Author Topic: Darkest Ambient  (Read 49520 times)

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1601
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2008, 09:39:19 PM »
Lame? Def Leppard 30 years later is lame.  I'd hardly use that word to describe anything Cyclic Law puts out.  Time to put away the Mary Poppins soundtrack and get with the program.

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2008, 10:01:32 PM »
Okay I'm definitely guilty of prejudging the music on 2-minute samples.... but within those 2 minutes the atmosphere seemed to meander a little much for my taste.  The question (and it's highly subjective without a doubt) is are they achieving what they set out to do with the album?   On second thought to my previous one, Robert Rich, along with Steve Roach have frequently had some pretty funny write-ups that accompany the album... you know, "miasmic flow of primordial nothingness"... and stuff that almost makes you laugh.  Maybe those artists live up to it... not the laughing part of course  ;D, but achieve the essence of what is described in the liner notes.  I guess my question is does the Cyclic Law label achieve the "haunting" qualities and similar adjectives that they set out to do?

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2008, 10:34:20 PM »
I think I have pretty good ground to call the recent Cyclic Law stuff lame. I've purchased a number of their albums, and still own Northaunt and Kammarheit. But I was disappointed in a few of their other releases and sold them. So I am not approaching it from the outside necessarily. I just think their pretense is wearing a bit thin, without the skill of Northaunt or Kammarheit to back it up. And I've bought and listened to the previous Hildebrand album, and was let down by it. So it may be my opinion, of course, but it is founded on actually owning the music. I guess I am just a little frustrated with the money spent...and I have learned not to completely follow any label without question; every one has duds, and falls into complacent ruts.

Anyway, drone on, I am curious to hear your views of the last few Cyclic Law releases. Seriously... :)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 02:52:16 AM by 9dragons »

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2008, 10:50:38 PM »
Wanted to throw out a couple titles as some great dark ambient for this year, or that I've been listening to lately, and see whay you might think:

Shinkiro The Way of the Gods. Just got this one, and it is sounding quite good. If you are into Shinto/Buddhism (Buddhist dark ambient!) and Japanese Gagaku, melded into well considered and quiet but heavy atmospheres (storms, desterted shrines in the mountains...) then give it a listen. Out from Athanor records.

Senking   List. Good and weird dark electronic. Quite unique sounds and one of the rare examples of vocal samples actually adding to the music in an impactful way. Excellent packaging as well. Raster Noton.

Asva What You Don't Know is Frontier. Stunningly calculated minimal totemic power. Doom metal turned dark ambient done oh so right. This is truly a keeper. Great murky art with 3d raised ink printing effects.

Glider The Sight Below. Well it's got some thumping but submerged techno type beats laid under very fine guitar swoon. Nice and dark and wintery. Bought this one on a whim based on great cover art, and was not let down on the sonic side. Can it be considered dark ambient if it has a beat? It feels like it.

Doublends Vert Cistern. Can it be called dark ambient, or is it avant garde? Whatever it is, it is minimal and weird. This might convince you, from the back of the album: "Cistern was recorded in a two million gallon underground reservoir in Fort Worden, a de-commissioned military base overlooking the entrance to the Puget Sound in Washington state. The space's resonance extended our instruments in a way similar to electronic processing. The acoustic properties of the cistern created new relationships between our sounds to which we applied the group's musical concept. This recordding captures our first experiences in the sound-world of the cistern." Out from 12k LINE







Undershadow

  • Guest
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2008, 06:27:56 AM »
Well here I go, hypocrite that I am, just as I am talking smack about Cyclic Law, I find myself wanting to order this one: http://www.cycliclaw.com/22ndcycle.html

Though I can't say that I like Hildebrand's other work. Little too selfconsciously gothy, or with Cold Meat residue...but the description of this one is nice, and it is a collaboration.

...some mintues later...

no actually forget it, this is lame...


9D. I'm not sure which recent CLs you were averse to (you referred to this elsewhere), but I actually thought the recent Tholen and Sinke Dus releases to be decent enough, particularly the first (Sternklang http://www.cycliclaw.com/20thcycle.html). But I had severe issues with some earlier CL releases, especially those by New Risen Throne and Karjalan Sissit, which I found dreadfully misanthropic/nihilistic - wholly depressing fare.
Earlier stuff by Gustaf Hildebrand (as well as the already lauded Northaunt and Kammarheit) and Svartsinn tweaked my lobes in passages, but I have to say I don’t fancy this Lacus Somniorum gig at all – my chimes not exactly being much rung by the promise/threat of “Airy flutes and choirs...”.
There was also earlier stuff by the likes of Arcana and Sophia that I found pretty grim fare: kind of plumbing the po-faced medievo-goth depths of Dead Can Dance/Black Tape for a Blue Girl at their most miserable and on the downest of downers. All that churchbell tolling overblown solemnity gives me the shits, frankly.
Do give that Tholen disc a chance though. Big Interstellar Drift doings rather than the suffocating Stygian stuff.

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2008, 02:44:38 PM »
I kinda know what you mean.  Some of the music here is a little tempting but doesn't really reel you in... it's like it's heavy on the atmosphere, but lacking in depth if you listen closer.  Maybe one reason why this could be is the sounds aren't sustained for very long.  There's a coming and going of various dark sound effects, that on the surface don't sound bad, but I'd take Oophoi or Robert Rich as darker than this music.  I guess maybe deeper is the right word, but the effect produced is oftentimes darker, but they seem to achieve it without all the pretense.

Well, this discussion has prompted me to bring out the Northaunt (Horizons), and give it a listen. I guess I had one decent listen to it a while back, and just assumed it was good without having listened to it for a long time. But this listen highlights your point for me, Judd. This stuff is kind of dark, I guess, but there is just no depth to it. It is just a bunch of the requisite sounds, but they don't really go anywhere. Cyclic Law are like a bunch of amateur cooks who are using the right ingredients, but just don't know how to cook them.

As for the Tholen, I listened to the samples, and tried to be open minded, but the first sample has those crackling space transmissions (at least I think that is what they are) I guess to inform us that this is a deep space album. I hate when space ambient has that crap in it. Am I supposed to imagine that I am on a space ship? What the hell...

A lot of this schlock comes out of the Cold Meat label, who are greater purveyors of this criminal pretentiousness than CL. Raison d'Etre created an epic, powerful sound, and has probably given most of the cache that CM has lived off of (in terms of the ambient side of their catalogue) and everyone has tried to imitate him and failed. RdE looked to the source, and notes Robert Rich amongst his major inspirations. RdE, in contrast to the legions of new dark ambient pretenders, actually goes deep into his material, and is an artist who stands beside the masters.

Maybe there should be a new category called Deep Ambient. Could this be similar to the rift between New Age and Ambient, where just too many weak artists were just playing on the surface, playing to the style and not the substance, and ambient masters like Rich and Roach had to break off and sort of create their own category. We saw this with the Fathom label...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 02:50:03 PM by 9dragons »

michael sandler

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2008, 07:33:29 PM »
...On second thought to my previous one, Robert Rich, along with Steve Roach have frequently had some pretty funny write-ups that accompany the album... you know, "miasmic flow of primordial nothingness"... and stuff that almost makes you laugh. 

(Insert album title), the latest release from (insert artist), at once transcends and resettles traditional definitions of space, congruence, and integration. Drawing from his well-honed intuition of the meeting of space and motion, (artist) creates here a collection of soundscapes at once introspective and demanding, unfolding in the geschichte of their own (s)pace while remaining tethered to the eclectica of diverse musical underpinnings. These tracks demonstrate (artist)'s expansive vocabluary of both the mathematical edges of sound and the sonic borders of psychology. Expanding even as they collapse in on themselves, these works reach for a galactic understanding of inner barenness, resulting in a clean, wide messiness that bootstraps itelf into Vastmusic.


Phaenon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Myspace
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2008, 08:14:16 PM »
 ;D :D
Geschichte!!! That's the right word!
Michael, thank you for the hint... I was thinking about Zeitgeist, but it's probably overused.
Vastmusic/Vastmusick could be a great title... ;)

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2008, 08:20:35 PM »
Wanted to throw out a couple titles as some great dark ambient for this year, or that I've been listening to lately, and see whay you might think:

Shinkiro The Way of the Gods. Just got this one, and it is sounding quite good. If you are into Shinto/Buddhism (Buddhist dark ambient!) and Japanese Gagaku, melded into well considered and quiet but heavy atmospheres (storms, desterted shrines in the mountains...) then give it a listen. Out from Athanor records.


Thanks for the tip!  Buddhist dark ambient is always a great idea.  I also like it when chanting is infused into the sounds, David Parsons being the prime example.  On a somewhat similar vibe I'd recommend Klaus Wiese's Death of a Samurai It's pretty ominous and thematic... reminds me of a dark Kabuki play or something like that. 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 08:32:19 PM by judd stephens »

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2008, 08:30:07 PM »
...On second thought to my previous one, Robert Rich, along with Steve Roach have frequently had some pretty funny write-ups that accompany the album... you know, "miasmic flow of primordial nothingness"... and stuff that almost makes you laugh. 

(Insert album title), the latest release from (insert artist), at once transcends and resettles traditional definitions of space, congruence, and integration. Drawing from his well-honed intuition of the meeting of space and motion, (artist) creates here a collection of soundscapes at once introspective and demanding, unfolding in the geschichte of their own (s)pace while remaining tethered to the eclectica of diverse musical underpinnings. These tracks demonstrate (artist)'s expansive vocabluary of both the mathematical edges of sound and the sonic borders of psychology. Expanding even as they collapse in on themselves, these works reach for a galactic understanding of inner barenness, resulting in a clean, wide messiness that bootstraps itelf into Vastmusic.

What??  Korn has another album out already?

Phaenon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Myspace
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2008, 09:01:58 PM »
Thanks for mentioning my project here.
I would add Yen Pox albums to the pool. Also Italian project Amon comes to mind.
I find Controlled Bleeding "The Poisoner" quite disturbingly dark.
How about Coma Virus "Hidden"?


9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2008, 10:02:20 PM »
Amon's Nimh is quite an interesting work...I've been savoring it more and more, though my first reaction was that it was too harsh...

I am enjoying Submerged very much, and am looking forward to the next Phaenon work...

SunDummy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
  • "Calm seas do not create good mariners."
    • View Profile
    • SunDummy.com
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2008, 10:44:49 PM »
Quote
I find Controlled Bleeding "The Poisoner" quite disturbingly dark.

Ooh, I really like that one!
I wish I was a Glowworm; a Glowworm's never glum. 'Cause how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?

www.sundummy.com

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1601
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2008, 11:54:10 PM »
I think it's quite useless to compare Roach/Rich with Cyclic Law's output.  If CL's stuff isn't deep enough, then don't listen to it. :-)

I definitely would not call CL artists "amateurs."  Could you do any better? I doubt it.  I used to be like this, dismissing stuff at the drop of a hat with my nose turned upwards, when oftentimes I never gave anything a chance that "didn't sound like Steve Roach."  Perhaps due to a mellowing with age, I am much more open minded these days and appreciate more diversity.

Anyways, since you asked 9D, recent CL releases I've liked are: Tholen's "Sternklang," Lacus Somniorum (flutes and all, it's great), G. Hildebrand's "Starscape" (technically not new but it was recently re-pressed). 

I think CL artists are cut from a different cloth as far as music influences are concerned, therefore what they create has a different sound than the "space music" artists.  Their impressions of "space" are quite different sonically than someone like, say, Oophoi, Tau Ceti, or Seren Ffordd.  I don't think they'd care too much what others think anyways, this is music appreciated by a very small slice of the music-buying public.  The artists and fans are really into it, and in the end that should be enough. 

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2008, 04:12:28 AM »
I think CL artists are cut from a different cloth


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cilice

Is this the cloth to which you refer?

(mournful monk choirs ensue, backed by distraught flutes)

Brian Bieniowski

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 271
    • View Profile
    • Quiet Sounds Podcast
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2008, 10:39:22 AM »
I'm not much a fan of Cyclic Law or Cold Meat Industry (I think this latter label has produced some of the silliest music I've ever heard, and I'm a Death in June fan), but reading this topic has been terrifically entertaining!  ;D

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6862
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2008, 12:59:46 PM »
Aside from the music of Cold Meat Industry, I think that might be one of the most unintentionally funny label names of all time.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2008, 01:25:44 PM »
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I was once (and still am to some extent) a fan of Cold Meat Industry. It was a sensitive time in my life, and I needed some goth melodrama to soothe and comfort. I initially got into the label through Raison d'Etre, whose albums I still own, and who is one of my favorite ambient artists. And labelmate Ulf Soderberg (of Sephiroth and good solo albums such as Vindarnas Hus) is a very talented atmospherist as well. I would also say that I enjoy Desiderii Marginis, especially for the album (wait for it) That Which is Tragic and Timeless...

So Raison d'Etre and the others mentioned is essentially the core of quality that makes the name of Cold Meat. But as for the rest of the label, when you try to foray into most of their vast catalogue, you find overly saturated melodramatic pap, pose, and indefinable sadness...

I am in no way against an evocation of medievalism, monks, or tolling bells. In fact, being a fan of ancient chant (Hillliard Ensemble, Anonymous 4) and medieval music (Sequentia, Ensemble Alcatraz) I was quite thrilled to hear the music of Raison d'Etre evoke an ancient sense in such an effective, seamless way.

For goth/industrial cosmicism done right, I also look to Inade: please play the sample from the track "Genius Loci" from their album Burning Flesh to hear solemn monk processions done right http://www.loki-found.de/releases_loki_page2.html
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 06:26:00 PM by 9dragons »

Undershadow

  • Guest
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2008, 05:00:08 PM »
[...] some pretty funny write-ups that accompany the album... you know, "miasmic flow of primordial nothingness"...

Incredible coincidence but, blow me down with a Nordic Blast of Thor if Miasmic Flow of Primordial Nothingness is not to be Cyclic Law’s 24th Cycle, in a mysterious sleeve made from air-dried hand-pressed Stygian sludge, in an inexplicable special edition of just enough to create mysterious longings, by shadowy Swedish Black Bombast project, Rectum Dolorii, with a special remix from mysterious Norwegian Doom-oompah band, Venti Percurrentes de Viscera Satanis (“Wafting Winds from Satan’s Guts”) that further fingers wounds opened on Rectum’s shadowy debut album, Intimations of Pseudo-Latinate Insignificance. Writhing with clanking portent and existential bassoon. Worrisome in the extreme!

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1601
    • View Profile
Re: Darkest Ambient
« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2008, 10:42:45 PM »
Wait Alan, I believe you spoke too soon, as the 24th Cycle's original title has been eaten away as if from a cancer and replaced with the following title: "Enthralled by the Stinging Wounds of Despair, into a Stygian Chasm We Escape from the Void of Bleak Truths."  Special packaging contains FREE razor blade.