Author Topic: CD release: Austere - Solyaris  (Read 10070 times)

Joe R

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CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« on: February 05, 2008, 04:52:15 PM »
Hey, the new Austere disc, Solyaris is now up for sale at Ye Olde Hypnos Store. 8)

I think I'll celebrate by playing their black masterpiece, Monodia.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 05:46:39 PM by mgriffin »

mgriffin

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Re: Solyaris
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 05:06:05 PM »
Hey, the new Austere disc, Solyaris is now up for sale at Ye Olde Hypnos Store. 8)

I think I'll celebrate by playing their black masterpiece, Monodia.

Hi Joe-
Yep, it's available, and I'm making the MP3 clips right this second.

I'm actually going to create an "official" CD announcement topic for Solyaris soon, too, so we'll have two Solyaris discussions... but thanks for bringing it up, and for all the Austere love!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Joe R

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Re: Solyaris
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 05:18:26 PM »
Well, if you're gonna start an "official" Austere thread, you may as well delete this one.

mgriffin

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CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 05:46:25 PM »
Nah, Joe, let's just transmute your Solyaris topic into the official release topic.  I hope you don't mind me re-titling it slightly!

CD release: Austere - Solyaris

Artist: Austere
Title: Solyaris
Label: Hypnos




2008. This is a creative peak for this much-overlooked ambient duo, their first release on Hypnos, following their Hypnos Secret Sounds album Pulse in 2007. In their 10 years of productivity, Austere has covered territory from Pulse's drone minimalism , ranging back through odd and trippy Coil-inspired sonic experimentation, to seamless dark ambient, and occasionally glitchy weirdness. Despite some challenging material in their back catalog, Austere have in this case produced an album as friendly and pleasant as any Austere fan could have imagined possible, and yet without resorting to the usual tricks that make music sound "listenable."

Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire said of Austere:
"Austere is an enigmatic duo who record some of the more interesting ambient music I've heard in my six plus years of reviewing. From the swirling drones (I was gonna say "dark" drones, but ....) and eerie melancholy of Monodia to the warmth and beauty amidst minimalism of Fade... Austere are less concerned with following the path and more concerned with breaking new ground. However, they are undoubtedly enigmatic, as one would glean from the above, and shun the spotlights of media and personality."

And the Austere boys themselves, not normally prone to gushing or self-praise, say these words on the subject of this recording:
"Solyaris, our first release for 2008 e.v. on the Hypnos label is major departure from our recent emphasis on Minimalist composition, but more in the direction started by our last release, mirror.shtml and is instead is a collection of recordings improvised and recorded "live" over a weekend session and are presented in their original form, unedited in any way aside from mastering by The Sound-O-Mat.

The recordings turned out extremely well; it was obvious that our Muse(s) had visited us, and we were able to simply "let the tapes roll" and play, and this recording is made up from one track each from a recording session (we may release the rest at some later point.)

We could not be more happy with the sound of this album there was definitely something special about that weekend and it was one of those rare occasions where everything just seemed to come together without any effort, and we think this is reflected in the musick. The CD flows very nicely, and is one of the most uplifting and special CDs we have ever released. We hope that you might enjoy it at least half as much as we do."

We here at Hypnos are likewise happy with this album, and find ourselves playing it over and over, soothed and bewildered at the strange and beautiful atmosphere. Solyaris does not fit squarely into any one genre, but it is wonderful to listen to, without being easy or without depth.   The sounds could be described as the thought transmissions of benevolent aliens.  They mean you no harm, and they
 thank you for listening!

Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
01 - Seraphim   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-au-s-01.mp3
02 - Striae  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-au-s-02.mp3
03 - Launch Sequence  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-au-s-03.mp3
04 - Nictitate  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-au-s-04.mp3

To order Solyaris now for $12.99, visit here:
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyp2753
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jkn

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 07:06:29 AM »
I really need to order some of this "much-overlooked ambient duo's" work!   I'll fire up the credit card later on.  :)
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

Joe R

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2008, 05:27:22 PM »
I really need to order some of this "much-overlooked ambient duo's" work!

Yes, you do!

Solyaris is a wonderful and droney piece of work, very lush, very subtle, and almost bottomless. It's one of those albums where you notice more layers of sound each time you listen... white music... peaceful music... on the last track, eerily beautiful "wailing" sounds ride over the top -whether it's synth or guitar, I can't tell, but it really doesn't matter. Cool stuff. 8)

And I believe that's a photo of Jupiter's moon, Io, that graces the cover.






Joe R

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2008, 05:29:03 PM »
And where the heck are the Austere dudes lately? ???  Mike- have you heard from them?

forestmage

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 09:13:12 PM »
love the cover artwork. will check out the sounds.

drone on

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2008, 02:55:37 PM »
Another excellent Hypnos disc, perfect for outer space traveling.  HOWEVER, I have to say the mastering on this could have been improved. Is it just me, or are the volume levels cranked up way too high? My speakers are straining and creaking under the weight, and they are no cheapie Radio Shack specials.  It is especially noticeable on track 2, "Striae." There are also some faint pops throughout the track. 

GordonDanis

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 09:22:18 PM »
Honestly I was not quite ready for the voyage on which I would be musically escorted when I first tracked Solyaris.   I knew it wasn't a process work like Pulse or Eco or Convergence, or "conventionally" beautiful like Fade (I always preferred the first version,) and I wondered how it might compare to some of your side projects like The Frequency Magnet or the Mysterious Oracle.
 
Solyaris is planetarium music for an as of yet undiscovered galaxy.  I have had it playing continuously for hours since I just returned home from a short vacation, but I feel like I've been floating far from my usual environs when Solyaris is playing.  I discover different corners of this new galaxy on each listen, my personal benchmark for a great CD, the kind to which I will return again and again.
 
Admittedly this is my first day with Solyaris, but I don't think it's too much of a hyperbolic leap to declare that this is the finest Austere project ever, which is saying quite a bit, and that Solyaris is one of the top three "ambient" CDs that I have heard this year.  Great stuff Boyz!
 
-gd

mgriffin

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2008, 10:09:24 AM »
I agree that this is my favorite Austere disc ever, purely from the perspective of a listener and "fan" of their music.

Addressing the comments of "drone on" regarding the mastering being loud, I'd just say that generally, mastering engineers try to optimize the signal so as not to waste dynamic range.  If it's too loud for you, it's very easy to turn down the volume on your stereo, whereas if the disc is mastered too low, cranking up your stereo to extremely high volume will cause other problems.  Yes, the mastering is fairly "hot" for an ambient recording, but that's an aesthetic choice, not a mistake. 

I'm glad to hear people are enjoying the album so far.  Looking forward to more feedback as this disc finds its way into more hands.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Austere

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2008, 05:58:51 PM »
Solyaris is a wonderful and droney piece of work, very lush, very subtle, and almost bottomless.

Thanks for the kind words, Joe.  It was indeed one of our goals, the "bottomlessness", as was:

It's one of those albums where you notice more layers of sound each time you listen... white music... peaceful music...

Very much our intention with this one, and possibly the next, although being the true geeks we are, we may be releasing a free Process Musick piece before long, and a new Freq. Magnet project has gotten started.  We can't help but try to emulate our main common inspiration, Coil, whose albums we find new things in every time we listen to them, esp. "Horse Rotorvator" and "Love's Secret Domain".

on the last track, eerily beautiful "wailing" sounds ride over the top -whether it's synth or guitar, I can't tell///

Guitar, actually, heavily treated guitar, mic'ed from a distance close to the guitar itself but far from the amp/stack.

And I believe that's a photo of Jupiter's moon, Io, that graces the cover.

The extraordinarily beautiful cover is completely the work of Mr. M. Griffin and he deserves great credit for it.  We had made some sketches during the recording sessions and without seeing them, he captured exactly what we were looking for.  Seriously, it's somewhat creepy how perfectly he pulled it off without having seen the sketches!

Cheers all.  And Thanks for Listening.

cantara333

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2008, 12:14:55 AM »
hey everyone.... sorry, but i am one of the few techno-impaired who does not have internet access at my home, so my time online is few and far between. but i wanted to congratulate Austere on this fine release and hope there are many more to folllow. and guys, if your out there, the offer is still out there to sync up some sounds together.  i am in a bit of a "writer's block" at the moment, so some fresh inspiration would be awesome. you have my address... later~       justin vanderberg

Austere

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 04:01:59 PM »
Um, not to be precious or anything, but was it planned to take "Solyaris" off the Hypnos home page when the new HSS release was put up?  We're assuming it was done in mistake so we're just pointing it out, if it was on purpose, sorry to be a bother.

Austere

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Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2008, 04:03:36 PM »
hey everyone.... sorry, but i am one of the few techno-impaired who does not have internet access at my home, so my time online is few and far between. but i wanted to congratulate Austere on this fine release and hope there are many more to folllow.

Thanks for the well-wishes.  We're both really busy, and there's a new Freq. Magnet CD in the works, but if we can get some time, we'll try to get together one of our "collaboration care packages" to send - raw materials you can work with, very raw, just recorded tracks and loops.  Maybe it will get our juices flowing too!  Cheers Justin!