Category: Hypnos Store Special Offers

Weekly Sale Item: Hypnos Digipaks

Looking to add to your collection of Hypnos digipak releases? Here’s your chance! Regularly priced at $11.99, we’re price-cutting them this week to just $6.99! (2CDs regularly priced at $13.99, right now just $8.99.) Sale prices are guaranteed through April 10th, so visit the HYPNOS ONLINE STORE for some really great deals!


Herion – Out and About

herion

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.

Pre-release review:
“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

REVIEWS:
“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

path 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
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.

REVIEWS:
“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

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.

REVIEWS:
“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

martian

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.

REVIEWS:
“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

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.

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.

REVIEWS:
“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

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.

REVIEWS:
“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

numina

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)

sunyata

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)

tran and dron

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

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

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

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.

REVIEWS:
“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.” –Andy Fish

Follow the links to read more/listen to MP3 samples/Purchase.

Weekly Sale Items: The Circular Ruins, Craig Padilla, Gianaluca Favaron, etc.

Hello, everyone!

We’ve got another “mixed bag” sale for you this week, and the low prices will be good through April 3rd or while supplies last. 

Tomorrow’s Tuesday – The Glimmer Room –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
glimmer

“‘Every day I die for Your Body’ begins with mournful thick pads. A slow heavyish rhythm brings the track to life then two melodies start up weaving around each other. As the track progresses more melodies come and go. Many of the tracks use a similar formula though all have a unique character of their own. This is fantastic and amazingly infectious music, I loved every track. Nearly all the numbers will rhythmically get your whole body moving- its impossible to stay still. Rarely have I come across rhythms that are so irresistible. Above all it tries to be enjoyable and exciting – and succeeds. It’s a breath of fresh air!” –Reviewed by DL at Synth Music Direct

LISTEN to the track, “Borrowed Time” from this album HERE.


Steve Roach – Live at SoundQuest Fest
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $7.99
soundquest

“Steve’s pinnacle performance from 2010’s SoundQuest Fest proved to be a real moment in time, and fortunately it was documented with a high resolution recording that places the listener front and center on that special night. Presented as a single CD, the first 74 minutes of the concert are experienced as it unfolded. Three distinct realms are seamlessly mapped out in this inspired set. The opening starts with a 25-minute piece of perpetual forward motion in the mode of DESTINATION BEYOND, created specially for the concert, carved from pure analog synths and sequencers. From here we experience an amazing interplay between didgeridoo players Dashmesh Khalsa, Brian Parnham, percussionist Byron Metcalf and Steve performing real-time looping, processing and mixing along with soundworlds, ocarina and voice. This passage is an all-out expression of shamanic ecstasy that boils over into the engulfing tribal trance state of “Thunder Walk” from the recent release DREAM TRACKER. The last portion of the set settles into an ultra drifting electro-organic zone. This evocative space, which premiered at the Fest, would soon evolve into the opening of IMMERSION FIVE – CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS.” -steveroach.com

LISTEN to the track, “Morphic” from this album HERE.


The Circular Ruins – Empathy Test
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $6.99
empathy

Rhythmic ambient excursions : deep, complex and beautiful

“The term quality electronica is often misused as the positive effects of the music are soon lost, but here is a true find that should satisfy the most demanding of audiophiles.” – Philly : Modern Dance magazine

LISTEN to the title track from this album HERE.


Sone – Passerelle
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
sone

“Documented on this CD is a site-specific sound installation / performance given by °Sone (pronounced “osone”), a project of Yannick Dauby, Christophe Havard & Hughes Germain. The only sounds used were from within the walls of the building where the event took place, channeled and recorded using large transducers and then mixed and broadcast back into the main space of the building.” -and/OAR

LISTEN to a bit from this album and view part of the live sound installation/performance HERE.


Gianluca Favaron – Equivalent XI
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $8.99
equivalent

“Starting from simple recordings of sounds produced by everyday objects (…such as paper, scissors, kitchen stuff etc.), treated mainly with two delay machines, Favaron has collected eleven compositions. the idea behind this new release is to create some patterns based on the repetition of small sound particles obtained from a single source. in the eleven tracks on the album, mostly of short duration, we witness the proliferation of particular sound events that, sometimes wandering alone or sometimes by congregating into small throbbing and vital lumps, generate a vibrant microcosm characterized by short loops, slowly but constantly evolving.iIn some cases, as for example in the more long-lasting closing number, the simplicity of the construct and the infinitesimal tonal progressions are appreciated for their intrinsic hypnotic quality.” -silentes.it

Packaged in a slim folder with a limited edition of 250


Various – Micronized
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
micronized

Experimental variations on the “X Series” releases from Dark Duck.

The first in a line of NEW X-Series special releases. This one is called “Micronized” featuring subtle micronized textures, ambient thematics and lots of heavy drone. Fans of the X-Series will be right at home with this one. Newcomers need not be familiar with the X-Series to appreciate the subtle connections to the X-Series as well as the ebb and flow of this extremely chilled release.” –darkduck.net
TRACK LISTING:
01 Filler (9.41)
02 Blueprint (9.11)
03 Seeing Red (21.07)
04 Target (11.35)
05 Runaway Return (10.34)
06 Downed City (5.06)
07 Repeater (10.22)


Spielerei & Mantacoup – Cold War
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
cold war

“An enthralling cosmic excursion, utilizing a universe of electronic tones, binary codes, digital trances, visionary software, and microchip meditations… utilizing sequencer riffs, electronic swells, tight rhythmic programming, and pulsing analog arpeggios to pull listeners throughout the frontiers of space and time. Melodic, soft sounds expand and gently caress the listener while submerging them into vast digital panoramas. Propulsion through the science of sound. Seven fantastic tracks realized during a collaboration between Dennis Knopper (of SPIELEREI) and Jeroen Vermeent (of MANTACOUP).” -Silentes

LISTEN to the track, “Where It All Ends” from this album HERE.

Craig Padilla – The Heart of the Soul –Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
the heart

“The Heart Of The Soul is a marriage of tender romanticism and the intensity of electronic music that results in a heartfelt blend of gentle piano melodies, pulsing analog sequences and the classic synth explorations that have come to define Craig Padilla’s releases over the past fifteen years.”

LISTEN to the title track from this album HERE.

Weekly Sale Items: Vidna Obmana, Ultra Milkmaids, Forrest Fang, etc.

Hello everyone,

This week’s Hypnos sale is another mixed bag of various artists and labels, and we’ve done some serious price-slashing for you! Deals are good through March 27th or while supplies last.

Trama afonA – Trama afonA –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
trama

“Trama afonA is gathering suggestions from the contemporary quotidian theatre and at the same time from the past, namely the 19th and early 20th centuries. Paying particular attention to the individual and specific human stories, rather than to History… Focusing on what happens behind the scenes, aside, beneath. Subjects and dynamics less showy, blurred, but not consequently less interesting or worth caring. Opening doors and drawers using the sole curiosity as tool, walking backwards the traces of memory, wandering amid shades and details given by mystery, decadence, abandon, romanticism… Carefully delving into psychological dynamics. Openly denouncing the social plagues, but often humbly providing just visual and sound suggestions.” -Greytone Records

LISTEN to the track, “Volute In Fumo” from this album HERE.


Ultra Milkmaids – Oldies Volume 1
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $5.99
oldies
Organic drift, rich drones and earthbound textures as only the Ultra Milkmaids can do. Oldies volume 1 is a compilation of the smoothest, milkiest rarities from out of print cassettes, vinyls and compilations, hand-picked from a vast library of possible works, we selected the lightest, most emotive selections of the ‘Maids audio diaspora. Witness these lost children, gathered here in one long, beautiful voice; ‘E.V.’ and ‘L.V’ from the Borray 12″, ‘Chicken In The Kitchen’ and ‘Lover Time remix’ from the Drone 7″, ‘Lou 1′ and ‘Lou 2′ from the 110 copy 7″ of the same name, also the mega-rare tracks ‘Ma Baker’, ‘Sti-Fell 1′, ‘Sti-Fell 2′, and ‘Byojorcklos’. One stunning work of beauty after another and taken as one interrupted trip, it becomes a warm, meditative traipse through brilliant light and color from start to finish. Artwork designed by Yann of the ‘Maids, the slightly surreal becomes everyday in sight and sound.


Forrest Fang – Animism
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $5.99

animism

“On his ninth album, Animism, Chinese-American musician Forrest Fang creates a diverse musical style that fuses timeless Fourth World acoustic instruments with a modern fractal ambient sound. Inspired by the ancient belief that all living and inanimate forms possess a spirit or life force, Fang has composed eight pieces that radiate with energy and warmth.

Besides acoustic and electric violins and mandolins, he embellishes his atmospheric textures with melodies and polyrhthms from stringed and percussion instruments such as the Turkish lavta, Peruvian bandurria, Filipino kulintang, Mexican cantaro and Balinese kendang.

Animism is a celebration of life’s internal rhythms and their ultimate path to rest.” -projekt.com

LISTEN to the track, “Islands in the Sky” from this album HERE.


Northern – Drawn
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
drawn

Debut release from Canada’s Northern. Northern is all about clean digital samples and warm tones. northern is all about lovely guitar meanderings and skittering textures. Perhaps it is the frozen nature of Canada’s landscape or the endearing dismay of the season’s discontent that has transformed us. Winter reminds us all of polaroid pictures and places that exist only in dreams.


Mathias Grassow & Thomas Weiss – Conscience
–Regularly $14.99, right now just $6.99
conscience

Collaboration between two German artists on the Nextera label, which is perhaps best known for the recent Lustmord and Oophoi releases.

REVIEW FOR WWW.FREEMUSIC.CZ by Igor Nováček (translated by Libor Haler)

“Mathias Grassow, one of the main representatives of the continental ambient movement, with his friend Thomas Weiss have recorded an album dealing with the human conscience. This beautiful, intelligent record will be released on the Prague independent label Nextera. The German musician Mathias Grassow is one of the great stars of the continental ambient scene. In his youth, he studied guitar, key instruments and flute, then started to be involved in new age electronic music. The first album has been released as late as early 1990s – the recordings show a distinct experimental approach which, combined with spheric ambient and owing to the excellen album In Search of Sanity, had made Grassow a new big figure on the ever-growing ambient-electronic scene. Since then, Grassow has made a series of albums including collaborations with several other representatives of the genre such as Klaus Wiese, Amir Baghiri, Rüdiger Gleisberg (as Nostalgia) or in projects such as Anam Cara (with Wolfgang Barkowski), KarmaCosmic (with Carsten Agthe and Rüdiger Gleisberg) and the “supergroup” Nebula (apart from himself and Wiese featuring numerous Italian ambient musicians, e.g. Oöphoi and Tau Ceti). Most of these recordings rank among the best in the genre. Grassow melts the indescribable beauty od nature with deep labyrints of the human spirit, creating soulful imaginary structures, where abstraction intertwines with oriental motifs and unobtrusive ritual rhythmics. On his latest album, he has joined forces with Thomas Weiss to attempt a musical expression of the eternal topic of human conscience. Four long tracks leave space to freely morphing soundwaves, reflecting both positive spiritual power as well as somewhat murky moods. In the initial Unscaled Enigma with the almost palpable character of tide, Grassow and Weiss create the impression of absolute peace and harmony by mingling two main sound motifs (as though these were significantly discernable original sources of sound – the organs and the human voice). The next track, Along the Border, is marked by inner unrest and its sinister athmosphere can be percieved as if both artists were to guide us to the war-torn areas of the Middle East. In Foresight (credits for sound to Klaus Wiese and Ted de Jong), one can distantly hear Grassow’s rhythmic production (light rhythmical structures, oriental voices). All of what was mentioned then merges into a vast sound ocean in the final, half-an-hour track Deceitful Expectation, definitely the most impenetrable and abstract track of the album. The album Conscience as a whole unambiguously shows the message of Grass’ whole oevre, with no place for autotelic exhibition or egoistic sneer – it is a well of deep humility and belief in the fulfilment of the divine nature of man. If you find my closing words too impassioned, please give it a second thought while listening to the album. I think you will agree then.”


Asmus Tietchens & Vidna Obmana – The Shifts Recyclings (2CD)
–Regularly $12.99, right now just $7.99
recyclings

Shifts is a solo project by the omnipresent Frans de Waard, founder of Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen, & Goem. Shifts started life in 1995 with the purpose of producing ambient music by means of the guitar. Shifts has performed four times in concert (1998, 1999 and 2002) and once in a live collaboration– as yet still unreleased–with :zoviet*france: (1998). The music of Shifts consists of finely interwoven patterns of guitars played by motor driven devices, with added studio effects and extensive use of special recording techniques. This project is the first collaboration in a studio for Shifts.
Simultaneously (and separately) Asmus Tietchens and Vidna Obmana had proposed to Frans de Waard to do a collaborative release where they would reprocess recordings by Shifts. Frans had known Asmus Tietchens and Vidna Obmana since the mid-eighties, from the days when cassette culture was a vital form of musical expression. Since Tietchens and Vidna Obmana worked together before, it seemed more than appropriate then to combine these two efforts. The sound material supplied to each artist was the same, a decision made because they were curious about comparing the final results.


Adam Pacione – From Stills to Motion
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
stills

Packaged in a mini-lp gatefold style sleeve with an inner booklet of photographs and video stills by Adam Pacione.

Highly anticipated new release from Adam Pacione. Deluxe packaging. Stoughton style mini-gatefold with 16 page full-color booklet. Design and layout by Pacione. “An age of virtual audio saturation, of pre-articulated sound. Expressivity, once an array of possible voices, is ever more probabilized. Originality, once primary criterion, is cast from the platform, problematized. Wondering, late in modernity’s day, what does it take to make a noise that matters? A keen-eared recontextualizer, an alchemist who can make sound, found or unfound, to walk its own way, outside the ready-made parade. Adam Pacione is one such – new recruit to a group of like-minded musicians, kindred-spirits Brian Grainger (Milieu), Mike Bennett (Zimiamvian Night), and Kiln, who have brought the ferment from their sound stills to the Infraction table. That label is now streaming a vital strain of New Backwoods Ambient, this latest from deep in the heart of (Hurst) Texas – experimental, but harmonically-inclined, apparently lo-tech, but substantially audio-cratic.”(A.Lockett)

LISTEN to the track, “Sava” from this album HERE.


Cordell Klier – Espionage
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $4.99
espionage

Another genre-splittling release from Gears of Sand Recordings. On ‘Espionage,’ prolific artist Cordell Klier–whose previous releases have been hugely popular on the likes of such respected labels as ad noiseam records, mystery sea, and angle_rec (to name but a few)–fuses his gift for minimal drone and micro- glitch scapes (the latter especially in the tradition of Alva Noto) with his work as an accomplished spoken word artist.

The result is a kind of “Agoraphobic Pop Music” that reimagines the often beautiful cold minimalism of the 12K/Line sound as but a structure for pouring forth emotion and the instability of life itself. The Max MSP sound is appropriated here as a vehicle for what getting to what is behind the cold, distant clicks and cuts–that is to say, to the marrow of the artist’s identity.

While most artists revel in the secrecy of subversive techno-soundcraft, Klier vis-a-vis his often melancholy stream of consciousness spoken word performances, spliced field recordings of life din, and an epic flight into the metal industrial stylings that he is so well known for, turns the entire medium of electronic music on its head.

The title “Espionage” is thus a perfect one. This is music that should not, could not, and would not be made if it weren’t for someone with the astonishing creativity of Cordell Klier. In a word, this disc must be heard to be truly appreciated!

****

Cordell Klier (Minneapolis, MN.) is an avant-garde sound artist, abstract & commercial graphic designer, poet, and lable owner of DOCTSECT media & O-KVLT records. Thru the years he has worked within many genres of sound. Everything from noise to metal, to punk, pop, and hiphop, but currently recognising silence, drone, and, glitch as his main medium(s) of output.

LISTEN to track, “Untitled Seven” from this album HERE.


Loren Nerell – Taksu
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $6.99
taksu

Latest mix of exotic instrumentation and evocative ambience from the man who recorded one of our all-time favorites, Lilin Dewa.
Loren Nerell’s association with Soleilmoon Recordings dates back to his 1996 release “Lilin Dewa”, as well as the more recent “Indonesian Soundscapes”. “Taksu” takes cues from both of these albums, blending environmental sounds and Balinese instruments together into a glowing, amorphous cloud of spine-tingling sound. Two musicians come to mind when listening to “Taksu”: Jon Hassell, who popularized Fourth World music, and Brian Eno, the father of Ambient music. While sounding nothing like the work of either artist, Loren Nerell’s music takes inspiration from both of them. His music is evocative of mist-covered mountains and slow-motion waterfalls, so it owes something to Hassell. But it also pays tribute to the patient genius of Eno, with its endlessly evolving atmosphere, in which there is no beginning or end, only the present. The crowning touch on this project came from Steve Roach, stalwart Ambient Music pioneer and long-time friend of Loren’s, who came in to provide the final spacial treatments and mastering of the CD. In his liner notes for the CD booklet, Djam Karet founder Chuck Oken, Jr. describes the music as a “sound pool” that the listener is immersed in. His words couldn’t be more accurate, and it’s no exaggeration to say that putting this record on is like waking up at sunrise, deep in the tropical Balinese rainforest, surrounded on all sides by the sounds of the jungle. To describe ambient or atmospheric music as “a soundtrack” is clichéd, but it’s really the best way to talk about “Taksu”. It truely is a very special album, and one that asks to be seen, not merely heard.

“To simply classify Loren Nerell as just an ambient composer is missing the point. I’d rather refer to Loren Nerell as a sound traveller. Either as a real traveller, armed with a microphone and tape-recorder, to Indonesia, taping sounds from traditional instruments, but also a traveller that takes you, the listener on a journey through the world. In that sense, Loren Nerell is more an ambient composer along the lines of Brian Eno or Jon Hassell and has less in common with Steve Roach or Robert Rich, for whom the pure instrument approach seems to be important. ‘Taksu – an intervention from the gods, endowing a man, or perhaps a ritualobject, with divine direction. In a sense Taksu is the essence of a great performance or work of art’ – it says on the cover. Can’t really argue with the essense of a great performance or work of art, but this is a nice piece of music. Rainforest sounds, far away percussion (drum sounds, maybe anklung or gamelan), which are all embedded in a rich textured sound, but not that of a whole bunch of digital sounds, but it’s rather, or so it seems, a treatment of those sounds by electronic means. This CD is maybe not just music, it’s rather a bath: you take it, it surrounds you for a while and then you feel good. Taksu is like a hot bath, it fills the space, the environment, it’s a surrounding that is nice to be in. And unlike a bath: you can put a CD on repeat and will still feel good and will never get cold.”
–Vital E-Zine, Frans DeWaard


Jeff Greinke – Virga
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $5.99
virga

“The music on Virga takes shape as strata of slow moving melodies stream their way through expansive atmospherics and pastoral passages of ambient chamber music, highlighted by cello, trumpet and piano on many selections; all drifting together to construct complex harmonic musical skyscapes. The cumulative result is a collection of vast, textural, cinematic, and melodic compositions with a strong sense of mood and place that gently evolve and drift… like the clouds themselves.” -spottedpeccary.com

LISTEN to the track, “After the Fall” from this album HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Later Hypnos Jewel Case Items

Hello, everyone! This week we’ve marked down a selection of some the last Hypnos jewel case items to be released before we switched to digipak format, so now’s the perfect time to fill out your collection of HYPNOS RECORDING‘s earlier releases!

Robert Scott Thompson – At the Still Point of the Turning World –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
still point

“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.

Opening with one of his most beautiful compositions, the neo-chamber “of mirrored air” (sounding like it would fit perfectly with György Ligeti’s work in 2001), the CD aims for a midpoint between your mind (appealing to your intellect and aesthetic) and your soul (tugging at your heartstrings with honest and sincere emotional resonance).”of mirrored air” features whisper-thin strings and floating textures suffused with a gentle sadness, along with what sound like gently pealing reverbed guitar. Forlorn flute lines and synths flow serenely through the sad landscape of “casual connecting principle” buoyed by subtle panning electronic effects at the periphery and reverberating tones, like Doppler-shifted car horns far away in the distance. The song seems to breathe at times, inhaling and exhaling in a slow cadence. An echoed plucked string sample (pedal steel guitar? electric bass?) bounces through the soundfield amidst the other elements, adding both musicality and a sense of mild tension.

Even more haunting is “airports for shadows and dust,” one of the tracks that combines Tim Story’s chamber minimalism with Harold Budd’s stark musical vision, but with Thompson’s indelible stamp of electronic ambience (of the three musicians, Robert Scott Thompson is the most adventurous when it comes to electronic music). Solitary piano notes strike against a deep dark series of bassy yet melodic drones and washes, counterpointed by twinkling textures here and there. Thompson reveals his penchant for experimentalism on “water out of sunlight” an eleven-minute exercise in subtle dissonance, ethereal and mournful synth chorales (a little like Larry Kucharz here), scratching noise background elements, and arrhythmic sparkles of starry pinpricks in an inky black sky. Swells of dramatic lower register keyboards later in the piece impart a sense of awe and power, although done so softly that one is not lifted out of the main mood of the piece, which I would describe as reflective with a touch of sorrow. “when dreams collide” (Thompson’s titles are always poetic and lyrical) reintroduces the soft flute lines of “casual connecting principle” this time mixed with drones and shadowy textures, crafting a floating sense of broad open vistas. This track evolves into classic spacemusic, evoking images of deserted planets’ surfaces stretching out below you or distant star clusters and nebula as you traverse the backwaters of the cosmos. More experimentalism rears its head on the title track, as vibrating pulses and tones reverberate with a distinct metallic characteristic seeming to encircle echoed acoustic piano notes. Soft and subtle whirring textures come and go, as if teasing the piano’s beauty with quick touches of electronic impulses. One of the more overtly electronica pieces is “tinted in temporal hue” which features Thompson assembling assorted pulsing and reverberating synth tones, melding them together, then breaking them apart, as if they were colored inks in a tank and he was experimenting with watching what patterns emerge as various colors are eye-dropped one at a time into the reservoir, setting them off against beautiful chorales and then taking the music into deep cavernous drones and whistling tones before lightening the mood near the end. Thompson closes the album with another Budd-like piece, “figured in the drift of stars,” in which sustained and echoed piano notes float through a field of synth washes, bell-like tones, and a myriad of shimmering effects. It’s easily the least melancholy song on the album, but is still colored with a palpable somberness.

Will this finally be the CD to get Robert Scott Thompson his well-deserved recognition and sales? If ambient music fans continue to turn their back on this artist’s work, and especially if they don’t check out At The Still Point Of The Turning World, they are missing out on truly breathtaking music. Unlike a lot of minimalism, I fell in love with this album immediately. The depth of emotion in the compositions, the complexity inherent in the blending of classical influences with ambient minimalism and subtle electronic experimentalism, the juxtaposition of beauty with sadness, all combine to form a stunning cohesive whole that surely should land on many a “Best of” list at year’s end. I’m confident it will do so with me.”
–Bill Binkelman, www.windandwire.com

Numina – Eye of the Nautilus –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
eye

We are pleased to announce the second release by Numina on the Hypnos label, the follow-up to his acclaimed breakthrough Sanctuary of Dreams (2004). Eye of the Nautilus is similar to its predecessor tonally, but also explores some different themes and textures. Evocative electronic percussion is present at times, but overall the feel is one of deep-space ambience.

It is with good reason that Numina is one of the few names in ambient music to so quickly gain in reputation and prominence in this new millennium. His work evolves dramatically with each new release, and by now he has surely made the transition from “new name you should watch” to the status of “established artist.” This is an album full of ideas, with a fresh and varied sound design.

Guest artist Rudy Adrian lends his trademark sound to the second track, “Secrets from the Flame,” and as with Sanctuary of Dreams, R. Chris Fraley provides artwork, and Hypnos founder M. Griffin is responsible for mastering and layout. This is the fourth Hypnos CD release of 2005, and is sure to be one of the highlights of the year not only for Numina and Hypnos, but for the entire space & ambient music world.


Paul Vnuk Jr. & Oophoi – Distance to Zero
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-pvoo-dtz

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!

Review:
“…a recording that might well be described as more exploratory work by established artists is Distance to Zero, a collab between old hands Paul Vnuk Jr. + Oöphoi that crept out late in ‘06. And crept is an apt word, for this is a surprisingly creepy set. They operate in similar slow drone territory to their last solo Hypnos releases, Silence Speaks in Shadows and Athlit, respectively. Yet their communion results in a work with a quite esoteric sonic character. More arcane and less harmonically resolved than anything Vnuk has done, and near the netherworld lights at the end of Oöphoi’s world, it definitely has a spooky eldritch undertow to it, especially on the unsettling opener, “Distance to Zero I.” “Distance to Zero II” contains recognizable elements of their individual work, notably Gasparetti’s palaeontology with Tau Ceti on Subterranea, evidenced in some trademark suspended bowl-sounds and steepling toneclouds, atavistic rumblings and abyss-hinting upsurges. This is well augmented by Vnuk’s orchestrations of the peripheral familiar from Silence Speaks, dwelling at the threshhold of static sub-vocal drone-float while channelling some eerie chthonics. The sound architecture is certainly denser and chewier than most of Oöphoi’s recent discs, and more timbrally varied, with Vnuk’s influence also apparent in the static grain that occasionally creeps in at the outer limits. Smooth but smudged, with hints of a processed distillate of metal machine music, Distance to Zero evolves weightily but actively, offering a sustaining richness of texture. Do not think of filing anywhere near “new age,” or even “ethereal.” Maybe under “atmospheric electronic” with a touch of “earthen” edge.” –Reviewed by Alan Lockett for ei-mag.com

Numina – Shift to the Ghost –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-n-sttg

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.

Reviews:
“In crafting a sonic narrative of the journey from life to afterlife, Numina has created a listening experience that is utterly immersive, a set of pieces that pull you in so deeply that trying to find adequate words for them once you’ve surfaced is difficult. This is signature Numina, moving as slowly as sleeping breath, elegant layers laid thickly upon layers with a certain and graceful hand. Sound textures course across the skin and into the spirit, coaxing the listener with warmth, beauty and imagery. This is the sound of the soul departing, and the sense of the journey itself. Rhythms rise only where they’re needed, as in the dramatic push of “Through the Unseen Barrier.” Shift… is heavy with well-realized aural scenery and emotive tones that fully suit Numina’s intent. The slightly serrated drift of “Arrival to Nowhere” points up the disk’s embrace of dark awe, and “Light Travelling” celebrates the upward release from being with some intriguing sonic turbulence. Who knew crossing over felt this good? There’s a distinct sense of the sacred here in hushed hymnal tones and choral whispers. There is the pull of coerced introspection, and a pure, overarching beauty. There’s not a moment on this disk that isn’t eminently listenable, down to the final quiet exhalations of the gorgeous closer, “The Hostless Ghost.” And that’s why Shift to the Ghost is another Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD from Numina.” –Reviewed by John @ Hypnogogue

“A Great album. Calmful and dark beauty, Highly Recommended!” –Parallel Worlds, on the Hypnos Forum


Stephen Philips – Into the Dark
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-sp-itd

Debut release by Stephen Philips on the Hypnos label “proper” following his album Dagboken on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint a couple of years earlier.

Into the Dark is a beautifully restrained and elegant piece of ambient music reminiscent of Neroli by Brian Eno, and Entering Twilight by James Johnson. Moving patterns of sounds, varying from bell-like chimes to deep rumbles vaguely-ethnic rattles, interact and react to create an always-shifting atmosphere, a sense of “place” and mood while avoiding ambient music cliches.

Stephen Philips is a prolific ambient music composer, best known as founder of Dark Duck Records, and he has collaborated with such diverse and respected artists as Numina, Austere, IXOHOXI, Ben Fleury-Steiner, James Johnson, Rigel Orionis, Ben Summers, and Isomorph. He has frequently performed live, and has worked in styles ranging from drone minimalism to glitch to deep chill, mostly centering around restrained ambience.

A single, continuously-evolving track of over 74 minutes, Into the Dark works great as a background atmosphere for continuous repeat play. But like the best ambient music, it is appealing enough for careful listening as patterns repeat and evolve, and themes emerge throughout.

“I have had it on continuous repeat since I got it out of the envelope. This isn’t the drone that Steve is known for but instead a very addictive, work of highly refined minimalist ambient–as Mike G mentions very much in the tradition of Eno’s utterly sublime and timeless Neroli–Steve lays down a very catchy main rhythmic motiff that floats over propulses of light chiming exhalations. over and over again for 74 minutes and 29 seconds…. It’s one of the best single track immmersions in a very long time–an immersion that is definitely on the same level as Steve Roach’s recent and appropriately titled Immersion discs (particularly my favorite Immersion I)…”–Reviewed by gearsofsand on the Hypnos Forum


Various Artists – Sounds Of a Universe Overheard
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-v-soauo

A collection of ten tracks exclusive to this CD, created by a cross-section of ambient, experimental and soundscape artists from around the world. Included in this diverse group are more established recording artists who will be known to most listeners to these genres, as well as new, emerging names. We feel a compilation is most interesting when it varies from the familiar to the new. This disc covers all sorts of territory in terms of sound, from more musical and soundtrack-like sounds, to darker ambient, to pure sonic experimentation.


Austere – Solyaris
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
solyaris

This is a creative peak for this much-overlooked ambient duo, their first release on Hypnos, following their Hypnos Secret Sounds album Pulse in 2007. In their 10 years of productivity, Austere has covered territory from Pulse’s drone minimalism , ranging back through odd and trippy Coil-inspired sonic experimentation, to seamless dark ambient, and occasionally glitchy weirdness. Despite some challenging material in their back catalog, Austere have in this case produced an album as friendly and pleasant as any Austere fan could have imagined possible, and yet without resorting to the usual tricks that make music sound “listenable.”

Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire said of Austere:
“Austere is an enigmatic duo who record some of the more interesting ambient music I’ve heard in my six plus years of reviewing. From the swirling drones (I was gonna say “dark” drones, but ….) and eerie melancholy of Monodia to the warmth and beauty amidst minimalism of Fade… Austere are less concerned with following the path and more concerned with breaking new ground. However, they are undoubtedly enigmatic, as one would glean from the above, and shun the spotlights of media and personality.”


M. Griffin – Fabrications
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
fab

Generally known as an ambient minimalist, utilizing synthesizers for most of his work, this time M. Griffin took advantage of “real world” sounds, captured with binaural microphones using a portable digital audio recorder. For this release, Griffin built up collages of numerous location recording elements, including cars driving on freeways, people walking in long echoing hallways, the ocean waves in Kona at night, a metalworking factory with heavy machinery crunching away, distant trains, and clothes driers. These elements were manipulated, combined, worked-on and re-worked, and overlaid with looped spoken elements later created by Griffin in the studio. The end result comes out something like the Zoviet France soundtrack to a David Lynch film, that is, a dark and dream-like collage of loops, spoken fragments, disembodied whispers, and the echo of far-off machinery.

While ambient music recordings generally only include a few “layers,” Fabrications has been painstakingly built-up over the years so that all tracks are now comprised of dozens of layers, in some cases upward of 100. The result is incredibly complex, with ghostly remnants of real, concrete sounds filtered one against another. Aural signatures of many real places combine to form sonic impressions of a series of locations that do not really exist. These imagined, artificial locales are in effect, fabrications.


Various – Message from a Subatomic World
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-v-mfsw

Having not released any various-artists compilations in the past decade, Hypnos released in 2007 a new compilation Sounds of a Universe Overheard featuring a diverse array of ambient soundscape artists from around the world. We are proud to follow last year’s release with its “mirror image” compilation, which we believe meets or exceeds that high standard.

Here are another 10 exclusive tracks by 10 artists who have not appeared on Hypnos compilations before, though some of these artists will certainly be familiar to followers of our label. Message From a Subatomic World in comparison to its predecessor is perhaps a bit more abstract and deep-space, more mysterious and strange, whereas Sounds of a Universe Overheard is a bit more musical and structured overall.


Various Artists – Echoes of Polyhymnia
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
polyhymnia

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

Reviews:
“My compliments for /echoes of polyhymnia/, great album!”
–Dennis Koepper, Databloem

“A wonderful compilation from Hypnos, featuring women in ambient music. Highly recommended.”
–Scott Raymond, WVKR-FM

 

Follow links to read more/listen to MP3 samples/purchase.

Weekly Sale Items: Yasujiro Ozu, Steve Roach, Rapoon, etc.

Hello all,

We’ve got another assorted batch of items on sale for you this week, and the low prices will be good through March 13th or while supplies last!

Various Artists/ Yasujiro Ozu – Hitokomakura (2CD)
–Regularly $13.99 right now just $9.99
yasujiro

“This release turns its focus upon Yasujiro Ozu’s use of “pillow shots” (i.e. short poetic pauses that appear between the acting segments of his films. The term “pillow shot” was not coined by Ozu himself, but several years after his passing in the early 1960s by a Japanese journalist who was trying to draw a comparison of the intermediate scenes to “pillow words” found in traditional Japanese poetry. This is a double CD release with both CDs featuring audio plus a cross-platform compatible PDF booklet containing pillow shots (courtesy of Criterion Collection) and liner notes.

Each artist who appears on this release was asked to choose one or more “pillow shots” to use as inspiration for their pieces. A link to web pages containing a large assortment of “pillow shots” was provided, and accordingly, the pillow shots were reserved on a first come, first served basis. The artists also watched the films from which the pillow shots came from in order to get a sense of how their chosen pillow shots were employed by Ozu.

The sound work featured represents a wide range of artistic approaches, but as always with these projects, the artists were chosen specifically, based on their previous work and on how it might contribute to the collective whole of each project.


Bruno Sanfilippo – Auralspace
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
aural

“The CD is presented in a deluxe digipack 6 panel, 71 min. on 7 pieces that are in a practically continuous flow. The gentle whistles flow effortlessly on a soft carpet of electronics textures, slow spiraling in increases-decreases, creating a recording not to be missed by those who are curious and by those who love to fly far away on the wings of surreal environment.” -ad21music.com


Rapoon – I Am a Foreigner
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99
foreigner

“Robin Storey, who used to be a part of the ethnic ambient whisper of :zoviet*france:, loses himself in loops. His work as Rapoon has always been an endless pattern that shifts and alters itself upon subsequent iterations like the re-arrangement of sand across the broad back of a line of dunes. “Via” from I Am A Foreigner, for example, crackles with sand ground deep in a vinyl groove while ambient tones spread across a sun-bleached horizon. You fall into his work, get yourself mired in the shifting sand underfoot, and quickly lose all sense of time and space. Vaguely ethnic drum patterns swirl and circle in the mix, building cascading patterns that move like, well, sand. However, with I Am A Foreigner, Storey has become entranced with something new and, as a result, there is a novel cast to the sonic weather eddying on this record.” -igloomag.com


Steve Roach / Erik Wollo – Stream of Thought
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99
stream

“Stream of Thought explores the nuance of shifts within our perception. Segments of illumination juxtaposed with amorphous interludes and moving, flowing rhythm culminate in an unforgettable, shifting, dynamic experience. Relax and float downstream. Tranquil drifts, passionate rapids, midnight star gazing and blazing sunsets await. This is a vivid soundtrack for the senses designed to take the listener to the outer reaches of the imagination.” -projekt.com

LISTEN to a bit from this album HERE.


PBK/Telepherique – Noise- Ambient Connection
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $5.99
PBK

“Synthetic sound sources and sequences create unsettling atmosphere from the structured electronic patterns ranging from intense rhythmic work to creepy ambient out-of-body soundscapes.” -Monochrome Vision

LISTEN to the track, “Twilight Cue” from this album HERE.


Steve Roach – A Deeper Silence
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
deeper

“This new long-form zone billows out like a big sigh of time, breathing steady and strong. Minimal and infinite in its essence, like all of Steve’s long-form zones this is a functional soundworld specifically created to enhance the atmosphere of your personal sanctuary, your living environment and beyond. Lower volume playback increases the potency. This sound space serves as a kind of portal to states of subtle awareness, and is perfect for the support of deeper sleeping as well.” -steveroach.com


Various Artists – Collection 2: Moving
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
moving

Collection 2 “Moving” is, as the title suggests, the second compilation from the Dutch label Databloem. This label has been making a terrific name for itself, releasing high-quality electronica albums from a number of new and exciting artists. Moving is billed as “a collection of ambient explorations and grooves”–and it’s a very satisfying collection; seemingly a denizen of an alternate universe where techno artists chose to discard their club roots in favor of the ambient sound. Don’t expect banging tracks of stunning beatwork–this is a fine selection of laid-back, downtempo head-bobbers. With exclusive tracks by Mantacoup, Carbon Boy, The Circular Ruins, Spielerei, Saul Stokes, Psychetropic, ENV(itre), Makunouchi Bento, Subradial, Vir Unis and Cyscape.


Various Artists – Collection 3: Blending
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
blending

Another collection of contemporary ambient and ambient-glitch that takes the listener on a journey that stretches the old boundaries into a shape of things to come. 70 minutes of bliss with not a sub standard track in sight, an impressive collection.With exclusive tracks by Danny Kreutzfeldt, Off The Sky, Krill Minima, Waki, Lingua Lustra, Mendigo, Lufth, MOC, Dreaming The Seed, Svartling and Liquid Bridge.