Looking to add to your collection of Hypnos digipak releases? Now’s your chance! Regularly priced at $11.99, we’re price-cutting them this week to just $7.99! (2CDs regularly priced at $13.99, right now just $9.99.) Sale prices are guaranteed through November 15th, so visit the HYPNOS RECORDINGS section of the HYPNOS ONLINE STORE soon for some great deals!
Follow links for track listings and MP3 samples of all titles.
Herion – Out and About
Herion is an Italian trio whose members include Emanuele Errante (known to Hypnos customers for Humus on Evan Bartholomew’s Somnia label), Enrico Coniglio (Aqua Dorsa project collaborator with Oophoi for the album Cloudlands, he also released Sea Cathedrals solo on Silentes), and Elisa Marzorati.
They’ve created a beautiful and compelling combination of delicate musical structures with “glitch” components and strange, experimental little samples. Always a pleasant, peaceful listen, Out and About brings a blissed-out classical musicality into connection with an artful edge. This combination of elements results in an especially sensitive, moving set of mood pieces. Somewhere between chamber music and minimalism, between lightness and melancholy, this trio balances elements uncommon in ambient music.
“Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio, and Elisa Marzorati have created a wonderful album that moves right to the soul of the listener. While I was familiar with Emanuele Errante, who released the excellent Humus album on Somnia in 2008, the other performers were a mystery to me. Marzorati’s piano motifs, mixed with Coniglio’s multi-faceted contributions involving melodica, harmonica, and treated guitar, all meld beautifully with Errante’s orchestral arrangements.”-–Review by Michael Vitrano for Fluid Radio
“WVKR-FM “Secret Music” Top 25 Albums of 2010
#16. Herion – Out and About – Hypnos” –Scott Raymond, WVKR Radio “Secret Music
“What we have in Herion’s Out and About is a work that is ambient chamber music in every sense of the term: spatial, intimate, classically based. Strip away the subtle wash of electronics that Emanuele Errante and Enrico Coniglio whisper beneath piano from Elisa Marzorati and viola by Piergabriela Mancuso, and what’s left is a rich bed of beautiful compositions for traditional acoustic instruments. (Besides their laptop work, Errante and Coniglio also add strings, guitars and more.) One of the best compliments I can pay Herion is to say that I’d listen just to those elements, sans electronics, and still firmly enjoy the disc. With the opening track, “Oxg,” Herion establish their acoustic-drone base, the metallic rasp of the strings adding not just a texture to the sound, but an equal sense of emotional warmth and humanity. It’s part of the real beauty of Out and About — the way in which we’re intermittently reminded, as the disc goes along, that the sounds aren’t all circuit-born. It’s a good reminder, since it’s easy to lose sight of that as Herion quietly wrap you in smooth sound- ribbons. There’s a lot to like here, and much of begins with Marzaorati’s piano work. Her playing is sweet, graceful and impeccable, whether it’s thoughtfully wandering through Errante and Coniglio’s misty landscapes (“One Minute Before the Sunrise”), holding a polite dialogue with a sighing harmonica (“Cab”), dropping like forgotten tears (“Lindos”), or giving itself over to electronic treatment to capture a sound-image (“The Hanging Glacier”). The disc closes with her playing alone on the appropriately titled “Solo,” and it’s a standout moment on an excellent disc. And while her playing is central to Out and About, it’s the atmospheres that Errante and Coniglio craft around her and Mancuso that give the whole thing an amazing depth and a touch of the ethereal. The worlds are perfectly blended on the dramatic “Moske Orgulje,” with all elements adding their voices in balance. From start to finish, Out and About moves from moments of soulful serenity to breathtaking beauty. Its organic roots run deep to ground the listener in the moment and the experience. Out and About is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.”
–Reviewed by John Shanahan for Hypnagogue
Nebulæ – The Path of White Clouds
Hypnos is pleased to reissue this classic ambient album first released by the Stella Maris label. Nebulæ (previously known as “Nebula”) is an European ambient supergroup of sorts, featuring Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Mathias Grassow, Klaus Wiese, Lorenzo Pierobon, Luna, and Mauro Malgrande. This is a beautiful, ethereal and abstract ambient recording, which certainly deserved greater attention than it received prior to the demise of Stella Maris, which existed only long enough to release two Nebula albums. That first release was a limited edition CDR but our reissue is a professionally manufactured CD in a beautiful digipak with new graphics.
The Path of White Clouds explores a serene and otherworldly soundspace. Meditative and gentle, these six tracks are sure to appeal to listeners who enjoy the more spacious ambient works released by Oophoi during the height of his Umbra and Penumra sister labels. The sound sources utilized here lean more toward the organic and physical instruments, and electronic processing and synthesizers are used subtly to accentuate the rest.
In the years since this album was released, Oophoi has grown from just another new practitioner of ambient music to a recording artist as respected and well-loved as any other. We at Hypnos have released other Oophoi works such as Athlit, and his collaboration with Paul Vnuk Jr. (of Ma Ja Le), Distance to Zero. We also have an upcoming release The Martian Chronicles by Oophoi with Seren Ffordd. Usually we focus on releasing new projects, but sometimes a significant early work becomes completely unavailable. In a case such as this, the material strong enough taht we’re sure listeners will feel it compares favorably with anything recorded since. The Path of White Clouds deserves to be heard.
Steve Brand – Avatara
Steve Brand got his start releasing experimental music under the name “Augur,” and more recently switched over to releasing music under his own name (both solo and in collaboration with such artists as Ishq and Disturbed Earth) on the Atmoworks, Hypnos Secret Sounds and Relaxed Machinery labels. He’s quickly established himself as one of the more interesting and distinctive artists working in ambient music, and having released two albums Bridge to Nowhere and Children of Alcyone on Hypnos Secret Sounds in 2008 and 2009, we’re very excited to follow up with Steve Brand’s new album Avatara on the main Hypnos imprint. This album has a ritual feel common to many of Brand’s recordings, though Avatara is more ambient and less percussive. The recording starts out in a place of low-key contemplation and evolves through distinct stages and moods, though it is always gentle and meditative.
Steve Brand describes some of the inspirations behind this album:
Avatara is Sanskrit for “descent” in the sense of a deity’s descent from heaven to earth. Avatara is inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures…Yeshua, Quan Yin, Buddha, Brigit, Krishna, Saint Germain, White Buffalo Calf Woman, and others. I’m fascinated by the idea and the various stories in various ages and cultures of humans becoming “ascended masters,” or avatars, non-human beings that still are attached to humans and choose to returns to Earth to assist them. The stories vary, and almost every culture has its masters, but one thing is consistent throughout each of their stories, they’ve realized a more expanded expression of being and awareness, of what we are and what we are capable of, and return to assist other human beings.
“To state that AVATARA (61’16”) is “Experimental” is only half the story. While it is an album of sonic experiments, it is not just a random organization of sound. Ambient artist Steve Brand tells a story – although AVATARA does bring more questions than answers. As it wanders the terrain of the possible this work asks you to adjust your sensitivity to music and its possible variations. Some of the pieces are controlled collisions of carefully rendered tones, while others breathe and expand beautifully across a brain-churning expanse of space. Opening with a curious metallic clamor Brand sets an unusual atmosphere. By continually introducing new timbres and captivating designs, across six tracks he sustains a striking sense of wonder. Moods range from dark and questioning to luminous and hopeful. Born of digital, this experience gets better with each pass. The mind seeks patterns, in the world and in music and art. Works like AVATARA at first seem formless. But one must tolerate being lost to appreciate this music. Through active listening we find this work’s structure and then its meaning – grasping the whole from the sum of its parts.” –Reviewed by Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio
“If you’re looking for a contemplative ambient release with a minimal framework, Steve Brand’s “Avatara” (inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures) could be an appropriate choice. I for one would classify it as high-quality contemplative music, due to its ongoing gentle flow of textural pads with occasional mystic undercurrents and nature sounds. The six meandering tracks feature spacious music for slow, silent times and meditation, smoothly opening the gate to a world of splendour and wonder.
“Avatara’s” longform soundcape music, devoid of any rhythm, is great to escape from the rat race of modern life, as it makes the busy mind settle down bit by bit along the way.”
–Reviewed by Bert Strolenberg, SonicImmersion.org
A Produce & Loren Nerell – Intangible
The first collaboration between two artists well-known to Hypnos listeners and fans of ambient & experimental music in general.
While Intangible has a meditative and tranquil drifting quality, it also incorporates more melodic and rhythmic elements than most ambient music of the present day. Listeners who like their ambience musical will enjoy this as much as those who like their drones deep and mystical.
Though it’s the duo’s first collaboration together, both of them have been releasing music for about a quarter century. These guys are responsible for some of our “Desert Island Disc” listening material here at Hypnos HQ (A Smooth Surface and Lilin Dewa are both long-time favorites). Often at Hypnos we try to introduce new, fresh talent to our listeners, but this is a case of two music-makers who know all the tricks, and yet continue to create work as vibrant and inspired as anything on the cutting edge.
A Produce has released ten albums, including two on Hypnos (Smile on the Void solo, and Altara in collaboration with Hypnos founder M. Griffin). Loren Nerell has released solo work on Amplexus, Soleilmoon, and Side Effects, and collaborated with ambient music giant Steve Roach on Terraform in 2006.
“This release from 2011 offers 55 minutes of ethereal ambience.
Melodic elements lurk within these harmonic electronic compositions.
Many of the electronics are keyboard generated in contrast to the sustained drone backdrops that ripple like environments of cloud throughout the pieces. The keyboards introduce pacific patterns, often twinkling like luminous fish swimming through a murky medium.
While a certain gentility is pronounced in the majority of the sonics, some sounds possess a subtle density which injects a dramatic flair to the otherwise floating mien. At other times the auralscapes feature heavenly pulsations, drawing attention to a positive radiance from above.
Some pieces feature ethnic percussives; in one case that influence is tempered by winsome flutes, creating a pensive diversity. Other pieces utilize synthetic beats to introduce languid rhythms to the songs. And there are some songs devoid of any tempos altogether.
These compositions are tailored to induce a trance state in the listener, removing them from the heyday of their mortal routines and relegating their consciousness to a region of deceptively intangible (but artfully prevailing) potential. The insertion of melody into the harmonic fabric results in highly engaging tuneage.” –Reviewed by soniccuriosity.com
“Great album. An “instant classic” in the Hypnos catalog, and probably the best thing I’ve heard this year.” –Drone On, on the Hypnos Forum
Seren Ffordd & Oophoi – The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles, inspired by Ray Bradbury’s story collection of the same name, sounds very much like the soundtrack to a mysterious and strange science fiction film that exists only in the imaginations of Seren Ffordd and Oöphoi. These seven tracks, while slow, moody and at times weirdly alien, also evoke a drama and emotional depth absent from much recent ambient music. It’s a complex and beautiful mixture of electronic instruments, field recordings and percussion.
These artists will both likely be familiar to Hypnos listeners. Seren Ffordd has released several albums on our Hypnos Secret Sound imprint, and also contributed to the Hypnos compilation Sounds of a Universe Overheard. The name Seren Ffordd (real name Andy Benford) is Welsh for Star Road, Way of Stars or Milky Way.
Oöphoi himself released Athlit in 2002, Distance to Zero (with Paul Vnuk) in 2006, and his Nebulae group project album Path of White Clouds in 2011, all on Hypnos. Gianluigi Gasparetti, the man behind Oöphoi, first became known for creating the excellent Italian music periodical Deep Listenings. His Oöphoi persona burst onto the ambient music scene in the late 1990s and quickly became one of the most talented and prolific sound artists around. He founded the now-defunct labels Umbra and Penumbra, which released the earliest recordings of Seren Ffordd. After working together in this capacity for several years The Martian Chronicles is their first collaboration, but not their last; the pair has already completed another full album worth of material.
We at Hypnos are proud to bring you this collaborative work from two of the most interesting and talented ambient musicians out there, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.
“The Martian Chronicles is a 74-minute longform album inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short science fiction story by the same name. It is the first collaborative album between Oöphoi (aka Italian drone expert Gianluigi Gasparetti) and Welch soundscape composer Seren Ffordd (aka Andy Benford).
What we got here is a deep and immersive work of cinematic ambient that took about three years in the making. The seven tracks feature vast, dark and slow morphing drone textures along field recordings and percussion, making up an intense trip into a mysterious and alienating world with psychedelic edges.
The Martian Chronicles is a spacious recording meant for deeper and focussed listening, that seems to submerge the listener even more when heard with a good pair of headphones. If you’re into dense ambient art works with both subtle changes along fine environmental sounds, this quality album is for you.” –Review by Bert Strolenberg
“Two drone purveyors are unlocking the gateway of the Void, enter now!!!
Seren Ffordd, in Wales based drone master, has released since 2006 several albums and EPs on Oöphoi’s Umbra and Penumbra labels. Now teamed with the Italian drone king for their first collaborative work, “The Martian Chronicles”, on Hypnos, where both artists have released several albums (Seren Ffordd on Hypnos Secret Sounds). Sculpted during 2006-2009 and inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short science fiction story from 1950, “The Martian Chronicles”, released in October 2011 and packaged in attractive 4-panel digipak, is an adventurous and deep sonic exploration merging the talents of Andy Benford aka Seren Ffordd and Gianluigi Gasparetti aka Oöphoi. Nearly 15 minutes long overture, “The Long Years”, opens this grandeur voyage with colossally deep drones with invading bells, gongs and extraterrestrial-infused rumblings and resonations. A truly immense soundwalls designed for all aficionados of ultra deep, massive ambience, magnificent!!! With the next, again 15-minute composition, we dive straightly into a chasmic void. “Dead Cities” are painted in the first half with extremely freezing drones and mechanized breathings climbing into the throne of drones, while in the second half the breathings slowly dissolve and some, rather distractive and ominous effects step into the fore and color this ultimate giant drone wizardry. This is stunningly stellar and powerful sound sculpting evoking wonderful sense of spatial emptiness!!! “Blue Fire”, another longer piece, keeps on the more active, emerging route, where assorted, mostly otherworldly, at times oddly sounding effects and outbursts enrich the drone. Also few recognizable sounds can be heard, for example something like a trot of a horse. “End Of A Changeling” is shorter, eclectic piece featuring extracts from each track, cut and mixed. “Canals” opens with watery and distant storm sounds that support more free floating drifts, quite relieving and relaxing when comparing to preceding adventurous sonic alchemy. The next composition, “Flamebirds Waiting For The Storm”, as its title tells, is flavored with processed bird calls, later the rain and thunder shake the heaven to achieve the most organic environment. Deeply echoed, slow-motion drones with occasional rumblings escape into the darkness of sinkholing “Unremembered” and provide the closing part of this truly absorbing and fantabulous sonic mystery and mastery. “The Martian Chronicles” is purely transcendental listening experience!!! Two drone purveyors are unlocking the gateway of the Void, enter now!!!” –Review by Richard Gurtler
Caul – Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night
Caul has released an array of incredible dark, cinematic ambient music, but much of it has been self-released in small quantities, so many listeners who might potentially enjoy his work might be unfamiliar with it. His collaboration with Numina, Inside the Hollow Realm, did receive a fair bit of attention five or six years ago, but Caul has mostly flown under the radar. As I mentioned, most of his work has been self-released, often in elegant, artisanal hand-made packaging. See his Discogs Page for more information about his work, or his own site at caul.org/.
Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night is a wonderful mix of sounds and atmospheres: dark without being spooky, melodic but not pretty, listenable, but too nervous and somber to ever become predictable. These pieces are more composed and structured than most ambient music, more akin to the soundtrack for some dark and moody piece of cinema. Imagine the score to an undiscovered work by David Lynch or Andrei Tarkovsky and you have the idea.
“Caul is Brett Smith.
A variety of instruments are employed in conjunction with electronics to generate soothing tuneage.
In one track, piano delineates passages of delicate resonance. In another, guitars establish a mildly bouncy mood. One piece flourishes with cerebral cellos, while another utilizes the darker timbre of bass in tandem with crisply twinkling keyboards to create a gentle flow. Another track combines soft violins with heavenly chorales to achieve a celestial demeanor. While another piece takes a dark turn with remote percussives, grinding guitar chords and ominous tonalities, all of which accomplish a pensive mood more than any sense of dread.
While electronics are definitely present (often in a subtle fashion that serves to mesh everything together) their presence is generally too subliminal to clearly detect.
Despite their versatility, these compositions share a common temperament of pensive melodies. The music is somber, but not dark; relaxed, but not drab. No matter what you want to classify it as, though, the end result is satisfying, rewarding the listener with a pleasant sonic environment. Since the tracks are all short, the type of pleasantness changes in definition but remains constant in its lilting result.” –Review by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
Bruno Sanfilippo – Urbs
Bruno Sanfilippo is a classically trained musician and composer, resident of Barcelona, Spain, and cofounder of the ad21 label. He has collaborated with such notable artists as Mathias Grassow, Byron Metcalf, Max Corbacho and Alio Die.
Sanfilippo’s work ranges from more melodic and structured to ambient drones with more a subtle and subdued musical component. Urbs, Sanfilippo’s first project released with Hypnos Recordings, falls nicely in the middle ground among the artist’s previous work. It’s an intriguing combination of ambient textures with location sound recordings, along the lines of the classic Hypnos releases Sonic Continuum (Modell and Mantra) and Silence Speaks in Shadow (Paul Vnuk Jr.), but with more of an urban or cityscape flavor.
The title Urbs derives from the prominent incorporation urban sound environments, recorded by Sanfilippo in urban environments such as train stations, streets, bars and other public areas to explore the boundaries between the textural sounds which surround all of us day to day, and the nature of composed sound art such as music. These “real world” sound textures merge with more traditional electronics such as synthesizers and samplers, leaving no doubt as to the composed and “intentional” nature of these soundscapes.
Gentle and evocative, subtly textural and transporting, Urbs is something we genuinely expect to become a long-term favorite among Hypnos releases.
“Field recordings are the key elements of “Urbs” and “BIOMA”, the last two albums of Bruno Sanfilippo (on “BIOMA” he was joined by his fellow soundscaper, Max Corbacho). While on “BIOMA” documenting the life of a nature, on “Urbs” Bruno has decided to focus on everyday’s life of a city, when collecting location recordings from various European metropoles plus New York by mapping surrounding environments like train or subway stations, streets, bars, churches… This brand new album, Bruno’s 16th when counting also his collaborations with Mathias Grassow or above mentioned Max Corbacho, is not only his premiere work for renowned Hypnos label, but also a quite radical departure from all his previous works that are spanning from rather ambient/new age oriented, through deeper organic or cinematic ambience to modern classical influenced. Bruno Sanfilippo is now venturing with “Urbs” into more minimal soundscaping with gently portrayed pulsing life of the city. To be honest, without knowing the name of the artist who is behind “Urbs”, I would never connect it to Bruno Sanfilippo. But don’t be afraid, because this chameleonic change is not only totally adventurous, but also proving the unlimited creativity and considerable talent of this sound architect (born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but residing in Barcelona, Spain). “Urban Flow” is perfectly chosen name for opening piece, with dominating colder on-site recordings of various rumblings, noises, buzzes, creaks or squeaks, all wrapped by hazed nocturnal atmosphere and masterfully merged with deeply evocative drones and assorted mesmerizingly or mysteriously emerging voice and choir samples. Wow, this is absolutely phenomenal, nearly 15-minute intro!!! Grandioso & mágico, Bruno!!! Voice transmissions unfold the next piece, “The City Reflected”, clocking over 20 minutes. Deep, nearly ear-bending echoes, various rumblings, mysteriously odd voices enter the stage as well, everything harmoniously crafted and bridged, and superbly evoking a place similar to some underground lively corridor. Cascading sonic palette is minimal, but intense and maximally effective. “Chaotic Order”, a 25 and half minutes long opus reveals with deeper drones, again enriched by distant conversations and various street rumblings, serenely drifting before entering during the second third into slightly more active areas with glitchy and hissy elements invading. The last third returns to more mysterious and droning course with assorted noises, breathings and voices on the back. Definitely another deeply absorbing masterpiece!!! The closing piece, 7-minute “The Gray Umbrella”, is colored by various voice recordings, possibly the most textured sonic escapade slowly moving towards the end into minimal and quieter, nearly meditative outro. “Urbs” is stirringly challenging and refreshing, carefully sculpted and fused into amazingly homogeneous structure, with strong attention paid to every detail. This album delivers enormous amount of spectacular listening moments and transports each listener into magnificently immersing urban environments. Bravo to Bruno Sanfilippo, bravo to Hypnos!!!” –review by Richard Gurtler
“It looks like Hypnos hit the bullseye with this splendid release. It’s already among my top favorites. Bruno’s best by far IMHO…. This music deserves a mountain of praise. Congrats to Hypnos for such a memorable release.” –Joseph Pe
Numina – The Deception of Reality
The Deception of Reality is the fourth Numina release on Hypnos, the first since 2007’s Shift to the Ghost. Still present is Numina’s trademark sound, combining abstract deep-space textures with subtle melodic and rhythmic elements, but with a new emphasis on more vivid sonics. Listeners seeking smooth, creamy synthesizer background textures will still find them, here overlaid with more “up front” accents. Extra care has been taken in the mixing and mastering to preserve the separation and placement of individual instruments, and we believe the result is the best pure sound experience Numina has ever come up with.
As with the last Numina album, The Deception of Reality is a continuous, long-form ambient music piece of about 72 minutes, broken into five “tracks” for listening convenience. Unlike much long-form ambient, this sound work is ever-changing, continually evolving in mood and sound texture, bringing in new instruments while fading out old ones. Despite its continuous format, the album is so varied across its duration that most listeners would likely never notice they’re listening to a single unbroken piece.
Numina is vague about the meaning of the title, which could be taken in any of several ways. Some hint may be derived from the Albert Einstein quote within the liner notes: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
We at Hypnos sincerely believe this to be the best Numina work yet, sure to please his existing fans while perhaps engaging with some new listeners as well.
Robert Rich – Sunyata & Inner Landscapes (2CD)
We’re very pleased to make available this archival 2CD digipak reissue of two of Robert Rich’s earliest albums, Sunyata and Inner Landscapes. Both albums were originally released on cassette, then issued for the first time on CD by Hypnos in 1999-2000. Two classic Robert Rich albums together in a deluxe package including 2CDs, 6-panel digipak and 8 page booklet insert.
Of this new release, Robert says:
Three decades after the release of my early works “Sunyata” (1982) and “Inner Landscapes” (1985), we created an archival edition with the help of Mike Griffin at Hypnos, who sponsored the first CD re-issues of these albums back in the late 1990s. After those pressings sold out, we decided to wait before bringing them back, assuming that the interest in physical media might be diminishing in favor of downloads. As it happens, people still express interest in getting a beautiful artistic package holding music that somehow stays relevant after all these years. “Sunyata & Inner Landscapes” will be the first of two double CD re-issues with beautiful digipack artwork and an 8 page booklet, followed in a few months with another archival edition of “Trances & Drones.”
Robert Rich – Trances & Drones (2CD)
Hypnos is pleased to collaborate with Robert Rich on this deluxe reissue of Rich’s out of print classic ambient drone work.
Originally released on cassette individually three decades ago, Trances and Drones were later released together on double-CD by Extreme (1994) and Release (2000). Our new edition, designed to be the ultimate archival version of an essential ambient/drone classic, includes a beautiful 6-panel digipak with 8-page full-color booklet insert.
Antonio Testa & Michel Moglia – Forget the Past
Antonio Testa may be best known for his ethno-ambient collaborations with Alio Die, but he has also released a diverse variety of solo ambient music on such labels as Hic Sunt Leones, Faria and Emit. Testa’s collaborator Michel Moglia, credited here with fire organ, flute and drones, will be a new name to most.
Often ambient recordings pursue a single sub-genre or niche — dark ambient, ethno ambient or drone, for example — and stick faithfully to it. Forget the Past exhibits a pleasing diversity, with plenty of gently atmospheric stretches, rthythms that sometimes fade out and at other times build to a wicked trance churn. The sound is clean, yet derives from a full list of natural and organic sound source, and a diverse set of field recordings.
One track lays gritty, hallucinogenic flute lines over a slow-swooping psychedelic rhythm mechanism and incantatory female whispers and recitations like an overheard magic spell. Another mixes bird sounds and subtle electronic atmosphere with distantly echoing percussion, creating something like a soundtrack to a lost film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Percussion with a tribal or ethno flavor is used in an unusual way, not to fake a specific brand of exoticism, but to create a sense of something both intuitively familiar and also strangely foreign.
Forget The Past covers a lot of sonic ground and a broad range of moods, but it’s always unpredictible and fresh, while remaining smooth, introspective and restrained.
Subradial – Ice Diving
Subradial is the musical alias of Tomasz Szatewicz, who was born in the small Polish town of Mragowo. He’s been creating electronic music for twenty years, and has previously released the albums Bioloophorm 1, Bioloophorm 2 and Biorephorm on labels such as dataObscura and AtmoWoroks. His more recent work combines drones, subtle rhythmic loops and textures into churning, visually evocative soundworlds.
Of his inspirations and approach, Tomasz AKA Subradial says: “I was always inspired by listening to the sounds of the environment… I use everything that sounds interesting and what I can further process to create the imagined soundscape, a vision of some place, express my emotions or moods connected with particular times or places, either existing in real life or just imagined/dreamed.”
Ice Diving, his first release for Hypnos Recordings, is an album composed around a theme suggested by the title: a soundtrack to an underwater journey. Like the title, the cover photo (from an actual ice diving expedition in Antarctica) gives a sense of the sound worlds evoked by Subradial’s music. Many ambient recording artists apply titles to their music intending to suggest a theme, but here the effect is especially strong.
Ice Diving is an extraordinarily visual and immersive sound journey, with a wonderful balance between atmospheric/drone elements, and more musical or rhythmic components.
Dave Fulton – Of Those Things Left Unsaid
Of Those Things Left Unsaid is the first new solo release in over a decade from Dave Fulton, former member of electronic group Dweller at the Threshold (who released Ouroborus on Hypnos sublabel Binary in 2001. Fulton also released The Range, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Giles Reaves, on Binary in 2007, and two collaborations with Hypnos founder M. Griffin, The Most Distant Point Known and Imprint.
Incorporating a blend of rich analog and modular electronics along with digital synthesizers, plus piano and guitar, Of Those Things Left Unsaid evolved over the course of thirteen years’ creation. Composed and recorded by Dave Fulton, with contributions from Jamie Haggerty and Giles Reaves, a completely organic approach to recording was taken, using a variety of vintage electronic synthesizers and early 8 & 12 bit samplers. While much modern electronic music is primarily sequence-driven and quantized to a degree that renders the music more robotic than human, Fulton tried to use computers only as recording the performances, not driving them.
Perhaps Fulton’s most emotive and personal work, Of Those Things Left Unsaid should not only appeal to existing fans of Fulton’s earlier solo and collaborative works, but also those listeners seeking a blend of retro and modern electronic sounds with a smooth musicality.
“Dave Fulton’s latest sonic collection is pure lush, analog goodness. Moody, blissed-out synths weave, stereo-pan and bubble through serene, haunting soundscapes. The perfect emotive-yet-chill soundtrack for driving, meditation, running along the Coast on a cold, rainy morning or working on that unsolved murder mystery in the dead of night.”