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 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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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.