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Weekly Sale Item: Into the Dark

This week’s sale item (and personal favorite of mine) is Stephen Philips’ “Into the Dark,” priced at just $5.99 through January 5th.

INTO THE DARK
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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.

REVIEWS:
“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.”
–Phil Derby, ElectroambientSpace

“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.”
–gearsofsand/Hypnos Forum

READ/LISTEN/BUY HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Imprint

Our sale item for this week is “Imprint,” a  collaboration by Dave Fulton and Hypnos founder M. Griffin, specially priced at just $6.99 through November 24th.

IMPRINT
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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 & abstract 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.

Read/purchase HERE.

Hypnos Artist Spotlight — Numina

Hey everyone,
I’ve been hard at work putting together our first ever Hypnos artist spotlight. Hope you enjoy it!

~L

~~~

Jesse Sola is an American keyboardist who goes under the project name Numina. He was born in 1971 into a musical family, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. Jesse began recording music in his twenties while in college. Jesse’s choice of instrumentation is the use of synthesizers and acoustic instruments melded together to create deep, evolving music that ranges from melancholy to mysterious. Currently, Numina has released albums on his own Numinamusic label as well as Gestalt Records, Hypnos Recordings and Dark Duck Records, and been featured several times on the syndicated radio program, “Music From The Hearts of Space.” -Wikipedia

The Deception of Reality is the latest release by Numina on the Hypnos label.
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2012. ‘The Deception of Reality’ is the fourth Numina release on Hypnos, the first since 2007′s ‘Shift to the Ghost.’ Still present is Numina’s trademark sound, combining abstract deep-space textures with subtle melodic and rhythmic elements, but with a new emphasis on more vivid sonics. Listeners seeking smooth, creamy synthesizer background textures will still find them, here overlaid with more “up front” accents. Extra care has been taken in the mixing and mastering to preserve the separation and placement of individual instruments, and we believe the result is the best pure sound experience Numina has ever come up with.

Follow this link to Numina’s Youtube page to listen to the full song, ‘Our Elegant Experience,’ from this album.

Other Hypnos albums by this artist include:

Sanctuary of Dreams
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2004. The first release on Hypnos by this up-and-coming ambient artist based in Colorado. Numina 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.

Eye of the Nautilus
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2005. The second release by Numina on the Hypnos label, the follow-up to his acclaimed breakthrough Sanctuary of Dreams (2004). Eye of the Nautilus is similar to its predecessor tonally, but also explores some different themes and textures. Evocative electronic percussion is present at times, but overall the feel is one of deep-space ambience.

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

Shift to the Ghost
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2006. Numina’s third album on Hypnos Recordings is “Shift to the Ghost,” a long-form continuous piece with indexed track points. Each song is distinctly different in feel, but the songs evolve seamlessly into each other.

Numina himself states that the album “is about the life and death of the physical self,” hence the title. Whatever the concept, this album contains all the elements Numina fans enjoy, from deep and sombre ambient, to twinkling, swirling space music, constantly evolving. It’s a long, fascinating visual journey, and it never grows tired.

Numina also has a track on the Hypnos compilation, ‘Message from a Subatomic World,’ which can be found HERE.

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Be sure to check out the Numina section of the Hypnos online store for more from this wonderful artist.

Numina’s personal website: http://numinamusic.com/

Hypnos Store Shipping Hiatus

Lena and I will be traveling the rest of this week, so orders placed at the Hypnos Store after this morning (Tuesday the 20th) will not be shipped until we return Tuesday, August 27. You are welcome to order in the interim, and your order information will be safe — you’ll just have a wait a few extra days for shipment.

Clarifications on Our Summer Sale

A few questions have come up more than once in the course of our summer 2013 sale at the Hypnos Online Store. I’ve answered here and there, sometimes in previous blog posts, sometimes in direct response to email queries, but I thought it might be helpful to answer these things clearly all together.

1. Are coupon discounts “stackable?” Can coupons be combined?

Simple answer: No. You can only use one coupon per purchase, so pick the one with the best discount applicable to your order (if more than one is available at the time). Coupons do, of course, work on top of price reductions, so if a CD was $14.99 a week ago, and is now $9.99 and you can get a 20% off coupon, then you can get it for $7.99 (which is about half off the week-ago price).

2. If an artist or label is on “closeout” does that mean you’re never going to sell that artist or label’s CDs in the future?

Maybe. We’re moving items into the CLOSEOUT area once they’re deeply price reduced enough that we hope to sell all we have remaining, so the process of moving to our new storefront will be easier. Some of those items will make sense to sell in the future, and we’ll bring them in at that time. The majority of items in that CLOSEOUT section, we won’t sell again. If there’s something on that page you want, you should probably buy it rather than assuming we’ll restock it at some point.

If you’re an artist or label who sees your items in our CLOSEOUT section, don’t feel bad. Maybe we just have too many copies, and need to clear some things out. If your music is something our customers want, then we’ll end up selling it in our new store, too.

3. Why should I buy something today that you might sell for less later on?

That’s how closeout sales work. Price reductions are ongoing, so you might wait, but if you wait until something is gone, then you lose. A CD that’s $9.99 today might be $6.99 in two weeks, or we might sell the last copy at $9.99 and never stock it again… then maybe you go to Ebay to get a copy and it’s $16.

Same thing with coupons. We might have a coupon for 20% off a $100 minimum order today, and maybe in two weeks, that same size order gets you a bigger discount. You have to assess whether you’d rather get the items you want, that we’re currently offering for sale, or take a chance that the items will still be in stock, and maybe cheaper, later.

If you write to us in two weeks and say “I saw this new price, or you new coupon, but I paid more two weeks ago. I want a better deal,” we can’t offer you the cheaper, later deal. It doesn’t work like that.

We appreciate everyone’s support, and love selling lots of CDs to all of you. We hope the above questions and answers clarify a few matters.