Author Topic: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.  (Read 19220 times)

deepspace

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Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« on: August 05, 2008, 05:38:36 AM »
Giving Villa Galaxia a good listen now- I daresay that it sounds very different from what I have heard thus far from Saul.  It's poppy, and quite Ulrich Schnauss sounding....and don't anyone dare take that in a negative way, I love Ulrich and will defend his wonderful music with great vigour- I honestly don't understand some of the negative press he gets!  Jealousy I think  ;)

This isn't a review....god forbid I'd post a review after my last post which got me into a spot of trouble by the reviewers who frequent the forum! ;)  but it's more a description of some parts of the album, to whet your appetite if you haven't already got the album:

"Hello Radar" is a great opening track, featuring wide-eyed crispy keyboard sounds, and a nice moody bassline.  I can feel that I'm really going to like this- you know the feeling, when an album taps you on the shoulder and goes, "Are you ready?  we are about to become good friends...."  It happens far too infrequently don't you think.  "Vapor trails"  Slightly melancholy second track- with some great outro key washes. yay.  "Blaze" is completely different and brings the album to a, dare I use the word, "chilled" place with it's slightly more, well, serious and blue feeling.  I really like the big sunny melodies on "Night Painting".  Vibrant, primary colours, sweet sounds.  Fingerpainting.  "Eta Car is a massive Star" sounds like an epic Mario Bros game, full of detail and shimmering pixely effects (I don't know what that means either).  Really lovely.  This is an excellent album that will attract many listeners.  It's full of nooks and crannies and quite delirious.  I like!  Nay, love!

Bravo Saul!

Please add some of your own more coherent impressions of the album.  What do you think?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 05:49:08 AM by deepspace »
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9dragons

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 10:02:40 AM »
I didn't even know this was out yet! It still says "coming soon" on Saul's site. Where'd you get it. Oohhh, those samples are awesome...just as you describe...

mgriffin

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 10:04:53 AM »
It's not officially released yet... one of the digital download sites released it early, which kind of stinks.  So, if you're dying dying dying to hear it, you can go to emusic.com and get it, though it's not listed anywhere else yet, and we don't even have the CDs yet.
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saulstokes

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 12:32:20 PM »
Deepspace, thanks so much for your positive initial thoughts. I've had this music kept to myself for too long.  We were trying to keep the digital download a bit secret as the company we used to get it up has a 4-8 week posting. So, we thought we'd hit it about right with the cd coming out first followed by the mp3s. Emusic posted it in about a week. I do not believe it's on any other service yet.

 ;)

JUST A NOTE. What you miss with the digital download:

Fantastic album artwork all the way through.
10 minute extra ending to Interrupted by Time- Many of you might find the extra 10 minutes worth waiting for.

Also, I did want to thank everyone for all the nice comments in one of the other threads. It surely the best thing ever to read comments like this.

Saul

Undershadow

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 12:46:54 PM »
[...] It's poppy, and quite Ulrich Schnauss sounding....and don't anyone dare take that in a negative way, I love Ulrich and will defend his wonderful music with great vigour- I honestly don't understand some of the negative press he gets!  Jealousy I think  ;)


I feel I have to represent a minority view. Any reference to Ulrich Schnauss has to be taken in a negative way, at this end at least. One of the most overrated electronica artists of recent years, Schauss's "skill" is to distil some of the best of 80s/90s indie and electro and reduce it to a lowest common denominator anodyne hybrid. The sound he produces is larded over to the max with layers and layers of synth wash (backed up with nasty biscuit tin drum loops) to the extent that the listener has no space to breathe. His first two albums were undistinguished enough, but the last one really was terrible. I think it was called Goodbye. Very poor sound design to these ears, but I guess I'm a voice crying in the wilderness, since the majority seemed to slaver over it. Very poor fare. There are any number of more deserving artists out there, which I feel justifies a negative assessment of this artist's suffocating blanket of overblown electro-pap.

Saul Stokes, on the other hand, is a different matter.







« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 01:01:59 PM by Undershadow »

mgriffin

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 12:53:16 PM »
Saul Stokes doesn't use any biscuit tins!
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deepspace

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2008, 02:18:09 PM »
Deepspace, thanks so much for your positive initial thoughts. I've had this music kept to myself for too long.  We were trying to keep the digital download a bit secret as the company we used to get it up has a 4-8 week posting. So, we thought we'd hit it about right with the cd coming out first followed by the mp3s. Emusic posted it in about a week. I do not believe it's on any other service yet.

 ;)

JUST A NOTE. What you miss with the digital download:

Fantastic album artwork all the way through.
10 minute extra ending to Interrupted by Time- Many of you might find the extra 10 minutes worth waiting for.

Also, I did want to thank everyone for all the nice comments in one of the other threads. It surely the best thing ever to read comments like this.

Saul

Ah I see- so, you sent it out early to emusic, knowing that it usually takes a while for them to get the releases up there, and they go and put it out early.....Typical isn't it.  I'm sorry if I let the cat out of the bag then!  I recommend waiting for the cd then-  I'd certainly love to have a hard copy of this one.  It's one of those releases that you don't want disappearing on your hard drive.
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saulstokes

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2008, 03:11:26 PM »
Yes, usually it takes a long time to post. No biggie. It's nice you're talking about the album and I've been dying to hear peoples thoughts. Mike and I had a lot of conversations about mp3s and fact of the mater is most Hypnos customers are here for cds and most emusic customers don't buy cds so it's really two types of listeners. It's really cool that you found it so quick on Emusic!

About Ulrich Schnauss - I think what Deepspace is saying is that Villa Galaxia runs parallel to Schnauss' work perhaps because it's upbeat melodic instrumental music that happens to be electronic. When you think about it, there's not much melodic instrumental electronic music out there right now. I have "Far Away Trains Passing by" and can get about a 3rd of the way through it before I turn it off due to agreeing to some of Undershadow's comments on technique.  On the other hand, most of the time it's really hard to tell one artist from another in this genre and you can pick out a U Schnauss song from the rest. There's something to that!
Saul

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2008, 04:41:39 PM »
This isn't a review....god forbid I'd post a review after my last post which got me into a spot of trouble by the reviewers who frequent the forum! ;)  but it's more a description of some parts of the album, to whet your appetite if you haven't already got the album:

"Hello Radar" is a great opening track, featuring wide-eyed crispy keyboard sounds, and a nice moody bassline.  I can feel that I'm really going to like this- you know the feeling, when an album taps you on the shoulder and goes, "Are you ready?  we are about to become good friends...."  It happens far too infrequently don't you think.  "Vapor trails"  Slightly melancholy second track- with some great outro key washes. yay.  "Blaze" is completely different and brings the album to a, dare I use the word, "chilled" place with it's slightly more, well, serious and blue feeling.  I really like the big sunny melodies on "Night Painting".  Vibrant, primary colours, sweet sounds.  Fingerpainting.  "Eta Car is a massive Star" sounds like an epic Mario Bros game, full of detail and shimmering pixely effects (I don't know what that means either).  Really lovely.  This is an excellent album that will attract many listeners.  It's full of nooks and crannies and quite delirious.  I like!  Nay, love!

Bravo Saul!

Sorry, Deepspace, this does count as a review!  Now you'll have to stand up to the reviewers counter-reviewing your reviewing style, like it or not.

Thanks for your comments on Villa Galaxia.
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saulstokes

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2008, 09:13:09 PM »
I should clarify that there's 3 minutes of extra music on Villa Galaxia versus mp3's available online.  Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote 10 minutes.  ???

s

deepspace

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2008, 11:03:50 PM »
This isn't a review....god forbid I'd post a review after my last post which got me into a spot of trouble by the reviewers who frequent the forum! ;)  but it's more a description of some parts of the album, to whet your appetite if you haven't already got the album:


Sorry, Deepspace, this does count as a review!  Now you'll have to stand up to the reviewers counter-reviewing your reviewing style, like it or not.

Thanks for your comments on Villa Galaxia.


Argh! (runs away)  :)
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kawera

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2008, 07:07:46 AM »
The samples at saulstokes.com make me ache for this album! To me, the samples don't sound that much different from Mr. Stokes' earlier albums. It still sounds unmistakably like Saul Stokes, even if it employs a bit more percussion and chippy melodies rather than ambient pads. I've heard Vapor Trails on Blue Oasis' Perceived Distances and that track knocked my socks off. It is easily my favourite on that compilation, which is saying a lot, since that's a superb collection of tracks (and artists).

Along with two or maybe three other albums, Outfolding completely redefined the way I thought about music. And judging from the samples and the one track I've already heard, there's a good chance Villa Galaxia is right up there with Outfolding as one of the best albums I'll ever hear.

Fantastic work Mr. Stokes. I can't wait to get my hands on Villa Galaxia!

//Kasper

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2008, 12:56:10 PM »
Just listened to the samples on Saul's site. What a tease. This album needs to be released right now.

Thanks.

There is no spoon. Which sucks because I have a pudding cup.

mgriffin

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 04:56:21 PM »
All you anxious-to-buy people, it's ready now.  The link to purchase is in the "official" Villa Galaxia topic (which I may just merge this one into soon so we don't end up with two discussions forking apart) is here:

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=673.0
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9dragons

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 05:59:07 PM »
Yes!!! Can't wait to get it!

To those who have it already, is it as psychedelic as the samples are letting on? It's like a hallucinogenic gust...

mgriffin

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 07:25:19 PM »
I don't think many people have VG yet.  Deepspace stumbled onto it on Emusic.com when they activated it for download earlier than expected, but the only CD copies in the world are right here in Hypnos HQ (though they'll start making their way out into the world starting tomorrow).

I don't know if I'd call the album "psychedelic" really.  The word I always think of when I hear Saul's music is "futuristic," and I'm not completely sure why... there's a science fiction feel to some of the song titles, and of course purely electronic music has a pretty modern feel most of the time. When I listen to Saul's music though I always feel like I'm listening to the kind of music people would listen to it a distant, futuristic utopia.  It's bright and crisp and pure but still very human.
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drone on

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 11:11:15 PM »
Just ordered my copy from Hypnos HQ and I want it Fed-exed!! BTW, on the storefront it is listed as a limited CDR at $11.99 instead of the actual $12.99 and I'm pretty sure this isn't a limited CDR. :-)

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008, 06:33:03 AM »
Just ordered my copy from Hypnos HQ and I want it Fed-exed!! BTW, on the storefront it is listed as a limited CDR at $11.99 instead of the actual $12.99 and I'm pretty sure this isn't a limited CDR. :-)

Oops, thanks the reminder.  I think I did a copy/paste from the recommendation for the new Matt Borghi and forgot to edit some of the details.
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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2008, 06:27:40 AM »
Villa Galaxia is fan-freaking-tastic. It does have a very sci-fi feel to it, but it's not the airy and luminescent kind you got from Outfolding. It's just darn pretty all the way through, and has lots of delicate moments which will suddenly veer in other directions with what can best be described as sonic explosions of quirky electronics and bright melodies.

Amazing!

drone on

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Re: Villa Galaxia - Saul Stokes. Some Impressions.
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 01:42:13 AM »
QUIRKY. Um,  yes, that's the word I'd use for this, but not in a good way, I'm afraid.  After a few listens I can hear very little in the way of the classics Stokes has created like Zo Pilots and Outfolding, which were experimental, psychoactive, and melodic all at once.  This was a huge disappointment for me, sorry to say, and I'll probably get hate mail, but what the heck, it just sounds like noodling to me.  Maybe that was the point, and that it's not supposed to sound like ZP or Outfolding. Looks like so far I'm in the minority here on this opinion, so go easy on me people.  Sorry don't mean to be a party pooper...