Weekly Sale Item: Ouroborus

We’ve got another item from our Binary sub-label on sale for you this week, and we’ve marked it down from $10.99 to just $5.99 through August 24th.

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OUROBORUS by Dweller at the Threshold is the first Binary release by a group whose members include Dave Fulton (whose collaboration THE MOST DISTANT POINT KNOWN with Hypnos founder M Griffin was released on Hypnos, to much acclaim, in 2000), Paul Ellis (whose solo album INTO THE LIQUID UNKNOWN is the Binary label debut, also released this month), and John Duval.


“Once again, the past comes to our rescue with the Dweller at the Threshold release Ouroboros. As so many of today’s artists in electronic sound have been influenced by the classic cosmic music of the 1970s, so has Dweller at the Threshold. The great thing about DatT is that this group has captured the mood of the era without becoming a cliche. DatT explores this realm of music while retaining their own true voice. Due to their unique approach to music and technology, DatT produces compositions that are distinctly their own. Sure, present are the syncopated electronic rhythms, haunting mellotron leads and unearthly morphing effects we look for in good spacemusic, but DatT produces all this off-center enough to give the attentive listener a refreshing pause. This is achieved by more than just a comprehension of the historical aspects of creating spacemusic, more than just the how of making sounds and what goes where, Dweller at the Threshold understands deeply the ultimate purpose and meaning of this music.”
— Chuck van Zyl / STAR’S END

“…a great listen, IMO; lots of variety…”
–Bill Binkelman on the Ambient Music mailing list

“Densely mixed to perpetuate a seething cloud of charged particles, this music layers gritty tones and lush textures, generating a flow that surges with growing harmonics as it moves steadily toward pinnacles of sonic majesty. Keyboards lay down riffs that intertwine to create complex electronic patterns. The synthesized melodies grind and growl on their dedicated paths, mesmerizing and thrilling the listener with the illusion of never-ending cycles that ascend through the air, striving far beyond the terrestrial stratosphere.

This tuneage is propelled by rhythms of a non-percussive nature, utilizing beats generated by rapidly applied keyboards, producing twinkling tempos that are as emotionally evocative as they are devoid of jarring impact.”
–Matt Howarth, space.com


Weekly Sale Item: Sudden Dark

This week we’re bringing you one by Hypnos label founder Mike Griffin, sale priced at just $5.99 through August 17th.

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Subtle and atmospheric minimal ambient by the Hypnos founder. Close your eyes…

“Griffin’s own Sudden Dark is indicative of the label’s high caliber. Multicolored waves of electronics gust and billow across stark, forbidden landscapes; sonic blips sometimes appear on the horizon and form disturbing cyclic eddies (“Gyre”) while on “Atmosphera,” tones that resemble the gradual erosion of heavy metals seep into great aquifers of liquid nitrogen. Griffin’s pieces in fact suggest various sorts of placid states and environments (“The Sound of Ringing Sleep,” “Immobile,” “Displace,” “Almost Invisible”), and the closing of one’s eyes during the immersion in these environments greatly aid in the actualization of the pieces’ titles. Subtle and superfine.”
–Darren Bergstein / i/e Magazine

“Well-thought out drone structures which pull the listener into a pool of rich harmonies and atmosphere dynamics.”
–Vidna Obmana


Weekly Sale Item: Three Saul Stokes Albums

This week, we’re doing something a little different and bringing you three of our earlier Hypnos releases by Saul Stokes. It’s a great deal, whether want to pick up one or all three!

First up, we have Hypnos classic,
WASHED IN MERCURY  ($5.99 through Aug. 10th)
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Using synthesizers and sound devices built by Stokes himself, Washed in Mercury achieves a sound as singular as the technology used to make it.

“Washed in Mercury, the first disc from (Saul) Stokes, also treads in extraterrestrial territories and metaphorical dreamstates, but the incorporation of rubbery beats provides earthly anchors. For verification, experience the perambulating “We Found It At Io,” akin to the feel of a moonride in a vehicle with a flat tire, your equilibrium becoming upset and out of sync as unidentifiable galactic detritus whizzes by. Stokes’s deft use of color, timbre and rhythm is remarkably cohesive — the spacefunk throb of “Kasei” essentially renders some of its better known European equivalents moot, as it seductively marries the pulse of digidub to the science fiction aspects of space music, minus the genre’s familiar vocabulary. Rinse off the mercury and await Stokes’ further exploits with fervent interest.”
–Darren Bergstein / i/e Magazine

“Ambient synth crossover — minimal soundscapes, drifty and cosmic. Seven tracks of really excellent music for lovers of synthy space music!”
–Midas Synth Catalogue listing

“Top 50 of 1997.”
–Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio, WXPN, Philadelphia


Next up, we have
THE ZO PILOTS ($5.99 through Aug. 10th)
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If machines could sing stories of the soul of a man… Stokes retains his recognizable sound even as he branches out into new sonic territory.

“A faint noise slowly gets louder and louder, almost like the approach of a propeller aircraft. When it is overhead lonesome synth pads join in one after the other in many different melancholy varieties. The sounds used are exquisite and ever changing. Just four minutes in and it becomes obvious why Saul Stokes seems an almost permanent feature on American Electronic Music radio shows, as far as sound sculpting goes this is high art. The first track might sound like a traditional ambient piece and it is but much of the album is in a much more modern ambient mode though without any dance beats, these being replaced by very laid back drum loops. The sounds used are perfectly crafted and combined to make sonic paintings of unique images and new colours that the eye can t usually see. It is these sounds which make Saul s music stand out from the crowd. Sure, the music is also perfectly crafted but it is the sounds that hit home and to me, as I have said many times before, it is these unique possibilities that makes Electronic Music so appealing. On the second part of “Altitude and Architecture” we get the introduction of a looped four note sequence and the addition of a rhythm, if it can be called that. It is more like a deep space rumble. “First Jump” isn t a million miles away from what you would have found on the recently released Morbius album. The hypnotic pulsations are exquisite, I just wish it had lasted longer than six minutes. Different drum sounds are used on “Downtown Inaka” but they are again low in the mix, the searing synth pads grabbing most of the attention. “Open Your Eyes Maitreta” is another floater, again very descriptive and though probably encouraged by the title it makes me think of being unconscious and struggling to wakefulness. “Wire Light Hills” is a mesmerizing chugger with synth detail flickering in and out of the rhythm, swooping pads diving low before blasting back off into space. We finish with the title track and what sounds like an alien craft coming in to land, we then enter the vehicle and all sorts of other futuristic sounds can be heard. This would have been great music to use in a sci fi film. No rhythm at all is present though non is needed as we return to the standard of descriptive music found on the opener.”
— Neu Harmony, UK


And lastly,
OUTFOLDING (just $3.99 though Aug. 10th)

The primary sound sources on all Saul Stokes recordings are several vintage-style analog modular synthesizers built by Stokes himself. But don’t mistake this to mean Stokes is working in a retro or “classic E-music” style, because this is definitely not the case. Perhaps no artist in the ambient/experimental music scene possesses a sound as distinctive, fresh and modern.

Those who have seen Saul’s much-acclaimed live performances in Philadelphia during the past year can attest to his challenging and dynamic sound. It’s world music for the mid-21st century, way ahead of its time. Ambient atmospherics blend with riveting electronic experimentalism, guided by an artistic savvy and grace all too rare in this tech-oriented genre.


The two Steve Roach/Vir Unis CDs that Steve turned me on to came very close for me. My latest find is Saul Stokes ‘Outfolding’. While I have only enjoyed parts of Stokes’ other CDs (finding much of them too abstract for me) this one is a masterpiece – imho.”
–Paul Levinson, on the Ambient Music internet mailing list

“Quite recently I have had the distinct pleasure of hearing Saul Stokes’ “Outfolding.” Absolutely brilliant piece of work.”
–Jeff aka Mxyzptlk, on the Ambient Music internet mailing list

“Saul Stokes is a very characteristic artist specialized in the electronic ambient/experimental music. In his recordings he tends to use primarily, as the basic sources of his sound, the modular analog synthesizers as well as other electronic instruments he himself builds, yet his music possesses a modern touch, fresh and daring indeed, masterfully managing the technology at his disposal. A supporter of live performances, his sound is challenging and dynamic. His music flows, evolving, never losing its intrinsic beauty, deep, hypnotic, with electronic undercurrents that lead to atmospheres full of a soft energy, at times with space or cosmic brushes, and always having in mind the exploration of new soundscapes with a creativity that can hardly be surpassed.”
–Amazing Sounds, MONTSE ANDREU


Be sure to check out the SAUL STOKES section of our store for even more great releases by this artist.

Newly Added: Audela – NBPN

We have the latest item from the Plague label newly added to the Hypnos Store.

Audela – NBPN
(Plague category)
(Price: $9.99)
“Seventh in the Black Death series from the mysterious, intergalactic ambient formation Audela (the name refers to the French Au-Dela , which means other world or beyond). Dark, expansive, frosty atmospherics with deep space tones, static hisses, metallic chirps and distant chimes. Slow, ominous and cosmic ambient spanning the years 1992 – 2009. Comes in a card sleeve.” … (MORE/BUY)

Weekly Sale Item: Weightless, Effortless

This week’s sale item is Hypnos compilation “Weightless, Effortless,” which we’ve temporarily marked down to just $5.99 through July 27th.

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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 new 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 personality. 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.

“This is one of the better collections of electronic ambient, atmospherica, and mood-altering pieces. Nine morphs offer glimpses into the creative woodshedding by the likes of Keller, Johnson, DeBenedictus, Ma Ja Le, Modell, Fulton, Norell, Fraser, and Steve ‘the legend” Roach. (Roach is everywhere anything ambient goes down! Ever notice that?)

Ambience tripping herein doth vary from bizarre excursions into unsettling dimensions next door to peaceful drool-worthy dronings that decimate all conscious thought. Otherworldly, manipulated noise, wordless digital vox, cutting-edge goodies await the listener. Many the indescribably eclectic waveforms are mapped inside.

Hypnos is one of the best sources for consistently innovative and strong ambient releases. No “puff job” here, folks and no, Mr. Griffin sends EER no payment for saying so – it’s just a fact to be stated. Weightless, Effortless is just one more great Hypnos release.” –John W. Patterson, EER

“Best of 1999 list (ranked #2).” –Sal Espana, Soundscapes radio KCPR

“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]

“:Adrift, but with purpose; ambience with tattered wings:

Ambient: 1. completely surrounding; encompassing: ambient noises 2. moving freely; circulating: ambient air. Hypnos is a label out of Portland that specializes in music that embodies the term ambient.

Weightless, Effortless gathers known and unknown artists, all under a veil of unrestrained, unlimited access to explore the shape of sound in it’s purest sense, the shape of space (of the room, of the heavens), the shape of infinite sonic exploration…Not only are the artists conscious of the timbres of silence (there is always sound, no matter the illusion of silence), there seems a willingness to apply the imagination (not always a given within a genre that, when uninspired, can induce somnolence), as well as incorporating the elusive persistence of time, the ticking of Forever winding effortlessly askew. Highlights include Kevin Keller’s “Anicca,” opening with telepathic thought whispers, huge slabs of sonic urban decay (a disorientating meandering through the out of sync ambience of a crowded, undefined environment) that branches out into space, forests, tunnels and other interconnecting corridors of sound; Dean DeBenedictis’ “The Mocking Of Consequence,” a track painted with broad brush strokes, the brush in question filthy with dirt, slivers of metal, radiowave voices, and other oddities, the imperfections a vital part of the all-around ambience: it is a product of everything, filtering out none of the impurities, the tainted elements as much a part of the piece as the synth’s caressing the background; and Loren Nerell’s “Liquid Metal Stasis,” a dark, gurgling excursion, deep metal chiming desolation’s cold embrace, while underneath, impetus drives the engines of existence. A vital addition to any ambient enthusiast’s collection.” –John C. Smith / Outburn Magazine