I think he did perfectly with what he was up against. I cannot be more clear than right now: this is the album I want. This dedication, this purpose, this format. This. Itís only March but I have a (very!) clear front runner for Dark Ambient Album of the Year. This was an album I could enjoy as a lover of myth, as a lover of analysis, and a lover of music. You donít have to be like me and overanalyze it to enjoy it. You can shut off the lights, put on some headphones and put it on full blast. You will not regret a single second of it

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« Last post by chris23 on March 24, 2017, 08:53:21 AM »
Robert Farrugia - Slow Morning
Soft, mostly beatless, ambient textures from Archives. Beautiful packaging, featuring photos from losingtoday.
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