Category: Hypnos Store Special Offers

Weekly Sale Item: Hypnos Picks #1

We’ve got some of our own, HYPNOS RECORDINGS items on sale this week, and at just $5.99 each, it’s the perfect time to grab any you might not yet have in your collection! Sale prices are good through May 24th or while supplies last.

Vidna Obmana – Landscape in Obscurity

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

Markus Reuter – Digitalis

The first Hypnos release by Markus Reuter. Based in Germany, Markus 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.”

“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

Ma Ja Le – Seed

The second collaboration between Ma Ja Le (who previously released IMAGINARIUM with Vir Unis, now available again at the Hypnos store) and James Johnson (who released ENTERING TWILIGHT on Hypnos this year, also also just released a CD of his own with Vir Unis, PERIMETER, below) is a sonic melding of the minimalist overtones and organic synth work of James Johnson & the ethno-tribal-atmospheric sounds of ambient duo Ma Ja Le. The sonic tapestry is as lush, emotive and transportive as it gets. A Spiraling journey to the deepest depths of ethereal ambience and back.

“There is undeniable appeal in spacious music — music whose airiness can fill a room while its substance almost sub-consciously engenders both personal and universal visions. Ma Ja Le is Paul Vnuk, Jr and Christopher Short, who provide e-bow, bass flute, drone loops, “melted machinery, shakerscapes, sound-worlds,” ticking watch, wavedrum, udu, “cosmo-horn, prehistoric insect worlds, altered reality,” percussive drones and voice. Johnson supplies what may be the backbone: synthetic architecture, piano, reprocessed sound inversions, software synthesis, and ethereal textures. (Need I tell you that the sounds from this CD are unusually intriguing?) Six tracks total more than 72 minutes and transport the listener to an interior, earthy, somewhat shadowy space that feels as voluminous as the external cosmos. Ma Ja Le’s “ethno-tribal” atmospheres and Johnson’s organic minimalism combine surprisingly well into music that not only feels relaxing, but is as interesting as it is listenable.” –NAPRA Review, Sandy Marshall

“This is a stunning collaboration by three of the most gifted artists in the ambient genre, Christopher Short, Paul Vnuk Jr.,and James Johnson. Together with one vision they have created a sound world of rich textures and beauty that transports the listener to a different space and time. The sound flows effortlessly as the interplay between these artists conjures up the concept of all life originating from some type of seed. The production on this disc is awesome with a perfect balance ,blending guitar ,synthesizer ,percussion,flute, piano,effects and much more into a magical sonic garden. Yaquona [part 1] sets the stage with a swirling introduction, a collage of synth, guitartronics, percussion and effects. A tribal rhythm starts and marks the smooth transition into Yaquona [Part 2], a stately procession of intriguing sound. Up next is “Methane Sea”, eighteen minutes of beautiful flowing and drifting chords,with some nice guitar. Some snaky flute sounds and percussion entice the listener into the next track, the slightly oriental sounding and intoxicating “Outside In”. The fifth track “Hibiscus Ceremony” features some lovely piano work by James Johnson. Finally the last track “Seed” takes the listener on a long voyage through distant galaxies to the ends of time.

This is one of the very best ambient works and is highly recommended! It is space music of the highest order and a must for any electronic music lover’s collection. Hypnos Recordings has added another masterpiece to it’s catalog of high quality ambient releases.” –Dodds Wiley

James Johnson – Entering Twilight


ENTERING TWILIGHT is a single long track, about 66 minutes long, in a sparse, almost subliminal style. Fans of Johnson’s previous works Surrender and Unity know the beautiful, glimmering restraint with which he expresses himself, but this one is even more minimal…. like floating in a thick fog with vague chiming chords drifting toward you through the haze.

“…at the end of the day
when the past & the future
slowly end & unfold
bathe in the dreaming light of the sun…”

In a slow moving, almost still ambience, ENTERING TWILIGHT creates an atmosphere that surrounds and unfolds for 66 minutes. This long form piece was created for continuous playback to enhance the listeners environment with an amorphous, and at times almost transparent, background of sonic imagery.

“This 66 ½-minute, one track CD reveals a style that may be part of the lineage of positive, gentle, cloudy ambient music that one finds on Steve Roach’s Quiet Music albums and in early Eno. It is a relatively low volume piece of music with gentle, melodic notes resounding and fading in and out of the deep. It more or less fills the space for an hour with bell tones, soft voice-like chorales and lots of resonant ambiance. The notes drift on the winds rather than work as distinct melodies, almost like MIDI controlled wind chimes. The title, Entering Twilight, is aptly descriptive, an album perfect for all-night repeat sessions.”
— Mike McLatchey

“Genres are always expanding. The ambient domain covers a great portion of music that takes a less aggressive approach to gain recognition. James Johnson’s release Entering Twilight spirals further away from the original ambient source to outer regions that are defined only as sparse or meditative. Exhibited in one 66 minute opus of serenity and enlightened Bliss, we see flight further ahead in time, music that is soundtrack to the path taken during afterlife. There is no other way to accurately describe the music other than as The Opus from Heaven. Even the most non-religious, open-minded person could see how Johnson’s production on Entering Twilight could be categorized as heavenly or celestial in shape and form. Johnson’s vision for the future of ambient has veered quietly towards celestial realms that can be none other than described as pure, unadulterated tranquility.”
–Brad Anderson

“Entering Twilight has carried me to sleep every might for the last 3 weeks, and every time I experience it the beauty of its nuances grows stronger and stronger. As I become more familiar with the terrain, its depth and magnitude only intensify. A stunning work of art, and a stunning journey. Thank you.”
–Brock VanWey

Stephen Philips – Into the Dark

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.

“Finally got to listen to this disc in its’ entirety, and it is very impressive indeed. No overload, exquisite balance. What at first appears to be soulful trancing repetition evolves with wonderful sounds, deployed with a deft and disciplined hand. I have never heard Eno’s Neroli, to which this album has been compared, but am now tempted to check it out. I do have some basic experience with Eno, though, and can tentatively say that Into the Dark, to me, seems to have a deeper sense of soul (or an animistic outlook on life) and narrative, things I particularly enjoy in ambient music, as opposed to being ‘programmed’ and designed…Just my initial feeling though…I can sense a kind of thread here, a visual movement through a landscape…It is beautiful…so many subtle sounds and transitions…”
–Reviewed by 9dragons on the Hypnos Forum

“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

“Sometimes even reviewers judge a book by its cover. Hypnos release, check. Stephen Philips, check. Abstract cover art, check. A single track over an hour long, check. It’s obviously going to be deep dark ambient drones for the duration, right? Well, that impression goes out the window on the first note. The pinging noises sound more like the Barron brothers’ “Forbidden Planet” soundtrack or modern classical, than say, the latest Steve Roach hour-plus ambient epic. Bells, gongs and chimes are the predominant sounds, used rather sparsely, with synths and other sounds and effects for good measure. Wood blocks appear now and then, just briefly. Bass notes ring out from time to time and give just a hint of jazz flavor. This is thinking man’s ambient, like Brian Eno’s recordings from 30 years ago. While quiet, it isn’t exactly background music, as it doesn’t exactly flow. Notes are discrete and intermittent. It is subtle yet assertive in a way. The basic overriding theme and sound palette changes little over its course, just the placement of the notes and sounds. It’s like taking a thin slice of something and studying it intently, deliberately, ignoring everything above and below. Engage, listen intently, and see what you find.”
–Reviewed by Phil Derby, ElectroambientSpace

M Griffin/D Fulton – Imprint


Griffin (Hypnos label founder, and also known for his solo album SUDDEN DARK, as well as work with A Produce and Viridian Sun) and Fulton (best known as a founder of Dweller at the Threshold, now with the Binary sub-label of Hypnos) release their follow-up to the well-received collaborative debut THE MOST DISTANT POINT KNOWN. IMPRINT updates the sound and concept of the duo’s previous recording, while still exploring the concept of balancing the artists’s divergent backgrounds and influences. Griffin leans more toward the ambient &  end of things while Fulton’s influence runs toward Berlin school, sequencer music and prog rock, but what may seem at first a mismatch in fact brings about a blending of two complementary styles.
IMPRINT is a bit more dynamic and brighter-sounding, whereas THE MOST DISTANT POINT KNOWN was more slow-moving and nocturnal. The duo hope ambient fans may be surprised how much they enjoy the sequencer & analog synth elements, while those who approach the project from the “old school” point of view will like the many-layered complexity and atmospheric quality.

Robert Scott Thompson – At the Still Point of the Turning World
still point

At last, 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.

Numina – Sanctuary of Dreams


The first release on Hypnos by this up-and-coming ambient artist based in Colorado. Numina, real name Jesse Sola, arrived on the scene following a handful of self-released albums and quickly rose to become one of the most popular new faces in electronic ambient music.

“SANCTUARY OF DREAMS (73’14”) by Numina (a.k.a. Jesse Sola) comes from the same spark as many other soundworld realizations in the field of Spacemusic. Through the subtle manipulation of deep drones, sub-sonic swells, metallic sonorities and the slow spiraling of contrasting chords, Numina provides the listener with a wondrous sonic sanctuary in which to reflect upon their own inner workings. Throughout his music we find an artist trying to identify his relationship with the scale of his work, and the relationship of this work to the environment. The material on SANCTUARY OF DREAMS guides the form in which Numina is working. The 10 tracks are each a storm of color and sound, less representative of the chaos of the unconscious mind than of the enigmatic and ominous world of dreams . . . visions beyond cognition.” –Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio, WXPN, Philadelphia

“Jesse Sola records as Numina. Sanctuary of Dreams, his first release on a major label (Hypnos Recordings), might be his best effort yet. In the past, his CDs have leaned to the darker sides of ambience. While this disc does have some ominous tones, the overall timbres are gentle and soothing. Sola’s style allows the uplifting chords to be the overriding persona of this CD. He combines organic textures with languid atmospheres to create warm and friendly soundscapes. This disc is a friend. It will appeal to fans of Jeff Pearce, Remco Helbers, Markus Reuter, and Zero Ohms.” –All Music Guide, reviewed by Jim Brenholts

READ MORE/ LISTEN TO MP3 SAMPLES/ PURCHASE in the HYPNOS RECORDINGS section of the Hypnos online store.

Random Picks #5

We’ve got another round of random picks for you this week, and sale prices will be good through May 17th!

Z’EV – The Deep Path Regularly $13.99, right now just $9.99

“A monumental album, three impressive tracks in which Stefan Joel Weisser, a.k.a Z’EV, legendary avantgarde experimental artist, master of percussions and live performer of worldwide fame, collects and exhibits all his bravest and incredible sonic solutions, mixing and alternating enormous, deep and sometimes exploding and devastating sound masses based on low frequencies, noisy metallic sounds, gong and cymbal stratifications… All channeled in resonant time tunnels, where every sonic element has infinite decay, entangled through suggestive cyclic echoes and reverberations mixing and completing with the other sonic weaves, for an absolutely unique listening experience.” -Silentes


Bruno Sanfilippo – Subliminal Pulse – Regularly $13.99, right now just $9.99
subliminal pulse

“Veteran Electronic/Ambient composer and recording artist Bruno Sanfilippo has been creating and releasing impressive soundscapes since 1991. Now the internationally established instrumentalist delivers his first official US release, Subliminal Pulse, a tranquil and hypnotic ambient musical tapestry comprised of delicate melodies, layered electronics and synth textures that seem to come from deep within a dream.”

Resonant Drift – Full Circle
  – Regularly $11.99, right now just $8.99
full circle

“Resonant Drift return, bearing new worlds of sound that vary from wide, windswept desert-ambient vistas and hushed, cloud-shrouded meditation chambers to uncertain, grit-choked places better left unnamed. Tone and texture chart the course on Full Circle, a journey that goes as far inward as it does out, making it a trip worth taking over and over.”

Under the Snow – Delta
  – Regularly $10.99, right now just $7.99

“Extended sonic fluxes of synthetic nature mixed with delicate acoustic and electric guitars chords and riffs, crowd noises, indefinite and fading melodic spots of unknown origin, feedbacks, echoes, pulsations, vibrations, cracklings, rustling waves in continuous movement… But also sudden pauses, unpredictable and improbable inserts of folk blues radio transmissions, crystal clear water sounds, static, wrapping and dramatic electronic weaves, metallic tickings. An extraordinary range of sounds and atmospheres for this new, challenging and really particular experimental-explorative project by Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron.

Saul Stokes – Sleek Nucleus
 – Regularly $12.99, right now just $8.99

Saul Stokes is definitely one of the most popular artists associated with Hypnos (though he has also released a lot of music for other labels as well). This is Saul’s first self-released CD, in a distinctive folder-type package, but the music still has that recognizable “Stokes sound.”

Saul says: Stokes is pleased to announce the release of Sleek Nucleus. Eight effervescent songscapes that simply redefine electronic music. Each song is a crafted fusion of contemporary rhythm and melody sculpted from Stokes’ hand-made electronic instruments. A lasting and unforgettable electronic album, Sleek Nucleus continues Stokes’ 17 year history of merging sonic innovation with soulful song composition.

Martin Franklin & Michael Northam – An Opening of the Earth
 – Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
opening earth

“…Excavating the sonic crust with heavy synthesised drones, trebly buzzes and popping bursts of sound……eerie as hell.”

-Darren Bergstein, I/E (from review of original release)

“After unearthing the original tapes, Martin Franklin has created all new mixes for this Faria Records release, including previous unheard sections, re-interpreted and enhanced for the 21st Century listener.”

-Faria Records

Set between a passive, rolling, drifting beauty and the eviscerated android guts of a more extreme Industrial music, this is dream music to inspire the worst of nightmares. Raw electrics (too raw to be electronics) buzz, boom and sizzle against a charming backdrop, sharing centre stage with nerve-jarring loops and creative electronics to form ever-transmuting, floating patterns, mutant soundscapes and dehumanised acid baths of softly rolling noise. This truly is a hybrid of two extremes – the harsh, raw electronics of extreme noise and the warm welcome of smoother passive music. It takes you to places which are simultaneously pacifying and threatening, sweet and sordid. Edgy, raw and often quite beautiful. –Bonnicon at

Innfallen – Three Days of Darkness
 – Regularly $10.99, right now just $5.99

“Intended to capture in sound the immense fear, but also the great hope, of those hiding indoors during this time, Innfallen offers their vision of the Catholic prophecy of “Three Days of Darkness.” Consisting of veteran Doyle Finley (of Invercauld) and talented newcomer Kevin Scala, Innfallen has composed a rich, illustrative tapestry of multi-layered soundscapes that is undeniably the soundtrack to this frightening prophecy.”

-First Fallen Star

Sean Reardon – A Collection of Origins (ltd. cd)  Regularly $6.99, right now just $4.99

Cardboard sleeve, limited to 200 copies

A 39 minute, warm, positive and extremely uplifting soundtrack for the summer from New Hampshire based sound artist Sean Reardon.

“A shimmering and glitchy mix of guitar manipulations made between 2007 and 2008.”

-Waterscape Records

Weekly Sale Item: Neu Harmony

Hello, everyone! After having taken a week off, we’re back with a big sale on our entire NEU HARMONY category! All items have been marked down by several dollars, and titles listed here have been priced-slashed even further. Sale prices are good through May 10th, but we only have a few copies left of some items, so hurry before they’re gone!

Tomorrow’s Tuesday – The Glimmer Room Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99

‘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

Paul Nagle – Lore Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99

This release features calming electronics enhanced by the presence of flutes, violin, percussion, guitars and bass, producing an atmospheric auralscape tinged with a hint of rhythm and heart. After diffusely ambient preludes, the four songs on this 65 minute CD delve into more engaging melodies with the introduction of softy snappy drums. Enter a cosmic guitar and the snake-like curl of bass, injecting earthier riffs to the snickering electronic sequences. Frequently, wistful flute strains and astral violin appear, adding a ghostly edge to the mix. There is a striking passage toward the end of the second song, “Anarchronist”, with pulsating E-perc and koto-like guitar. It’s moments like this that infuse this music with satisfying effects upon the listener. The tuneage is quite gripping here, a brilliant fusion of rock instrumentation with a dense and busy electronic tapestry. Once they start going, the melodies are quite insistent and emotional, building to intense pinnacles before they relax back upon themselves for passive conclusions. Spacey and powerful, without being dronish or overt.

Andy Pickford & Paul Nagle: S.T.D.M. – Ramayana
Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99

“This is an incredible album! The music is flowing, sometimes gently but at other times like a raging current. There are elements of trance in here but rhythmically much more inventive and the sequences stronger than much of that style. The melodies are also superb, often subtle but always captivating.” –Reviewed by DL at Synth Music Direct

Max van Richter – Resurrection
Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99

“In keeping with the Arcane albums, ‘Resurrection’ encapsulates and extends the classic melodic/sequencer style which TD used to perfection in the early 80’s. Debate still occasionally surfaces about the pro’s and con’s of using comparisons in reviews, but when you hear an album like this it is totally appropriate to make comparison with the very best EM ever made. Had Schmoelling or Froese released this as a long lost TD solo work no-one would have batted an eyelid as to its credentials, and it’s stature as one of the best solo albums to emerge from the scene. It is totally magnificent, totally captivating, totally essential.” –Reviewed by GG at Synth Music Direct

Mike Andrews – Time & Science
Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99

“A lovely, dreamy lead line floats above windy effects and shimmering drones. A powerful lead melody surges from the speakers over vast pads and explosions. Its extremely exciting, almost apocalyptic stuff.I think this album would appeal to fans of Otarion and Andy Pickford as it is music which is both immense in scale as well as melodically superb.” –Reviewed by DL at Synth Music Direct

Syndromeda – A Day in the Fields
Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99

“Shrill electronics pierce the air, proclaiming dominant attributes drenched with pastoral mien. Sweeping tonalities burble and shimmer, capturing life-giving sunlight in a manner that communicates this vibrancy even in the dark. Nimble-fingered keyboards establish robust melodies that strain to escape the very notes comprising them, bursting forth to generate fresh tunes radiant with bigger-than-life connotations. Prodigious rhythms are present too, lifting the music to dizzying altitudes. The percussion describes mammoth tempos that tremble the ground underfoot. Even when exploring such harsh sonic terrain, though, a tender majesty is zestfully evoked. One track utilizes an array of orchestral instruments (albeit synthetically produced). Magnificent horns and sultry violins blend with regal electronics and heavenly textures, conjuring an alluvial state that defies time and space with its enduring qualities. The sinuous union of these enormous elements is a superb thrill to behold, conveying the listener to a garden of divine scale where each glistening leaf pulsates with wonder and astounding harmony. As the music progresses, one’s focus grows larger, expanding to discern greater configurations and embrace the ageless splendor that surrounds us.” -Sonic Curiosity,

Jiannis – Plugged
  Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99

“‘Plugged’ is a Berlin School, analogue, sequential masterpiece. The shortest track is eighteen minutes so things are really given plenty of room to develop and mutate creating pure aural heaven. ‘Erstes Schattenspiel’ (catchy title) begins with lonesome synth sounds and vocoded speech in the manner of ‘Chromium Echoes’. Don’t worry these vocals are used more as a sound, not singing. As soon as the opening sequence takes its first tentative steps low in the mix, fitting perfectly to the washes of synth, you just know that you are in for something VERY special. The sequence beefs itself up and is accompanied by another sequence of a more ballsy variety. The lead line is a real stunner and sends the spine a tingling rather than screeching through the cranium, just right. It is constantly changing and being put through all manner of effects and I was hypnotised by it. Things calm down a bit at the eighteen minute mark (can’t believe the track has been running that long already) but builds up again shortly afterwards over sequential themes that keep the feel of before but are combined differently. The lead line when it returns is even more effective than before and with even greater variation, the sequences adjusting perfectly. The second track ‘Zweites Schattenspiel’ (another cracking title) starts with a noise half way between the wind blowing across an alien landscape and a space ship coming in to land. We then get sequences similar to early Jean Michel Jarre (‘Oxygene’ / ‘Magnetic Fields’) which initially are rather laid back and to which a more typical Berlin School sequence is added. The lead lines are straight from 1975 / 76. The final track ‘Drittes Schattenspiel’ starts with more haunting winds before massed chords add to the melancholy feeling and a lonesome lead plays over the top. Seven minutes in a bubbling sequence is added and the lead dies away. This sequence builds and a different lead comes to the surface. Just as we are getting used to this groove a rhythm fades in then drifts lower into the mix. The sequences, lead lines rhythms mutate all the time creating an ever evolving brew. At the twenty minute mark all but the main sequence and the drones die away but after only a short while all the main elements are introduced again one by one with the addition of a second rhythm. The track then fades gently away.” –Synth Music Direct

Various Artists – Okefenokee Dreams 2001
  Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99

“OK, a history lesson first. In 2000 Vic Rek organised a meeting of Tangerine Dream fans at the Okefenokee swamp. During the event Free System Project and Dave Brewer improvised a superb set of music. This was released as ‘Okefenokee Dreams’. A year later the event was held again but this time Bill Fox as well as John Christian and Pete Ruczynski from AirSculpture joined in with the fun, all the musicians playing together on most of the tracks. What you get here on ‘Okefenokee Dreams 2001, is a selection of the best tracks from these sessions.The appropriately titled ‘Wildlife at the Okefenokee’ initially features what sounds like heavy breathing or even snoring (!) of some large animal. A looped vocal sample then informs us that this is ‘a great example of some of the wildlife here at Okefenokee’. It has to be one of the strangest starts to a CD that I can remember. A slow sequence comes to life and we settle down to more familiar territory. The sequence becomes more strident and a nice melodic lead line can be heard. A second excellent rapid sequence comes in mutating beautifully accompanied by spot on tron sounds and electric guitar lead line. Those people who wondered what the hell was going on at the beginning of the disc will now probably be in retro heaven.- wow! It is hard to think how this combination of sounds and pulsations can be bettered.” –reviewed by DL at Synth Music Direct

Arcane – 33 1/3 RPM
  Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99

“It was long rumored that the seminal ‘Teach Yourself To Crash Cars’ album was planned as a double. The myth grew when a copy of ‘Pt 2′ was supposedly spotted in a backstreet record shop in Berlin, next to TD’s ‘The Keep’ LP. It wasn’t until Buchloh’s studio was being relocated that rumour became reality. In amongst a box of various EM albums was a white label master which simply had written on it ‘Arcane 33 1/3 RPM’. It was unmistakably the long lost part 2, and this is a digitally remastered transcription of those sacred grooves which is presented here as the first two tracks. In keeping with the vinyl origins the packaging is a microcosm of gatefold reminiscence, with the CD itself mimicking its long-play forebears. It is hugely effective, and the moody imagery fits the concept to perfection. Overall this is an enthralling album, and the key features that make Arcane one of the very top EM bands of the moment can be found in abundance. The remastering has been handled very well, the packaging is great, it really is another outstanding chapter in this band’s already illustrious portfolio. Quite simply a “must buy”. –Reviewed by GG at Synth Music Direct

Weekly Sale Item: Random Picks #4

We’ve got some more random picks for you this week, and sale prices are good through April 26th!

Northern – Drawn  –Regularly priced at $9.99, right now just $6.99

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.

Darshan Ambient – Falling Light
 –Regularly priced at $13.99, right now just $8.99

“Picking up where 2011’s DREAM IN BLUE left off, which skillfully straddled a delicate musical line between ambient and jazz, Falling Light finds Allison moving more towards an almost ambient Americana sound at times. The deliberate use of lap steel and slide guitars blended with synth textures that seem to stretch to the horizon, brings to mind visions of wide open spaces, big skies and endless possibilities. With multi-layered percussion, synth textures, bass, and guitar grooves, Allison’s unmistakeable compositional style is in top form, delivering thoughtful melodic phrases and themes with a familiar atmosphere.”

The Electric Golem – Sky Snails
–Regularly priced at $7.99, right now just $5.99
sky snails

James Spitznagel and Trevor Pinch comprise the duo known as The Electric Golem, who yield generative, modern psychedelic mindscapes thanks to Pinch’s command of his Moog Prodigy and homemade modular synths, and Spitznagel’s own battery of devices: the textures he coaxes from the Evolver, Mopho, Tenori-on, Nintendo DSi, iPod Touch, and Orb Sequencer are as novel as the modules themselves. Sky Snails is the 2nd effort by the duo, whose methodologies, arising from the collision of knob and touchscreen, birth incorporeal soundsculpting of a high order.

Concert Silence – Rain Furniture
–Regularly priced at $9.99, right now just $5.99
rain furniture

With “Rain Furniture”, Charles Buckingham and Matthew Cooper wanted to explore a new and different musical territory than previously traveled, while still using the audio set up from “09.22.07”. As a companion piece to the full length, Rain Furniture engages a more raw energy.

Moljebka Pvlse – Zojo
–Regulalry priced at $7.99, right now just $5.99

“The Moljebka Pvlse album Zojo was recorded during the Mathias studies at the Royal Institute of Art. He was inspired by the longest night of the year in Stockholm, the day when there is almost no daylight. His ambition was to make an acoustic album of minimal music without any musical instruments. Moljebka Pvlse setup long nylon strings across his entire studio at school, which he then plucked and bowed and recorded with his favorite contact microphones on that very night. These recordings became the fundament of the album and set the tone for the rest of the work.” -Greytone Records

Home Patterning – A One Thousand Pulses Compendium
–Regulalry priced at $7.99, right now just $5.99
home patterning

“OTP’s first compilation, Home Patterning, highlights some of the series’ finest moments, extracted from a year-and-a-half of unique and special performances. Includes tracks by Robert Rich, Malcolm Cecil & The Electric Golem, Rapoon, Eraldo Bernocchi, Chuck Van Zyl, Tim Motzer, Kevin Kissinger, and more.”

Monos – Age and Transformation / Aged and Transformed (2CD)
–Regularly priced at $11.99, right now just $8.99

In a Stoughton gatefold mini-lp sleeve with matte finish inner sleeves for each disc. 2nd disc contains 40 minute track titled ‘transformed’ that is ONLY available on the CD. Edition of 800.

Nearly two hours of musical constructions spread across two discs and they are pieces that demand your attention. Intricate patterns are concocted through wrecked strings and the sounds of empty space. It’s like touring the architectural graveyards of the industrial world. Creaking and crawling through time, finding the longest, most difficult paths to explore the past, Monos (aka Darren Tate) aural landscape is a deep and detailed place. Strings feel like they could shatter at any moment. Field recordings are layered and brought to life, unveiling a living, breathing cityscape that exudes a kind of organic urbanism. It all feels so simple yet momentous and beautiful. Wistful chords flow from a Rhodes piano (or maybe it’s an organ… or maybe it doesn’t really matter), dripping with nostalgic daydreams of life before the fall. “Age & Transformation” is a grand treatise on all things elemental and industrial and the inherent symmetry between the two.” -Brad Rose, Experimedia

Weekly Sale Item: Various Compilations

This week we’ve got all our Hypnos compilation albums on sale for you, as well as several others for you to choose from, and the low prices are good through April 19th!

Various Artists – The Other World (2CD) –Regularly priced at $8.99, right now just $6.99
other world 

This first compilation on Hypnos brings together 19 of today’s most talented and visionary artists, including Vidna Obmana, A Produce, Jeff Greinke, Ron Boots, Jeff Pearce and many others. All 19 tracks are exclusive.


“…a who’s-who of the experimental/electronic underground. Vidna Obmana, Ruben Garcia, A Produce, Alpha Wave Movement, Robert Scott Thompson, Richard Bone, Larry Kucharz and the usual Hypnos suspects are on hand interpreting atmospheres, visiting unknown quadrants, jacknifing across the cosmos, reveling in stasis and acceding to entropy. Ambience is the defining credo on The Other World, though some twists and turns are taken by Stokes, Greinke and Richard Bone (on his “Via Mycropia”), to name a few. Ultimately, this is a sterling collection hosting some of the genre’s emerging and enduring players.”–Darren Bergstein / i/e Magazine

“Mike Griffin’s Hypnos label deserves a special mention this year, for its consistently high-quality releases. THE OTHER WORLD is perhaps one of the finest various-artist compilations of space-music ever, and while not all of the artists are household names, the music is first-rate, perfectly sequenced, and beautifully packaged.” –Cliff Tuel, Space Music mailing list

Various Artists – Weightless, Effortless
–Regularly priced at $8.99, right now just $5.99

The 2nd Hypnos compilation follows early 98’s landmark THE OTHER WORLD, one of the most acclaimed ambient/atmospheric compilations ever, which won numerous “Top 10 of 1998″ and “Best Compilation of the Year” awards. WEIGHTLESS, EFFORTLESS consists of 9 exclusive tracks by some of the most noteworthy artists in this genre, both established figures and unknowns deserving of more attention. The contributors each created an expression of a central theme: that of existence without desire or struggle, indeed without intention. The resulting pieces express a restraint, a purity and simplicity, all to uncommon in music today. Even if you listen without regard to the theme unifying these pieces, you’ll find WEIGHTLESS, EFFORTLESS to be a wonderful sampler of some of the finest artists working today. There is a continuity between tracks, as though all the material were composed by one mind. Yet despite this smooth continuity, each piece is an expression of a unique creative voice, and conveys strongly what is distinct about that artist’s personaliyt. Let WEIGHTLESS, EFFORTLESS take you to a place that is without ego and without wanting.

Includes work by Steve Roach, Kevin Keller, Rod Modell, Ma Ja Le, Loren Nerell, Dave Fulton (of Dweller at the Threshold), Dean DeBenedictis (of Surface 10), Scott Fraser, and James Johnson.

The Hypnos label has done it again, compiling an outstanding roster of contributors…. Unlike some compilations, this one has a unified theme and mood suggested by its title, and the pieces work well together.” –Cliff Tuel, on the Space Music mailing list

“Jackpot. Here without a doubt is one of the best collections of meditative music of 1999. Listening is, indeed, effortless. A limpid sequence of calm environments and cosmic quests are created by big names (Loren Nerell, Steve Roach) as well as a string of talented lesser-knowns (James Johnson, Dean De Benedictis, My Ja Le). Without artifice, these tracks possess an allure both simple and direct, conveying a powerful lightness which takes over the listener, carrying through until the journey is complete.” –Via 2, Orleans, France [translated from French]

Various Artists – Sounds Of a Universe Overheard
–Regularly priced at $8.99, right now just $5.99
sounds universe

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.

Various – Message from a Subatomic World
–Regularly priced at $9.99, right now just $5.99

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 priced at $8.99, right now just $5.99

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

“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

Various Artists – Lost and Found (2cd)
–Regularly priced at $11.99, right now just $6.99
lost and found

A two disc compilation giving a glimpse into the activities of Hypnos partner The Foundry. This serves as an excellent “cross-section” sampler of Foundry artists, for listeners interested in exploring the label but not sure where to start, as well as functioning as a document of early Foundry recordings, from the days of the imprint’s lower-profile, pre-Hypnos.

Various Artists – Sub.Terra
–Super low sale-priced at just $4.99!

Experimental compilation featuring Interstitial, Vidna Obmana, Saul Stokes, M. Bentley, and Vir Unis.

“sub.terra” is a fascinating compilation based around the concept of creating a series of pieces using only a trumpet as source material. the artists all started with a set of trumpet recordings and from there processed and treated the tracks until they came up with the works contained herein. and a very impressive collection of works it is! featuring tracks by Vir Unis, vidnaObmana, Saul Stokes, Michael Bentley and Interstitial, “sub.terra” provides not only an excellent group of challenging pieces, it also serves as an introduction to some of the best artists in the field of electronic music today. with each of the artists contributing their own interpretations, each adding their own particular sounds and flaours, “sub.terra” crosses a range of styles and ideals. from the dark drones of Interstitial, through the percussive groove of Vir Unis, the space and movement of vidnaObmana, the hypnotic chilled electronics of Saul Stokes, and the dark deep-space explorations of Michael Bentley, “sub.terra” is an excellent collection, and well worth checking out.” –rik maclean – ping things

“This release from features 61 minutes of collaborative electronic ambience. The project was initiated by Interstitial (aka John Koch-Northrup), who created a basic theme that was then provided to a selection of notable ambient synthesists who elaborated on the original template. The CD begins with Interstitial’s original theme. An assemblage of ethereal tonalities congeal to generate a distinctly subterranean harmony of subtly varying textures, often pitching shrill enough to emulate horns echoing from cavernous strata.
Then Vir Unis (aka John Strate-Hootman) applies whispering beats and a dreamier sense to the caverous reverberations. While those beats start out as barely noticable, their soft patter rises to more definable status, evoking an anticipatory tension to the mix. Soon, the rhythms evolve into an engaging enhancement that rivals the basic template for the audience’s attention. The next track finds VidnaObmana embellishing the template with ghostly undertones that accentuate the echoing quality of Interstitial’s melody, changing the mix into a haunting procession through underground tunnels. Then Saul Stokes takes a shot at mutating the basic theme, transforming Interstitial’s caverous mood into an interstellar medium full of twinkling stars and breathing nebulae. Rhythms emerge to attribute more body to the infinity, and those tempos continue to grow, overwhelming the underlying structure. Which leads to a remix by Michael Bentley (aka eM), who dissembles the template into quite a different sonic creature. Textures become more elongated, creating a more suspenseful ambience punctuated by horn-bursts of utmost clarity. The introduction of quasi-radio emissions render the piece into a pulsating deconstruction. The finale belongs to Interstitial, who blends elements from all these collaborators together to produce a magnum opus of ambient proportions. (While the basic template and the other remixes are between 8 to 11 minutes long, this piece clocks in at over 16 minutes.) Expert manipulation infuses aspects from each earlier treatment into the basic theme, producing a lush track that flourishes with variations while taking a more introspective tact.” –

Various Artists – Convergent Evolution
 –Regularly priced at $11.99, right now just $6.99

First release on the new Green House label, featuring Vidna Obmana, Samsa, Vir Unis, Exuviae, Mono No Aware, Steve Roach, Jayme Washburn, and Me. In this case, the work of the “unknown” artists here is every bit as challenging and worthwhile as that of the names you recognize.

The Green House Music press release says:
Midwest electronic music label Green House Music proudly invites you to embark on a journey into the musical cosmos with its debut compilation, Convergent Evolution. Green House Music is dedicated to releasing the newest and best in ambient, atmospheric, and experimental music from around the world.

Convergent Evolution is an eight-track compilation that offers an eclectic blend of electric/acoustic soundscapes from a variety of well-known and emerging artists. The concept behind this project was to invite both the artist and the listener to experience the changing elements of reality through ideas and sound. All tracks on this release are exclusive to Green House Music and exhibit a form of “new ambient, which covers the broad spectrum of today’s electronic music scene.