Category: Hypnos Store Special Offers

Weekly Sale Item: Hell’s Canyon

Our sale item for the week is John Duval’s “Hell’s Canyon,” specially priced at just $4.99 through January 19th.

HELL’S CANYON
hyby-jd-hc

Hell’s Canyon is the solo debut of John Duval, member of Binary’s own Dweller at the Threhold. Created entirely with Duval’s massive array of modular synthesizers (a wall of electronics dubbed “the Fist of God”) Hell’s Canyon is an abstract, deep-space exploration of pure electronics. With all these analog synthesizers involved, of course there’s an element of the “classic EM” sound, but this is not a retro, “Berlin school” composition. Closer comparisons would be Robert Rich’s Bestiary album (another abstract, pure modular synth piece), or perhaps even the deep-space excursions of Hypnos’s own Viridian Sun.

All performances here are by Duval himself, but fellow Dweller at the Threshold member Dave Fulton edited, assembled and mastered Duval’s original tapes into a sonically refined and cohesive recording.

REVIEW:
“Great electronic sound journey through the canyon… Wonderful trip through Hell’s Canyon in a vessel of sound. Exciting and intriguing. A great sound that only leaves me wanting more, expecting more.”
-Reviewed by Bren on www.cdbaby.com

Listen to MP3 clips and purchase HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Digitalis

The sale item for this week is Marcus Reuter’s “Digitalis,” priced at an incredibly low $4.99 through January 12th.

DIGITALIS
digitalis

Based in Germany, Markus Reuter is a member of Europa String Choir, an instrumental group whose recent work has been released on Robert Fripp’s DGM label. His two previous works in the ambient genre (as 1/2 of Centrozoon, and with Ian Boddy) were released on Boddy’s DiN label, and both items have been very popular items at the Hypnos Online Store.

Markus’s instrument is the Warr Guitar, a tap-style 8-stringed instrument which is played less like a true “guitar” and more like a Chapman Stick. The sound, especially on Digitalis, goes through heavy electronic processing, with the result that (like fellow Hypnos label guitarists Jeff Pearce and David Tollefson) he ends up with a very un-guitar-like sound, but with a “feel” and style of playing that sets it apart from keyboard-played electronics. DIGITALIS has a fairly bright and vivid sound, as compared to the smooth and mellow tones of Pearce, or the heavier, sometimes challenging sound of Tollefson. Still, the end result is abstract and definitely “ambient.”

REVIEWS:
“Markus Reuter plays the touch guitar and benefits from the different approach afforded by an instrument that does not resemble the typical tools (i.e. synthesizers) used to produce our community’s wealth of musical releases. Reuter could surely market his album Digitalis as a demo disc of the latest in sound manipulation and processing gear, but his vision as an artist in ambient sound is clearly evident and Digitalis rises above our too often technology driven medium.

Recorded essentially in real-time, Digitalis is a churning and drifting swirl of interesting harmonics and subtle moods realized through the vision and character of an insightful musician. The idea of layering the sounds of a guitar by means of a long delay is about as old as our modern concept of ambient music. On Digitalis, Reuter stretches the parameters of his tools and the depth of the genre and aspires to more than he inherited. On one hand, Digitalis does represent Reuter’s mastery of the gear that loops, shifts, delays, flanges and filters a sound source. However, his involvement with the music goes deeper than just twidling knobs. Talent is the invisible force behind this gentle and amorphus music – acting like a soft breeze on the direction of mountain mist.”
–Star’s End Radio host Chuck VanZyl

“Markus Reuter is known for his work with Ian Boddy and the Europa String Choir; his Digitalis marks an excursion into abstract ambient noise. This record is very dissonant — or, like Claude Debussy, Reuter really pushes the envelope on consonance as it relates to the melodic and harmonic relationship within the context of a respective piece. Reuter’s music is marked by dissonant melodic runs and streaks through whole-tone scales and other modes that are quite hard on the ears. Perhaps the strangeness of this recording has something to do with the apparatus that he’s using to make the recording, which is described as a tap-style eight-stringed guitar-like instrument, which is played less like a true guitar and more like a Chapman Stick. The tracks on Digitalis seemingly run together with little or no comprehensible order, almost as if they were completely improvised. In a lot of ways, this recording may remind listeners of some of Sun Ra’s work, but there is more dissonance and less use of silence as a compositional tool. From an experimental and stylistic perspective, this recording is a gem.”
–All Music Guide

READ MORE/LISTEN/BUY HERE.

Updated MP3 Samples for At the Still Point…

Someone pointed out there were glitches in the sample MP3 clips for this week’s sale CD, At the Still Point of the Turning World by Robert Scott Thompson. We’ve created new MP3 clips and embedded them in this nifty little jukebox player.

Track list (with MP3 sample clips):

still point

The album remains on sale for the all-time low price of $5.99 through Sunday, Dec 30 — available here.

Weekly Sale Item: At the Still Point of the Turning World

Our sale item for this week is Robert Scott Thompson’s “At the Still Point of the Turning World,” priced at just $5.99 through December 30th.

AT THE STILL POINT OF THE TURNING WORLD
still point

This is the Hypnos label debut of one of the great names in ambient/electronic music, Robert Scott Thompson. At the Still Point of the Turning World is spacious and meditative, yet with a delicate musicality. Robert is Director of the Center for Audio Recording Arts (CARA) in the School of Music at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He also runs the Aucourant Records label, which has released selections of his work in a wide range of styles.

Reviewed by Bill Binkelman for windandwire.com:
“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.”

READ MORE/LISTEN/BUY HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Twilight in the Offing

Our sale item for this week is Chad Hoefler’s “Twilight in the Offing,” on sale for just $5.99 through December 22nd.

TWILIGHT IN THE OFFING
twilight

This is the Hypnos debut, and in fact the CD release debut, of an fantastic ambient music artist. It’s one of those rare, special debuts that immediately designates the artist as important and worth watching. Twilight in the Offing is the work of a mature and experienced artist, with a sonic variety and depth that stand up next to the best of the ambient/space music genre.

Chad says:
As the title of my debut CD, Twilight In The Offing, metaphorically suggests, this 7 track, 1 hour long CD represents my attempt to sonically capture the concept of inevitability. I endeavored to use track titles that portray the muse for this work: the inescapable fact that darkness follows dusk (at least in the vast majority of places on this planet), that fall and winter follow summer, and that the expiration of life is the ultimate certainty. Tracks vary widely from one another from deep and dark orchestral soundscapes with tribal percussion to floating sonic surrealism to abstract, pensive soundworlds. If I had to compare the genre of this work to the genres of other ambient artists, I would say that it belongs to the same family of work represented by the likes of Alio Die, A Produce, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, etc.”

REVIEWS:

“Hailed as a great new talent before his debut CD came out, Chad Hoefler lives up to the advance billing on Twilight in the Offing. “Crimson Lost” flows smoothly from silky synth pads to crisp percussion that is equal parts modern and primitive. It compares favorably to Patrick O’Hearn’s Trust CD. After a strongly tribal first half, this piece changes significantly, downshifting completely into a formless silky slab of ambience, more like Robert Scott Thompson from The Silent Shore. The title “Enveloping Shadow” is evocative of its nature, dark spirals of sound radiating outward and downward into the caverns. Steve Roach’s disc two from Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces comes to mind. Despite the many comparisons already made, this is not derivative music. Hoefler’s music has strong reference points to these and other worthy ambient artists, but he builds upon the foundation laid before him and offers his own worthy contribution to the genre. “Substrata” has a steady, unsettling pace with very dark underpinnings. The sound that provides the rhythm here is otherworldly, like something knocking on wood but defying easy description. Nicely juxtaposed is the markedly brighter “Refugia,” a more ethereal gossamer piece with touches of Jeff Pearce or Jonn Serrie. Still, no one is going to mistake this for new age, it is serious ambient. “In a Marooned Moment” again uses a simple steady beat to effectively create a sense of unrest. The last two tracks continue to mine the depths, although “Orchard of Stone” brightens some at the end as a relaxed beat carries it along in a unique ambient-meets-easy-listening mode, a surprising but perfect finish.”
–Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

“Twilight in the Offing (60’27″), the debut album by Chad Hoefler, deals with our inescapable encounter with Truth. The 7 tracks exist as leviathans within this album’s soundworld; to warn listeners of the approaching night. With its Godzilla size drones representing a mounting tension and cavernously deep reverberations revealing a nervous restlessness, Twilight in the Offing is more about the rising darkness than it is the coming dawn. This work makes heat through its crosscurrent of turbulent electronic soundwaves. The line of each piece uncoils, surges and swells into a sustained density. Breathing drones and murmuring sonic prominences intensify the listening experience. Hoefler’s mood ranges from that of a charred hellscape to the closing moments of a rapturous dream, somehow echoed into the world. Material is a reaction to form. Here, the sound design provides a brief space in which to contemplate transition. While sounds mingle like moving shadows in the dark, we consider the proportion of material to length, and that which is beyond twilight, and our lives.”
–Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio

Read more/listen/buy HERE.