After a short break, we’re back with a random selection of deeply price-slashed items, and the incredibly low prices are good through July 4th or while supplies last.
Opium/Sostrah Tinnitus – Stain –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
“Warm, involving, deep and penetrating… Flowing sound patterns, vibrating drones permeated by a discreet sense of tension, evolving in dark, obscure, foggy, nocturnal atmospheres, violated by raven voices, mysterious noises and sounds of metal objects in motion… And then concrete noises, confused and elusive melodies, feeble light flashes, buried echoes of human voices, distant whispers, sudden passages of rough sounds, undefined nuisances, subliminal and hypnotic sequences.” -Silentes
Listen to the track, CLOGGED RAIN BOX from this album.
Paul Vnuk Jr. & Oophoi – Distance to Zero –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
This recording works in roughly the same “slow drone” territory explored by Vnuk and Oophoi on their solo Hypnos releases, Silence Speaks in Shadows and Athlit, respectively. At the same time, it has a different sonic character, at times slow and dark and smooth, but at other moments bright and modern and metallic. Distance to Zero could fairly be described as some of the most daring and experimental work by either artist… a true surprise to these ears when the demo arrived here at Hypnos HQ. It definitely has an “edge” to it, though it’s still definitely easy and smooth listening. I have no doubt this will be a much-loved and much-discussed Hypnos release, and a significant milestone in the discography of both Vnuk and Oophoi.
Vnuk’s Silence Speaks in Shadows and Oophoi’s Athlit are two of the best-loved releases on Hypnos, and now these two great artists have combined their creative and sound-sculpting powers for a new work!
MP3 Samples HERE.
A Produce – Reflect Like a Mirror, Respond Like an Echo –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
1997 special edition (remastered, with extra tracks) version of 1992 release.
“Absolutely entrancing and mood-seducing, this is active ambient music, and, although electronically derived and motivated, results in an abundancy of lush, warm sounds that invite, beckon and entice. Keyboardist Ruben Garcia assists on the title track and the achingly beautiful “Clear Pools,” where the dark hues of A Produce’s electronics mesh seamlessly with Garcia’s striking digital chords. Captivating.”
“This fascinating CD combines the best of Eno, Budd, Hassell, Roach, Rich, and Borden. The result is a meditative trance journey the like of which I haven’t heard since Michael Stearns’ Planetary Unfolding…. an utterly sublime tour of outer and inner space….. This CD covers a lot of ground and will cross many listening genre boundaries, as is evidenced by its reviews in all the other alternative music publications.”
MP3 Samples HERE.
eM – Outward (CDEP) –Closeout priced at just $0.99!
The Foundry says:
This release continues the FOUNDRYEP series, following Ben Swire’s Equilibrium EP. It features music in an atmospheric and experimental mode, following along the lines of eM’s All the Stars Burning Bright release, but also incorporating other ideas and sounds.
The Outward EP is the first eM solo release since 2001’s All the Stars Burning Bright. eM (Foundry founder Michael Bentley) follows on from where All the Stars Burning Bright left off, exploring a more experimental sound with this suite of three pieces. Beginning with the loops and drones of From the Earth, developing through textural washes of Across the Milky Way, and closing with the powerful and hypnotic rhythms of Beyond the Magellanic Clouds, Outward presents an engrossing soundscape that occupies an audio space where Robert Rich, Lustmord and Brian Eno meet.
Robert Scott Thompson – At the Still Point of the Turning World –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
Reviewed by Bill Binkelman for windandwire.com:
“Robert Scott Thompson writes some of the most provocative ambient music currently available. By provocative, I mean it literally provokes a reaction. His latest release, At The Still Point Of The Turning World, is a wondrous fog-shrouded excursion into melancholy minimalism that can be both eerily calm and forebodingly beautiful. At times reminiscent of Harold Budd or Tim Story, yet never overtly derivative of either of them. On At The Still Point…, Thompson paints sonic landscapes in muted colors, using impressionistic strokes and techniques that demonstrate his mastery of subtlety, nuance, and neo-classical textures. It’s hard to believe this artist is still relatively undiscovered. On the other hand, Thompson’s recordings are almost always unusually sophisticated and intelligent; he does not record “mass market” ambient music. However, At The Still Point…is, most likely, his most accessible recording for novices, although it still challenges jaded listeners (such as yours truly) with unexpected twists and turns and moments of juxtaposition that can startle and amaze.
MP3 samples HERE.
Nimh – The Missing Tapes –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
“Stratospheric sounds from another dimension, where multi-cultural sound-worlds collide. Processed electronic emulations of traditional Thai (and other indigenous) instruments, esoteric percussion, breathing, drones, feedback, shortwave radio, disembodied voices floating in air, and hazy field recordings all combine is a most intoxicating manner. With THE MISSING TAPES, NIMH returns to a more adventurous style, pushing the boundaries of sonic innovation past anything that we’ve heard before. An amazing 50+ minute sonic-travelogue of electroacoustic experiments.” -Silentes
LISTEN to Track 4 from this album.
Various Artists – Echoes of Polyhymnia –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
Polyhymnia was one of the Muses of Greek myth, specifically the Muse of sacred hymn. Echoes of Polyhymnia compiles music in ambient and related genres composed and recorded exclusively by women. This genre is so male-dominated generally that we had a lot of fun gathering interesting ambient sounds, including some works that have one foot in ambient territory and another foot in one of several different, related genres. It covers styles and flavors as diverse as ambient, drone, glitch, vocal collage, goth and electronica.
Hypnos manager (and artist) Lena Griffin curated this specially-themed compilation which gathers an assortment of ambient & atmospheric sound works from around the world. This project reveals a totally new angle on ambient music, more diverse and wide-ranging than all previous ambient compilations from Hypnos. Ranging from ethereal to dark to pretty to spooky to melodic, we think this album displays a solidly worthwhile musical and soundscape content beyond just the curiosity and “I’ve never seen that before” factor of the theme.
“The nine Muses struck up a lifestirring melody. Polyhymnia, nursingmother of the dance, waved her arms and sketched in the air an image of a soundless voice, speaking with hands and moving eyes in a graphic picture of silence full of meaning.” –The Dionysiaca of Nonnus
MP3 samples HERE.
Austere – Eco –Right now just $4.99
“This recording was made using a balalaika (a three stringed chordophone instrument from the Mediterranean), a number of analog and digital delays wired in series and Space Echo. The composition was arranged using a technique Reich called “phasing”, where each discrete piece of music, or “phrase”, is allowed to overlap the same or similar pieces but are slightly out of time sync with the original, creating a slowly evolving recording that changes subtly but perseptively over its entire course. As Reich wrote:
To facilitate closely detailed listening a musical process should happen extremely gradually. Both releases are designed to be played at normal or quiet levels, and are meant to be looped or played on repeat, with each piece slowly building up from near silence, growing to a quiet crescendo, and subsiding back to a whisper. Secondly, Eco, same as Convergence, was encoded with brainwave frequencies accentuated by bi-aural panning to create constructive and destructive interfernce in such a way as to create spatial sound characteristics so that the brainwaves should be somewhat effective even without the use of headphones, although it is most effective with them. Convergence was encoded with theta waves from 4-7 Hz to induce a feeling of calm, peace, and relaxation, to enchange meditation or contemplation.
Eco plays an entirely different purpose. It is meant to be played quietly when going to sleep, and should help lull the listener into a relaxed state, and then into various deep sleep-related phases of brain patterns. More information about sleep and its patterns will soon be available here.”
READ MORE about this interesting release.
Mystified – Passing through the Outer Gates, Eulogy Series Volume 1 –Right now just $4.99!
“Ambient and dark ambient soundscapes alike are deftly populated by neo-classical elements, occasionally with an experimental twist! There are no comparisons to other musicians or albums, as this album and the journey within are distinctly those of Mystified! Dare you join Thomas on his spiritual journey? Or do you fear to leave this world behind?”
Mystified`s “Passing Through the Outer Gates” is presented in an A5 digipak with silver foil-embossed lettering and a specially die-cut cover whose coffin-shaped hole reveals only a hint of the true album cover artwork underneath! Featuring David Demaret`s “Burning Souls” painting, with additional graphics and layout by Eclipse Media.
Limited to 500 copies. -First Fallen Star
Dave Fulton & Giles Reaves – The Range –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
Dave and Giles met at the Different Skies festival at Arizona’s Arcosanti. The two of them hit it off musically and after nearly 4 years of hard work the CD “The Range” was the result. Why did it take 4 years? The answer is as complex as the feelings behind the music. First there was distance, then life. Many of the songs were written during periods of emotional exile, pain and just general muck. Distance provided an interesting fodder for collaboration. Songs would start off as single cells and fly back and forth over the internet until they had grown into complex organisms. The ability to let go of pre-concieved outcomes allowed the true spirit of collaboration to fertilize the ideas. A decision was made from the start to allow any instrument, tool and any feeling to propel the song. The duo’s ability to deal with the technical aspects of a long distance collaboration helped immensely but soon it became necessary to meet again and finish the recordings. In the summer of 2007 life allowed the basic overdubs to be completed in Salt Lake City. Then long distance mixing began. The result is a rich but cohesive collection of songs that range from ambient to progressive rock, and incorporate influences from tribal to electronica to new age.
Description by Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End radio host (WXPN):
“American Electronic Musicians Dave Fulton & Giles Reaves, make their East-Coast concert debut in Philadelphia within the remarkable setting of St. Mary’s Hamilton Village on 21 April 2007 as part of The Gatherings Concert Series. Local spacemusic duo Orbital Decay will open.
Giles Reaves has to his credit several influential albums of innovative electronic music, including the genre defining “Wunjo”. Dreamy, trance-inducing melodic textures figure prominently in his music.
Part mad scientist, part sonic visionary, Dave Fulton’s command of the many custom designed electronics at his disposal is formidable. Currently playing in two underground rock bands, Fulton filters this activity through his years of experience with the Berlin-School inspired ensemble Dweller at the Threshold to realize a new and unique music.
“The Range”, the debut release by The Fulton/Reaves Project, is a diverse but cohesive collection of songs that range from Ambient to Progressive Rock, and incorporate influences from Tribal to Electronica to New Age.”
MP3 samples HERE.
Various Artists – Lost and Found (2cd) –Right now just $4.99!
“What a great compilation this is… If you’ve wondered about the various releases on this label and been afraid to check them out, this would be an excellent way to go about it.” -Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
“This double CD provides a perfect introduction to The Foundry and its aural philosophy.” -Greg Clow, Grooves magazine
Numina – Shift to the Ghost –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
Numina’s third album on Hypnos Recordings is “Shift to the Ghost,” a long-form continuous piece with indexed track points. Each song is distinctly different in feel, but the songs evolve seamlessly into each other.
Numina himself states that the album “is about the life and death of the physical self,” hence the title. Whatever the concept, this album contains all the elements Numina fans enjoy, from deep and sombre ambient, to twinkling, swirling space music, constantly evolving. It’s a long, fascinating visual journey, and it never grows tired.
The latest work from ambient “rising star” Numina is possibly his best yet.
“This release from 2006 features 70 minutes of eerie tuneage. Numina is Jesse Sola. Pensive tonalities rise to insinuate a portentous presence into a brooding darkness. It’s a tenuous presence, however; one that exhibits little animation, watching with unseen eyes and subtly influencing its immediate environs. Sighing electronic textures undulate with luxurious determination. Ethereal waves seep across the firmament, occluding silence with a translucent demeanor. A liquid undercurrent aids this vaporous resonance. Buried in the atmospheric flow are hints of violins and drawn cellos, so deeply immersed that they could well be illusionary sounds. Also lurking in the mix are traces of more demonstrative electronics, but pulsations actually surface to calmly dominate the ambience and generate a savory tension. An eerie mien permeates these songs, but there’s nothing ominous or threatening about these sonic ghosts. They are congenial spirits, conveying wisdom and introspection to the listener. Sola’s predilection for seasoning his pure ambience with softly churning activity imbues this music with a seductive quality. The compositions maintain a resolute dedication to a borderland between minimalism and density, producing tuneage that glimmers with implications as it seethes with gossamer vitality. Harmonic passages are tinged with evocative substance.”
–Reviewed by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity, www.soniccuriosity.com
“a Great album. calmful and dark beauty, Highly Recommended!”
–Parallel Worlds, on the Hypnos Forum
MP3 samples HERE.
Relapxych.O/Quantec/Deer – Shapes and Phases of Ambience –Closeout priced at just $0.99!
“Ghost Sounds present a luxurious and submersive compilation featuring the work of three artists, Quantec, Deer and Relapxych.O. The concept of “Shapes and Phases of Ambience” is to present different sides of ambience — everyday sounds constantly surrounding us, outdoor sounds, workplace atmospheres, musical instruments, synthesizers or equipment used in studios, whatever it might be, the two most basic elements being drone and rhythm. Locating and extracting rhythms from within ambience, rhythms within drones drones within rhythm, deconstructing and reconstructing, alone or combined, unlimited.” -bookmat.com
Saul Stokes – Abstraction –Right now just $4.99
First release by Saul Stokes on the Green House label. Combines never- before-heard live performance elements into a soundscape collage — a very fresh sound that’s different from his Hypnos releases…. more “abstract,” as hinted by the title.
Says Stokes: My latest release “Abstraction,” fuses the best of 3 years of concert recordings with my latest multitrack atmospheric work. From Philadelphia to Seattle, this album is a fireball of ambiance. “Abstraction” isn’t a noise collage, or easy listening ambient fluff. It is an incredibly listenable, wildly fresh and inventive continuous play album.
“Electrical appliances today are taken for granted by our culture, but not by Saul Stokes. Dubbed everything from Sonic Innovator to (in jest) “Popular Science’s Electronic Musician of the Year”, Stokes stands out in his field by having designed and built his own array of museum quality electronic instruments. This achievement enables Stokes with precise control over his original sounds and textures from the AC plug all the way to the PA speakers. But this is about more than just wires and solder. While Stokes demonstrates unprecedented real-time control over the output of his gear, inspiration for his music comes from an outlet on a more human scale. The intimacy of the concert stage is where Stokes transforms his craft into art. The immediacy of the moment, the consistent pattern of change and the spark of inspiration all act upon Stokes as he produces continuous currents of sound for a spellbound audience. At these rare and wonderful events, harmony takes a backseat to timbre as determiner of the emotional content of a piece. Constantly adjusting the tonal qualities of the composition by ear, the direction of a piece can change at will as the schematic of the performance is updated and changed by Stokes moment to moment. Although faded from his consciousness, the audience plays an important role in his music too. According to Stokes, these compositions cannot be realized outside the intimacy of the live environment. The new album Abstraction, compiles highlights from several such occasions. Each track is born out of vision, craft and spontaneity and strung together one after the other to form a virtual concert. The album flows smoothly through a contoured electric landscape of distinctive pads, drifting pitches and atonal synthesizer effects. Abstraction is a cerebral album that seductively draws the listener in, leaving you to find your own way out.” -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END
Listen to the track, THE TWIN WORLDS OF ABSTRACTION from this album.
Ben Swire – Equilibrium (CDEP) –Closeout priced at just $0.99!
The Foundry press release:
The first in the FOUNDRY EP SERIES is Ben Swire’s Equilibrium, bringing together the strands of beat, melody, and atmosphere to create an intoxicating travelogue in sound. The detail in these compositions is remarkable, each piece picking up the thread of the others as well as developing its own unique character. This release will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Jonathan Hughes’ Trillium CD, the output of City Centre Offices, or Susumu Yokota’s Grinning Cat and Sakura.
Early on Ben Swire’s interest in music took the form of building a studio in the basement of his home in Newton, MA (a suburb of Boston) and engineering for a variety of acts. He played drums with the band Bode, and gradually became interested in exploring different unique production techniques and creating his own music.
Ben graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000 with a BA in Media Arts. While there he studied electronic music composition with Charles Bestor, winner of the 1999 Bourges (France) International Electro-Acoustic Music Competition (Dr Bestor had studied with Vladimir Ussachevsky). In 2000 Ben released a split 7″ record with the band Audio Explorations which caught the attention of Riz Maslen (aka Neotropic) with whom he later collaborated on an NTone (a division of Ninja Tune) 7″ that included the work of ex-Verve guitarist Nick McCabe. During this time time Ben was living in London and performed as a member of the act “Minus” crafting live experimental and improvisational electronic music. More recently Ben scored “FM,” an animation piece by Australian artist Rebecca Cannon which was premiered at the 2002 Transmediale Festival in Berlin.
Karsten Hamre – Through the Eyes of a Stranger (CD + DVD) –Right now just $4.99
“Karsten crafts desolate dark ambient sound structures, ornamented by sampled sounds and experimental textures. The end result of this process is an experience categorized perhaps too simply as dark ambient, though it more closely resembles a dark soundtrack to a movie, or to a life – as seen through the eyes of a stranger… Presented in a DVD case with professionally pressed CD and professionally printed artwork, limited to 1,000 copies. The first 500 copies are presented in a 2-disc DVD case with a professionally pressed bonus DVD (PAL format), also titled “Through the Eyes of a Stranger,” that takes the viewer on a visual journey of imagery used for live performances.” -First Fallen Star