After a short break, we’re back this week with a sale on our Hypnos digipak items. Price cuts are good through April 15th or while supplies last, so visit the SOUNDSWIM store soon for some great bargains!
Herion – Out and About –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Nebulae – The Path of White Clouds –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Steve Brand – Avatara –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
A Produce & Loren Nerell – Intangible –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Seren Ffordd & Oophoi – The Martian Chronicles –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Caul – Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Bruno Sanfilippo – Urbs –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Numina – The Deception of Reality –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
Robert Rich – Sunyata & Inner Landscapes (2CD) –Regularly $14.99, right now just $10.99
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.
Robert Rich – Trances & Drones (2CD) –Regularly $14.99, right now just $10.99
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 –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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 unpredictable and fresh, while remaining smooth, introspective and restrained. We’re very proud to bring this recording to Hypnos listeners, and trust that the sample clips will convince many of you to give this a full listen.
Subradial – Ice Diving –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
ICE DIVING 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 – 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 –Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
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.
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