Author Topic: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky  (Read 8135 times)

Joe R

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The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« on: December 07, 2007, 08:48:34 AM »
Damn, this is an impressive disc! A suspension of weightless drones, no beats and no rhythm, this is easily the most atmospheric Circular Ruins to date -and as spacious as the photo that graces the CD cover. The prevailing mood here seems to be one of wistfulness and solitude, this is great music for a cloudy winter day.
A highlight among the highlights for me is Paracelsus 3, where you seem to be suspended in a stratospheric windstorm, as vaporous snatches of conversation drift past. The sound-effects in this track are incredible -some of these sounds seem to come from outside the headphones, 6 or 7 feet away. At first I was turning my head to see what the noise was. Amazing!
Of course, this is certainly among the very best discs I've heard this year, and my favorite Circular Ruins disc yet. Highly recommended.

(...I like to think that the cover photo is of Lake Huron, but I don't know that it is.)

Haven't had much time to hear the Winterhouse disc yet, but what I've heard sounds fine... but certainly more Earthbound than the Circular Ruins disc.

jkn

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 09:17:37 AM »
I just posted this note to the now playing thread... thought I'd repost here:

The Circular Ruins - Falling Into the Sky - I'm not positive yet, but this may be my favorite album from APK yet - and I've been lucky enough to hear quite a few of them...   I've spun it at work about 7 times at work this week and it's great.  Beatless, moving, feeling.  Background or foreground listening.  APK is about as consistent an artist as can be - each album shows a logical progression of growth as an artist.  *** Highly, Highly, Highly Recommended ***
The Winterhouse - Slow Promises - APK and Robert Davies team up for a great release.  Also beatless like APK's new Falling Into the Sky. I've spun this a number of times at work and once much louder in the car on the drives to and from work... Some great drones and textures, some moving stringlike synth parts slowly moving things forward.   Field recordings pop up from time to time and their inclusion is perfect.  One minor thing bugged me a bit - I was lost in this wonderful drone and then a clicky noise popped in (not sure if it was synth or field recording) - one of those moments where at first I didn't like it and then it grew on me.  Things like this have a habit of becoming my favorite parts of an album as I listen repeatedly.  So we'll see how that goes.   *** Also - Highly, Highly, Highly Recommended ***
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

APK

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 01:37:18 PM »
That's mighty nice of you two.
Many thanks for the comments. I appreciate it.

And Joe, yes that is Lake Huron on the cover.
I took that shot up at a place called McGregor Point -- fascinating location
because of the boulder-strewn shore, rather than sand.
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mgriffin

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 01:37:36 PM »
Wow, that's a lot of "highly" -- I'm looking forward to hearing these.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

APK

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 01:39:27 PM »
People can find the new TCR and The Winterhouse here

www.dataobscura.com/products.php?cat=8

There are samples on the details page on each album, and full tracks on the Radio page.
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APK

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 01:41:00 PM »
Wow, that's a lot of "highly" -- I'm looking forward to hearing these.

They clearly set a new standard for contemporary electro-ambient music !

 ;)

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jkn

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 01:47:29 PM »
Ok - maybe I put one too many "highly" comments...  but I really do love both albums and I really do recommend both "highly".   

And hey, APK, do you like how I stole your images from your site?   :)

I didn't mention it before - but I really think highly (wow, did I write that again?) of APK's design sense.  The new Blue Oasis series is gorgeous to look at.   I love the clean lines, blue hues, everything.   You'll love the look of these cd's if you snag one... they're also in shelf friendly slimline cases.   (the slightly larger slimline cases I think - the ones you can actually read the spines on...)

I droned on and on about how great the dataObscura designs were - APK didn't disappoint me with the new Blue Oasis line at all.  :)
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007, 01:55:26 PM »
I certainly don't mind you linking to images on the dataobscura site, John.
It has unlimited bandwidth.

Good to get comments on the design style. I keep things relatively simple
and clean. I especially like to have a recognizable 'style' that they
conform to. Each wth its own graphics, but with the same layout.
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Hallu

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 07:20:14 AM »
APK sent it to me for review, and indeed it's a great album. Thought it might be too "newagy" at first, but it's got a deeper side, with sincere melodies, a lot of instruments/sounds, very inspired pieces. I recommend it too.

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 06:53:04 PM »
Good to hear it, Hallu. Thanks !
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Jussi Piekkala

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 03:55:13 PM »
Oh, this is a lovely album. Beautiful, organic sounds, lucid, sometimes fragile and sometimes more edgy. The structure and feeling overall is close to a peaceful walk in the spring.

But there are also some SURPRISES: two of the pieces (track 2 "Immer Du" and 4 "A Day Without Secrets" -- if I remember correctly) contain MELODY traits! First I was perplexed by this rare use of explicit melody in ambient music. But after a couple of spins I began to see the context. In my mind the melodies resemble hymns, even Christmas carols. As much as the melodies stand out, they do defend their inclusion if you see this album as sort of an pastoral poem.

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2007, 04:11:40 PM »
Rare ? Maybe it's rare in some mainstream ambient field, but the use of real melodies and real instruments in ambient, dark ambient or ethno ambient isn't really rare. If you listen to stuff like Othila, Lambwool, Enten Hitti, or even more classic stuff such as Alio Die, Lingua Fungi or Caul, you'll realize melodies is often a solid and necessary part of some styles of ambient. But I can only agree with about the fact that too many artists are doing boring melody-less ambient, thinking a couple of loops and soundscapes is enough to do a 60 min annoying track.

APK

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 11:12:26 AM »
Oh, this is a lovely album. Beautiful, organic sounds, lucid, sometimes fragile and sometimes more edgy. The structure and feeling overall is close to a peaceful walk in the spring.

But there are also some SURPRISES: two of the pieces (track 2 "Immer Du" and 4 "A Day Without Secrets" -- if I remember correctly) contain MELODY traits! First I was perplexed by this rare use of explicit melody in ambient music. But after a couple of spins I began to see the context. In my mind the melodies resemble hymns, even Christmas carols. As much as the melodies stand out, they do defend their inclusion if you see this album as sort of an pastoral poem.


Thanks for the praise, Jussi ... much appreciated.

Yep, some pieces on "Falling" are straight melodic-based.
Rather than composing on a bed of atmospheres/drones/pads, those tracks were first and foremost a melodic line, with a few additions made after. I would include the very short ending track to the list as well. You could add lyrics to them. And yes, a piece like "Immer Du" or "A Day Without Secrets" is very hymn-like.

I like your description of this as a "pastoral poem". I think of my recent Lammergeyer works in that way also. Especially "Beneath The Sky".

I do know other melodic-based ambient works, though very often the strong use of melody can easily get you into the dreaded new age camp or just sound too commercial. Influences for me in this area would be artists like Múm and Eluvium.
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Jussi Piekkala

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2007, 05:53:07 AM »
Quote
Rare? Maybe it's rare in some mainstream ambient field, but the use of real melodies and real instruments in ambient, dark ambient or ethno ambient isn't really rare.

You are right, Hallu  - And thanks for the pointers, I need to check them out, as well as those mentioned by APK.

But I was thinking in reference to other Circular Ruins albums (or APK in general as well). Has there appeared this much melody in any previous albums? Please inform me!

And note that this is not about some faint reminiscences of melody. This is explicit use!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2007, 11:05:27 AM by Jussi Piekkala »

Jussi Piekkala

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2007, 09:32:58 AM »
Influences for me in this area would be artists like Múm and Eluvium.

While I recognise that influences often may be rather indirect and more on the emotional level, I do not find either Múm or Eluvium comparable with the use of melody there is in "Falling into the Sky".

I listened to many snippets at amazon.com from these two groups (Múm: "Finally We Are No One" and "Summer Make Good", and Eluvium: "When I Live by the Garden and the Sea"). Based on my short acquaintance the music by these two bands seemed quirky, episodic and while it was minimal I would also say it was thin in comparison with the textures and melodies on "Falling into the Sky".

Hallu

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2008, 04:21:52 AM »
I finally had the time and inspiration to write my review, you can see it here :
http://www.brokendolls.org/?module=chronique&id=353

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2008, 01:05:45 PM »
Hallu
Merci pour la revue et de votre temps.
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Joe R

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Re: The Circular Ruins- Falling Into the Sky
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2008, 02:41:33 PM »
Oui.