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Due to a duplicate purchase, I have the four new releases , all digipak CDs, on Alio Die label Hic Sunt Leones.  Two are by Alio Die, two by Aglaia.  New, unplayed.  $10 each.  PM me if interested.
Is soundboard still an audience recording, just with better equipment?  I always thought it meant it was recorded off the mixing desk at venues, but I don't think that's what soundboard is.
It's getting really bad now.  Most of the rare, supposedly in demand CDs I've attempted to sell over the last couple years, I couldn't even give away after repeatedly lowering the price.  Are collectors like me just giving in to the digital age?  Even on eBay, buyers won't pay what several years ago would have been a bargain. 
Everything and Nothing / CD Disc Rot
February 28, 2016, 01:26:51 PM
If you Google disc rot there's a Wikipedia page about it.  Anyone here have experiences with this?  Just to clarify, this only applies to silver/glass mastered discs, not CDR.

This has happened to me twice now.  It's amazing how the tiniest speck of the black rot on the edge of the CD can cause it to sound like a CDR gone bad. 

One of the two was made by PDO in UK in early 90s.  Apparently the company's faulty manufacturing created a huge wave of disc rot.  The other one was the Legend soundtrack CD by Tangerine Dream, issued in 1995, by a different manufacturer.  I almost needed a microscope to locate the telltale rot.

I have a CD bought on Discogs recently where I can see the rot starting but it plays fine.  Wonder how long before it goes south.

Related to rot is bronzing, where the disc turns a bronze gold color.  A few of my original Tangerine Dream CD pressings from UK have this but playback isn't affected.  Well at least not yet...
Everything and Nothing / One handed electric guitar?
February 27, 2016, 04:15:22 AM
I've seen some rock guitarist and bassists over the years with their plucking hand off the guitar but still playing notes on the fretboard.  Two examples are Eddie Van Halen and Peter Steele from Type O Negative.  Any electric guitarists who can explain how this works?
Marketplace / A couple Tetsu Inoue FAX CDs for sale
February 23, 2016, 09:41:23 AM
I'm selling two hard to find Fax classics by Tetsu, on the Ambient World reissue series on Fax:

Organic Cloud $30

Ambiant Otaku $15

If interested send me a message
This CD was just released by Russian label GSP Production, which released the 4CD box AeroArea.   I haven't heard it but I'll post a short review when the disc arrives. 
Yet another excellent live Roach document.  This one has some haunting e-bow guitar work on track one.  The middle pieces contain music heard before, like Endorphin Dreamtime from Core.  The last two pieces are sequencer stuff in a style unique to Roach recordings, where he weaves in this kind of ethereal symphonic lead lines over the thick percolating patterns.  Very Klaus Schulze.  I really cannot remember Steve doing anything like this before.  Excellent stuff!!
Lots of lists here over the years as to the best Fax/Namlook material, but what about the bad or weak ones.  The label was extremely prolific but there were quite a few that were v weak or even just plain bad.  Below I list my least favorite series and some exceptionally bad CDs whether in a series or not:


New Organic Life--Featured granular synthesis.  Whatever that is, I didn't like it.  Noisy experiments.
Silence--Just could never get into this kind of modern classical ambient.  There were five in the series. 
Move D/Namlook--Probably the most oversaturated series.  A few excellent ones but lots of weak or redundant installments.
Virtual Vices--Namlook and Spyra.  Most of it, six installments, was weak however Volume 3 was excellent.
Fires of Ork--Namlook and Biosphere.  Never understood what the hoopla was all about. 
Labyrinth--Bland music, oversaturated by five volumes.
Steve Stoll--His series of solo albums were awful, lo fi experimental affairs. 

Others:  A New Consciousness 2.  This album consisted of environmental sounds and no music.

You see these items listed on eBay, Amazon, Discogs, Barnes and noble, etc.  Some seller is asking $1,000 for a CD.  Goes without saying nobody would pay that much.  So what is the motivation for creating these listings?  I just don't get it.
Check out Alio Die's Bandcamp page.  4 new releases, 2 by Aglaia, 2 by Alio Die.  They all sound excellent to my ears!  You can order the CD's now by contacting Stefano directly.  Plus he's offering some kind of limited edition art cards for about $7.  I bought the whole ball of wax.   8)
I was browsing an old thread where it was revealed Phobos loves ZZ Top.  Now that one surprised me!  Not because there's anything wrong with ZZ Top (I have about 5 of their albums myself), but it's something you wouldn't expect for some reason.  We pretty much know Forum members' musical tastes, favorite artists, etc.  Is there any style or artist that you think people would be surprised to know that you are into? 
Everything and Nothing / Sensitivity about Surgery
January 26, 2016, 01:04:44 PM
One night, late at night, I received a text message from my half-sister asking me to "pray" for her as she was having surgery the next day.  Considering I had just talked to her a week earlier, I was shocked to hear of this surgery, as I knew nothing about it.  I immediately texted back, " Surgery for what???" 

I never received a reply, and only later found out from my mother that the surgery was for breast reduction.  My mother informed me she was probably embarrassed and didn't want to tell me what kind of surgery. 

I think I should have been given the details, as a family member, and not spring it on me the night before.  Maybe you want to be private about it, but then you tell people to "pray" for you and they're not allowed to know what it's for??? 

Can anyone back me up on my position here?  Or if not, I'd like to know why it's acceptable to do what she did. 
Other Ambient (and related) Music / RIP Lemmy
January 17, 2016, 05:58:15 PM
Of Hawkwind/Motorhead fame, died from an aggressive cancer, age 70.  He'd also been dealing with other health issues including heart disease (as did David Bowie) and diabetes.

I say this not as any kind of personal judgement on Lemmy or David Bowie, but this brings up the issue of the consequences of living the rock n roll lifestyle for decades.  Long term drug and alcohol use WILL affect your vital organs, as does being a heavy smoker, the most insidious drug, for 40 plus years (and this is the main culprit, IMO).  Bowie smoked almost until the end, and Lemmy as well I believe. 

More than anything, it just pisses me off and makes me sad.  :'(
1.  Sphare Sechs- Enceladus (Malignant Records).  Spooky outer space atmospheres.  Love the sleeve artwork on this one too. 
2.  Redshift- Life to Come (Distant Sun).  Mark Shreeve's finest studio album (as Redshift) to date.
3.  Autumn of Communion 5
4.  Autumn of Communion 6 (..txt)  What can I say?  They always make my best of list.
5.  Julio Di Benedetto- Original Light (Digital Voices).  Striking, haunting ambient from Hypnos forum member!
6.  Blake Gibson/Robert Davies- Quiraing (Databloem).  Excellent "big landscape" music a la David Parsons and Mathias Grassow. 
7.  Sraunus-  Asperatus Clouds (Anodize).  Quite stunning ambient dub.
8.  S.E.T.I. - The Data Logs of Astro Myrmex (..txt)  Unique, cinematic space ambient
9.  Futurology (aka Ishq)- Martian Chronicles (Virtual). 
10. Fatal Tangent- Cenotaph (Anodize).  Rhythmic dark space ambient, like Ramp/Redshift without the sequencers meets Aphex Twin SAW II.  Outer space tripout fest!

Honorable mentions:  Steve Roach-Etheric Imprints, Bloodmoon Rising
                             Mathias Grassow- AeroArea

(as usual, excellent music from these masters but you gotta reward the lesser knowns sometimes)

This is only a very small fraction of available music out there.  I'm not very adventuresome these days and avoid downloads in favor of CD's, so I'm not exposed to what is probably a great deal of excellent work.  You can probably tell as I pick music from the same labels and/or artists every year....I would love to read everyone's lists and discover some other releases.  Thanks!
I've been a Discogs member for many years now.  Does anyone have any thoughts, experiences, advice, etc. they want to share? 

Lately for whatever reason I've been noticing that some sellers are totally clueless when it comes to listing and/or grading items.  I'm a CD collector--no vinyl.  I have 3 CD versions of some of my favorite albums.  I recently ordered the UK version of an album, and the seller sent me the US version.  They had no idea there was a difference, since the cover and track titles were the same they said.  Even though it gives you a list of all the CD versions.  Duh.  Even when you're listing an item for sale, Discogs reminds you to list the exact item on the release page.  This has happened to me three times in the last several months.  Now it's to the point I have to ask and verify with the seller before placing an order. 

Some people's sense of grading is totally bizarre.  Their "Near Mint" is more like "good plus" or "very good."  One CD I bought said "unplayed new" and "very good plus," but had multiple scratches, some deeper than "minor."  They stated it had been in their record store for 20 years kept in a plastic binder sleeve and was "new".  Why would I care if a CD is "unplayed" if it's scratched?  They don't seem to understand the difference.  I'm surprised some of these people even work in record stores. 

I've had some really good experiences, too, but for some reason really bad ones for the last several months.  I can share some good ones, too, but I feel like complaining right now.   8)
I guess I'm obsessive when it comes to sound quality of CD pressings.  I've spent countless hours on the Steve Hoffman forums, where posters debate the various versions to the point of insanity.  Lately I've noticed how superior the sound is on the early Japan issues.  Case in point is the Pink Floyd material from the early 70s like Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon.  Last night I bought a 1984 japan issue of DSOTM  for $7.95.  It's by far the best I've heard compared to many versions I've heard previously.  I know collectors are big on these.  Anyone know why the Japan quality is seemingly superior?   

I've also found the UK discs mastered by Nimbus in the 80s and 90s are superior to the US versions and subsequent remasters. 

Am I imagining this or do I have dog like extra sensory hearing?

Did you order these new Vortex titles?  I did the combo pack for $30.  No mp3 up so I'm buying on sheer faith.  I passed on the $130 book of images from vortex concert.  Both CDs and book for $160.  If you live outside the US it'll cost $60-$70 just to ship it.  So that's $220.  Holy shiiiiiit....

I hate to say it, but isn't this just a little too "too"??  (I mean the book part).  I don't know if pretentious is the word.  Seems a bit excessive.  Limited to 100 copies.  Well ok but who's going to pay that? 
Ben Fleury-Steiner
Chad Hoefler
David Tollefson
Patrick O'Hearn
Thom Brennan (I ask this every few years. Sigh...)
Stephen Parsick (disappeared from the forum and music making apparently)
(Has anyone heard yet from?) Tetsu Inoue
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Harold Budd website!
November 11, 2015, 10:23:03 PM
Yes, you read that right.  15 years after the retirement announcement, His Royal Budd, definitely one of the gods of the ambient realm, is going online soon with his own site.  Can't wait to see this. 
I cannot believe this trend of putting small children in movies I would never even let them watch if they were my kids.  Saw a horror film recently with a cute little six year old girl.  They had her enact a murder in which she bludgeons her mother to death with a sledgehammer when the mother is in bed sleeping.  Tonight I saw "Cop Car" with Kevin Bacon, which has gotten glowing reviews.  Am I the only one who thought it sick to cast two little boys who play with loaded guns like they're squirt guns??  I'm outraged at the parents of these actors, the film makers, and the studios that release such films.   :(
Just saw a member comment.  No details.  Groove Unlimited has the CD album for sale.  So you don't have to drop $50 or more for a copy.  Please advise anyone if you have details about this reissue. 
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Redshift new album
September 17, 2015, 08:58:35 PM
For those who love their Berlin School sequencer music, arguably the finest proponent is Redshift from UK.  Straight from the horse's mouth (Mark Shreeve), new studio album "Life to Come" release is imminent.  Really looking forward to this as the last studio album was "Turning Towards Us" from way back in god, 2009? Something like that. 
I don't know if anyone here buys music using eBay and Discogs.  My latest couple experiences prompt me to create this post.  When I sell music on Discogs, I follow the selling procedure by updating the buyer, e.g. when I've received their payment, when I've shipped their item, etc.  I always ship as soon as I get payment, and I let buyer know what's going.  This is common courtesy and also Discogs "rules" for proper selling on the site.  Last two times I was the buyer, the seller invoiced me immediately, which I paid immediately, then let 3 or 4 days go by without communication.  When I asked for an update, I got (BOTH sales) "So sorry, I've been ill in the hospital"!!  I can't count how many times I've heard this, both eBay and Discogs.  The most current one, they apparently have the flu, but of course didn't bother to advise of the delay.  They had invoiced me immediately as well, plus overcharged me for shipping compared to their seller requirements.  I don't understand how these people get 100% feedback ratings.   With all the hospital time they're logging, it's hard to see how they're selling anything at all...
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Michael Mantra RIP
August 24, 2015, 04:07:18 PM
Don't remember seeing mention here, but Michael Mantra passed away last year.  His ambient music was released on Silent, Silentes, Hypnos, and perhaps others I'm not aware of.
Everything and Nothing / People proof CD jewel cases
August 05, 2015, 09:36:24 AM
What's up with some of these jewel cases where it's near impossible to remove or replace the CD from/to the tray, because of the design of the spindle/ring part of the tray?  You can't push on the center to release the disc, so you have to pull up, and often you have to bend the hell out of the disc just to dislodge it.  I just want to go through my collection and round up all these type of cases and smash them to bits with a hammer.  Thanks for listening to my rant.
Seems the demand is quite high for these long out of print Zoviet France CD's you see on eBay or Discogs for crazy $$.  I'm sure the zf members could make some nice coin from reissues, plus the fans would be super happy.  Just wondering why this hasn't happened yet.  I'm sure I could get a reply from Robin Storey about it, he's always answered my emails.  But maybe someone here knows a possible answer before I do so, so I don't ask a question that's already been answered.  I do remember one zf reissue that came out on Soleilmoon years ago, but the title escapes me.  The first edition was released in a wooden box.
There's a 9 min preview of this album on Projekt Bandcamp.  You can really hear the Harold Budd influence here.  Very gloomy track with piano bathed in reverb plus thick droney Steve ambience.  I would describe this as Lovely Thunder (Budd's 1986 album) meets Magnificent Void.  Nice to hear some piano, seems like Dreamtime Return was the last one to use it (or was it Desert Solitaire?)
Projekt has reissued the first Solitaire album. Altered States, digitally.  Highly recommend this one from the early 90s.  Also there's a new Numina CD on Spotted Peccary, a collaboration with Zero Ohms.  Surprised this was never mentioned here, unless I missed it...
Today I pranked a woman at work who I'm friends with both in and outside the office.  The joke was I put a mini post it under her mouse.  It covers the sensor and the pointer on the computer screen won't work as a result.  I wrote April Fools on the note and my name.  I did this last year to two coworkers and they thought it was funny.  I didn't hear from the woman all day and finally went to see her.  I asked if she got my joke and she said no.  The post it had also been taped securely so it wouldn't fall off.  I picked up her mouse and it wasn't there.  She acted like she knew nothing about it.  It could only be removed if someone turned it over and pulled off the tape.

Does this sound "normal" where someone would not acknowledge a little prank and when questioned, totally deny it?  I cannot think of any reason, especially since we are friends.