Weekly Sale Item: More Recent Hypnos CDs

Hello, everyone! This week we’ve got a few more of our recent HYPNOS digipak releases on sale for you, and all items have been marked down from $12.99 to the super low price of just $7.99 through January 4th!

CAUL – LET THE STARS ASSUME THE WHOLE OF NIGHT
caul

Caul has released an array of incredible dark, cinematic ambient music, but much of it has been self-released in small quantities, so many listeners who might potentially enjoy his work might be unfamiliar with it. His collaboration with Numina, Inside the Hollow Realm, did receive a fair bit of attention five or six years ago, but Caul has mostly flown under the radar.

Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night is a wonderful mix of sounds and atmospheres: dark without being spooky, melodic but not pretty, listenable, but too nervous and somber to ever become predictable. These pieces are more composed and structured than most ambient music, more akin to the soundtrack for some dark and moody piece of cinema. Imagine the score to an undiscovered work by David Lynch or Andrei Tarkovsky and you have the idea.

REVIEW:
“Caul has been around since the mid 90s delivering quite a range of limited-number self-released albums as well as collaborating with other like-minded souls. This latest offering is on the Hypnos label and contains twelve shady compositions of ethereal, ghostly beauty. The tracks are all relatively short, most around the four minute mark. Titles well reveal the tenor of the music We Are Like Heartless Shadows; She Is Holy To Those Who Are Lost Or dead; Bells Ring Softly In The Twilight Air… You can explore the album further at the Hypnos website and at Caul’s own official site – both offering sound samples and Hypnos displaying the cover art both insdie and out.” –Morpheus Music / ElectronicMusicMall.com

BRUNO SANFILIPPO – URBS
urbs

Bruno Sanfilippo is a classically trained musician and composer, resident of Barcelona, Spain, and cofounder of the ad21 label. He has collaborated with such notable artists as Mathias Grassow, Byron Metcalf, Max Corbacho and Alio Die.

Sanfilippo’s work ranges from more melodic and structured to ambient drones with more a subtle and subdued musical component. Urbs, Sanfilippo’s first project released with Hypnos Recordings, falls nicely in the middle ground among the artist’s previous work. It’s an intriguing combination of ambient textures with location sound recordings, along the lines of the classic Hypnos releases Sonic Continuum (Modell and Mantra) and Silence Speaks in Shadow (Paul Vnuk Jr.), but with more of an urban or cityscape flavor.

The title Urbs derives from the prominent incorporation urban sound environments, recorded by Sanfilippo in urban environments such as train stations, streets, bars and other public areas to explore the boundaries between the textural sounds which surround all of us day to day, and the nature of composed sound art such as music. These “real world” sound textures merge with more traditional electronics such as synthesizers and samplers, leaving no doubt as to the composed and “intentional” nature of these soundscapes.

Gentle and evocative, subtly textural and transporting, Urbs is something we genuinely expect to become a long-term favorite among Hypnos releases.

REVIEW:
“The debut CD on Hypnos by Spanish ambient maestro Bruno Sanfilippo could not possibly be any more impressive. In fact, to these ears it is one of the finest discs Hypnos has released in the last 15 years. “Urbs”, a strange title which makes sense when you discover the urban theme of the music, plays like an alternative, and more ambient, soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece “Blade Runner.” The striking cover imagery of a photo of Berlin taken through a bus window gives a hint of the surreal soundscapes contained within, which could describe both an urban city and all its stories and emotions, or simultaneously the landing of a spacecraft on a barren and undisturbed extra-solar planet. Sanfilippo utilized only the Korg Radias synthesizer, samplers, and field recordings (of churches, cityscapes, subways, and bars), focusing on the “less is more” approach to sound design, making the music feel open, spacious, and uncluttered. And seemingly, not a sound is out of place as the music unfolds like a radiant dream, a dream which you never want to end. –by Hypnos Forum member Drone On

NUMINA – THE DECEPTION OF REALITY
numina

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.

As with the last Numina album, The Deception of Reality is a continuous, long-form ambient music piece of about 72 minutes, broken into five “tracks” for listening convenience. Unlike much long-form ambient, this sound work is ever-changing, continually evolving in mood and sound texture, bringing in new instruments while fading out old ones. Despite its continuous format, the album is so varied across its duration that most listeners would likely never notice they’re listening to a single unbroken piece.

We at Hypnos sincerely believe this to be the best Numina work yet, sure to please his existing fans while perhaps engaging with some new listeners as well.

READ MORE/LISTEN TO MP3 SAMPLES/PURCHASE HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Recent Hypnos CDs

Hey everyone,
We’ve got some of our HYPNOS RECORDINGS digipak releases on sale for you this week, and all items have been marked down from $12.99 to just $7.99 through December 28th!

HERION – OUT AND ABOUT
herion

Herion is an Italian trio whose members include Emanuele Errante (known to Hypnos customers for Humus on Evan Bartholomew’s Somnia label), Enrico Coniglio (Aqua Dorsa project collaborator with Oophoi for the album Cloudlands, he also released Sea Cathedrals solo on Silentes), and Elisa Marzorati.

They’ve created a beautiful and compelling combination of delicate musical structures with “glitch” components and strange, experimental little samples. Always a pleasant, peaceful listen, Out and About brings a blissed-out classical musicality into connection with an artful edge. This combination of elements results in an especially sensitive, moving set of mood pieces. Somewhere between chamber music and minimalism, between lightness and melancholy, this trio balances elements uncommon in ambient music.

Pre-release review:
“Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio, and Elisa Marzorati have created a wonderful album that moves right to the soul of the listener. While I was familiar with Emanuele Errante, who released the excellent Humus album on Somnia in 2008, the other performers were a mystery to me. Marzorati’s piano motifs, mixed with Coniglio’s multi-faceted contributions involving melodica, harmonica, and treated guitar, all meld beautifully with Errante’s orchestral arrangements.” -–Review by Michael Vitrano for Fluid Radio

NEBULAE – THE PATH OF WHITE CLOUDS
path clouds

Hypnos is pleased to reissue this classic ambient album first released by the Stella Maris label. Nebulæ (previously known as “Nebula”) is an European ambient supergroup of sorts, featuring Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Mathias Grassow, Klaus Wiese, Lorenzo Pierobon, Luna, and Mauro Malgrande. This is a beautiful, ethereal and abstract ambient recording, which certainly deserved greater attention than it received prior to the demise of Stella Maris, which existed only long enough to release two Nebula albums. That first release was a limited edition CDR but our reissue is a professionally manufactured CD in a beautiful digipak with new graphics.

The Path of White Clouds explores a serene and otherworldly soundspace. Meditative and gentle, these six tracks are sure to appeal to listeners who enjoy the more spacious ambient works released by Oophoi during the height of his Umbra and Penumra sister labels. The sound sources utilized here lean more toward the organic and physical instruments, and electronic processing and synthesizers are used subtly to accentuate the rest.

In the years since this album was released, Oophoi has grown from just another new practitioner of ambient music to a recording artist as respected and well-loved as any other. We at Hypnos have released other Oophoi works such as Athlit, and his collaboration with Paul Vnuk Jr. (of Ma Ja Le), Distance to Zero. We also have an upcoming release The Martian Chronicles by Oophoi with Seren Ffordd. Usually we focus on releasing new projects, but sometimes a significant early work becomes completely unavailable. In a case such as this, the material strong enough taht we’re sure listeners will feel it compares favorably with anything recorded since. The Path of White Clouds deserves to be heard.

STEVE BRAND – AVATARA
avatara

Steve Brand got his start releasing experimental music under the name “Augur,” and more recently switched over to releasing music under his own name (both solo and in collaboration with such artists as Ishq and Disturbed Earth) on the Atmoworks, Hypnos Secret Sounds and Relaxed Machinery labels. He’s quickly established himself as one of the more interesting and distinctive artists working in ambient music, and having released two albums Bridge to Nowhere and Children of Alcyone on Hypnos Secret Sounds in 2008 and 2009, we’re very excited to follow up with Steve Brand’s new album Avatara on the main Hypnos imprint. This album has a ritual feel common to many of Brand’s recordings, though Avatara is more ambient and less percussive. The recording starts out in a place of low-key contemplation and evolves through distinct stages and moods, though it is always gentle and meditative.

Steve Brand describes some of the inspirations behind this album:
Avatara is Sanskrit for “descent” in the sense of a deity’s descent from heaven to earth. Avatara is inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures…Yeshua, Quan Yin, Buddha, Brigit, Krishna, Saint Germain, White Buffalo Calf Woman, and others. I’m fascinated by the idea and the various stories in various ages and cultures of humans becoming “ascended masters,” or avatars, non-human beings that still are attached to humans and choose to returns to Earth to assist them. The stories vary, and almost every culture has its masters, but one thing is consistent throughout each of their stories, they’ve realized a more expanded expression of being and awareness, of what we are and what we are capable of, and return to assist other human beings.

A PRODUCE AND LOREN NERELL – INTANGIBLE
intangible

The first collaboration between two artists well-known to Hypnos listeners and fans of ambient & experimental music in general.

While Intangible has a meditative and tranquil drifting quality, it also incorporates more melodic and rhythmic elements than most ambient music of the present day. Listeners who like their ambience musical will enjoy this as much as those who like their drones deep and mystical.

Though it’s the duo’s first collaboration together, both of them have been releasing music for about a quarter century. These guys are responsible for some of our “Desert Island Disc” listening material here at Hypnos HQ (A Smooth Surface and Lilin Dewa are both long-time favorites). Often at Hypnos we try to introduce new, fresh talent to our listeners, but this is a case of two music-makers who know all the tricks, and yet continue to create work as vibrant and inspired as anything on the cutting edge.

A Produce has released ten albums, including two on Hypnos (Smile on the Void solo, and Altara in collaboration with Hypnos founder M. Griffin). Loren Nerell has released solo work on Amplexus, Soleilmoon, and Side Effects, and collaborated with ambient music giant Steve Roach on Terraform in 2006.

SEREN FFORDD + OOPHOI – THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES
martian

The Martian Chronicles, inspired by Ray Bradbury’s story collection of the same name, sounds very much like the soundtrack to a mysterious and strange science fiction film that exists only in the imaginations of Seren Ffordd and Oöphoi. These seven tracks, while slow, moody and at times weirdly alien, also evoke a drama and emotional depth absent from much recent ambient music. It’s a complex and beautiful mixture of electronic instruments, field recordings and percussion.

These artists will both likely be familiar to Hypnos listeners. Seren Ffordd has released several albums on our Hypnos Secret Sound imprint, and also contributed to the Hypnos compilation Sounds of a Universe Overheard. The name Seren Ffordd (real name Andy Benford) is Welsh for Star Road, Way of Stars or Milky Way.

Oöphoi himself released Athlit in 2002, Distance to Zero (with Paul Vnuk) in 2006, and his Nebulae group project album Path of White Clouds in 2011, all on Hypnos. Gianluigi Gasparetti, the man behind Oöphoi, first became known for creating the excellent Italian music periodical Deep Listenings. His Oöphoi persona burst onto the ambient music scene in the late 1990s and quickly became one of the most talented and prolific sound artists around. He founded the now-defunct labels Umbra and Penumbra, which released the earliest recordings of Seren Ffordd. After working together in this capacity for several years The Martian Chronicles is their first collaboration, but not their last; the pair has already completed another full album worth of material.

We at Hypnos are proud to bring you this collaborative work from two of the most interesting and talented ambient musicians out there, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

READ REVIEWS/LISTEN TO MP3 CLIPS/PURCHASE HERE.

Weekly Blowout Item: Robert Rich – Temple of the Invisible

Our blowout item this week is Robert Rich’s TEMPLE OF THE INVISIBLE, temporarily marked down from $11.99 to just $5.99! Due to an issue with our server being down for a time this week, we’ve decided to extend this sale through December 23rd, or while supplies last.

temple

First new Rich work since Seven Veils, this one uses entirely “natural” and acoustic sound sources to weave an exotic and hypnotic sound tapestry. Features performances by Forrest Fang, Tom Heasley, Sukhawat Ali Khan and others.

“Temple of the Invisible finds Robert Rich at his most organic, eschewing the trappings of modernity or stylistic boundaries. Using only simple acoustic instruments, Rich crafts a document from a distant time and place, a lost culture with musical underpinnings that reach from Java to North Africa, from Medieval Europe to the Tibetan Plateau. A music-scape that oozes with primitive life, as if pulsing from the swamp itself. . . A time traveller searching for the aperture that looks back to Eden.” –San Francisco Chronicle

Weekly Sale Item: Steve Roach

This week we’ve price-cut many of our excellent STEVE ROACH items, and the sale will go through December 21st!

steve (photo by Linda Kohanov)

Steve Roach is an American composer and performer of ambient, electronic music and tribal-ambient music, whose recordings are also classified in the genres of space, drone, and new age. Roach is recognized as one of the leading innovators of contemporary electronic music.” – Wikepedia

“As a pioneering cornerstone of ambient-atmospheric-electronic music, internationally-renowned artist Steve Roach has dedicated nearly three decades to exploring myriad soundworlds that connect with a timeless source of inspiration. From the expansive, time-suspending spaces reflecting his spiritual home in Arizona to the fire breathing, rhythmic-shamanic expressions woven from all things electric and organic, Roach has earned his position in the global pantheon of major new music artists through a long list of groundbreaking recordings fueled by his prolific nature and uncompromising approach.”   –From Steve’s personal bio at steveroach.com

EMPETUS  2CD collector’s edition (Was $14.99, right now just $8.99)
empetus

“Empetus is full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the ’70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track), EMPETUS’ waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of ”Seeking” contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of ”Empowerment” or the turbo-charged synths that rev through ”Conquest”. It’s all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, EMPETUS remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music.” –Darren Bergstein

A DEEPER SILENCE (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
deeper

“This new long-form zone billows out like a big sigh of time, breathing steady and strong. Minimal and infinite in its essence, like all of Steve’s long-form zones this is a functional soundworld specifically created to enhance the atmosphere of your personal sanctuary, your living environment and beyond. Lower volume playback increases the potency. This sound space serves as a kind of portal to states of subtle awareness, and is perfect for the support of deeper sleeping as well.” –steveroach.com

MIDNIGHT MOON (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
moon

“Tribal-ambient maestro Steve Roach leaves the percussion behind and returns to glorious stripped-down form on Midnight Moon. Closer in spirit to albums from the beginning of his career (notably 1984’s Structures from Silence) and some of the early work of ambient pioneer Harold Budd, Moon sees Roach pick up a new instrument: the guitar. Not surprisingly, he wields it like a keyboard, weaving different sustained tones together to present something soothing yet just unsettling enough to make you pay attention. The instrument’s lonely, gently foreboding sound undulates through the disc’s 70-plus minutes, evoking a timeless desert landscape captured during the stillness of night. Along with The Magnificent Void, this is undeniably one of Roach’s strongest pure-ambient recordings.” –Steve Landau, amazon.com

AFTERLIGHT (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
afterlight

“This long-form piece delivers the listener deep inside a multi-dimensional realm of forming clouds, an endless expanse with no boundaries or sense of temporal limits. Amorphous strands of harmonic lumina emerge and recede in a constant unfolding and reconfiguring state for the duration of this pure atmospheric suspension.” –steveroach.com

LIVE AT GRACE CATHEDRAL (2CD) (Was $14.99, right now just $8.99)
grace

“An essential live recording revealing a powerful moment in Steve’s live performance history. An extended set of sacred sonic spaces and immersive atmospherics embrace the senses within the expanse of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral.” –Steve Roach.com

SIGH OF AGES -digipak (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
sigh

“Emotions quietly stir and resonate in this deeply self-reflective album exploring the terrain between melodic electronic/ambient and modern minimalism. These six pieces utilize gentle melody, harmony and sonic tonality to poignantly reflect upon the passage of time, life lived, lives passed and a time of renewal: a sigh of the ages expressed in sound.” –steveroach.com

STEVE ROACH/ERIK WOLLO – STREAM OF THOUGHT -digipak (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
stream

“Stream of Thought explores the nuance of shifts within our perception. Segments of illumination juxtaposed with amorphous interludes and moving, flowing rhythm culminate in an unforgettable, shifting, dynamic experience. Relax and float downstream. Tranquil drifts, passionate rapids, midnight star gazing and blazing sunsets await. This is a vivid soundtrack for the senses designed to take the listener to the outer reaches of the imagination.” –projekt.com

LIVE AT SOUNDQUEST FEST -digipak (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
soundquest

“Steve’s pinnacle performance from 2010’s SoundQuest Fest proved to be a real moment in time, and fortunately it was documented with a high resolution recording that places the listener front and center on that special night. Presented as a single CD, the first 74 minutes of the concert are experienced as it unfolded. Three distinct realms are seamlessly mapped out in this inspired set. The opening starts with a 25-minute piece of perpetual forward motion in the mode of DESTINATION BEYOND, created specially for the concert, carved from pure analog synths and sequencers. From here we experience an amazing interplay between didgeridoo players Dashmesh Khalsa, Brian Parnham, percussionist Byron Metcalf and Steve performing real-time looping, processing and mixing along with soundworlds, ocarina and voice. This passage is an all-out expression of shamanic ecstasy that boils over into the engulfing tribal trance state of “Thunder Walk” from the recent release DREAM TRACKER. The last portion of the set settles into an ultra drifting electro-organic zone. This evocative space, which premiered at the Fest, would soon evolve into the opening of IMMERSION FIVE – CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS.” –steveroach.com

STEVE ROACH/ERIK WOLLO – THE ROAD ETERNAL -digipak (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
road eternal

“Following their collaboration STREAM OF THOUGHT, Roach and Wollo reunite to travel THE ROAD ETERNAL, an electronic/ambient path filled with passion and beauty. Six engaging and expansive rhythmic sequencer-based tracks intersperse with ambient zones and soaring electric guitar textures highlighting sparse, arching thematic lines.” –steveroach.com

STEVE ROACH/BRIAN PARNHAM – THE DESERT INBETWEEN -digipak (Was $13.99, right now just $7.99)
desert

“Steve Roach’s unique soundquests continue to take him and his listeners on powerful journeys to worlds at once alien and familiar. On “The Desert Inbetween,” Roach teams up with fellow synthesist/percussionist/didgeridoo player Brian Parnham to explore a hybrid electronic acoustic soundworld sure to please listeners of “Suspended Memories” and “Origins”-era tribalism as well as “The Serpent’s Lair”-styled electronics.” –steveroach.com

Weekly Blowout Item: Saul Stokes – Abstraction

This week’s blowout item, SAUL STOKES – ABSTRACTION,  has been EXTREMELY price-slashed for the holidays, marked down from $8.99 to just $4.99 through December 14th!

Saul Stokes – Abstraction
ss-abstraction

Combines never- before-heard live performance elements into a soundscape collage — a very fresh sound that’s different from his Hypnos releases…. more “abstract,” as hinted by the title.

Says Stokes: My latest release “Abstraction,” fuses the best of 3 years of concert recordings with my latest multitrack atmospheric work. From Philadelphia to Seattle, this album is a fireball of ambiance. “Abstraction” isn’t a noise collage, or easy listening ambient fluff. It is an incredibly listenable, wildly fresh and inventive continuous play album.

“Electrical appliances today are taken for granted by our culture, but not by Saul Stokes. Dubbed everything from Sonic Innovator to (in jest) “Popular Science’s Electronic Musician of the Year”, Stokes stands out in his field by having designed and built his own array of museum quality electronic instruments. This achievement enables Stokes with precise control over his original sounds and textures from the AC plug all the way to the PA speakers.
But this is about more than just wires and solder. While Stokes demonstrates unprecedented real-time control over the output of his gear, inspiration for his music comes from an outlet on a more human scale. The intimacy of the concert stage is where Stokes transforms his craft into art. The immediacy of the moment, the consistent pattern of change and the spark of inspiration all act upon Stokes as he produces continuous currents of sound for a spellbound audience.

At these rare and wonderful events, harmony takes a backseat to timbre as determiner of the emotional content of a piece. Constantly adjusting the tonal qualities of the composition by ear, the direction of a piece can change at will as the schematic of the performance is updated and changed by Stokes moment to moment. Although faded from his consciousness, the audience plays an important role in his music too. According to Stokes, these compositions cannot be realized outside the intimacy of the live environment.

The new album Abstraction, compiles highlights from several such occasions. Each track is born out of vision, craft and spontaneity and strung together one after the other to form a virtual concert. The album flows smoothly through a contoured electric landscape of distinctive pads, drifting pitches and atonal synthesizer effects. Abstraction is a cerebral album that seductively draws the listener in, leaving you to find your own way out.” -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END