Weekly Sale Item: Sonic Approach

This week we’ve chosen another sale item from our Binary sub-label: Synthetic Block’s “Sonic Approach,” very low-priced at just $4.99 through March 16th.

SONIC APPROACH
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This Hypnos/Binary debut by Synthetic Block blends “classic EM” elements with a more modern approach. It was mastered by Dave Fulton (who also played on one track) and is sonically amazing. One of the best things about running a small record label is the opportunity to help expose more people to artists like this one, whose work merits much wider exposure. Give it a listen!

REVIEWS:
“Taking a Sonic Approach that lies somewhere between ambient and progrock, Synthetic Block steers his impeccable creations into realms which blend the atmospheric with the musical.

Depending on the ear of the beholder, the initial moments of Variations On A Theme Of Absence could be prettily eerie or utterly serene (I find them both!) but in a spacey vein regardless; the track grows more musical, with a slow bass groove, even. The soft, clambering notelets, faint rhythmics and gossamer sheens of Sonic Approach warp into a free-flying celestial mode, taking a bass-powered detour toward its more-shapeless close.

Doused (12:53) begins as smooth sheets rise and fall in extended flutters; later, low, tuneful riffs unfurl against long-reaching curtains of spectral softness, while buoyant bass flits beneath; the track lands in its own little sea of tranquility. Bed Of Sphinxes rolls on electric crests of a symphonic nature; when these lush waves segue into The Square Triangle, they are topped by interlocking synth motifs of tweedling leads and pulsing lows with caressing overtones.

A pair of short interludes finish the disc; dazzling little Inevitable (2:59) oscillates and levitates on crystalline notes and sweeps, then becomes Sonic Recall via a more-deeply twisting strand which burrows into toneshifting clouds, etched with sporadic cymbal activities.

Pretty… spacey… and sometimes so crispy clean it seems a bit sterile, though when soundcapes are this gorgeous, that’s a niggling point. Synthetic Block merges fluid melodies into starlit ethereality with his gentle Sonic Approach.” –David Opdyke, The AmbiEntrance

“Jonathan Block is a poet in every sense of the word. Recording as Synthetic Block, he creates beautiful verse with his synthesizer and manipulations. Sonic Approach, his third release and Hypnos debut, is his best work by far. He has always combined deep drones and vast atmospheres with Berlin school sequences and rhythms. He does it again with an intense flair and smooth segues. While there are eight tracks on this disc, Block’s techniques and style treat the set as one long-form (58-minute) composition. Dave Fulton, of Dweller at the Threshold, mastered and did the post-production engineering. He also contributed some analog synth work. This CD is a masterful example of the Binary mission — excellent retro e-music with modern digital enhancements. It will appeal to fans of Rudy Adrian, Paul Ellis, Saul Stokes, and Ron Boots.” –AMG, reviewed by Jim Brenholts

Read more/listen/buy HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Eye of the Nautilus

This week’s sale item is Numina’s excellent album, “Eye of the Nautilus,” and we’ve low-priced it at just $5.99 through March 9th.

EYE OF THE NAUTILUS
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This is 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. 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.

LISTEN TO MP3 CLIPS AND PURCHASE HERE.

If you’d like to learn more about Numina, see our Hypnos artist feature post HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Seed

We’ve got another great sale item for you this week, Ma Ja Le and James Johnson’s wonderful collaboration, “Seed,” low-priced at just $5.99 through March 2nd.

SEED
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A sonic melding of the minimalist overtones and organic synth work of James Johnson & the ethno-tribal-atmospheric sounds of ambient duo Ma Ja Le. The sonic tapestry is as lush, emotive and transportive as it gets. A Spiraling journey to the deepest depths of ethereal ambience and back.

REVIEWS:

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

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

“Seed is such an amazing recording. I have never heard anything like it by anyone… ever. This is the newest sounding “ambient” recording I have heard in many years. Just delightful, mysterious, straight ahead at times, and a great depth.” –John Pemble, Sonic Flow, KTPR radio

READ MORE/LISTEN/PURCHASE HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Thermal Transfer

This week’s sale item, Vir Unis & Saul Stokes’ “Thermal Transfer” from our Binary sublabel, is low-priced at just $5.99 through February 23rd.

THERMAL TRANSFER
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The third Binary release, first ever collaboration between Vir Unis and Stokes, THERMAL TRANSFER is also the most uptempo, high energy recording yet released by Hypnos or its related labels. In fact, truth be told, this recording is the very reason that the Binary label was created — so Hypnos could bring you excellent electronic music, even if the style in question was too “hyperactive” for the Hypnos label.

REVIEW:
“I have to say Thermal Transfer now is one of my favorite hypnos family releases. Very cool production and a very nice synthesis/blending of the pair’s (Vir Unis & Saul Stokes) individual styles. Recomended!” –Dave Fulton (Hypnos and Binary artist, member of Dweller at the Threshold)

Listen to MP3 clips and purchase HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: New Eyes on the Universe

Our sale item for this week is Dave Tollefson’s “New Eyes on the Universe,” available for the extremely low price of just $4.99 through February 16th.

NEW EYES ON THE UNIVERSE
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Debut recording by half of Hypnos Recordings duo Viridian Sun. Tollefson explores the use of treated electric guitar as a sound source for unusual ambient textures and rich sonic atmospheres.

REVIEWS:
“Extremely high quality guitar ambience from one half of Portland’s Viridian Sun, David Tollefson. ‘Empyrean’ has a tentative, threatening air, a kind of looped and progressively virulent agitation that fades away before possible violence; ‘Phase (Travel)’ is a somber, swirling ride through the Milky Way; the title track also cruises the heavens, the intermittent subterranean machinery pulse of the engines drawing focus from the stars to the tenuous confines of the space ship; ‘Painted Sky’ has an anxious, subdued turbulence quality–Van Gogh’s Starry Night (on Mars). My favorite track, ‘Palomar,’ flows from dark crystals reverberating by sunlight, to winking stars shimmering by moonlight, to clouds of lightly distorted, ominous radiance that pass in front of both–an amazingly textured stream of consciousness journey that holds within it’s multifaceted layers: wariness and wonder, caution and awe. What really makes this work is the use of the guitar as a conduit for David’s broad sonic trek through the heavens, through the deceptively gentle, seemingly familiar, to the subtly unearthly; in that respect, there are only a few moments on this disc where it is noticeably a guitar creating the music. Not unlike Maeror Tri, though the songs are shorter, more compact. Well worth your attention!”
–John C. Smith / Outburn Magazine

“An exquisite collection of moody, minimal and very effective pieces, beautifully sequenced and with the right pace of movement and choice of soundcolors. Excellent.”
–Vidna Obmana

READ MORE/LISTEN TO MP3 CLIPS/PURCHASE HERE.