(all February 2011 news updates are combined to one entry below)
I posted last week about some recent reviews for the latest Hypnos CD, Out and About by Herion. Turns out I missed two important reviews, one
of which I’d seen and somehow managed to miss posting to this site, and the other which was new to me. Here they are, one from Hypnagogue and the
other from Vital Weekly, both of these review sites worth checking out.
“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
“Probably there aren’t many groups on Hypnos: this ambient label usually releases albums by artists who work alone on their electronic, ambient music, but
Herion is a group, a trio from Italy, with as its members Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio and Elisa Marzorati (the latter of whom I never heard). Two firm names
from the strong Italian ambient scene. The instruments at their disposal includes not just things with keys and knobs, but also field recordings, guitars, harmonica,
bells, gong, rainstick, piano plus a guest role on some of the pieces by Piergabriele Mancuso on viola (or perhaps all tracks?). This gives the album a great quality,
breaking away from the traditional ambient music, and expanding into the world of classical music with all these acoustic instruments. Especially the violin plays a
strong role in defining that classical sound. The music here is pretty strong. Definitely moody and atmospheric, but also quite warm and acoustic. I was reminded
of the CD by Modern Institute on Expanding Records (see Vital Weekly 518), which was also, curiously enough, Italian. A highly refined work.”
–Reviewed in Vital Weekly #756
Thanks for both reviewers for the support. The CD is available for purchase here.
Just received some sad news today. Ambient musicin and artist Lucette Bourdin has passed away. From her web site, this statement:
February 25, 1954 – February 17, 2011
After a long transformational and creative journey with breast cancer Lucette made her transition into the Light at 10:40 p.m. on February 17th 2011. She will be remembered for her kindness, her art and her music. Her music was especially the product of her transformation through cancer. When diagnosed she said of her desire to create music, “if not now, when?”.
This is discussed on the Hypnos Forum
This great new review on Furthernoise.org is yet another very positive response to the best-reviewed album we have released in several
years: Out and About by Herion. A link to the Furthernoise review is here,
and this is what they said:
“Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi once claimed that a sound played for a long time “becomes so big that you start to hear many more harmonies, and it becomes
bigger inside…[and] envelops you.” And there are times during Out and About when Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio, Elisa Marzorati and accomplices seem to
be exploring their more celebrated compatriot’s notion, albeit in a smaller scale setting. The trio known as Herion’s instruments float and flit around a single tonal
centre in a semi-structured post-chamber music, an occidental raga, each track seeming to seep into the next creating a whole flow, accruing effect from its
Out and About may strike as slightly unfamiliar territory for long-established ambient and space music curators, Hypnos, but at heart there is congruence in this
affiliation, and head Hypno-tist Mike Griffin has done well to refresh the imprint’s in-house stylesheet without compromising its musical mission. Neither ‘Ambient’
nor ‘Space’ at first sight, the recording’s refined blend of live instrumentation with subdued digital manipulations reveals itself a kindred spirit, as Herion’s melding
of post-classical sonorities with an expansive remit issues in a kind of spatial chamber music with shifting cadences which might be designated ‘post-ambient’.
Marzorati’s piano motifs, mixed with Coniglio’s melodica, harmonica, and treated guitar, all commingle sonorously in Errante’s settings, seen to good effect on
the keynote “One Minute After the Sunset.” The classical influence is never felt in any turgid or grandiose gestures, the music’s movements graceful and lilting,
shifting subtly between blithe and melancholy. “Risvegli” finds glistening strings and piano peregrinations in incantatory communion. In “Two Minutes to Sunrise”
tension comes from an ebb-flow motion that builds coalescing as if to climax but remaining teetering teasingly on the edge of resolution.
Evident in all this is Errante’s sleight of hand in choreographing these delicately interwoven soundscapes, his facility in harnessing production methodologies to
synthesize acoustic and electronic to optimal effect; it’s as if it’s his pleasure to leave instruments free to frolic self-consciously before gently dissolving them, or
washing them lightly in a mercury of digitalia. While piano, viola and guitar all play cameo roles on Out and About, it’s the spirit of the ensemble, and the skilled
design of its assembling that are the stars of Herion’s quiet drama.”
–Review by Alan Lockett for Furthernoise
Thanks very much to Alan Lockett (longtime visitors to the Hypnos Forum will remember Alan aka
Undershadow, though he seems not to frequent the forum lately) for the attention.
As I mentioned, this is one of our better-reviewed albums of recent years, so if you’d like to read more of what people are saying about
it, you’ll find all the reviews in full at the bottom of the product page here.
Another new batch of Databloem label stuff on the Hypnos Store. This batch entirely
features one of our most popular artists, Oophoi. Many of these have been out of print for a while, and while these are still CDR format, they’re
high-quality professionally-pressed CDRs through Databloem.
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 1: Lost Memories (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) Lost pieces, waves and drones.Originally recorded in the Kiva between 1995 and 1997. Oophoi – synths, drones, loops, flutes, voice, whirl tubes, frame drums, stones and crystals.
7 tracks, 65minutes…
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 2: Hidden Visions (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) A collection of lost pieces, waves and drones from the archives of Oophoi. Originally recorded in the Kiva between 1998 and 1999. synths, drones, loops, flutes, voice, whirl tubes, percussions, gongs, tibetan singing bowls and tamboura.
7 tracks, 70 minutes…
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 3: Tales from Mythological Lands (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) A collection of lost pieces, waves and drones from the archives of Oophoi. Originally recorded in the Kiva between 1999 and 2000. Synths, flutes, percussions, tibetan singing bowls, gongs, virtual cellos, bells, monochord, voice and whirl tubes.
6 tracks, 62 minutes…
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 4: Garden of Earthly Delights (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) A collection of lost and forgotten tracks. Originally recorded in the Kiva between 2002 and 2004. Synths, voice, woodchimes, metalchimes, percussions, glasses, theremin, nature sounds.
6 tracks, 66 minutes…
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 5: Wastelands (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) Synthesizer, Vocoder, Voice, Flute, Performer [Shells, Stones], Guitar, Percussion. 5 Tracks, 63:12 minutes…
| Oophoi – Time Fragments Vol. 6: Between Nothingness and Eternity (2011 Remaster)
(Price: $13.99 CDR) Synthesizer, Vocoder, Voice, Flute, Performer [Shells, Stones], Guitar, Percussion.
5 Tracks, 62:24 minutes…
| Oophoi – Behind the Wall of Sleep
(Price: $13.99 CDR) Music inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Synths, samples.
6 tracks, 67 minutes…
Several very nice new ones on our Hypnos Store from the Dutch label, Databloem.
| Mathias Grassow & Tomas Weiss – Electric Angels
(Price: $13.99) “Grassow & Weiss join up for another spacious adventure, showcasing an hour of high quality Ambient with an amazing array of subtle and intricate detail. Although the music evolves slowly and deliberately, it\’s probably one of their most varied albums up to date. Ranging from dynamic and engaging dronescapes to razor-sharp produced textures, flavored with a touch of early Space Music. Electric angels is a fusion of heart and mind. Leaving the industrial age of the 19th century and the information age of the 20th century behind, the 21st century opens the door to the age of consciousness. Electric angels is a musical representation of this passage from the old era into a new one.”
Limited CD in special two panel digi file…
| Faryus – Silence Spells
(Price: $13.99) “Dark synth washes, subtle noises, nature sounds and distant voices create a trance-like soundscape which asks for a careful listening to uncover its secrets….
| Oophoi – Mare Vaporum (2010 remaster)
(Price: $13.99) Re-mastered reissue of Oophoi\’s classic album, third part of the Moon trilogy after Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Imbrium.
The music leads through different levels of space ambient music, from vast and resonant alien soundscapes to mystic and solitary drones….
| Oophoi – Signals from the Great Beyond (2010 remaster)
(Price: $13.99) Re-mastered reissue of Oophoi\’s classic album.
Oophoi plays synthesizer, gong, singing bowls, percussion, (bass) flute and electronics…
A new item on the Hypnos Store from Ray Carl Daye, a nice new self-released
disc from an emerging artist.
| Ray Carl Daye – Echoes from the Aether
(Price: $9.99) Like the Earth’s upper atmosphere, the music is pure, floating, weightless, frictionless – both static and slowly
“I really enjoy discovering new music, finding something that I’ve never heard before that connects with me in a new and interesting way. One of my favorite finds so far this year has been “Echoes from the Aether” by Ray Carl Daye, an impressive release featuring four sublimely beautiful drifting ambient tracks that have stayed in pretty much constant rotation in my player over the last few weeks.