Weekly Sale Item: Later Hypnos Jewel Case Items

Hello, everyone! This week we’ve marked down a selection of some the last Hypnos jewel case items to be released before we switched to digipak format, so now’s the perfect time to fill out your collection of HYPNOS RECORDING‘s earlier releases!

Robert Scott Thompson – At the Still Point of the Turning World –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
still point

“Robert Scott Thompson writes some of the most provocative ambient music currently available. By provocative, I mean it literally provokes a reaction. His latest release, At The Still Point Of The Turning World, is a wondrous fog-shrouded excursion into melancholy minimalism that can be both eerily calm and forebodingly beautiful. At times reminiscent of Harold Budd or Tim Story, yet never overtly derivative of either of them. On At The Still Point…, Thompson paints sonic landscapes in muted colors, using impressionistic strokes and techniques that demonstrate his mastery of subtlety, nuance, and neo-classical textures. It’s hard to believe this artist is still relatively undiscovered. On the other hand, Thompson’s recordings are almost always unusually sophisticated and intelligent; he does not record “mass market” ambient music. However, At The Still Point…is, most likely, his most accessible recording for novices, although it still challenges jaded listeners (such as yours truly) with unexpected twists and turns and moments of juxtaposition that can startle and amaze.

Opening with one of his most beautiful compositions, the neo-chamber “of mirrored air” (sounding like it would fit perfectly with György Ligeti’s work in 2001), the CD aims for a midpoint between your mind (appealing to your intellect and aesthetic) and your soul (tugging at your heartstrings with honest and sincere emotional resonance).”of mirrored air” features whisper-thin strings and floating textures suffused with a gentle sadness, along with what sound like gently pealing reverbed guitar. Forlorn flute lines and synths flow serenely through the sad landscape of “casual connecting principle” buoyed by subtle panning electronic effects at the periphery and reverberating tones, like Doppler-shifted car horns far away in the distance. The song seems to breathe at times, inhaling and exhaling in a slow cadence. An echoed plucked string sample (pedal steel guitar? electric bass?) bounces through the soundfield amidst the other elements, adding both musicality and a sense of mild tension.

Even more haunting is “airports for shadows and dust,” one of the tracks that combines Tim Story’s chamber minimalism with Harold Budd’s stark musical vision, but with Thompson’s indelible stamp of electronic ambience (of the three musicians, Robert Scott Thompson is the most adventurous when it comes to electronic music). Solitary piano notes strike against a deep dark series of bassy yet melodic drones and washes, counterpointed by twinkling textures here and there. Thompson reveals his penchant for experimentalism on “water out of sunlight” an eleven-minute exercise in subtle dissonance, ethereal and mournful synth chorales (a little like Larry Kucharz here), scratching noise background elements, and arrhythmic sparkles of starry pinpricks in an inky black sky. Swells of dramatic lower register keyboards later in the piece impart a sense of awe and power, although done so softly that one is not lifted out of the main mood of the piece, which I would describe as reflective with a touch of sorrow. “when dreams collide” (Thompson’s titles are always poetic and lyrical) reintroduces the soft flute lines of “casual connecting principle” this time mixed with drones and shadowy textures, crafting a floating sense of broad open vistas. This track evolves into classic spacemusic, evoking images of deserted planets’ surfaces stretching out below you or distant star clusters and nebula as you traverse the backwaters of the cosmos. More experimentalism rears its head on the title track, as vibrating pulses and tones reverberate with a distinct metallic characteristic seeming to encircle echoed acoustic piano notes. Soft and subtle whirring textures come and go, as if teasing the piano’s beauty with quick touches of electronic impulses. One of the more overtly electronica pieces is “tinted in temporal hue” which features Thompson assembling assorted pulsing and reverberating synth tones, melding them together, then breaking them apart, as if they were colored inks in a tank and he was experimenting with watching what patterns emerge as various colors are eye-dropped one at a time into the reservoir, setting them off against beautiful chorales and then taking the music into deep cavernous drones and whistling tones before lightening the mood near the end. Thompson closes the album with another Budd-like piece, “figured in the drift of stars,” in which sustained and echoed piano notes float through a field of synth washes, bell-like tones, and a myriad of shimmering effects. It’s easily the least melancholy song on the album, but is still colored with a palpable somberness.

Will this finally be the CD to get Robert Scott Thompson his well-deserved recognition and sales? If ambient music fans continue to turn their back on this artist’s work, and especially if they don’t check out At The Still Point Of The Turning World, they are missing out on truly breathtaking music. Unlike a lot of minimalism, I fell in love with this album immediately. The depth of emotion in the compositions, the complexity inherent in the blending of classical influences with ambient minimalism and subtle electronic experimentalism, the juxtaposition of beauty with sadness, all combine to form a stunning cohesive whole that surely should land on many a “Best of” list at year’s end. I’m confident it will do so with me.”
–Bill Binkelman, www.windandwire.com

Numina – Eye of the Nautilus –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
eye

We are pleased to announce 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.

Guest artist Rudy Adrian lends his trademark sound to the second track, “Secrets from the Flame,” and as with Sanctuary of Dreams, R. Chris Fraley provides artwork, and Hypnos founder M. Griffin is responsible for mastering and layout. This is the fourth Hypnos CD release of 2005, and is sure to be one of the highlights of the year not only for Numina and Hypnos, but for the entire space & ambient music world.


Paul Vnuk Jr. & Oophoi – Distance to Zero
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-pvoo-dtz

This recording works in roughly the same “slow drone” territory explored by Vnuk and Oophoi on their solo Hypnos releases, Silence Speaks in Shadows and Athlit, respectively. At the same time, it has a different sonic character, at times slow and dark and smooth, but at other moments bright and modern and metallic. Distance to Zero could fairly be described as some of the most daring and experimental work by either artist… a true surprise to these ears when the demo arrived here at Hypnos HQ. It definitely has an “edge” to it, though it’s still definitely easy and smooth listening. I have no doubt this will be a much-loved and much-discussed Hypnos release, and a significant milestone in the discography of both Vnuk and Oophoi.

Vnuk’s Silence Speaks in Shadows and Oophoi’s Athlit are two of the best-loved releases on Hypnos, and now these two great artists have combined their creative and sound-sculpting powers for a new work!

Review:
“…a recording that might well be described as more exploratory work by established artists is Distance to Zero, a collab between old hands Paul Vnuk Jr. + Oöphoi that crept out late in ‘06. And crept is an apt word, for this is a surprisingly creepy set. They operate in similar slow drone territory to their last solo Hypnos releases, Silence Speaks in Shadows and Athlit, respectively. Yet their communion results in a work with a quite esoteric sonic character. More arcane and less harmonically resolved than anything Vnuk has done, and near the netherworld lights at the end of Oöphoi’s world, it definitely has a spooky eldritch undertow to it, especially on the unsettling opener, “Distance to Zero I.” “Distance to Zero II” contains recognizable elements of their individual work, notably Gasparetti’s palaeontology with Tau Ceti on Subterranea, evidenced in some trademark suspended bowl-sounds and steepling toneclouds, atavistic rumblings and abyss-hinting upsurges. This is well augmented by Vnuk’s orchestrations of the peripheral familiar from Silence Speaks, dwelling at the threshhold of static sub-vocal drone-float while channelling some eerie chthonics. The sound architecture is certainly denser and chewier than most of Oöphoi’s recent discs, and more timbrally varied, with Vnuk’s influence also apparent in the static grain that occasionally creeps in at the outer limits. Smooth but smudged, with hints of a processed distillate of metal machine music, Distance to Zero evolves weightily but actively, offering a sustaining richness of texture. Do not think of filing anywhere near “new age,” or even “ethereal.” Maybe under “atmospheric electronic” with a touch of “earthen” edge.” –Reviewed by Alan Lockett for ei-mag.com

Numina – Shift to the Ghost –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-n-sttg

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.

Reviews:
“In crafting a sonic narrative of the journey from life to afterlife, Numina has created a listening experience that is utterly immersive, a set of pieces that pull you in so deeply that trying to find adequate words for them once you’ve surfaced is difficult. This is signature Numina, moving as slowly as sleeping breath, elegant layers laid thickly upon layers with a certain and graceful hand. Sound textures course across the skin and into the spirit, coaxing the listener with warmth, beauty and imagery. This is the sound of the soul departing, and the sense of the journey itself. Rhythms rise only where they’re needed, as in the dramatic push of “Through the Unseen Barrier.” Shift… is heavy with well-realized aural scenery and emotive tones that fully suit Numina’s intent. The slightly serrated drift of “Arrival to Nowhere” points up the disk’s embrace of dark awe, and “Light Travelling” celebrates the upward release from being with some intriguing sonic turbulence. Who knew crossing over felt this good? There’s a distinct sense of the sacred here in hushed hymnal tones and choral whispers. There is the pull of coerced introspection, and a pure, overarching beauty. There’s not a moment on this disk that isn’t eminently listenable, down to the final quiet exhalations of the gorgeous closer, “The Hostless Ghost.” And that’s why Shift to the Ghost is another Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD from Numina.” –Reviewed by John @ Hypnogogue

“A Great album. Calmful and dark beauty, Highly Recommended!” –Parallel Worlds, on the Hypnos Forum


Stephen Philips – Into the Dark
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-sp-itd

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.

“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


Various Artists – Sounds Of a Universe Overheard
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-v-soauo

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.


Austere – Solyaris
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
solyaris

This is a creative peak for this much-overlooked ambient duo, their first release on Hypnos, following their Hypnos Secret Sounds album Pulse in 2007. In their 10 years of productivity, Austere has covered territory from Pulse’s drone minimalism , ranging back through odd and trippy Coil-inspired sonic experimentation, to seamless dark ambient, and occasionally glitchy weirdness. Despite some challenging material in their back catalog, Austere have in this case produced an album as friendly and pleasant as any Austere fan could have imagined possible, and yet without resorting to the usual tricks that make music sound “listenable.”

Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire said of Austere:
“Austere is an enigmatic duo who record some of the more interesting ambient music I’ve heard in my six plus years of reviewing. From the swirling drones (I was gonna say “dark” drones, but ….) and eerie melancholy of Monodia to the warmth and beauty amidst minimalism of Fade… Austere are less concerned with following the path and more concerned with breaking new ground. However, they are undoubtedly enigmatic, as one would glean from the above, and shun the spotlights of media and personality.”


M. Griffin – Fabrications
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
fab

Generally known as an ambient minimalist, utilizing synthesizers for most of his work, this time M. Griffin took advantage of “real world” sounds, captured with binaural microphones using a portable digital audio recorder. For this release, Griffin built up collages of numerous location recording elements, including cars driving on freeways, people walking in long echoing hallways, the ocean waves in Kona at night, a metalworking factory with heavy machinery crunching away, distant trains, and clothes driers. These elements were manipulated, combined, worked-on and re-worked, and overlaid with looped spoken elements later created by Griffin in the studio. The end result comes out something like the Zoviet France soundtrack to a David Lynch film, that is, a dark and dream-like collage of loops, spoken fragments, disembodied whispers, and the echo of far-off machinery.

While ambient music recordings generally only include a few “layers,” Fabrications has been painstakingly built-up over the years so that all tracks are now comprised of dozens of layers, in some cases upward of 100. The result is incredibly complex, with ghostly remnants of real, concrete sounds filtered one against another. Aural signatures of many real places combine to form sonic impressions of a series of locations that do not really exist. These imagined, artificial locales are in effect, fabrications.


Various – Message from a Subatomic World
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
hypnos-v-mfsw

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 $7.99, right now just $4.99
polyhymnia

Polyhymnia was one of the Muses of Greek myth, specifically the Muse of sacred hymn. Echoes of Polyhymnia compiles music in ambient and related genres composed and recorded exclusively by women. This genre is so male-dominated generally that we had a lot of fun gathering interesting ambient sounds, including some works that have one foot in ambient territory and another foot in one of several different, related genres. It covers styles and flavors as diverse as ambient, drone, glitch, vocal collage, goth and electronica.

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

Reviews:
“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

 

Follow links to read more/listen to MP3 samples/purchase.

Weekly Sale Items: Yasujiro Ozu, Steve Roach, Rapoon, etc.

Hello all,

We’ve got another assorted batch of items on sale for you this week, and the low prices will be good through March 13th or while supplies last!

Various Artists/ Yasujiro Ozu – Hitokomakura (2CD)
–Regularly $13.99 right now just $9.99
yasujiro

“This release turns its focus upon Yasujiro Ozu’s use of “pillow shots” (i.e. short poetic pauses that appear between the acting segments of his films. The term “pillow shot” was not coined by Ozu himself, but several years after his passing in the early 1960s by a Japanese journalist who was trying to draw a comparison of the intermediate scenes to “pillow words” found in traditional Japanese poetry. This is a double CD release with both CDs featuring audio plus a cross-platform compatible PDF booklet containing pillow shots (courtesy of Criterion Collection) and liner notes.

Each artist who appears on this release was asked to choose one or more “pillow shots” to use as inspiration for their pieces. A link to web pages containing a large assortment of “pillow shots” was provided, and accordingly, the pillow shots were reserved on a first come, first served basis. The artists also watched the films from which the pillow shots came from in order to get a sense of how their chosen pillow shots were employed by Ozu.

The sound work featured represents a wide range of artistic approaches, but as always with these projects, the artists were chosen specifically, based on their previous work and on how it might contribute to the collective whole of each project.


Bruno Sanfilippo – Auralspace
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
aural

“The CD is presented in a deluxe digipack 6 panel, 71 min. on 7 pieces that are in a practically continuous flow. The gentle whistles flow effortlessly on a soft carpet of electronics textures, slow spiraling in increases-decreases, creating a recording not to be missed by those who are curious and by those who love to fly far away on the wings of surreal environment.” -ad21music.com


Rapoon – I Am a Foreigner
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99
foreigner

“Robin Storey, who used to be a part of the ethnic ambient whisper of :zoviet*france:, loses himself in loops. His work as Rapoon has always been an endless pattern that shifts and alters itself upon subsequent iterations like the re-arrangement of sand across the broad back of a line of dunes. “Via” from I Am A Foreigner, for example, crackles with sand ground deep in a vinyl groove while ambient tones spread across a sun-bleached horizon. You fall into his work, get yourself mired in the shifting sand underfoot, and quickly lose all sense of time and space. Vaguely ethnic drum patterns swirl and circle in the mix, building cascading patterns that move like, well, sand. However, with I Am A Foreigner, Storey has become entranced with something new and, as a result, there is a novel cast to the sonic weather eddying on this record.” -igloomag.com


Steve Roach / Erik Wollo – Stream of Thought
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $6.99
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

LISTEN to a bit from this album HERE.


PBK/Telepherique – Noise- Ambient Connection
–Regularly $10.99, right now just $5.99
PBK

“Synthetic sound sources and sequences create unsettling atmosphere from the structured electronic patterns ranging from intense rhythmic work to creepy ambient out-of-body soundscapes.” -Monochrome Vision

LISTEN to the track, “Twilight Cue” from this album HERE.


Steve Roach – A Deeper Silence
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
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


Various Artists – Collection 2: Moving
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
moving

Collection 2 “Moving” is, as the title suggests, the second compilation from the Dutch label Databloem. This label has been making a terrific name for itself, releasing high-quality electronica albums from a number of new and exciting artists. Moving is billed as “a collection of ambient explorations and grooves”–and it’s a very satisfying collection; seemingly a denizen of an alternate universe where techno artists chose to discard their club roots in favor of the ambient sound. Don’t expect banging tracks of stunning beatwork–this is a fine selection of laid-back, downtempo head-bobbers. With exclusive tracks by Mantacoup, Carbon Boy, The Circular Ruins, Spielerei, Saul Stokes, Psychetropic, ENV(itre), Makunouchi Bento, Subradial, Vir Unis and Cyscape.


Various Artists – Collection 3: Blending
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
blending

Another collection of contemporary ambient and ambient-glitch that takes the listener on a journey that stretches the old boundaries into a shape of things to come. 70 minutes of bliss with not a sub standard track in sight, an impressive collection.With exclusive tracks by Danny Kreutzfeldt, Off The Sky, Krill Minima, Waki, Lingua Lustra, Mendigo, Lufth, MOC, Dreaming The Seed, Svartling and Liquid Bridge.

Weekly Sale Item – Various Artists

Hello, everyone!
After a short break, we’re back with another weekly sale and some extremely low prices, which will be good through March 6th or while supplies last. Be sure to visit the HYPNOS ONLINE STORE soon for some great bargains!

Andrew Liles – My Long Accumulating Discontent –Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
discontent

“This CD is in places more melodic than Liles’ previous output and its 17 tracks cover a wide musical territory. Some songs are short and harmonious, other pieces are longer, subtle and contemplative with drifting delicate drones.” -andrewliles.com

LISTEN to the track “Is There Anybody There?” from this album HERE.


Nimh – Krungthep Archives
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
krungthep

“Nimh (Giuseppe Verticchio) returns as a solo artist in his newest release, rediscovering the sounds of his oriental ethnic instruments, collected in he Far-East, mainly in Thailand. The recordings are often submerged with electronic sounds, drones, voices, urban noises, field-recordings, loops, rhythmic fragments, lively and dynamically reached sound waves. Otherwise, sometimes the traditional instruments own natural sounds emerge, giving life to suggestive and catching semi-acoustic soundscapes. All the contrasts of a geographical universe perpetually suspended between ancient cultures and an out of control modernism, perfectly translated in in music by a careful and sensible expert of those places and cultures.” -Silentes

LISTEN to the track “K.A. 02″ from this album HERE.

Vidna Obmana – Landscape in Obscurity –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
landscape

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.

REVIEWS:
“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

LISTEN to a sampling from this album HERE.


John Hudak – Sand or Stars
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
sand or stars

Comparisons between the sand of the earth with the stars above are many, but comparisons of this release by American composer John Hudak with his previous work are far less to be found.

The first piece of this CD mastered by John’s friend and collaborator Stephan Mathieu (Sirr.ecords, Lucky Kitchen, Hapna, etc), is unlike much of John’s previous work in that it features sharp staccato percussive sounds suddenly dodging in and out, but nevertheless it still has John’s “endless” compositional sense written into it. A subtle sense of humor seems to be inherent in the piece as well, as if some of the sounds hesitate with indecision as to whether or not they should make their presence known or perhaps they are trying to avoid colliding with some of the other sounds. And upon listening to this piece, be careful with volume settings at first listen, because the listener will quickly discover another aspect of this piece that is unlike much of John’s previous work: sudden volume shifts. This seems to suggest that the sounds are also changeable in temperament as well!

The second piece on this CD is perhaps the most meditative of the collection with its muted midrange buzzing that jumps around within the stereo spectrum, perhaps being reminiscent of musical radar signals or sonifications of normally inaudible activity occurring in a planet’s magnetosphere, all the while maintaining a benevolent warmth throughout.

And what could possibly be described as the amplification of rolling ion particle blasts being broadcast via shortwave radio, tells us that we have reached the third and final piece of this collection of what could be considered as being among John Hudak’s finest works.


Bruno Sanfilippo – InTRO
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
intro
This release from 2006 offers 54 minutes of engaging ambience. Joining Sanfilippo on this recording is Alio Die on one track. For the first track: softly drifting textures are augmented by dreamy strings and sedate percussives, generating a lush and pleasant dose of ambience. Environmental samples enhance this soothing tuneage, contrasting the aerial violin with placid rainfall. The next track is ushered in by wind chimes winding their way through cyclic electronics breathing in tandem with didgeridoo. The serene tones maintain a steady flux that excellently suits an introspective reverie. The third piece wafts in on a shuddering breeze, orchestral airs vibrating in the distance while fragile electronics lazily cavort in the foreground amid softly ponged bells. Stately piano commands the next track, describing pensive chords in an ethereal fog of wind-borne electronics. Relaxation becomes mandatory. Heavenly hosts rise in the next track to meet a rain-swept wash punctuated by pastoral zephyrs. The next track employs singsong tones to achieve a contemplative milieu that is as captivating as it is dreamlike. The melody sways with tender intention, caressing the psyche with tendrils of sweet resonance. Piano reappears for the final piece, waxing emotional and conspiring with persuasive soundscapes to achieve a sweeping return to externality. A superb dose of ambience whose power is understated but vibrant, evoking a series of entries into the inner mind.

-Matt Howarth – Sonic Curiosity


Austere – Eco
–Regularly $6.99, right now just $3.99
eco

From austere.org:
“Eco, a new release for 2005 e.v., is two things above and beyond an ambient-styled minimalistic composition.

Firstly, it is a “process piece”, similar in concept to our first release Convergence from 1998 (reissued in 2005.) The concept of process music was originated by minimalist composer Steve Reich in a manifesto entitled “Music as a Gradual Process” in 1968.

This recording was made using a balalaika (a three stringed chordophone instrument from the Mediterranean), a number of analog and digital delays wired in series and Space Echo. The composition was arranged using a technique Reich called “phasing”, where each discrete piece of music, or “phrase”, is allowed to overlap the same or similar pieces but are slightly out of time sync with the original, creating a slowly evolving recording that changes subtly but perseptively over its entire course.

ECO is meant to be played quietly when going to sleep, and should help lull the listener into a relaxed state, and then into various deep sleep-related phases of brain patterns…. (READ more HERE).


Mnortham – Automnal
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
mnortham

Highly indicative of the nomadic life that international sound artist Michael Northam has come to know over the past 5 or so years, this release represents a sonic recollection of his life dispersed across a vast geography, pinpointing three specific locations and moments from his long journey:

– Glacier du Trient, Switzerland / France
– Eagle Creek, Indianapolis
– Ils Grosbois, Montreal

At times, this hypnotic release presents meditative, invigorating, and eerie translations of places and experiences in ways that only Northam can poetically convey.

Originally dispersed among friends in 2003, as a limited edition “spontaneous document” CDR, this work is now re-issued on CD so it can finally be enjoyed by more people. And deservedly so.

Nimh – Travel Diary –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
travel

“Finally collected on a single CD and released in a completely re-edited and re-mastered version enriched with new sounds and parts, Silentes presents all the music created by Giuseppe Verticchio/Nimh during 2001/2002 using ethnic instruments only and in a totally unconventional way, with the addition of treated/processed field recordings. A real challenge beyond every stylistic and geographical border; an original and evocative dark-shaded ethnic-electronic-ritual music, born from the voice of ancient and often unknown traditional ethnic instruments mostly collected in the Far East, without using synthesizers and any other electronic/synthetic source at all. An absolute original, unpredictable and unrepeatable…” -Silentes

LISTEN to the track “The Market Place” HERE.


Mico Nonet – Marmalade Balloon
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
mico

We here at Hypnos HQ think this is one of the nicest and best-est things to have crossed our ears in quiet a while. It’s a beautiful, ear-pleasing blend of relatively “straight” chamber music with just a touch of electronic tones.

A minimalist layer of ambient analog synthesizers with cello, viola, French horn and oboe performed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.

REVIEWS:
“The Marmalade Balloon is the year’s ultimate flirtation with subtlety and seductiveness. Existing somewhere between the neo-classical and the ambient, Mico Nonet fashion a world that is hazy and succinct, at times dark and haunting and others playful and inspiring, but always open to personal interpretation. The balance between musicians is gracefully maintained, where neither the electronics nor the strings are ever overly pronounced as to withdraw the listener from the intoxicating, spellbinding trance which The Marmalade Balloon invokes. The future will certainly take this musical act on a variety of different presentations, but with their strong understanding of musical space and development, we’re confident that they’ll be a favorite for years to come. ” –Jordan Volz, The Silent Ballet

“Once all the synths and sequencers have echoed out and it is time to return to Earth, STAR’S END turns to The Marmalade Balloon (36’42”), a smart, artfully constructed EP by Mico Nonet. Played on conventional chamber instruments (viola, cello, oboe, french horn) plus a well-hidden synthesizer, this work combines the idea of ambient music with the sophisticated sensibilities of the classical quartet. The most difficult part of this undertaking was in directing the virtuosic talents of four seasoned orchestra musicians towards a music that achieves a sustained atmosphere – away from the familiar climax and release of their repertoire. The Marmalade Balloon succeeds in maintaining a gradual coalescence throughout. Somber thematic workings move with deliberate slowness as this group carefully strides towards a sense of quiet musical contemplation. Through a unique intuition, the musicians leave enough room not only for one another, but for silence as well. The result is an incredibly beautiful and elegant music, so fragile that at any moment it may dissolve into thin air.” –Chuck van Zyl, Star’s End Ambient Radio

LISTEN to the track “Hammock” from this album HERE.

Austere – Solyaris –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
solyaris

This is a creative peak for this much-overlooked ambient duo, their first release on Hypnos, following their Hypnos Secret Sounds album Pulse in 2007. In their 10 years of productivity, Austere has covered territory from Pulse’s drone minimalism , ranging back through odd and trippy Coil-inspired sonic experimentation, to seamless dark ambient, and occasionally glitchy weirdness. Despite some challenging material in their back catalog, Austere have in this case produced an album as friendly and pleasant as any Austere fan could have imagined possible, and yet without resorting to the usual tricks that make music sound “listenable.”

Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire said of Austere:
“Austere is an enigmatic duo who record some of the more interesting ambient music I’ve heard in my six plus years of reviewing. From the swirling drones (I was gonna say “dark” drones, but ….) and eerie melancholy of Monodia to the warmth and beauty amidst minimalism of Fade… Austere are less concerned with following the path and more concerned with breaking new ground. However, they are undoubtedly enigmatic, as one would glean from the above, and shun the spotlights of media and personality.”

And the Austere boys themselves, not normally prone to gushing or self-praise, say these words on the subject of this recording:

“Solyaris, our first release for 2008 e.v. on the Hypnos label is major departure from our recent emphasis on Minimalist composition, but more in the direction started by our last release, mirror.shtml and is instead is a collection of recordings improvised and recorded “live” over a weekend session and are presented in their original form, unedited in any way aside from mastering by The Sound-O-Mat.

The recordings turned out extremely well; it was obvious that our Muse(s) had visited us, and we were able to simply “let the tapes roll” and play, and this recording is made up from one track each from a recording session (we may release the rest at some later point.)

We could not be more happy with the sound of this album — there was definitely something special about that weekend and it was one of those rare occasions where everything just seemed to come together without any effort, and we think this is reflected in the musick. The CD flows very nicely, and is one of the most uplifting and special CDs we have ever released. We hope that you might enjoy it at least half as much as we do.”

We here at Hypnos are likewise happy with this album, and find ourselves playing it over and over, soothed and bewildered at the strange and beautiful atmosphere. Solyaris does not fit squarely into any one genre, but it is wonderful to listen to, without being easy or without depth. The sounds could be described as the thought transmissions of benevolent aliens. They mean you no harm, and they thank you for listening!

LISTEN to MP3 samples HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Silentes

We’ve got some SILENTES items by various artists on sale this week, low prices good through February 21st!

Lullabier – Verita rivestite d’ombra
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
lullabier

“Delicate and fragile dreaming atmospheres, melodic and hypnotic ambient light sparks, sonic landscapes both semi-acoustic and then close to shoegaze, introspective lyrics almost whispered by a simple and gentle voice, mainly based on evocative and shiny, delicate, and dilated electric guitar riffs laid on discreet rhythmic backgrounds, sometimes simply backed by acoustic guitar chords, in a singer-songwriter mood.” -Silentes


T.A.C. – Splintered
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $7.99
tac

Digipak.

“T.A.C. sonic trip goes on through unexplored territories, forcing the borders between electronica and new psychedelic soundscapes, making room for gentle ballads merciless deconstructed …Enter now T.A.C.’s surreal and swirling world. The tribernetic shamans are back…” -soundohm.com


Enrico Conglio / Under the Snow – Dialogue One
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
dialogie

“Nearly an hour of music, equally divided between the relaxing and ambient atmospheres enhanced with experimental elements created by Enrico Coniglio, and the low-fi/rough sounds and atmospheres crafted by Under the Snow (Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron) – not so different but with a more dramatic, tense and hypnotic doom – built on deep drones stratifications, often hard and cutting, with a wide collection of noises, electronic hassles, whisperings, concrete moments… A perfect join-venture, a mix among two different music projects that gather coherence and inspiration to sustain a split album that showcases a not to be missed fusion of styles among the involved artists, oriented on parallel patterns and clearly increasing the value of their own personal and somehow different sonic directions.” -Silentes


Kinetix – Selected E_Missions
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $7.99
kinetix

“Deep and wrapping digital soundscapes, dotted by micro-noisy granular material, resonant fields where time and space humble themselves in a single perceptive continuum. Contemporary, abstract, minimal, cold, intense and evocative drone music.”

-soundohm.com


Michael Mantra and Charlz de la Casa – Cerulean Transmission
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
cerulean

A precious sonic masterwork, documenting the extraordinary collaboration between Michael Mantra and Charlz De La Casa. A cd of suspended time and space… “classical” static music. Two long tracks flow like sonic lava, weaving together lush background washes, and evocative field recordings. Dark electric sounds, beautiful drones, inner-Earth rumbling, human voices, concrete noises, ship engines, sirens, sounds of the sea, bubbles, wind, chants, and wildlife sounds merge in an indefinable (and never before experienced) way… an absolutely unmissable work.


Gianluca Becuzzi [Kinetix] – Memory Makes Noise
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $7.99
memory

Digipak.

“Gianluca Becuzzi, for the first time, presents his work under his birth name, confining the Kinetix as an extension of his name. The Tuscan sound-artist focuses his research on electro-acoustic sounds, livening ‘Memory Makes Noise’ with throbbing concrete noises, material manipulations and deep environmental reverberations.” -coldspring.co

Opium/Sostrah Tinnitus – Stain –Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
stain

“Warm, involving, deep and penetrating… Flowing sound patterns, vibrating drones permeated by a discreet sense of tension, evolving in dark, obscure, foggy, nocturnal atmospheres, violated by raven voices, mysterious noises and sounds of metal objects in motion… And then concrete noises, confused and elusive melodies, feeble light flashes, buried echoes of human voices, distant whispers, sudden passages of rough sounds, undefined nuisances, subliminal and hypnotic sequences.” -Silentes


Enrico Coniglio – Sea Cathedrals
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $4.99
sea

“Five superb tracks of deep and evocative ambient music, enriched with echoes of ancient ritual suggestions. The immense spaces and the abyssal deepness of the sea, but also the sound of the bowels of the Earth, the color of the sand of the desert, the energy of the wind, the strength of all the Elements, the infinite cycle of day and night, of life and death… A long circular journey through interchanging atmospheres that shake and capture, dragging with energy, then leave room for more quiet and soothing introspective stasis, and again become dramatic and overwhelming, A great, unmissable album of classic ritual ambient music.” -Silentes


Nimh – The Missing Tapes
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $3.99
missingtapes

“Stratospheric sounds from another dimension, where multi-cultural sound-worlds collide. Processed electronic emulations of traditional Thai (and other indigenous) instruments, esoteric percussion, breathing, drones, feedback, shortwave radio, disembodied voices floating in air, and hazy field recordings all combine is a most intoxicating manner. With THE MISSING TAPES, NIMH returns to a more adventurous style, pushing the boundaries of sonic innovation past anything that we’ve heard before. An amazing 50+ minute sonic-travelogue of electroacoustic experiments.” -Silentes

Muridae – Under the Fable of Meaning –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
muridae

“A variegated and original universe of electronic visions; leading rhythmic parts, cosmic suggestions, echoes of filtered human voices and hints of concrete noises extraordinarily mixed with catchy electronic progressions, among pulsating basses, sequencer patterns and winning melodic arpeggios… A surprising mix of ideas that draws from a wide range of stylistic influences, an extraordinary deep impact sound quality rich in dynamics, for an uninterrupted flux of incredible emotions…” -Silentes

February Blowout Sale

Hey everyone,

We’ve deeply discounted a large selection of items for you this week, and the extremely low prices will be good through February 14th or while supplies last!

Aspectee – Morben
–$3.99
morben

“MORBEN creates tense atmospheres through opposing sounds, deep drones, but has also very cinematic elements. The opening of the album, ‘Stuhlmann’, sounds very grand and has a very cinematic quality. ‘Dianthus’ is etched in very intense and deep drone and has very interesting sound design. ‘Newin’ is a very great soundscape with a more experimental structure. It has some nice orchestral elements and a very mystical sound. An amazing sound experience! ‘gotheDrStone’ continues this way, but has a more angelic feel to it. ‘kince’ is a great emotional piece that has a kind of sad element to it, but also feels uplifting in other ways. Towards the end it gets a more raw sound. It has some very dual feelings that make this song very interesting to listen to. ‘aspectee’ starts very raw and abstract, but halfway turns more deep and cinematic. ‘betho et’ reminds me somewhat of the netherworld soundscapes of Vestigial. It’s a very rich soundscape that is also very immersive. ‘leanon’ is also a very deep voyage into the underworld, where all things hidden seems to show themselves. The album ends with ‘unwic’, which is a very soothing piece of music. It’s this conclusion that gives the whole album its emotional heart.” -fabienvandermeer.com


Vadim Bondarenko – Smoking Music
–$3.99
smoking

“Smoking Music was created in 2000-2004. Delicate made melodic ambient compositions. To creatе this album Vadim used keyboards, clarinet, samples and piano. It is a good listening for everyone who likes misty ambient music and the creative work of Brian Eno or Harold Budd.” -Faria Records


Troum – Objectlessness
–$3.99
troum

“There is a big gap between rational, verbal language and the pre-symbolic language of our emotional and unconscious mind. Music is perceived partly with our conscious mind, who can analyze it and reflect on it. On another part, it is perceived by our unconsciousness, by our primal consciousness that lies under the rational mind. The idea: Experimental music, especially that of a more droning character, can easier get in touch or be unconsciously connected with this primal state of mind. It is music that is linked with unconscious fantasies coming from a pre-verbal sphere of existence… the phase of life based on the dyadic interaction with the primal object, the mother. At this early stage, there’s no awareness existing of being a full separated Subject, and no other full separated Objects can be perceived. Inner and outer reality is the same. Spheric, droning, dissolving music is pointing unconsciously at this objectless sphere of existence. This release is dedicated to the idea of an especially formed pre-symbolic music. Artwork conception contain 4 cards and cover with art from english creator Pete Burn.” – Faria Records


Robert Rich / Faryus – Zerkalo
–$3.99
zerkalo

“Delicately undulating textures are established as a foundation for tenuous electronics. Along with environmental recordings, these auxiliary tones serve to embellish that basis with subtle nuances, coaxing variations from the atmospheric flow. While deeper tonalities tickle the mix from below, lending pensive oscillations to the foundation, vibrating effects are applied from above, generating a shimmering field of stars. Gradually, alternative sounds are utilized to increase those variations. Bell tones create a reverent presence contrasted by an escalation of certain high-end sounds whose unpredictable paths categorize them as meteorological conditions of the soundscape. As the bell tones submerge into the now-pulsating foundation, more strident sounds emerge to influence things with their shriller cadence. Throughout, the stability of a chilled environment is preserved. This frigid mood is enhanced by the introduction of tonalities whose timbre evokes high altitudes. A muffling condition creeps in, generating an expansive disposition to the ambience. Sounds of a muted metallic nature appear in a breathing pattern, establishing illumination and revealing the infinite scope of the mix. Set to run as a seamless piece of music, these compositions embody serene ambience with a hint of industrial edging.” –Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity


Faryus & Vadim Bondarenko – 8 Atmospheres
–$3.99
8

“This album is the successful combination between two different worlds: bewitched electronics from Faryus and meditative parts of piano and clarinet from Vadim Bondarenko. In addition, this CD contains poetic video clip created by Alexander Sveshnikov.”
-Soleilmoon Recordings


Martin Franklin & Michael Northam – An Opening of the Earth
–$3.99
opening

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 discos.com


Jason Sloan – Static (ltd. 3″ mini-cdr)
–$0.99
static

“STATIC is a 22 min piece that is divided into two movements. The first is comprised of mostly organ sounds with a small amount of guitar, and the second is guitar only, which builds eventually into a wall of pure sound. One may be heavily reminded of Steve Roach’s approach to space music. Highly recommended for space music fans and fans of shoegaze. -Waterscape Records


Andrew Liles – All Closed Doors
–$3.99
liles

“With a title such as ‘Largactil and Dilaudin for the Soul’ this newest release from British composer Andrew Liles should give an indication of the eccentricies from where this recording is coming from. One track of stark resonating piano followed by the slow warming of the orchestra that draws you in. Once there, it tip toes, echoes and dissolves with each track re-emerging more fractured than the next. Intricacies of creaks, dull thuds, traditional instrumentation and then subtle ambient drones. ‘All Closed Doors’ could be the aural equivalent of living in a disused cupboard; dusty and empty – dark and damp. Perhaps the definitive song on the album, ‘What Never Will Be’ is a bizarre ghostly version of the ‘que sera sera.'”


Moljebka Pvlse – Zojo
–$3.99
zojo

“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


Scott Solter – The Brief Light
–$1.99
scottsolter-thebrieflight

Manifold says:
“We have been listening to the demos of this release for about five years now, craving the day when we could finally clear our roster of coming releases to get it out to you. We’re afraid a written review and one or two MP3 samples will not be up to the task of conveying how astounding and masterful this record is. Scott Solter is a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer from California who is more used to producing other bands (Tarantel, John Vanderslice) than seeing work released under his own name.

So what’s it like? Does anyone else think ‘Equator’ was O Yuki Conjugate’s best album ever and wished they had done another record of the same caliber? Does Shinjuku Thief’s ‘Bloody Tourist’ make your mind and heart wander? A Small Good Thing’s ‘Slim Westerns’? The Brief Light is a complex tribal/percussive-ambient trek into the heart of bright rainforest worlds and afro-alien rhythms, an endless list of primitive instruments and ephemeral human voices, all combined by Solter, provide an effortless mathematical structure upon which each track creates it’s own scene but keeps one emotional sentiment throughout. This spirit weaves in and out of each piece like a soul-thread, holding all the oppositional landscapes together as one continuous experience. Play this once, then you’ll play it again, and no matter how many times you let this brilliant piece of aural cinema fill your space, you will never exhaust the feelings and imaginings it evokes. Packaged in a burlap-cloth wrap with natural objects and ancient letterpress printing beneath. Simply one of our best releases ever.


Concert Silence
–$2.99
concertsilence

“The sound of piano, both pure and processed, has become almost a sub-genre of its own within ambient electronica. There’s a Satie-authored lineage stretching from Budd/Eno through to Sakamoto’s collabs with Alva Noto and Fennesz, with signs to other off-beat sites. Buckingham’s background in visual art makes his contribution to Concert Silence somewhat enigmatic. He had previously co-opted Cooper for the audio of an online ambient audio-visual collaboration in the ‘Window Exchange’ project; Cooper’s signature is clearly recognizable, for all that the pianism of his earlier Eluvium work are tweaked and tampered with here. Six discrete movements, an affair of edgy ambience, with lilting lulling passages ceding to digital depredations. Some parts subtly infiltrated, others strewn with the detritus of error-smithery. “Part Two,” for example, sounds as if it’s slowly spontaneously combusting in the player, gradually growing into a larger conflagration, culminating in a veritable firework display of pops, crackles and wayward woozy pitch shifts, eating itself in echo and fuzz, before returning to the opening lull of barely audible soft-pedaled piano purism. Overall the Cooper-Buckingham pairing puts a distinctive slant on the compositional tradition mentioned above, finding a beguiling blend of the worlds of piano concerto and that of digital signal processing, with its random reversals, glitch flurries, and drone. Yet, for all its peculiarities of pitch and microsonic mist, strong melodic lines serve as binding, stiched together, lending poise to noise.” –Alan Lockett


Relapxych.O/Quantec/Deer – Shapes and Phases of Ambience
–$0.99
shapes and phases

“Ghost Sounds present a luxurious and submersive compilation featuring the work of three artists, Quantec, Deer and Relapxych.O. The concept of “Shapes and Phases of Ambience” is to present different sides of ambience — everyday sounds constantly surrounding us, outdoor sounds, workplace atmospheres, musical instruments, synthesizers or equipment used in studios, whatever it might be, the two most basic elements being drone and rhythm. Locating and extracting rhythms from within ambience, rhythms within drones drones within rhythm, deconstructing and reconstructing, alone or combined, unlimited.” -bookmat.com

MirkoUhlig & Dronaement – Farewell Fields –$3.99
farewell

“An hour’s worth of minimal drone-influenced ambience. In “Para Puri” a theme of no more than four notes played on a guitar, mixed and intermitted through voices of unknown origin. “Fields (live)” forms the second half of the CD and, in contrast to the first track, it makes more use of different notes and the harmony created by the combination of them. The feeling you are left with after the track has finished is a feeling of having missed an opportunity of a lifetime…”–Reviewed by Bauke van der Waal


Markus Reuter and Robert Rich – Eleven Questions
–$3.99
eleven

This international collaboration was conceived, composed and recorded in person in one intense week at Robert Rich’s Soundscape studio in California. Robert Rich is arguably America’s most highly regarded ambient musician and composer. With a discography spanning over 20 years, he is widely regarded as a figure whose sound has greatly influenced today‘s ambient, new age, and even IDM music. Touch Guritarist Markus Reuter is known for his adventurous work with Centrozoon and Tuner. Unlike most releases of the ambient/electronica genre, each piece on Eleven Questions has an instant appeal. The songs form concise statements and mostly feature acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments (lap steel, touch guitar, piano, acoustic guitar, flutes), rather than synthesizers. With audiophile sensibilities, Rich and Reuter employed the best of custom tube, vintage and contemporary studio equipment to craft a unique sonic landscape.


Mystified – Passing through the Outer Gates, Eulogy Series Volume 1
–$1.99
outer gates

“Ambient and dark ambient soundscapes alike are deftly populated by neo-classical elements, occasionally with an experimental twist! There are no comparisons to other musicians or albums, as this album and the journey within are distinctly those of Mystified! Dare you join Thomas on his spiritual journey? Or do you fear to leave this world behind?”

Mystified`s “Passing Through the Outer Gates” is presented in an A5 digipak with silver foil-embossed lettering and a specially die-cut cover whose coffin-shaped hole reveals only a hint of the true album cover artwork underneath! Featuring David Demaret`s “Burning Souls” painting, with additional graphics and layout by Eclipse Media. -First Fallen Star


Sacher Pelz / Amun Cell – Hibakusha
–$3.99
sacher

“Cyclic loops agglomerates resting on static drones intertwined by flashes of electronic frequencies; algorithmic manipulations of undefined sound materials moved by bouncing delays and recurring panoramic space variations; a sequence of metallic waves in continuous tonal variation, heavy dissonances and sonic stratifications in progressive and pseudo-randomic composition/decomposition; desolate silences corrupted by resounding echoes of entangled electric rhythmic impulses.” -Silentes


Saul Stokes – Abstraction
–$0.99
ss-abstraction

“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


Claudio Rocchetti – Every Live is Problem Solving
–$3.99
every live

“A suggestive gallery of abstract images, confused fragments of life and real living experiences, sights of urban landscapes… Noisy and electronic interferences, mechanical machines movements, concrete noises, low frequences fluxes, hissing sounds, interferences, but also melodic acoustic guitar pieces, human voices and other field recordings… A brave, uncompromising and heterogeneous “decomposed” mosaic of avantgarde sound art beyond time, beyond any point of view and any geometric coordinates.”
-Silentes

Opium – Algorithms –$2.99
opium

Classically elegant and extremely refined ambient music. Multi-dimensional sounds that are warm and enveloping. An emotional travelogue, starting dramatically, then taking the listener down a slower path, comfortably easing you into a long and fascinating sonic trip, where the sounds grow wide and large, and finally crumble inward, then regenerate, returning for another phase. A new sonic alchemy, and an entirely new world of soothing sounds for the adventurous listener to visit.


A Produce – Reflect Like a Mirror, Respond Like an Echo
–$1.99
ap-rlmrle

“Each piece is polished and deep, an evocative marvel inspiring an alert state, sometimes a let’s-go-bye-bye state in others…. This heartfelt and intelligent creation is a worthy successor to Harold Budd/Brian Eno’s Plateaux of Mirror.” –NAPRA Journal

“Absolutely entrancing and mood-seducing, this is active ambient music, and, although electronically derived and motivated, results in an abundancy of lush, warm sounds that invite, beckon and entice. Keyboardist Ruben Garcia assists on the title track and the achingly beautiful “Clear Pools,” where the dark hues of A Produce’s electronics mesh seamlessly with Garcia’s striking digital chords. Captivating.” –i/e Magazine

“This fascinating CD combines the best of Eno, Budd, Hassell, Roach, Rich, and Borden. The result is a meditative trance journey the like of which I haven’t heard since Michael Stearns’ Planetary Unfolding…. an utterly sublime tour of outer and inner space….. This CD covers a lot of ground and will cross many listening genre boundaries, as is evidenced by its reviews in all the other alternative music publications.” –Synthesis

Juxta Phona & Offthesky – !Escape Kit! –$1.99
escape

“Transmitting from an alternate universe where david lynch is supreme diety, the orb’s pomme fritz is the national anthem, and flanger and pole are the world’s most venerated heroes, juxta phona & offthesky set forth a treatise of intelligent and challenging electronic music. sliding through a series of surrealist landscapes , this album embeds texture and feeling into your subconscious through dense and smoky occult electro-jazz rites. capturing a prismatic work reflecting both organic and digital faces, Somnia is proud to release this unique and highly visual experience.

limited to 777 copies worldwide, soy inks on recycled paper, sewn and sealed in wax with incredible cover art by ray massini”

-somniasounds.com