Hello all, we’re back from our short holiday break with a big blowout sale on all our FOUNDRY items!
Seofon – Zero Point —$3.99
Zero Point inaugurates a collaboration between Hypnos and The Foundry, which will continue with an ongoing series of releases featuring ambient and experimental music.
Zero Point is the product of “recycling” collaborations begun between Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach and Seofon. As the project progressed Stephen Kent, Robert Rich, Not Breathing, and Thermal were included in the circle and the result is a wonderful album full of shifting textures and shimmering ideas. Recycling is a term coined by Vidna Obmana (and Asmus Tietchens) to describe a process more immersive than simple remixing.
Zero Point: lessons in being nothing showcases some of the great talents in electronic music today, and finds them participating in a unique form of collaboration. With Ambient Temple of Imagination (ATOI) tracks as the inspiration and source material, Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach, and Seofon opened a circle of recycling. Entirely new pieces were created using a variety of methods and collaborative trajectories with Seofon (a member of Ambient Temple of Imagination) serving as a center-point: coordinating the project, making his own recycling contributions, and integrating the finished tracks into a hypnotic tapestry. The resulting music has traveled a long way from its origins, the original material barely recognizable in the new pieces. This album is full of rich textures, subtle and powerful both. Follow the rhythms, connect the melodies and harmonics in your listening; the rewards are great!
Listen to the track SPLENDORS from this album HERE.
The third Hypnos/Foundry co-release, THE BOY BENEATH THE SEA fluidly weaves together music and spoken word to create an affecting 40 minute immersive environment. The story of a boy who leaves his home to live under the sea is unique and yet somehow familiar, like a book remembered from childhood. Dean Santomieri’s narrative is evocative and personal, and the words are perfectly complemented by the musical contributions of Bruce Anderson, Karen Stackpole and David Kwan.
Santomieri chose three experienced and respected musicians to work with in creating THE BOY BENEATH THE SEA. Bruce Anderson, leader of the seminal Art-Rock band MX-80, plays a specially designed chromatically tuned, baritone guitar. Bruce has performed and recorded with The Residents and Henry Kaiser. David Kwan is a composer and video artist whose works can be heard on the Asphodel/Sombient and Artifact labels. Karen Stackpole is a drummer/percussionist with a soft spot for gongs. Her current involvements include Euphonics, a gongs/metals/singing bowls duo, and Malcolm Mooney & the10th Planet. She has worked with a number of Bay Area free jazz and improvisational groups.
Dean Santomieri has been working with electronic music and musique concrete since 1971, as well as creating multi-image pieces, films and videos. In recent years Santomieri formed the duo Donkey Boy which employed live electronic music, slides or video, story-telling, costumes, and props in their many Bay Area performances. Since 1997 Santomieri has also been performing with Malcolm Mooney & the10th Planet (Mooney was the original singer with the German progressive-rock group Can), providing electronics and guitar. In 1998 Santomieri formed a multi-media group with Anderson, Stackpole and Kwan, for live performance of his short stories (narration accompanied by live music and video). This ensemble’s first show, THE BOY BENEATH THE SEA, was performed numerous times in the Bay Area, and lead to this CD release. In 2000 the Archipelago imprint released Santomieri’s Crude Rotation, a 3″ CD, EP of musique concrete/ electronic pieces, to critical praise.
Collectively this ensemble of Kwan, Anderson and Stackpole improvised a rich musical setting for Santomieri’s timeless fable. Words and music interact and a spell is cast. Images grow, become vivid, and fade into salt washed ghosts. The waves of the story recede and THE BOY BENEATH THE SEA leaves behind pools of dreamy tableaux for us to muse upon, beachcombers to the phantasmagoric.
A preliminary review:
“The Boy Beneath the Sea” is an enigmatic ambient saga coordinated by Dean Santomieri. He narrates the story. Improvisations by Bruce Anderson (chromotone guitar), David Kwan (sampling, processing and tidal control) and Karen Stackpole (percussion and gongs) surround Dean’s narration.
This is an eerie and eclectic construction. The entire project borders on the avante garde and the nouveau noir. The story is interesting and offbeat. The music, while straightforward at times, benefits from David’s processing and pre-mastering techniques and from Dean’s direction and production control.
Keeping the focus on the music is difficult. The story is very cool and Dean’s narrative style is hypnotic. The music is very worthy. The experimental sounds and overt minimalism serve the story very well. It IS the background. It DEFINES the background. Thus, it is definitive ambience.
It IS possible to play this CD as a pure background. To do so would be to miss the story. This is a cool experience. It demands total attention!” –Jim Brenholts
This new album is something of a departure for eM. Though it draws on techniques and concepts from earlier projects, ALL THE STARS BURNING BRIGHT delves into the sounds of deep space and aims to capture the otherness of the universe beyond earth. To this end sound sources include NASA recordings made by various space probes and further exploration of digital audio manipulation.
ALL THE STARS BURNING BRIGHT is an exploration of the universe through sound, an experiment designed by eM to venture beyond our gravity well. Beginning with A Dream of Summer Stars we leave the familiar confines of our horizons and venture into more remote and unearthly sonic realms. Parsecs, constructed largely from heavily processed NASA recordings, propels us across open vacuum, and through the Starswarm that follows. Suspensions and Burning Bright suggest both the immense stillness and roiling activity of the night sky, while Between provides a melancholy respite before the revelations of Others. Our dream fades as we drift Beyond the Shoals of Stars.
These pieces ruminate not simply on the stars, but on the space between them. The compositions emulate no one model, but draw on many sources, from the Voyager recordings to the writings of Brian Aldiss and H.P. Lovecraft. ALL THE STARS BURNING BRIGHT also functions as a kind of diary, giving voice to a variety of dreams and memories.
Mollusk – Accretions —$1.99
ACCRETIONS represents a melding of digital audio and organic inspiration. Mollusk delves into the oceanic realm with compositions at once experimental and atmospheric. Waves crash, tides ebb and flow, and the ancient mollusks follow their own paths through this wonderful collection.
ACCRETIONS, a melding of organic inspiration and digital audio, is the first CD release from Mollusk, the musical alter ego of Malcolm Bly. Bly was working in web design at the time, and created the music of Mollusk entirely through digital means, employing sampling and DSP applications, as well as experimenting with the process of using the artifacts of MP3- format compression to create a “low resolution” sound. “It seemed to me that the medium of the MP3 wanted to be played with, explored for its own abilities, not simply used as a means to poorly represent higher quality sounds.”
To this end Bly incorporated the idea of low resolution audio output into his compositional approach, so that the final form of these pieces has, until this release, not been a CD or 16-bit/44.1kHz sound files, but a stereo MP3 file. Besides creating what Bly refers to as the “Mollusk sound,” working with low kbps rates meant that the resulting MP3s were smaller than those produced at the more common 128kbps or 192kbps, and this meant shorter download times. For instance, the 20 minute Ancient Seas became a meager 4.6MB, instead of the 18MB one might expect.
For the ACCRETIONS compact disc release, Mollusk has created the new track Barnacle: Archipelago, and remixed/remastered all the compositions to CD quality audio. The tracks The Sea and The Cry of the Distant Nautilus retain the low resolution Mollusk sound, but the other pieces have been recreated in high resolution 44.1 kHz sound.
An adventure into more experimental “digitalism,” ACCRETIONS will appeal to the more adventurous listener who enjoys 21st century musical modes such as “glitch” and microsound.
“The waves which flow from Mollusk tend to be gentle, if a bit strange; the Accretions of their abstract-though-thematic soundstreams flow jointly into an esoteric 8.4 sonic tidepool of deep listening. ” –The AmbiEntrance
Various Artists – 360° —$3.99
2002. New compilation from Foundry/Hypnos featuring Rhomb, eM, High Skies, Seofon with Mark Van Hoen, Sketch, Thermal, and Kim Cascone.
The Foundry says:
This compilation has as its center point a story fragment, a series of episodes taking our narrator through an enigmatic arc, an arc becoming a circle, an arc of 360°. Tracks draw on a variety of electronic music flavours, from ambient electronica to microsound and glitch. Contributors to 360° are, in order of appearance: Rhomb (releases on The Foundry and Archipelago imprint), eM (releases on The Foundry, Archipelago and Fallt), Jonathan Hughes (formerly Subspace with release on Sunburst Fifty), High Skies (Mat Jarvis, formerly Gas on Emit), Seofon with Mark Van Hoen (Seofon is a member of Ambient Temple of Imagination as well as a solo artist; Mark Van Hoen has released work as Locust and under his own name on Touch), Sketch (releases on Apollo and on End of Hum), Thermal (releases on his own Boxman label and Archipelago imprint), and Kim Cascone (releases on Ritornell and Digital Narcis among many others). Quite a range of talented artists!
Listen to HIGH SKIES – STAARS from this album HERE.
Jonathan Hughes – Trillium —$1.99
The latest from the Hypnos/Foundry partnership is TRILLIUM, by Jonathan Hughes, an artist who has released a handful of CDs under the pseudonym Subspace (including the inventive two disc set FLUID and the wonderful faux soundtrack LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR). With TRILLIUM, Hughes makes his first solo appearance for The Foundry. The pieces on this album, all experiments with the 3/4 time signature, bring together different sound sources and styles into a unique and compelling collection of dreaming ambience.
Jonathan Hughes has been creating electronic music since getting his first synthesizer as a teenager in the 1980s. Hughes collaborated with Mollusk on four tracks (one of which is available on Mollusk’s Foundry release ACCRETIONS), and another of which will be appearing on the LOST + FOUND compilation). He has appeared on over 20 CDs, and has played keyboards and guitar, as well as provided engineering, mastering, and graphic design for numerous artists’ CDs.
A two disc compilation giving a glimpse into both the past and present activities of Hypnos partner The Foundry. This serves as an excellent “cross-section” sampler of current Foundry artists, for listeners interested in exploring the label but not sure where to start, as well as functioning as a document of early Foundry recordings, from the days of the imprint’s lower-profile, pre-Hypnos.
A growing number of listeners have purchased such recent Hypnos/Foundry titles as ZERO POINT by Seofon, ALL THE STARS BURNING BRIGHT by eM, and TRILLIUM by Jonathan Hughes, and these new enthusiasts to The Foundry will find LOST AND FOUND a gateway to the exploration of other works by these artists, as well as such Foundry figures as Rhomb, The Apiary, Mollusk, Dean Santomieri, and M. Bentley.
Various Artists – Sub.Terra —$2.99
Experimental compilation featuring Interstitial, Vidna Obmana, Saul Stokes, M. Bentley, and Vir Unis
“The latest release from Foundry Records, “sub.terra” is a fascinating compilation based around the concept of creating a series of pieces using only a trumpet as source material. the artists all started with a set of trumpet recordings and from there processed and treated the tracks until they came up with the works contained herein. and a very impressive collection of works it is! featuring tracks by Vir Unis, vidnaObmana, Saul Stokes, Michael Bentley and Interstitial, “sub.terra” provides not only an excellent group of challenging pieces, it also serves as an introduction to some of the best artists in the field of electronic music today. with each of the artists contributing their own interpretations, each adding their own particular sounds and flaours, “sub.terra” crosses a range of styles and ideals. from the dark drones of Interstitial, through the percussive groove of Vir Unis, the space and movement of vidnaObmana, the hypnotic chilled electronics of Saul Stokes, and the dark deep-space explorations of Michael Bentley, “sub.terra” is an excellent collection, and well worth checking out.” –rik maclean – ping things
“This release from features 61 minutes of collaborative electronic ambience. The project was initiated by Interstitial (aka John Koch-Northrup), who created a basic theme that was then provided to a selection of notable ambient synthesists who elaborated on the original template. The CD begins with Interstitial’s original theme. An assemblage of ethereal tonalities congeal to generate a distinctly subterranean harmony of subtly varying textures, often pitching shrill enough to emulate horns echoing from cavernous strata. Then Vir Unis (aka John Strate-Hootman) applies whispering beats and a dreamier sense to the caverous reverberations. While those beats start out as barely noticable, their soft patter rises to more definable status, evoking an anticipatory tension to the mix. Soon, the rhythms evolve into an engaging enhancement that rivals the basic template for the audience’s attention. The next track finds VidnaObmana embellishing the template with ghostly undertones that accentuate the echoing quality of Interstitial’s melody, changing the mix into a haunting procession through underground tunnels. Then Saul Stokes takes a shot at mutating the basic theme, transforming Interstitial’s caverous mood into an interstellar medium full of twinkling stars and breathing nebulae. Rhythms emerge to attribute more body to the infinity, and those tempos continue to grow, overwhelming the underlying structure. Which leads to a remix by Michael Bentley (aka eM), who dissembles the template into quite a different sonic creature. Textures become more elongated, creating a more suspenseful ambience punctuated by horn-bursts of utmost clarity. The introduction of quasi-radio emissions render the piece into a pulsating deconstruction. The finale belongs to Interstitial, who blends elements from all these collaborators together to produce a magnum opus of ambient proportions. (While the basic template and the other remixes are between 8 to 11 minutes long, this piece clocks in at over 16 minutes.) Expert manipulation infuses aspects from each earlier treatment into the basic theme, producing a lush track that flourishes with variations while taking a more introspective tact.” –soniccuriosity.com
First release in the Foundry EP series — only about 18 minutes of music; quirky, rhythmic electronic music, perhaps similar to Jonathan Hughes TRILLIUM, also on Foundry.
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.
eM – Outward (CDEP) —$0.99
Second release in the Foundry EP series (after Ben Swire’s surprising EQUILIBRIUM) – about 20 minutes of experimental abstract digitalism at a great price!
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.
from the earth [7.01]
across the milky way [7.43]
beyond the magellanic clouds [6.17]
Michael Bentley, founder of The Foundry label, has recorded under several names [eM, The Apiary and Rhomb (with Nathan Kreisberg)] and has released a number of EPs and CDs of electronic and experimental music. Projects include releases for the Irish label Fällt (as eM) as part of the invalidObject series; for Archipelago, a loose association of Bay Area artists (EPs as eM and Rhomb), inclusion on a CD compilation accompanying the latest issue of MIT Press’ Computer Music Journal (one track as eM), as well as tracks on releases from No Type, SlapArt, and Dark Duck. Future plans include new full length CDs under both the eM and Apiary monickers, as well as collaborations within the Archipelago.
Bentley has composed and recorded electronic music off and on for a number of years, often collaborating with long time friend Nathan Kreisberg (most recently as Rhomb). Interest in other musical forms, most notably folk music of the British Isles (especially that of Scotland), has lead to performances at music/dance festivals in the Czech Republic, Austria, Norway and California, as well as performing and recording gigs on both east and west coasts of the US. The Foundry, originally begun (in 1985) as an umbrella for publishing chapbooks, emerged as an outlet for Bentley’s musical endeavours in 1995. After several cassette releases the first Foundry CDs were issued in 1997. The Foundry catalogue has garnered critical praise (see review index here) and airplay throughout Europe, Australia, the US and Canada. In 2001 The Foundry began a collaboration with the Hypnos recording label, resulting in nine releases over the last 14 months.