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Messages - 9dragons

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There have been some great electronic/ambient scores for films lately. I don't know if this is a new trend but it feels like it. Recently got the soundtrack for the original Tron (1982) by Wendy Carlos, and along with Edgar Rothermich's recent re-recording of the incomparable Blade Runner score by Vangelis, it's got me thinking about electronic beauty and weirdness in more recent films. For some of these films, the music is an inseparable part of the presentation; some may lack traditional narrative storylines in favor of pure visual expression, and sometimes it works...but I'm enjoying to the extreme most of these movies because of my deep love of electronics in music.

A quick short list of recent movies and their soundtrack authors (will use soundtrack and score interchangeably, because I can't help it):

Beyond the Black Rainbow: Sinoia Caves
Under the Skin: Mica Levi
Ex Machina: Ben Salisbury/Geoff Barrow
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter: The Octopus Project
Enemy: Danny Bensi/Saunder Jurriaans
Maniac (2012): Rob
It Follows: Disasterpeace

Not to forget more mainstream work like Daft Punk's for Tron Legacy...which reaches to the heights of soundtrack greatness...

Everything and Nothing / Re: People proof CD jewel cases
« on: August 07, 2015, 03:00:22 PM »
I kept expecting that labels/artists etc. would stop using jewel cases...I much prefer the digipak format, a good balance of protective packaging, tactile presentation, and collectbility; or even better, a card stock sleeve alone or inside of a card stock container is preferable. Not sure why it continues to be used (cost?), seems like the people who still buy music prefer something a little more aesthetic; I know I do.

Now Playing / Re: Too much music?
« on: July 29, 2015, 08:46:59 PM »
It has been very interesting reading through this thread. I like everyone's different takes on this. A decade and a half back I traveled around by bicycle, and would stop for a year or so in a country to teach English. Living this life I never gathered much stuff. But then in Rome, I discovered electronic music in a big way. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works vol. 2 to be exact. I listened to it day and night, and was completely hooked. I eventually tore through all the Warp label releases I could find...but in that early stage I actually believed in the idea of the "circular collection", that one could arrive at a certain number of albums and circulate through them, creating a hermetic world with no need to buy new music, and maybe switching one out to be replaced by a new one. But soon the glorious addiction kicked in. Going to the record store almost daily was like a special time of peace, an opening of possibilities, and in each city I cherished this ritual. It was great to discover Hypnos while living in China, the joy of having a pack of cds arrive from such a faraway land (I could picture beautiful Portland, Oregon in my mind, having been there many times) was a great comfort in those strange and stressful times. The music was burned into my spirit, accompanying me everywhere. I eventually became more settled. Lived in Portland for a while, and remember going to that great world music cd shop in the Hawthorne (I hope it's still there) every day, amassing quite a collection of international traditional music as well. Then I became a more serious collector, though with a relatively modest collection. More than just listening to the music, it was the excitement of hunting around on label sites on the net, or jetting over to the record store before they closed in the evening, buying known quantities or completely unknown stuff for the sense of discovery. Then waiting for the great moment when the package would arrive, opening the package, slowly going over all the packaging, enjoying the evocative art and textures, anticipating the First Listen...

More to follow, gotta run...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 29, 2015, 02:49:31 AM »
Thanks to drone on for the suggestion of Pjusk: Sart. Just the sounds I needed to hear right now...

Lately been listening to:
Rapoon: The Fires of the Borderlands. Had this a long time ago and recently re-acquired. Still sounds amazing...
Alio Die: Aura Seminalis. This album brings one into another world that is just outside this one...keen to check out Holographic Codex next.
Tetsu Inoue: Inland...dove back into Tetsu's music again recently, after a hiatus. The intricacy and balance of organic/hypnotically digital is captivating and transporting. Dipping into Slow and Low and World Receiver as well. I think I read somewhere on the forum that Tetsu has disappeared from the world of music. I hope he doing well out there somewhere, but if he never makes any more music we still have a more than bountiful catalogue of work to enjoy...
Wendy Carlos: soundtrack to the movie Tron...been enjoying many soundtracks lately and this one is up there, even enjoying the Journey interludes between the intriguing fusion of orchestra/synthesizer. Synth line of the End Titles track can reduce one to tears.
Edgar Rothermich: soundtrack to Blade Runner (recreated from Vangelis). This came out at the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner, and now a couple years later there's a second edition, which I think has been remastered. Rothermich has done glorious job of re-playing the music from the film, and making it into a real album. I don't own any of the other "official" soundtracks made by Vangelis, as I'm not too keen on the voice tracks from the movie being included on some of them (will watch/listen to the movie for that). What the Blade Runner soundtrack (and this recreation album) does to me is hard to describe, pure joy and nostalgia-for-the-future sadness...
Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers and Luxury Problems. Dark goth/techno/industrial/ambient/ethereal w/ female voices that is a cut above the rest in quality and delivery. I don't understand if there are even music categories any more after some of this stuff I've been getting into. Ambient seems to be fused into most other genres, and other genres of electronic have dissolved boundaries into each other. A very enjoyable time...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 22, 2015, 12:38:37 AM »
Been enjoying a couple off the Planet Mu label. These albums seem to be in the Detroit techno kind of world, which I've been enjoying a lot recently, without actually knowing a lot about its origins/foundations. The first is a mutated electro, techno, with a real living sense of texture and incorporated serendipitous chaos. The latter clearly inspired by Vangelis' work on Blade Runner soundtrack, but taking things into a very interesting, simultaneously throwback/new direction. Excellently skittering beats...

Hieroglyphic Being: The Seer of Cosmic Visions

Kuedo: Severant

I tend to discover music by exploring a label, curious to hear more from Planet Mu, based on excellence of these two releases. Cover art sweet as well.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 16, 2015, 05:33:17 PM »
Had a strange phase where I was listening to audio books and not much music at all. Now the trend is reversed. A trip to China has curiously renewed my desire for music in a big way. Possibly because I first really got into ambient music while living there...anyway, have been on a spree of new music...

Kuedo: Severant, on the Planet Mu label. Pretty glorious sci-fi techno.
Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers. Dark industrial techno type music brilliantly executed with lushness and female vocals.
Suum Cuique: Ascetic Ideals. Analogue sounding well shaped and shaded noise explorations.
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow. Towering soundtrack to the engrossing film of the same name.
Senking: Capsize Recovery. Dark, weird, beat driven and substantial, up there with the best.
Black Rain: Dark Pool. Cyberpunk classic reissued. Immensely atmospheric, dark and industrial but lush and pleasing.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Dredd film
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:02:22 AM »
This Dredd is a favorite of mine. It is enjoyable after many watches. The humor is so dry you can taste it. Karl Urban nails it. It also nails the absolute comic book feel, with saturated colors and over-the-top destruction. The R rating was very much appreciated.

The soundtrack is absolutely stellar. Mixes crunch and ambient so well. Can be enjoyed greatly on its own; seems like the album version was designed for hermetic listening enjoyment. By Paul Leonard-Morgan. Whatever movie he does next, I'd go see it just on the strength of his name...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 10, 2014, 11:48:59 PM »
Heavy listening on all Oneohtrix Point Never albums that I could get my hands on.

Replica (Software)
Borden, Ferraro, Godin, Halo & Lopatin (Frkwys)
Rifts (Software)
R Plus Seven (Warp)
Returnal (Mego)
Instrumental Tourist (Software Studios, w/ Tim Hecker)

All these works are superb, can be played one to the next multiplied...

I only own the Final Cut, which is exquisite, but I've been tempted to pick up the original theatrical cut, as I am such a Blade Runner addict, and curiosity will likely soon get the better of me. It is a constant desire to want more of this film. Blade Runner is such a strange cultural artifact: a franchise that consists of multiple versions of one movie. But not only that, for fans like me it is a movie than offers up something new with each watch, and each viewing is unique. It leads us to pursue more films that are similar to it, which is somewhat difficult...

Speaking of versioning, let's talk about the soundtrack. I only have the recently released "30th Anniversary Celebration" which is the film soundtrack meticulously re-created and re-recorded by Edgar Rothermich. And it's brilliant. And it stands apart from the film, but is a wonderful mirror to it at the same time, a microcosm. I originally was turned off from buying the soundtrack which Vangelis actually plays on, due to the voice clips from the film. The reason is this: Blade Runner is a movie that works so well in pure audio form; sometimes I throw it on as audio accompaniment to the day at it is absolutely absorbing on a purely sonic level, not only the music but the entire sound design. So I'd rather listen to the movie itself than the Vangelis record.

Am I missing out? I certainly wouldn't hesitate to get both versions of the soundtrack...

Anybody else own the Rothermich soundtrack?

The Prometheus question: More than one year on from its release, does it actually hold up? I own it, I've watched it many times, I've pretty much studied it. There is a tremendous amount there in this movie to give it enough weight, to not entirely write it off as a failure. And that's what makes the stupidity of its script failings so irksome. With the original Alien, we were given that this would be a kind of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in space, and when you see the movie, it wildly exceeds your expectations, totally transcending the genre. Prometheus does just the opposite. It promises a majesterial space adventure tinged with horror, but turns out to be a post-modern schlock space horror comedy. Which might ruin the enjoyment on first watch (I was so angry I had a hard time not walking out of the theater) but upon successive re-watch Scott's ability as a visual communicator (the whole point of movies right?) is so powerful that the force of it overwhelms the weaknesses and it becomes by sheer force of visual will an awesome piece of work that is worthy of consideration.

Not a failure, much to be gained by it. Strangely, in some nuanced ways, it is not only a prequel to Alien, but a sequel to Blade Runner.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Should've called it "World War D"
« on: September 20, 2013, 12:04:08 PM »
Avoid this movie like the plague. Just wasted my dollars on VOD for this dud of a movie. Should have known with the PG rating or whatever it was, that it would not satisfy. You just cannot cut away from gore like that and have a satisfying zombie movie. Romero's movies are up on youtube, I would suggest a re-watch of Day of the Dead instead of this watered down excuse.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: the vidna return...
« on: September 20, 2013, 11:57:26 AM »
This is exquisite work, liquid but ecstatically forceful. Seems to me a fine melding of vidnaObmana and Fear Falls Burning.

And even though I don't own a record player, I like the idea of re-asserting the value of music by attaching it to a solid, relatively permanent, and aesthetically pleasing format such as vinyl. I've purchased a couple vinyl records so far, and got the download code: enjoying the art and the vinyl (without actually playing it), but listening to it digitally.

I wonder if there is a new category of music buyer out there...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 20, 2013, 11:45:57 AM »
Most listened-to album of the Summer:

Black Sabbath, 13
Some so-called Sabbath fans (my friends) have scorned this album without giving it a real chance, but I adore it, having probably given it around a 100 listens so far. Definitely better than Never Say Die! and Technical Ecstasy, I would even be so bold to say that I prefer it overall to Sabotage. Sixth favorite Sabbath album after Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Volume 4, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath... Tony Iommi is a true hero.

Best Ambient Surprise:
Boards of Canada, Tomorrow's Harvest
If you are a fan of the soundtracks of Blade Runner, Day of the Dead, The Thing, this is a must listen. I've had this in rotation in my stereo with other soundtrack music and mistook if for the soundtrack to an amazing movie...
Powerful and affecting reminder that the original Warp actors (Autechre, Plaid, Boards of Canada) are still amazing and doing vital and maybe career-defining work.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: May 05, 2013, 06:14:38 PM »
Autechre: Exai. This one is worth talking about. Autechre are making some of the most fascinating music around. It feels like they've gotten to a stage where they are just having a blast with it, and incidentally making some of the most unique while still being listenable electronica. By no means an instantly "easy" listen, this is a tome to be studied and enjoyed in reverie. I feel a sense that they are not trying to be avant-garde, they are making the music that's inside their minds, and it just comes out that way. Can't believe they've been around this long and are still sounding fresh and awesome, while most others of Warp have faded or given up.

FRKWYS07: This one sounds good on first few listens. Classic electronica sound.

Senor Coconut: El Baile Aleman. Bought this on a whim because it looked so amazingly weird. Haven't had a chance to listen as I am out of town and away from stereo, and Mac won't let me burn it. But I feel there is great promise and joy here.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: April 16, 2013, 07:39:32 PM »
Listening to Signals from the Great Beyond as I write this. On the verge of tears, but the beautiful thing is, I've been feeling out of sorts lately and these sounds in my headphones have just righted my way and reminded me of the great and golden mystery of this life. His musical name Oophoi is, I believe named after an Egyptian deity whose visualization is a wolf standing at the prow of a solar boat. Ophois, or Upuaut, was known as the scout or the opener of the ways. Truly a good moniker for a man whose music is so gloriously otherworldly, and takes us so far out into other worlds. I wish I could thank him face to face but instead I will go outside and toast the stars with a beer. Tante Grazie Signore Gasparetti.

Now Playing / Re: Too much music?
« on: September 28, 2012, 01:54:38 PM »
Such a great thread, I can echo many of the sentiments here.

I think one of the thrills of being a collector, what originally got me into it, was the fun of the search, and the waiting for the package to arrive. Then when they do arrive, the ritual of the opening of the package, opening the albums, looking at all the goodies, playing the music in a reverie. So much fun to surf the net and get into darker and obscurer corners, finding all the labels, one leading to another, drinking in the mysterious atmosphere of far away labels. Buying the music gives one the feeling of a new world opening up, an actual place to explore. And the anticipation, one's imagination of what the release will be like, where it will take you.

I've never reached the collecting heights that many here have, my max collection was probably in the hundreds (maybe 300-500). But compared to my original intent of collecting, that is a massive amount. I originally thought I could get a "self sustaining" collection, a set number of classics that would allow me to rotate, not get bored, and come back around. Hermetically sealed, no new albums need to be bought. I thought this could be achieved in maybe 30-60 albums. But the thrill of the search drove me on.

There was a time a couple years ago when I realized I liked the search more than the finding, and wasn't actually listening or getting full enjoyment out of my collection. I would usually have a set of classics that I returned to again and again, the music I truly enjoyed. The rest would get those first few listens then go to sleep on the shelf. Of course there is the awesome sensation when you replay one that was almost lost deep in the collection and realize that it enters the classic cannon. But I ended up needing a cash infusion, which coincided with disillusion with the music, and the carefully amassed ambient and electronic collection got sold, virtually the whole thing, only a few being held back, and some strays which had been put to the computer. I held on to my world music collection (maybe 100 albums) because it has excellent replayability.

Now after some years I find myself missing the electronic and ambient, and a few releases trickle back in. Got some albums from Warp, which I never thought I would do again. Relatively recent ones from Autechre and Plaid. They are good beyond just the nostalgia trip I wanted to take.

One thing great (and possibly detrimental in some respects) about the current climate is the ability to get legitimate and free good music. I can have those same fun surfing sessions, explore the websites of labels, and bandcamp etc. And listen to a ton of stuff streaming. Then maybe download a token free track offered up by the labels/artists. Which takes the place of when I previously had to order the release, and have the exciting waiting period for the mail to come. In effect, the new way helps me to diffuse my music and collecting addiction. It's easier to be more discerning with purchases, but it also takes out the mystery and thrill, and chance taking, that made buying the physical album fun. And maybe I'm a more reserved music enjoyer now, not wide-eyed and expecting that next mind-blowing release. More jaded? I can agree that there needs to be more to please me these days than business as usual. The past few years have seen me buy 1-2 albums a year. But in the past few weeks I've got 3 albums by Autechre and 2 by Plaid. The collector daemon returns, however weakly. This time I think I can enjoy the thrill of the search without having to buy every time.

But just writing about it here makes me want to go on a music search and surf...damnit.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 28, 2012, 01:23:15 PM »
In heavy rotation and inspiring while designing:

Autechre: Oversteps
Autechre: Move of Ten
Plaid: Scintilli

This pair of Autechre albums is fantastic, reinvigorates my urge for electronica. I haven't been listening to Autechre for quite some time, it's good to pick up at this point and see they have integrated techniques and are producing this kind of effortless seeming, liquid flowing depth of music that feels fresh and timeless.

Haven't been listening to Plaid in such a long time. This album revisits some of their previous sounds, but that is a good thing, and it is so well done and masterful, feels much more mature and integrated that all previous albums.

I'm pleasantly surprised that there's still some goodness coming out of Warp. I am curious about other acts on the label, but after some investigation nothing has caught my interest enough to want to buy. Anybody else into or getting back into Warp currently? I thought I'd given up on them, what, ten years ago...

Any thoughts on this? This is the dream duo of ambient, and I am eager to get this.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Exotica / Lounge / Tiki Classics
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:31:43 PM »
I know I started a thread on this topic some time back, but am unable to find it. I can't seem to stay away from this stuff. The fatal attraction to Lounge glory has me listening to recently acquired Arthur Lyman album Taboo. Also The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny (2cd) in heavy rotation. I know this type of music might be funny to many people, but I swear it grows on you. You start out listening to it as a laugh, then suddenly realize this stuff is actually heavy, and you're getting into it. At least I did. There is some amazing playing on Taboo. Vibraphones destroy my anxiety. The more I listen, the more I am seeing how influential this music must have been on ambient masters like Roach and Rich. Is there a connection?

These albums are full of bird call noises. Where I live there are many birds outside the window. They go crazy when this music plays, it is hilarious. One day I thought the Martin Denny album was still playing, but went into my room to find that the music had stopped, but the birds outside were continuing to try to outdo it!

Lounge takes me to a relaxation spot similar to ambient. Mixed in with tribal ambient (Fever Dreams-I know some have criticized it but for me it works) and some Gamelan it makes a nice cocktail.

Any other fans out there, and any recommendations for albums to get? My collection is very thin as it stands now.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:14:34 PM »
Does Tim Hecker count as hipster ambient? Got into his music for a while early on, but got out of it. Last time I had a listen at his stuff recently, it looks fatally hipstered out to me. I feel like I could be entirely off base on this one, but am too lazy to dig deeper.

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