After a short break, we’re back with another weekly sale and some extremely low prices, which will be good through March 6th or while supplies last. Be sure to visit the HYPNOS ONLINE STORE soon for some great bargains!
Andrew Liles – My Long Accumulating Discontent –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
“This CD is in places more melodic than Liles’ previous output and its 17 tracks cover a wide musical territory. Some songs are short and harmonious, other pieces are longer, subtle and contemplative with drifting delicate drones.” -andrewliles.com
LISTEN to the track “Is There Anybody There?” from this album HERE.
Nimh – Krungthep Archives –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
“Nimh (Giuseppe Verticchio) returns as a solo artist in his newest release, rediscovering the sounds of his oriental ethnic instruments, collected in he Far-East, mainly in Thailand. The recordings are often submerged with electronic sounds, drones, voices, urban noises, field-recordings, loops, rhythmic fragments, lively and dynamically reached sound waves. Otherwise, sometimes the traditional instruments own natural sounds emerge, giving life to suggestive and catching semi-acoustic soundscapes. All the contrasts of a geographical universe perpetually suspended between ancient cultures and an out of control modernism, perfectly translated in in music by a careful and sensible expert of those places and cultures.” -Silentes
LISTEN to the track “K.A. 02″ from this album HERE.
Vidna Obmana – Landscape in Obscurity –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
Explorations into unmapped landscapes… Vidna Obmana is Europe’s foremost practitioner of atmospheric and tribal ambient sounds, and already has nearly twenty CD releases to his credit. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Steve Roach, including “Cavern of Sirens,” “Well of Souls,” and “Ascension of Shadows,” but solo works such as the recent “Crossing the Trail” and “River of Appearances” make a powerful and unique artistic statement. LANDSCAPE IN OBSCURITY, a long, exploratory driftscape, integrates spacious and atmospheric performances on flute and saxophone (by Italy’s Capriolo Trifoglio and Diego Borotti) with the familiar sonic clouds of Vidna Obmana’s own electronic and acoustic instrument mix. This is a journey of almost 70 minutes of luminous, airy ambience. Smooth, subtle and unobtrusive, yet at the same time sonically complex and illuminating, this CD works fantastically on “repeat” mode for hours on end. Wonderful for meditation or as background for sleep or creative work, this is one of Vidna Obmana’s most minimal and truly “ambient” pieces in recent years.
“His first release on the Hypnos label, Vidna Obmana’s ‘Landscape in Obscurity’ is an impressionistic study of isolation, memory and lament. Somber saxophone leads and floating flute lines (by Italy’s Capriolo Trifoglio and Diego Borotti) mix with clouds of floating electronic ambience to evoke a feeling of isolation a cold city gives off in the dead of night.”
– Chuck VanZyl, Stars’ End, WXPN, Philadelphia
“Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this union is the unusual sense of harmony this trio shares despite their choice of instruments. Drifting through the grey areas between the soothing and familiar, the surreal and uncharted, this project blurs the preconceived barriers between classical and contemporary. With another artistic triumph to his credit, Vidna Obmana further demonstrates his thorough insight into the language of amorphous sound.” – Adam M. Bialek/Outburn (USA)
“…minimal atmospherics that blossom with beauty and wonder…. basked in a luminous, pristine glow, easily one of my favorite releases from Vidna Obmana.” –John C. Smith, Side-Line
LISTEN to a sampling from this album HERE.
John Hudak – Sand or Stars –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
Comparisons between the sand of the earth with the stars above are many, but comparisons of this release by American composer John Hudak with his previous work are far less to be found.
The first piece of this CD mastered by John’s friend and collaborator Stephan Mathieu (Sirr.ecords, Lucky Kitchen, Hapna, etc), is unlike much of John’s previous work in that it features sharp staccato percussive sounds suddenly dodging in and out, but nevertheless it still has John’s “endless” compositional sense written into it. A subtle sense of humor seems to be inherent in the piece as well, as if some of the sounds hesitate with indecision as to whether or not they should make their presence known or perhaps they are trying to avoid colliding with some of the other sounds. And upon listening to this piece, be careful with volume settings at first listen, because the listener will quickly discover another aspect of this piece that is unlike much of John’s previous work: sudden volume shifts. This seems to suggest that the sounds are also changeable in temperament as well!
The second piece on this CD is perhaps the most meditative of the collection with its muted midrange buzzing that jumps around within the stereo spectrum, perhaps being reminiscent of musical radar signals or sonifications of normally inaudible activity occurring in a planet’s magnetosphere, all the while maintaining a benevolent warmth throughout.
And what could possibly be described as the amplification of rolling ion particle blasts being broadcast via shortwave radio, tells us that we have reached the third and final piece of this collection of what could be considered as being among John Hudak’s finest works.
Bruno Sanfilippo – InTRO –Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
This release from 2006 offers 54 minutes of engaging ambience. Joining Sanfilippo on this recording is Alio Die on one track. For the first track: softly drifting textures are augmented by dreamy strings and sedate percussives, generating a lush and pleasant dose of ambience. Environmental samples enhance this soothing tuneage, contrasting the aerial violin with placid rainfall. The next track is ushered in by wind chimes winding their way through cyclic electronics breathing in tandem with didgeridoo. The serene tones maintain a steady flux that excellently suits an introspective reverie. The third piece wafts in on a shuddering breeze, orchestral airs vibrating in the distance while fragile electronics lazily cavort in the foreground amid softly ponged bells. Stately piano commands the next track, describing pensive chords in an ethereal fog of wind-borne electronics. Relaxation becomes mandatory. Heavenly hosts rise in the next track to meet a rain-swept wash punctuated by pastoral zephyrs. The next track employs singsong tones to achieve a contemplative milieu that is as captivating as it is dreamlike. The melody sways with tender intention, caressing the psyche with tendrils of sweet resonance. Piano reappears for the final piece, waxing emotional and conspiring with persuasive soundscapes to achieve a sweeping return to externality. A superb dose of ambience whose power is understated but vibrant, evoking a series of entries into the inner mind.
-Matt Howarth – Sonic Curiosity
Austere – Eco –Regularly $6.99, right now just $3.99
“Eco, a new release for 2005 e.v., is two things above and beyond an ambient-styled minimalistic composition.
Firstly, it is a “process piece”, similar in concept to our first release Convergence from 1998 (reissued in 2005.) The concept of process music was originated by minimalist composer Steve Reich in a manifesto entitled “Music as a Gradual Process” in 1968.
This recording was made using a balalaika (a three stringed chordophone instrument from the Mediterranean), a number of analog and digital delays wired in series and Space Echo. The composition was arranged using a technique Reich called “phasing”, where each discrete piece of music, or “phrase”, is allowed to overlap the same or similar pieces but are slightly out of time sync with the original, creating a slowly evolving recording that changes subtly but perseptively over its entire course.
ECO is meant to be played quietly when going to sleep, and should help lull the listener into a relaxed state, and then into various deep sleep-related phases of brain patterns…. (READ more HERE).
Mnortham – Automnal –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
Highly indicative of the nomadic life that international sound artist Michael Northam has come to know over the past 5 or so years, this release represents a sonic recollection of his life dispersed across a vast geography, pinpointing three specific locations and moments from his long journey:
– Glacier du Trient, Switzerland / France
– Eagle Creek, Indianapolis
– Ils Grosbois, Montreal
At times, this hypnotic release presents meditative, invigorating, and eerie translations of places and experiences in ways that only Northam can poetically convey.
Originally dispersed among friends in 2003, as a limited edition “spontaneous document” CDR, this work is now re-issued on CD so it can finally be enjoyed by more people. And deservedly so.
Nimh – Travel Diary –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
“Finally collected on a single CD and released in a completely re-edited and re-mastered version enriched with new sounds and parts, Silentes presents all the music created by Giuseppe Verticchio/Nimh during 2001/2002 using ethnic instruments only and in a totally unconventional way, with the addition of treated/processed field recordings. A real challenge beyond every stylistic and geographical border; an original and evocative dark-shaded ethnic-electronic-ritual music, born from the voice of ancient and often unknown traditional ethnic instruments mostly collected in the Far East, without using synthesizers and any other electronic/synthetic source at all. An absolute original, unpredictable and unrepeatable…” -Silentes
LISTEN to the track “The Market Place” HERE.
Mico Nonet – Marmalade Balloon –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
We here at Hypnos HQ think this is one of the nicest and best-est things to have crossed our ears in quiet a while. It’s a beautiful, ear-pleasing blend of relatively “straight” chamber music with just a touch of electronic tones.
A minimalist layer of ambient analog synthesizers with cello, viola, French horn and oboe performed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
“The Marmalade Balloon is the year’s ultimate flirtation with subtlety and seductiveness. Existing somewhere between the neo-classical and the ambient, Mico Nonet fashion a world that is hazy and succinct, at times dark and haunting and others playful and inspiring, but always open to personal interpretation. The balance between musicians is gracefully maintained, where neither the electronics nor the strings are ever overly pronounced as to withdraw the listener from the intoxicating, spellbinding trance which The Marmalade Balloon invokes. The future will certainly take this musical act on a variety of different presentations, but with their strong understanding of musical space and development, we’re confident that they’ll be a favorite for years to come. ” –Jordan Volz, The Silent Ballet
“Once all the synths and sequencers have echoed out and it is time to return to Earth, STAR’S END turns to The Marmalade Balloon (36’42”), a smart, artfully constructed EP by Mico Nonet. Played on conventional chamber instruments (viola, cello, oboe, french horn) plus a well-hidden synthesizer, this work combines the idea of ambient music with the sophisticated sensibilities of the classical quartet. The most difficult part of this undertaking was in directing the virtuosic talents of four seasoned orchestra musicians towards a music that achieves a sustained atmosphere – away from the familiar climax and release of their repertoire. The Marmalade Balloon succeeds in maintaining a gradual coalescence throughout. Somber thematic workings move with deliberate slowness as this group carefully strides towards a sense of quiet musical contemplation. Through a unique intuition, the musicians leave enough room not only for one another, but for silence as well. The result is an incredibly beautiful and elegant music, so fragile that at any moment it may dissolve into thin air.” –Chuck van Zyl, Star’s End Ambient Radio
LISTEN to the track “Hammock” from this album HERE.
Austere – Solyaris –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
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.”
And the Austere boys themselves, not normally prone to gushing or self-praise, say these words on the subject of this recording:
“Solyaris, our first release for 2008 e.v. on the Hypnos label is major departure from our recent emphasis on Minimalist composition, but more in the direction started by our last release, mirror.shtml and is instead is a collection of recordings improvised and recorded “live” over a weekend session and are presented in their original form, unedited in any way aside from mastering by The Sound-O-Mat.
The recordings turned out extremely well; it was obvious that our Muse(s) had visited us, and we were able to simply “let the tapes roll” and play, and this recording is made up from one track each from a recording session (we may release the rest at some later point.)
We could not be more happy with the sound of this album — there was definitely something special about that weekend and it was one of those rare occasions where everything just seemed to come together without any effort, and we think this is reflected in the musick. The CD flows very nicely, and is one of the most uplifting and special CDs we have ever released. We hope that you might enjoy it at least half as much as we do.”
We here at Hypnos are likewise happy with this album, and find ourselves playing it over and over, soothed and bewildered at the strange and beautiful atmosphere. Solyaris does not fit squarely into any one genre, but it is wonderful to listen to, without being easy or without depth. The sounds could be described as the thought transmissions of benevolent aliens. They mean you no harm, and they thank you for listening!
LISTEN to MP3 samples HERE.