Author Topic: Upcoming Hypnos releases?  (Read 19815 times)

drone on

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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...

judd stephens

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 06:39:52 PM »
Yeah, there have been some bold projects lined up.  The M. Griffin/ Oophoi concept was one I still think would be cool- and James Johnson?  It would be interesting to see the direction he would take after agreeing to release through Hypnos.  Things change sometimes.  I believe Donald Rumsfeld said not so sympathetically, "stuff happens". 

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 11:28:59 AM »
+1 on this whole thread  ;D

jim brenholts

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 02:52:12 PM »
.................. I believe Donald Rumsfeld said not so sympathetically, "stuff happens". 
paraphrasing a saying in aa - shit happens!
all the best and God bless
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mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 05:06:32 PM »
We haven't dropped releasing CDs, just having a slow re-start after re-assessing how we will package our Hypnos CDs going forward.

We've released a couple of Hypnos Secret Sounds albums in recent months and we're about to start a Seren Ffordd series on HSS as well.

I should have something more to report on upcoming Hypnos-proper releases very soon.  First will be Viridian Sun - Infinite In All Directions and we'll catch up on other pending releases soon after.  Then once things are rolling forward again we'll start adding items to the "coming soon" queue again.

Thanks for your patience, everybody!  The good news is, we'll be able to sell our upcoming releases at a slightly lower price due to the simplified "green" packaging.

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 01:12:53 AM »
That's great news. After having read the "Viridian Sun" thread where you, Mike, elaborated about the new packaging of the Hypnos releases, I'm already very curious. Personally I hope your packaging is going into the Cyclic Law direction. Frédéric's label offers the most beautiful packaging in my opinion.
Just make sure you keep the fantastic abstract cover art of your CDs. The Hypnos albums I own so far (about 40) make a very homogenous unity in my shelves.

If you got news what decision you made about the packaging, it's always welcome here :)

Scott M2

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 04:29:57 AM »
We haven't dropped releasing CDs, just having a slow re-start after re-assessing how we will package our Hypnos CDs going forward.

We've released a couple of Hypnos Secret Sounds albums in recent months and we're about to start a Seren Ffordd series on HSS as well.

I should have something more to report on upcoming Hypnos-proper releases very soon.  First will be Viridian Sun - Infinite In All Directions and we'll catch up on other pending releases soon after.  Then once things are rolling forward again we'll start adding items to the "coming soon" queue again.

Thanks for your patience, everybody!  The good news is, we'll be able to sell our upcoming releases at a slightly lower price due to the simplified "green" packaging.



I'm praying that there's some sort of printable/readable spine on the simplified "green" packaging. 

drone on

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 12:16:47 PM »
Although I like Cyclic Law's artful packaging, like Faria the "special packaging" is not always most convenient, with the annoying little bags that stick to everything.  Maybe something like a glossy CD-sized cardboard sleeve (like Amplexus used to have for some of their full-length releases) would be good for Hypnos.  These days I'm coming around more to alternative packaging, as my collection grows I'm being overrun with jewel cases.  8)   

mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 01:20:14 PM »
Here are a couple pictures of a package mock-up very close to how these will end up.  



What you're seeing is a translucent vellum-type paper sleeve containing a booklet similar to the usual Hypnos booklet, along with the CD.  These will be assembled by hand and we may in some cases include additional printed materials along with just the booklet.

The envelopes are heavy, translucent recyclable paper, not true vellum (in other words, these are not made from animal skin).



Here's a closer view.  The reverse side of the envelope has a flap, but there is not gum or glue on it as with ordinary envelopes.  

Scott M2, as to your question, we're aware that some customers prefer a jewel case with a spine, so when we release these, they will not come with a jewel case/tray card, but we will make available a freely downloadable high-quality PDF of the tray card exterior so you can print one up for yourself.  I suppose if there's enough demand, we may sell a "jewel case edition" for a couple dollars more, in case there are people who don't have a decent printer, but that seems like it might confuse customers... "Which one am I supposed to order?  Is the music the same?  Is the jewel case version a "special edition" with extra tracks?  If not, then why does it cost more?" and so on.

Here's a brief written summary I recently sent to someone who asked me about this, to address the "why" aspect in particular:

Quote
The switch in packaging of Hypnos CDs is for several reasons.

First, we've had numerous customers say the "plain old jewel case" package is less special and interesting to them.

Second, we devote such an enormous amount of storage space to CDs for all of our previous Hypnos and Binary CD releases, and it's all because of the cases.  When we contemplate doing a larger number of releases in the future, it's overwhelming to think about where we would store them!

Third, there is the ecological or "green" consideration, trying to reduce the amount of plastic waste, which is important to some of our customers.

Fourth, it will allow us to doing the printing and assembly ourselves, and only pay a manufacturer for the CDs themselves, and not the rest of the printing and packaging.

Fifth, it will reduce the up-front cost for each CD release, meaning that we can sell a smaller number of copies in order to break even on any given release.  This will allow to release more music, and to take a bit more risk on music we might not have been able to release on Hypnos in the past.


There are many things we like about conventional jewel case CD packaging, especially when using high-quality paper for the booklets.  But the up-front costs for such releases become more and more of a problem, especially as CDs sell fewer and fewer copies.  We want to continue to release high quality CDs in nice packaging with beautiful artwork, but we want to do it in a way that is simpler, and results in reduced tonnage of plastic in our garage!

We've been brainstorming for over a year on this, trying to come up with the best possible combination of options.  

We like the Faria and Cyclic Law packaging, except the non-standard shape/size make them more difficult to store on ordinary CD shelves.  We really wanted to do something the same size as an ordinary CD jewel case.

It's possible this plan may be modified as we go along, but this is the plan for now, and we'll try it out on the next few Hypnos releases, and we may move the Hypnos Secret Sounds releases from slimline plastic cases to the paper envelopes as well.

I'm curious to see how people will like these once they've seen them in person.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 01:22:46 PM by mgriffin »
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SunDummy

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 03:14:28 PM »
I love the new package - this is exactly how I packaged my last few releases.

Maybe you could have a Hypnos sticker to seal them?  Something uniform across all releases, maybe vinyl, with removable adhesive so it's reusable?

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mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 04:19:24 PM »
I'm sure any change like this is bound to annoy some people.  The one aspect I struggled with the most was my reluctance to give up the printed spine, so that discs can be easily identified from the edge when stored on a shelf.  I couldn't come up with any acceptable package that included a square spine like that, while allowing us to print and cut the materials ourselves.

Regular manufactured CDs have the printed materials made at professional print shops, where they have expensive die-cutting and fold-scoring equipment we don't have.  Without these things, cutting and folding your own tray cards is really difficult and prone to screw-ups. 

We looked at cases similar to DVD cases (clamshell/snapper design with a clear plastic sleeve on the outside, into which you can slip a printed paper cover) in CD case size, and we almost decided to go this way, in fact I purchased a large quantity of these cases.  It just felt less professional and less elegant, I guess.  We may find a way to use this package style at some point in the future, as this package type has some real positives going for it.

We also considered variations on Umbra, Faria, Cyclic Law and other "folio" or "sleeve" type packages.  I like those labels' releases very much and each has positives going for it, but I really hoped to cut down on plastic if possible.  Also the sticky flaps are annoying at times.  I know I'm reluctant to remove the printed materials from some of these plastic-sleeved releases because I don't want to deal with trying to get it back into the sleeve again, and sticking the adhesive to the paper.  The other downside to these formats, at least in my opinion, is the non-standard size.  I like the larger size from the point of view of more printed area = bigger artwork = nicer to look at.  But I don't like storing these items on my shelf.  My own copies of these labels' CDs are stuck off to the side of my CD shelf, not sorted where they should be alphabetically.

I also thought about doing the Hypnos CDs the way we do the Hypnos Secret Sounds discs (except using pressed discs instead of CDR discs), which would simplify a little bit from what we're doing.  But we still wouldn't have the spine print, unless we went to one of the special j-cut slimline cases, as we've seen with the Blue Oasis releases and a few others.  Those look nice, but the cases are hard to find, and I consider it a plus to have a package that has easily replacable components. That's one of the positives of both our Hypnos and HSS packaging, which is that if the case breaks you can easily replace it. 

Our translucent paper envelopes look elegant in my opinion, they feel nice, they don't stick or otherwise make it difficult to remove or reinsert the booklet and/or disc.  Though it's probably difficult for people to find replacement envelopes locally, we'll probably sell replacement envelopes very inexpensively through our store, something like 4 for $1, in case people have a few "new style" Hypnos CDs that get worn out.  Again, not a perfect solution but I think it's the best compromise.

We really wanted to create an object we have more control over (in other words, can easily print/cut/fold ourselves without commercial-grade die-cutting equipment), one that also combined elegant appearance and texture with a material simplicity.  It's been very hard for me to let go of the old, established way of doing things and move forward with plans to actually go ahead and do this, but I know it's vital for the continuation of Hypnos.  In the end I think it will result in more CD releases, more flexibility in what we include as far as artwork, photographs, and printed materials, and a bit more freedom to release experimental, edgy materials without worrying quite so much about having a huge stack of unsold materials in the garage, not to mention a sort of sick feeling from having paid to press 1,000 conventional discs while having only sold 50 of them.  In other words, our "break even" on a given CD release will be substantially lower and that will let us release more music, take a chance on more artists, and maybe move a few things we would previously have done on Hypnos Secret Sounds over to the Hypnos label proper.

I'm glad to be pushing forward with this, and it's my expectation that the first release of this type, the aforementioned Viridian Sun album, will be dropped off at the pressing plant next week, and should be released during September.

Thanks, everybody, for your continued interest and support.  We hope to release many dozens or even hundreds of interesting new releases for you in the future, and once we've solved this "new packaging" thing, we'll address the matter of digital downloads.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

APK

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 04:32:45 PM »
A real positive with the new style could also be cheaper/smaller shipping cost because of the lack of shipping plastic cases.
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jim brenholts

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2009, 04:45:08 PM »
i really don't care much about the packaging - i almost always trust that the music will be good. when it's on hypnos, i trust that it will be great!
all the best and God bless
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judd stephens

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2009, 05:31:16 PM »

Mike, it's great this will enable you to sell more music in the future, but I'm curious:  In the picture, the sleeve makes the artwork look hazy.  Is that due to the color of the sleeve, or is just the picture?





mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2009, 05:39:27 PM »
The envelope is not transparent plastic, but translucent (semi-transparent) paper, like wax paper or rice paper or tracing paper.  The booklet inside is full color with a black border, like a normal Hypnos CD booklet.
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Wanterkeelt

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 07:12:43 AM »
I've just flown over the latest posts, and one important question comes to my mind : so with the next Hypnos releases there is no "back cover" anymore ? Wouldn't be possible to offer an option to sell the CD with the classic artwork (front booklet, back cover) simply without a jewel case ? I'm sure most people have tons of empty jewel cases at home and they just put everything in one of their jewel cases ? For me personally no "back artwork" as in previous Hypnos releases would be quite a loss, whereas I understand that the paper sleeve can't fit such a back artwork.

Was there an option to make digipaks ? There's not as much plastic as in normal jewel cases ? Or those "paper digipaks" without plastic as for example the latest Caspian album Tertia ? I think they call it paper cardboard sleeve or similar

Greetings
Mirko

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2009, 07:14:13 AM »
Oh I forgot

I would even be ready to pay a bit more to get a pro-printed back cover, instead of having to print a PDF on my black and white laser printer ;)

mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2009, 09:28:24 AM »
Thanks for the continued feedback, everybody.

While I like some digipak type packages, they were never a serious consideration for us.  Two of our main goals were A) reduce storage space required for each new CD release, and B) reduce up-front monetary cost for each new CD release.  Digipaks need to be manufactured in editions of 1,000 and are more expensive than normal jewel case CDs, so they're no better on A) and worse on B).  I haven't seen the Caspian album you mentioned.

Similar to digipaks, we did consider folded cardboard/pressboard sleeves, similar to some of the letterpress work Matt Borghi has done (including a couple releases for Gears of Sand), or early A Produce releases on his own TrancePort imprint.  These look nice and have a earthy, organic sort of feel to them, but I don't like how the CDs rattle around loose inside, and you either need to print them yourself (and the materials can't be easily laser printed or inkjet printed, so you're left with learning letterpress or using stamp pads or something), or pay someone to do letterpress for you, which is expensive.

As for making available a printed tray card, as I mentioned earlier it's difficult to print a tray card that's perfectly trimmed, well-aligned and properly folded.  We think most people would be satisfied without, most of the rest would be OK with printing their own at home, and for those who want a tray card and don't have a high-quality color printer of their own, we could probably come up with some option.  Including a tray card alone, without a jewel case, the problem would be how to mail it without damage in transit.
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Wanterkeelt

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2009, 10:43:22 AM »

As for making available a printed tray card, as I mentioned earlier it's difficult to print a tray card that's perfectly trimmed, well-aligned and properly folded.  We think most people would be satisfied without, most of the rest would be OK with printing their own at home, and for those who want a tray card and don't have a high-quality color printer of their own, we could probably come up with some option.  Including a tray card alone, without a jewel case, the problem would be how to mail it without damage in transit.

Thanks for the reply Mike.

I often order CDs and tell the mailorder to send me the CDs without jewel case (i haven't tried that at Hypnos so far  :D). Most of the time they put the CD and the covers on a small piece of carton then everything's fine. So far I've never had problems with damaged tray cards. Jewel cases are very often damaged (broken ring or other problems) but the artwork is always perfect.

The "and for those who want a tray card and don't have a high-quality color printer of their own, we could probably come up with some option" option is a good idea, thanks :)

Have you always done the cutting of the tray cards yourselves or do they come from the pressing factory in the right format ?

mgriffin

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Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 10:56:10 AM »
With Hypnos CDs in the past we have just had the CDs and printing all finished by a CD manufacturing facility, and the printer creating the booklets and tray cards have equipment for cutting and folding the tray cards with precision.  Doing it at home is a little more difficult, getting the cuts exactly aligned with the text on the spines, and then scoring and folding the spines so everything fits exactly in the CD case, and the text is properly aligned on the spine once it's folded.  It can be done, but it's much slower and more prone to error than cutting & folding booklets.
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