Weekly Sale Item: Hypnos Digipaks

Looking to add to your collection of Hypnos digipak releases? Now’s your chance! Regularly priced at $11.99, we’re price-cutting them this week to just $7.99! (2CDs regularly priced at $13.99, right now just $9.99.) Sale prices are guaranteed through November 15th, so visit the HYPNOS RECORDINGS section of the HYPNOS ONLINE STORE soon for some great deals!

Follow links for track listings and MP3 samples of all titles.

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

REVIEWS:
“WVKR-FM “Secret Music” Top 25 Albums of 2010
#16. Herion – Out and About – Hypnos” –Scott Raymond, WVKR Radio “Secret Music

“What we have in Herion’s Out and About is a work that is ambient chamber music in every sense of the term: spatial, intimate, classically based. Strip away the subtle wash of electronics that Emanuele Errante and Enrico Coniglio whisper beneath piano from Elisa Marzorati and viola by Piergabriela Mancuso, and what’s left is a rich bed of beautiful compositions for traditional acoustic instruments. (Besides their laptop work, Errante and Coniglio also add strings, guitars and more.) One of the best compliments I can pay Herion is to say that I’d listen just to those elements, sans electronics, and still firmly enjoy the disc. With the opening track, “Oxg,” Herion establish their acoustic-drone base, the metallic rasp of the strings adding not just a texture to the sound, but an equal sense of emotional warmth and humanity. It’s part of the real beauty of Out and About — the way in which we’re intermittently reminded, as the disc goes along, that the sounds aren’t all circuit-born. It’s a good reminder, since it’s easy to lose sight of that as Herion quietly wrap you in smooth sound- ribbons. There’s a lot to like here, and much of begins with Marzaorati’s piano work. Her playing is sweet, graceful and impeccable, whether it’s thoughtfully wandering through Errante and Coniglio’s misty landscapes (“One Minute Before the Sunrise”), holding a polite dialogue with a sighing harmonica (“Cab”), dropping like forgotten tears (“Lindos”), or giving itself over to electronic treatment to capture a sound-image (“The Hanging Glacier”). The disc closes with her playing alone on the appropriately titled “Solo,” and it’s a standout moment on an excellent disc. And while her playing is central to Out and About, it’s the atmospheres that Errante and Coniglio craft around her and Mancuso that give the whole thing an amazing depth and a touch of the ethereal. The worlds are perfectly blended on the dramatic “Moske Orgulje,” with all elements adding their voices in balance. From start to finish, Out and About moves from moments of soulful serenity to breathtaking beauty. Its organic roots run deep to ground the listener in the moment and the experience. Out and About is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.”
–Reviewed by John Shanahan for Hypnagogue


Nebulæ – 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

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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.

REVIEWS:
“To state that AVATARA (61’16”) is “Experimental” is only half the story. While it is an album of sonic experiments, it is not just a random organization of sound. Ambient artist Steve Brand tells a story – although AVATARA does bring more questions than answers. As it wanders the terrain of the possible this work asks you to adjust your sensitivity to music and its possible variations. Some of the pieces are controlled collisions of carefully rendered tones, while others breathe and expand beautifully across a brain-churning expanse of space. Opening with a curious metallic clamor Brand sets an unusual atmosphere. By continually introducing new timbres and captivating designs, across six tracks he sustains a striking sense of wonder. Moods range from dark and questioning to luminous and hopeful. Born of digital, this experience gets better with each pass. The mind seeks patterns, in the world and in music and art. Works like AVATARA at first seem formless. But one must tolerate being lost to appreciate this music. Through active listening we find this work’s structure and then its meaning – grasping the whole from the sum of its parts.” –Reviewed by Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio

“If you’re looking for a contemplative ambient release with a minimal framework, Steve Brand’s “Avatara” (inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures) could be an appropriate choice. I for one would classify it as high-quality contemplative music, due to its ongoing gentle flow of textural pads with occasional mystic undercurrents and nature sounds. The six meandering tracks feature spacious music for slow, silent times and meditation, smoothly opening the gate to a world of splendour and wonder.

“Avatara’s” longform soundcape music, devoid of any rhythm, is great to escape from the rat race of modern life, as it makes the busy mind settle down bit by bit along the way.”
–Reviewed by Bert Strolenberg, SonicImmersion.org


A Produce & 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.

REVIEWS:
“This release from 2011 offers 55 minutes of ethereal ambience.

Melodic elements lurk within these harmonic electronic compositions.

Many of the electronics are keyboard generated in contrast to the sustained drone backdrops that ripple like environments of cloud throughout the pieces. The keyboards introduce pacific patterns, often twinkling like luminous fish swimming through a murky medium.

While a certain gentility is pronounced in the majority of the sonics, some sounds possess a subtle density which injects a dramatic flair to the otherwise floating mien. At other times the auralscapes feature heavenly pulsations, drawing attention to a positive radiance from above.

Some pieces feature ethnic percussives; in one case that influence is tempered by winsome flutes, creating a pensive diversity. Other pieces utilize synthetic beats to introduce languid rhythms to the songs. And there are some songs devoid of any tempos altogether.

These compositions are tailored to induce a trance state in the listener, removing them from the heyday of their mortal routines and relegating their consciousness to a region of deceptively intangible (but artfully prevailing) potential. The insertion of melody into the harmonic fabric results in highly engaging tuneage.” –Reviewed by soniccuriosity.com

“Great album. An “instant classic” in the Hypnos catalog, and probably the best thing I’ve heard this year.” –Drone On, on the Hypnos Forum


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.

REVIEWS:
“The Martian Chronicles is a 74-minute longform album inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short science fiction story by the same name. It is the first collaborative album between Oöphoi (aka Italian drone expert Gianluigi Gasparetti) and Welch soundscape composer Seren Ffordd (aka Andy Benford).

What we got here is a deep and immersive work of cinematic ambient that took about three years in the making. The seven tracks feature vast, dark and slow morphing drone textures along field recordings and percussion, making up an intense trip into a mysterious and alienating world with psychedelic edges.

The Martian Chronicles is a spacious recording meant for deeper and focussed listening, that seems to submerge the listener even more when heard with a good pair of headphones. If you’re into dense ambient art works with both subtle changes along fine environmental sounds, this quality album is for you.” –Review by Bert Strolenberg

“Two drone purveyors are unlocking the gateway of the Void, enter now!!!

Seren Ffordd, in Wales based drone master, has released since 2006 several albums and EPs on Oöphoi’s Umbra and Penumbra labels. Now teamed with the Italian drone king for their first collaborative work, “The Martian Chronicles”, on Hypnos, where both artists have released several albums (Seren Ffordd on Hypnos Secret Sounds). Sculpted during 2006-2009 and inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short science fiction story from 1950, “The Martian Chronicles”, released in October 2011 and packaged in attractive 4-panel digipak, is an adventurous and deep sonic exploration merging the talents of Andy Benford aka Seren Ffordd and Gianluigi Gasparetti aka Oöphoi. Nearly 15 minutes long overture, “The Long Years”, opens this grandeur voyage with colossally deep drones with invading bells, gongs and extraterrestrial-infused rumblings and resonations. A truly immense soundwalls designed for all aficionados of ultra deep, massive ambience, magnificent!!! With the next, again 15-minute composition, we dive straightly into a chasmic void. “Dead Cities” are painted in the first half with extremely freezing drones and mechanized breathings climbing into the throne of drones, while in the second half the breathings slowly dissolve and some, rather distractive and ominous effects step into the fore and color this ultimate giant drone wizardry. This is stunningly stellar and powerful sound sculpting evoking wonderful sense of spatial emptiness!!! “Blue Fire”, another longer piece, keeps on the more active, emerging route, where assorted, mostly otherworldly, at times oddly sounding effects and outbursts enrich the drone. Also few recognizable sounds can be heard, for example something like a trot of a horse. “End Of A Changeling” is shorter, eclectic piece featuring extracts from each track, cut and mixed. “Canals” opens with watery and distant storm sounds that support more free floating drifts, quite relieving and relaxing when comparing to preceding adventurous sonic alchemy. The next composition, “Flamebirds Waiting For The Storm”, as its title tells, is flavored with processed bird calls, later the rain and thunder shake the heaven to achieve the most organic environment. Deeply echoed, slow-motion drones with occasional rumblings escape into the darkness of sinkholing “Unremembered” and provide the closing part of this truly absorbing and fantabulous sonic mystery and mastery. “The Martian Chronicles” is purely transcendental listening experience!!! Two drone purveyors are unlocking the gateway of the Void, enter now!!!” –Review by Richard Gurtler

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. As I mentioned, most of his work has been self-released, often in elegant, artisanal hand-made packaging. See his Discogs Page for more information about his work, or his own site at caul.org/.

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.

REVIEWS:
“Caul is Brett Smith.

A variety of instruments are employed in conjunction with electronics to generate soothing tuneage.

In one track, piano delineates passages of delicate resonance. In another, guitars establish a mildly bouncy mood. One piece flourishes with cerebral cellos, while another utilizes the darker timbre of bass in tandem with crisply twinkling keyboards to create a gentle flow. Another track combines soft violins with heavenly chorales to achieve a celestial demeanor. While another piece takes a dark turn with remote percussives, grinding guitar chords and ominous tonalities, all of which accomplish a pensive mood more than any sense of dread.

While electronics are definitely present (often in a subtle fashion that serves to mesh everything together) their presence is generally too subliminal to clearly detect.

Despite their versatility, these compositions share a common temperament of pensive melodies. The music is somber, but not dark; relaxed, but not drab. No matter what you want to classify it as, though, the end result is satisfying, rewarding the listener with a pleasant sonic environment. Since the tracks are all short, the type of pleasantness changes in definition but remains constant in its lilting result.” –Review by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity


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.

REVIEWS:
“Field recordings are the key elements of “Urbs” and “BIOMA”, the last two albums of Bruno Sanfilippo (on “BIOMA” he was joined by his fellow soundscaper, Max Corbacho). While on “BIOMA” documenting the life of a nature, on “Urbs” Bruno has decided to focus on everyday’s life of a city, when collecting location recordings from various European metropoles plus New York by mapping surrounding environments like train or subway stations, streets, bars, churches… This brand new album, Bruno’s 16th when counting also his collaborations with Mathias Grassow or above mentioned Max Corbacho, is not only his premiere work for renowned Hypnos label, but also a quite radical departure from all his previous works that are spanning from rather ambient/new age oriented, through deeper organic or cinematic ambience to modern classical influenced. Bruno Sanfilippo is now venturing with “Urbs” into more minimal soundscaping with gently portrayed pulsing life of the city. To be honest, without knowing the name of the artist who is behind “Urbs”, I would never connect it to Bruno Sanfilippo. But don’t be afraid, because this chameleonic change is not only totally adventurous, but also proving the unlimited creativity and considerable talent of this sound architect (born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but residing in Barcelona, Spain). “Urban Flow” is perfectly chosen name for opening piece, with dominating colder on-site recordings of various rumblings, noises, buzzes, creaks or squeaks, all wrapped by hazed nocturnal atmosphere and masterfully merged with deeply evocative drones and assorted mesmerizingly or mysteriously emerging voice and choir samples. Wow, this is absolutely phenomenal, nearly 15-minute intro!!! Grandioso & mágico, Bruno!!! Voice transmissions unfold the next piece, “The City Reflected”, clocking over 20 minutes. Deep, nearly ear-bending echoes, various rumblings, mysteriously odd voices enter the stage as well, everything harmoniously crafted and bridged, and superbly evoking a place similar to some underground lively corridor. Cascading sonic palette is minimal, but intense and maximally effective. “Chaotic Order”, a 25 and half minutes long opus reveals with deeper drones, again enriched by distant conversations and various street rumblings, serenely drifting before entering during the second third into slightly more active areas with glitchy and hissy elements invading. The last third returns to more mysterious and droning course with assorted noises, breathings and voices on the back. Definitely another deeply absorbing masterpiece!!! The closing piece, 7-minute “The Gray Umbrella”, is colored by various voice recordings, possibly the most textured sonic escapade slowly moving towards the end into minimal and quieter, nearly meditative outro. “Urbs” is stirringly challenging and refreshing, carefully sculpted and fused into amazingly homogeneous structure, with strong attention paid to every detail. This album delivers enormous amount of spectacular listening moments and transports each listener into magnificently immersing urban environments. Bravo to Bruno Sanfilippo, bravo to Hypnos!!!” –review by Richard Gurtler

“It looks like Hypnos hit the bullseye with this splendid release. It’s already among my top favorites. Bruno’s best by far IMHO…. This music deserves a mountain of praise. Congrats to Hypnos for such a memorable release.” –Joseph Pe


Numina – The Deception of Reality

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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.

Numina is vague about the meaning of the title, which could be taken in any of several ways. Some hint may be derived from the Albert Einstein quote within the liner notes: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

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.


Robert Rich – Sunyata & Inner Landscapes (2CD)

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We’re very pleased to make available this archival 2CD digipak reissue of two of Robert Rich’s earliest albums, Sunyata and Inner Landscapes. Both albums were originally released on cassette, then issued for the first time on CD by Hypnos in 1999-2000. Two classic Robert Rich albums together in a deluxe package including 2CDs, 6-panel digipak and 8 page booklet insert.

Of this new release, Robert says:
Three decades after the release of my early works “Sunyata” (1982) and “Inner Landscapes” (1985), we created an archival edition with the help of Mike Griffin at Hypnos, who sponsored the first CD re-issues of these albums back in the late 1990s. After those pressings sold out, we decided to wait before bringing them back, assuming that the interest in physical media might be diminishing in favor of downloads. As it happens, people still express interest in getting a beautiful artistic package holding music that somehow stays relevant after all these years. “Sunyata & Inner Landscapes” will be the first of two double CD re-issues with beautiful digipack artwork and an 8 page booklet, followed in a few months with another archival edition of “Trances & Drones.”

Robert Rich – Trances & Drones (2CD)
tran and dron
Hypnos is pleased to collaborate with Robert Rich on this deluxe reissue of Rich’s out of print classic ambient drone work.

Originally released on cassette individually three decades ago, Trances and Drones were later released together on double-CD by Extreme (1994) and Release (2000). Our new edition, designed to be the ultimate archival version of an essential ambient/drone classic, includes a beautiful 6-panel digipak with 8-page full-color booklet insert.


Antonio Testa & Michel Moglia – Forget the Past

forget the past
Antonio Testa may be best known for his ethno-ambient collaborations with Alio Die, but he has also released a diverse variety of solo ambient music on such labels as Hic Sunt Leones, Faria and Emit. Testa’s collaborator Michel Moglia, credited here with fire organ, flute and drones, will be a new name to most.

Often ambient recordings pursue a single sub-genre or niche — dark ambient, ethno ambient or drone, for example — and stick faithfully to it. Forget the Past exhibits a pleasing diversity, with plenty of gently atmospheric stretches, rthythms that sometimes fade out and at other times build to a wicked trance churn. The sound is clean, yet derives from a full list of natural and organic sound source, and a diverse set of field recordings.

One track lays gritty, hallucinogenic flute lines over a slow-swooping psychedelic rhythm mechanism and incantatory female whispers and recitations like an overheard magic spell. Another mixes bird sounds and subtle electronic atmosphere with distantly echoing percussion, creating something like a soundtrack to a lost film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Percussion with a tribal or ethno flavor is used in an unusual way, not to fake a specific brand of exoticism, but to create a sense of something both intuitively familiar and also strangely foreign.

Forget The Past covers a lot of sonic ground and a broad range of moods, but it’s always unpredictible and fresh, while remaining smooth, introspective and restrained.

Subradial – Ice Diving
ice diving
Subradial is the musical alias of Tomasz Szatewicz, who was born in the small Polish town of Mragowo. He’s been creating electronic music for twenty years, and has previously released the albums Bioloophorm 1, Bioloophorm 2 and Biorephorm on labels such as dataObscura and AtmoWoroks. His more recent work combines drones, subtle rhythmic loops and textures into churning, visually evocative soundworlds.

Of his inspirations and approach, Tomasz AKA Subradial says: “I was always inspired by listening to the sounds of the environment… I use everything that sounds interesting and what I can further process to create the imagined soundscape, a vision of some place, express my emotions or moods connected with particular times or places, either existing in real life or just imagined/dreamed.”

Ice Diving, his first release for Hypnos Recordings, is an album composed around a theme suggested by the title: a soundtrack to an underwater journey. Like the title, the cover photo (from an actual ice diving expedition in Antarctica) gives a sense of the sound worlds evoked by Subradial’s music. Many ambient recording artists apply titles to their music intending to suggest a theme, but here the effect is especially strong.

Ice Diving is an extraordinarily visual and immersive sound journey, with a wonderful balance between atmospheric/drone elements, and more musical or rhythmic components.


Dave Fulton – Of Those Things Left Unsaid

things left unsaid
Of Those Things Left Unsaid is the first new solo release in over a decade from Dave Fulton, former member of electronic group Dweller at the Threshold (who released Ouroborus on Hypnos sublabel Binary in 2001. Fulton also released The Range, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Giles Reaves, on Binary in 2007, and two collaborations with Hypnos founder M. Griffin, The Most Distant Point Known and Imprint.

Incorporating a blend of rich analog and modular electronics along with digital synthesizers, plus piano and guitar, Of Those Things Left Unsaid evolved over the course of thirteen years’ creation. Composed and recorded by Dave Fulton, with contributions from Jamie Haggerty and Giles Reaves, a completely organic approach to recording was taken, using a variety of vintage electronic synthesizers and early 8 & 12 bit samplers. While much modern electronic music is primarily sequence-driven and quantized to a degree that renders the music more robotic than human, Fulton tried to use computers only as recording the performances, not driving them.

Perhaps Fulton’s most emotive and personal work, Of Those Things Left Unsaid should not only appeal to existing fans of Fulton’s earlier solo and collaborative works, but also those listeners seeking a blend of retro and modern electronic sounds with a smooth musicality.

REVIEWS:

“Dave Fulton’s latest sonic collection is pure lush, analog goodness. Moody, blissed-out synths weave, stereo-pan and bubble through serene, haunting soundscapes. The perfect emotive-yet-chill soundtrack for driving, meditation, running along the Coast on a cold, rainy morning or working on that unsolved murder mystery in the dead of night.”
–Andy Fish

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Weekly Sale Item: Various Artists – Andrew Liles, Resonant Drift, Rod Modell, etc.

Everyone seemed to like last week’s various artist picks so well, we’ve decided to do another round of them! Sale prices good through November 8th or while supplies last.

Resonant Drift – Full Circle –Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
full circle

“Resonant Drift return, bearing new worlds of sound that vary from wide, windswept desert-ambient vistas and hushed, cloud-shrouded meditation chambers to uncertain, grit-choked places better left unnamed. Tone and texture chart the course on Full Circle, a journey that goes as far inward as it does out, making it a trip worth taking over and over.” -resonantdrift.com

Listen to the beautiful track, “And Then The Rain” from this album HERE.


Dale Lloyd – Semper
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
semper2

“Semper is Alluvial’s first release of 2005 and is co-released with the and/OAR label. Seattle-based composer Dale Lloyd has collaborated in the past with people such as Yannick Dauby and Michael Northam, and has had work released by labels such as Bremsstrahlung Recordings, Staalplaat and Sirr.ecords. For the past 5 years, Lloyd has played a quiet but strong role in bringing new life to the notion of “environmental recordings as sound art” (or “Phonography”) with the highly regarded compilations produced for Phonography.org, as well as other projects and activities.

The first piece entitled “Semper”, is mostly a quiet and contemplative work, yet it contains sprawling builds from near silent ebbs and flows to thunderous crescendos. Also heard are delicate field recordings and found objects transformed and woven into intricate electronic tapestries. The second and shorter piece titled “Magnesian Recumbit” is a slowly building ambient work with a unique sense of melancholy that makes for a perfect ending.

“For me, Semper basically illustrates a series of self-searching questions (with subtle epiphanies) followed by a somewhat enigmatic resolve or ‘answer’, of which I believe we have all encountered in our lives in one way or another.”
(Dale Lloyd)

Surely, it is one of the strongest works to come from both Lloyd and Alluvial.”
(Kevin Wienke – Alluvial Recordings)


Andrew Liles – All Closed Doors
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
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.'”

Listen to the track, “What Will Never Be” from this album HERE.


Synthetic Block – Sonic Approach
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
sonic

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:
“I cannot believe that there is not more feedback regarding “sonic approach”. upon receiving my radio promo the first note on track 1 totally captivated me. block approaches sonic sounds immediately and never slows. and, of course, fulton pulls some tricks. “square triangle” is my top playlist pick because of it’s well defined and energetic change in tempo and musical registration. all tks are getting air and well deserving of such. are you guys collaborating with the russians? are you on the same interstellar link? very few composers are in touch with the same deep grooves and beats (nearly industrial), but very melodic. not wanting to pass judgement, or anything, but “sonic approach” & “fields” are two HYPNOS/BINARY tops. thank you my friends…” –Flyingdude, WAWL Radio host, on the Hypnos Forum

“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

Listen to MP3 clips from this album HERE.


Bruno Sanfilippo – Subliminal Pulse
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $8.99
subliminal pulse

“Veteran Electronic/Ambient composer and recording artist Bruno Sanfilippo has been creating and releasing impressive soundscapes since 1991. Now the internationally established instrumentalist delivers his first official US release, Subliminal Pulse, a tranquil and hypnotic ambient musical tapestry comprised of delicate melodies, layered electronics and synth textures that seem to come from deep within a dream.” -spottedpeccary.com

Listen to the track, “Slipped Time” from this album HERE.


Rod Modell – Vibrasound (The Deepchord Years 1999-2004)
–Regularly $13.99, right now just $8.99
vibrasound

Rhythmic pulses, vibrating and echoing in deep-orange and shades of red. An archival collection of more atmospheric loops/tracks from Deepchord Records (Detroit Michigan). All previously released on 12-inch vinyl, and now completely out of print in vinyl format. This is the first time these tracks have appeared on compact disc. Lo-Fi dub-techno from Detroit.

Listen to the track, “Forester Park” from this album HERE.


Aspectee – Morben
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
morben

Influenced by the human condition and the human experience, by humanity’s fortune and misfortune, the soundscapes of Aspectee’s “Morben” are varied, ranging from ambient to dark ambient to experimental, though the sounds remain forever blackened, and the moods heavy.”

Presented to you in digipak format, limited to 500 copies. -First Fallen Star

REVIEW:
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.


Aube – Metal on Metal (2CD)
–Regularly $11.99, right now just $8.99
aube

“Alchemical secrets and the magic of metallic materials, of their acoustic characters, and the possible technological manipulations on the sounds that are possible to pull out… Resonances, mantric vibrations, hypnotics bell rings, sounds of cymbals, plates, rings… Tubular elements are used or more ordinary and simple metallic objects of common use are bowed or scraped. Aube acquires the sounds of transforming essence… decomposing and recomposing the shape… Fragmenting, expanding,stratifying and elaborating the sonorous matter, constructs complex wafts, resounding weaves carpets, interlaces thin threads of metallic tensions, crumbles and agglomerates acoustic particles, leaves to flowing, reverberating, harmonic drones…” -Silentes

Listen to a track from this album HERE.

New Amplexus Items: Corrado Altieri, Gianluca Becuzzi, Under The Snow, etc.

Hey everyone,  we’ve added five items from Amplexus to the store for you this week, and we hope you’ll find them very interesting!


Red Sector A – Transients
–$11.99
silentes97

“Andrea Bellucci’s “Red Sector A” is probably one of Italy’s best kept secrets, and for sure the project of an author who has always preferred quality over quantity. In 1995, after hitting the European dance charts with a few successful 12″ releases, he signed to Minus Habens, the hystorical Italian label. Between 1995 and 2012 he released with them four albums of evolute electronic music, merging deep atmospheres and Techno rhythms, microsounds and Ambient-Dub, big beats and Drum’n’Bass, installing his refined aesthetics on assimilated codes. During the years Bellucci also dedicated himself to Dark-Ambient under the Subterranean Source guise, whose two CD albums were released in the U.S. by Relapse via their Desolation House imprint. He also had the merit to bring Alio Die’s music to a wider “Non-Ambient” audience with Son-Dha, a remix project centered on selected tracks culled from the Italian ambient master’s early releases. “Transients” is Red Sector A’s fifth full-length work and also the first one released by Silentes. The path traced by Bellucci in twenty years of activity is perfectly fulfilled in an album characterized, as always, by complex rhythmic textures. The quality of the music produced is remarkable, the sound is clear and well defined with the album working quite well as a whole without any single weak track. The list of guest-artists who have contributed to the greatness of this work is simply impressive and includes the following: Andrew Lagowski, Teho Teardo, Retina.it, Dean Dennis (ex Clock-DVA), Giorgio Ricci (Templezone), Eraldo Bernocchi of Sigillum S fame, and Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo of Larsen. Since we enjoyed every bit of this release it’s quite hard to pick up any favourite: the analogic waves of “Luv – 426” (with Lagowski), the cold sequences of “The Depht of Balance” (featuring Dean Dennis) and the Dub-infected “Think – L” (with Eraldo Bernocchi) are just a few examples. A total winner that will appeal to fans of labels like Minus Habens, Warp, Rephlex, etc.”
-silentes.it

A masterpiece of abstract-electronic music with a great cast of guest musicians. Andrea Bellucci craftsmanship in creating eerie soundscapes is absolutely remarkable. The production and mixing is simply stunning.
-sergiocalzoni@discogs.com

Listen to the title track from this album HERE.


Corrado Altieri / Gianluca Favaron ‎– The System Of Objects
–$11.99
silentes98

“A new collaborative effort between two prominent artists of Italy’s electronic and experimental scene, Corrado Altieri (Candor Chasma, Monosonik, Uncodified) and Gianluca Favaron (ab’she, Under The Snow, Z’been). Inspired by Jean Baudrillard’s essay of the same name, “The System of Objects” offers seven compositions combining field recordings, analogue textures, computer music and concrète sounds. Altieri e Favaron dig deep in the unconscious of the french philosopher, devising a hypothetical music score of his manifesto on the relations between objects universe and consumer society ideologies: drones and digital pulses, processed tapes and multi-layered frequencies make for a voyage to the borders of ambient, noise and radical experiments.”

-steinglang.at


Gianluca Becuzzi – Trax To Trax (2CD)
–$14.99
silentes99

“Gianluca Becuzzi is known for his projects Limbo, Kinetix and Noise Trade Company. “Trax To Trax” is a double CD that collects tracks recorded between 2006 and 2011, most of them have already appeared on compilations or on limited edition CDRs. Among the musicians who have collaborated on some of these tracks are mention Simon Balestrazzi (T.A.C., Kirlian Camera), Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions), Fabio Orsi and Pietro Riparbelli/K11. Surrounded by dark presences we enter this listening experience enjoying Gothic scenarios covered with electronics and noise, pressing and suggestively evocative, in a relentless series of images and sensations, in the emotional crescendo of a close confrontation with our inner world. Comes in an outsized gatefold sleeve.”

-coldspring.co.uk

Listen to the track, “Unspeakable” from this album HERE.


Maribor – De Immenso
–$11.99
silentes100

“Following the previous “Atrocity Exhibition”, dedicated to the figure of Girolamo Savonarola, the new monumental chapter of the Maribor collective project is finally available. Based on a concept by Stefano Gentile, this new CD is inspired by the works and life of Giordano Bruno. In addition to Stefano Gentile himself, this new work includes contributes by Maurizio Bianchi/M.B., Mauthausen Orchestra/Pierpaolo Zoppo, Nimh/Giuseppe Verticchio, Andrea Marutti and Gianluca Favaron. Almost 80 minutes of driving and all-involving music where bleak and dark atmospheres alternates with consuming assaults of Industrial distorted sonic masses, cinematic and descriptive passages enriched by detailed layers of field recordings, throbbing electronic progressions, melodic inserts, strings parts, guitar arpeggios, soft, slow and hypnotic ambient stasis… Another surprising and unmissable listening experience, for a work that once again gathers together some of the most representative artists both of the historical and of the more recent groundbreaking experimental and industrial Italian scene.”

-silentes.it

Listen to the track, “1548” from this album HERE.


Under The Snow – The Other Room
–$11.99
silentes101

“Seven ‘rooms’ described through the visual essence of sober and linear photographic black and white images, and through sonorities based on whispered and discrete synthesis, often bordering on silence, violated by occasional harshness, chimes of plucked strings, hissings, cracklings, electrical tensions, gurgles and digital creaks. An intimate and introspective path, through long and deserted corridors, entering spacious and bright rooms surrounded by white large walls, walking on reflective polished floors, cold and aseptic just like the sounds that Gianluca Favaron and Stefano Gentile chose to fill with vibrations of their spaces and architectural forms. Ltd x 300 hand-numbered copies in an outsize 6-panel sleeve, including a unique slide with each copy.”

-coldspring.co.uk

Listen to the title track from this album HERE.

Weekly Sale Item: Various Artists – Robert Rich, Saul Stokes, and More

We’ve got some great deals this week on selected items by various artists, and the low prices are good through November 1st!

ROBERT RICH:
Robert Rich – Temple of the Invisible –Regularly $7.99, right now just $5.99
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

Listen to the track, “Entranon” from this album HERE.


Robert Rich – Calling Down the Sky
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $5.99
richo4

Robert’s second self-released disc (following last year’s well-received Temple of the Invisible) is a recording of a 2003 Denver concert — ambient and atmospheric Rich sounds, similar to the Humidity release on Hypnos.
From robertrich.com
This 74 minute live recording documents an entirely improvised concert in Denver CO, on Saturday July 26, 2003, with an intimate audience who came prepared for anything. With a thunderstorm forming outside, breaking to a peak mid-concert, this improvisation refered directly to the recent weather I had experienced on tour that summer. Below are two journal entries that might flesh out the meaning of the cover artwork, visually interpreted by John Bergin.

——————————————————————————–

Tuesday June 10 – East of Oklahoma City

I’m watching a giant storm cell bubbling to the south. My position eastbound on I-40 is perfect, at the edge of the storm avoiding danger, far enough away that I can observe the shape of the towering cumulonimbus with its top sheared off into ice crystals high up in the stratosphere; yet close enough to study the battleship green shelf of mammatus clouds overhead to my right, a clausterphobic ceiling textured underneath with curling roiling bruise-colored tubules, not unlike giant intestines. My sense of distance gets boggled by the size of this storm, on the horizon of a flat land, possibly centered 100 miles away, yet with tendrils that drop an occasional pocket of heavy rain and lightning on the highway in front and behind me. I’m mesmerized by the power and danger that this living entity represents, enchanted by its awesome beauty.

Monday July 21 – Tornadoes in Southern Michigan

Driving southwest to Peoria I hit the most intense weather I have seen yet on this trip. Blue-black clouds up ahead, deep opaque blurs underneath, telling me I’ll hit heavy rain. I tune into the radio news, and listen to tornado warnings for the two counties north of me, with a tornado moving southeast. It’ll probably miss me, since I’m driving west, but the weather looks big.

The 18 wheel semi in front of me slows down as we approach a wall of rain. The driver turns on his hazard lights, and for 20 minutes those blinking red lights provide my only clue about the road. We’re driving about 15 miles per hour through an airborne lake. Water hits the car so hard it’s deafening, and the wipers prove useless. I feel like I’m driving a submarine. Common sense would have suggested I pull over and wait for the storm to pass, but I figure I’m OK as long as the truck in front of me stays on the road.

——————————————————————————–

From the Liner Notes:

Heavy weather tailed me during Summer 2003, as I circled the country giving concerts. From wind storms in the desert to tornadoes in the Midwest, flooding in the East and lightning on the high plains, the sky exerted its influence.

All came into focus during this improvised house concert in Denver, a journey joined by a circle of 26 friends. A dialog between music and the elements took form like a shamanic exchange, an act of supplication in respect to stronger forces, calling down the sky to return a gift from the clouds.

Listen to the track, “Erasing Traces” from this album HERE.


Robert Rich – Open Window
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $5.99
open

Piano Solos

While better known for his electronic textures, Robert Rich often includes piano solos during his live concerts. Open Window documents his improvisational approach to acoustic piano, with influences ranging from Alan Hovhannes, G.I. Gurdjieff and Erik Satie to Terry Riley and Keith Jarrett.

Rich chose to record Open Window on his own 1925 vintage A.B. Chase baby grand, an instrument with a more intimate sound than a full-size concert piano. Over a period of two months, he kept a daily schedule of piano improvisation, with microphones set up to record at all times. The pieces selected here reflect special moments during this concentrated period. These were the moments when effort vanished, and the music seemed to write itself.

Listen to the track, “Insular” from this album HERE.

DAVID TOLLEFSON:
David Tollefson – Near and Far –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
near and far

David Tollefson, perhaps best known as half of Viridian Sun, also received much praise for his 1997 solo debut on Hypnos entitled NEW EYES ON THE UNIVERSE. Like his debut, NEAR AND FAR is at times both musical and dramatic, while at other moments unabashedly experimentalist in its approach.
Every sound on this CD was made with an electric guitar, though many will doubt this claim, as with Tollefson’s previous work. Whether or not your consider yourself a fan of “guitar music,” you’ll find an astonishing sonic variety here, as well as an unquestionable breadth of artistic reach.

REVIEWS:
“Top 10 Albums of 2000.” –Pretty Bruises Magazine

“Top 10 of 2000….Three Hypnos releases in my top ten… any question what label is releasing the best ambient music these days?” –David Bass on the Ambient Music mailing list

“David Tollefson is an experimental guitarist whose recording debut began as a member (along with Hypnos founder and solo recording artist M. Griffin) of Viridian Sun on 1997’s ambient/experimental work, Solar Noise. Tollefson’s solo debut, New Eyes on the Universe, was released in the following year to wide critical acclaim. Viridian Sun’s 1999 second release, Perihelion, went deeper into abstract sonic expressionism.

His new release is a brooding, contemplative collection of eight compositions that drift deep into the listener’s stream of consciousness. It contains cinematic atmospheres and dark abstract rich textures, both detailed and organic.

It is a collection of some of the most beautiful haunting music I’ve ever encountered. It is one of the most thought provoking and significant musical statements that Hypnos has released to date. Near and Far brims with possibilities for the future, pushing electronic synthesis and acoustic manipulation deep into forbidden lines of enquiry.

Tollefson’s triumph here does not lie merely in his technical prowness, but in the emotional aspect of his music. The tracks that make up Near and Far are compelling and moody, displaying Tollefson’s talent for traversing the space, ambient, and experimental genres with ease and grace” –Alternate Music Press reviewed by Ben Kettlewell

Listen to MP3 clips for this album HERE.


David Tollefson – New Eyes on the Universe
–Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
tollefson

Tollefson explores the use of treated electric guitar as a sound source for unusual ambient textures and rich sonic atmospheres.

REVIEWS:
“Best Release of 1998.”
–Phil Derby / Wind and Wire Magazine

“Top 10 of 1998.”
–Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio, WXPN, Philadelphia

“Top 30 of 1998.”
–Eric Meece / Mystic Music / KKUP Radio

“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

“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 (more appropriate for the attention deficit 90’s?). Well worth your attention!”
–John C. Smith / Outburn Magazine

Listen to MP3 clips from this album HERE.

SAUL STOKES:
Saul Stokes – Outfolding –Special low price of $4.99
hypnos-ss-o

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.

REVIEWS:
“Significant Releases of 2000 list.”
–Star’s End Radio host Chuck VanZyl

“An understated, clever set of rhythmic and/or floating ambient pieces. Abstract, dry, and intelligent.
Top 4 of 2000 (#4).”
–Hannah M.G. Shapero on rec.music.newage

“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

Listen to MP3 clips from this album HERE.


Saul Stokes – Abstraction
–Regularly $6.99, right now just $4.99
ss-abstraction

First release by Saul Stokes on the Green House label. 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

Listen to the track, “The Twin Worlds of Abstraction” from this album HERE.


Saul Stokes – Villa Galaxia
–Regularly $8.99, right now just $5.99
villa

Always one of the most popular artists on the Hypnos and Binary labels through the years, Saul Stokes is also one we’ve been very proud to “launch” into the ambient/electronica world. The first new work by Saul Stokes on Hypnos/Binary since Fields in 2005, this is certainly one of the most hotly-anticipated discs we’ve released in years.

Saul Stokes says: Stokes’ 8th solo album to date, Villa Galaxia is a hyperfusion of sonic exploration seeded in Stokes’ seminary music past, while arcing into a completely new genre defining collection of songs. Stripping away any notion of ambient drone or chill out labeling, Villa Galaxia surfs its own ocean of contemporary electronic music culture with eccentric listenable experimentalism wrapped in catchy lyrical orchestras of electronic fireworks.

A PRODUCE:
A Produce – Reflect Like a Mirror, Respond Like an Echo
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
ap-rlmrle

1997 special edition (remastered, with extra tracks) version of 1992 release.

REVIEWS:
“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

“Eno/Hassell fourth-world ambiance and Harold Budd styled keyboard atmospherics….. The most distinctive tracks are the last three, all of which have a strong invented ethnic flavor….. Other tracks are nicely (and even beautifully) done, but have a more generic meditative quality which hovers somewhere between background and foreground.”
— Option

“Overall, this creation is haunting, almost unsettling, probing hidden mysteries of the soul. Many cuts are very long, and very hypnotic, with an organic shimmering sound like random molecular movement. Its otherworldly ambiance brings to mind the devic kingdom. Great for deep journeying.” Heartsong Review

“Well away from the melodic-based Eno ambient explorations, this is much moodier and strange music where often the sounds are unidentifable and the mood elusive. A kind of uneasy ambient music, I suppose, that reveals itself more with each listen.”
–Audion (England)

Listen to MP3 clips HERE.

Listen to the full title track from this album HERE.


A Produce – White Sands
–Regularly $9.99, right now just $5.99
ap-ws

“A Produce has done it again with his best work ever, White Sands. This is one of those recordings that gets better with each listening. Is it because it’s timeless, trance inducing, yet ‘alert’ music? That rare moment of clarity when one is quiet yet very ‘alive’? Or is it a reflective, sonic snapshot of an at peace artist? A Produce, I feel, is on to something.”
–Dwight Loop, Santa Fe Sun

“This is a contemplative, diverse mix of slow ambient synthesizer places that compare favorably with similar works by Brian Eno, Steve Roach, Aphex Twin and Sati. The CD flows well even though it contains a considerable variety of sounds, and merits a serious listen. There is something here for every New Age/ambient/space music enthusiast– electronic New Age, tribal techno, meditative, ambient and sombient pieces, as well as works falling between definable genres, making this one of my favorite recent releases of ambient music by a single artist.”
–New Age Voice

“A Produce has consistently turned out albums of highly evocative and frequently very beautiful music which has on occasion been referred to as ‘trance’ music but would more accurately be described as ‘sound paintings.’ Each place evokes a place, a natural environment, a state of being. The composer is subtle in his use of eclectic resources that span the techno-tribal spectrum…. The White Sands anthology is a perfect introduction to this talented artist’s oeuvre.”
–P-Form Magazine

Listen to the track, “Clear Pools” from this album HERE.

New Silentes Items: Gianluca Becuzzi, T.A.C., Troum, etc.

Hey all, this week we’ve added lots of new Silentes and Silentes sub-label items to the store for you (even more than what you see here), so visit the Amplexus / Silentes section of the Hypnos online store to check them out! Some items are in extremely limited supply, so visit soon to view the full selection while everything’s still in stock.


T.A.C. – Splintered
–$11.99
tac

“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

Listen to the track, “Rain Some Nights” from this album HERE.

Gianluca Becuzzi [Kinetix] – Memory Makes Noise –$11.99
memory

“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


Machinefabriek – Dubbeltjes
 –$11.99
silentes89

“This album from Machinefabriek is a collection of tracks released in small editions or in compilations so they were, in some sense, collector’s items. As he write in the press notes the “short playing time formats […] are great to work with” as he can “experiment with and to create really focused, cristalised pieces”. In fact, rather to be a classic compilation, full 3-inch cdr or 7″ are entirely included as they are constructed as a single piece developed in movements; however they are not constructed with a complex structure but with an almost ascetic economy of means so they sound like complex pop songs. The gentle guitar notes of “Huiswerk1″ introduce the listener in a sonic world where electronic is not a synonym for coldness while “Huiswerk2″ is subtler in his use of sparse noises. “Hilary” and “Jeffery” are focused on the manipulation of trombone’s recordings but, while the first is more drone oriented, the second depicts a quiet soundscape. “Ontrafelde Tonen 1″, “Ontrafelde Tonen 2″ and “Ontrafelde Tonen 3″ are mainly focused on voice and field recordings and they reveals a parallel between tones of the voices and the resonances of the recordings. “My Funny Valentine” and “Oh Doctor Jesus” are reinterpretation of jazz classic done with an almost romantic mood. “Ax” and “Eeuw” are soundscapes developed from loops and sparse notes. “Danse Des Loops” closes this release, as the title suggests, with rhythmic knits constructed by the loops and colored by samples.” -chaindlk.com

Listen to the album preview from Machinefabriek HERE.


Desiderii Marginis – Thaw
–$11.99
silentes90

“Of the Swedish wave of Dark Ambient acts from the 1990s, Desiderii Marginis is one of the few still active and definitely one of the finest. Desiderii Marginis has created and developed its own unique sonic palette merging digital and analogue: melancholic electronica with electroacoustic elements and intravenous rhythms. Over the course of 20 years, Johan Levin released 7 full-length albums (Cold Meat Industry, Cyclic Law, Kaosthetik Konspiration). His latest offering entitled “Thaw” compiles the compilation appearances and adds 3 tracks from the “Lost Signals From Unknown Horizons” split (Beast Of Prey, 2004). On the one hand, it is simply a collection of rare tracks, but, on the other, it may serve a purpose of a “best of” album. With the chronology unaltered, it gives you the full picture of the project and its progress. It is a history lesson of the last 20 years in sonic melancholia of Desiderii Marginis.” -coldspring.co.uk

Listen to an untitled track from this album HERE.


Troum – Dreaming Muzak
–$11.99
silentes91

“Re-edition of “Dreaming Muzak”, the first full-length album that TROUM originally released on tape in 1998 and later was re-released on a limited CDR (100 copies only) in 2005. This edition is the first one on CD format. “Dreaming Muzak” is composed by two drone ambient compositions very characteristic for the TROUM style. They were created as a muzak tuning our brainwaves into the proper dreaming stadium. The following prerequisites have been accompanying the duo for many years, hence they have become their credo executed on many excellent records and gigs. “Dreaming Muzak” is an excellent introduction to the adventures with TROUM and their music. -oldeuropecafe.com

Listen to “Dreaming Muzak, Part Two” from the album HERE.


micromelancolie – It Doesn’t Belong Here
–$11.99
silentes92

”It Doesn’t Belong Here” is the first release of Robert Skrzyński aka Micromelancolié on Zoharum. It contains almost an hour of music which will appeal to fans of ambient spheres, but also to seekers of less conventional sounds. ”It Doesn’t Belong Here” is a trial at merging two worlds together: traditional praise, wedding and funeral songs with contemporary avant-garde music. With electronics, field recordings, microsamples and archival tracks available on the creative commons basis, the artist created four experimental compositions based on glitches, noises, clicks created as a result of various (often deliberate) defects. They border on the areas of ambient, drone, clicks’n’cuts, even academic music. The title track features a guest performance by Mia Zabelka – a renowned composer from Vienna, Austria, considered one of the most innovative violinist in the field of free improv.” -zoharum.bandcamp.com

LIsten to an excerpt from this album HERE.


Gianluca Becuzzi & Fabio Orsi – Muddy Speaking Ghosts Through My Machines
–$11.99
silentes93

“This is a collaboration between Fabio Orsi and Gianluca Becuzzi (Kinetix). The unexpected encounter between these different forces, experiences, and visions of these two artists melts perfectly on this album. Drones and rumors, pouring between distant voices and centenary blues songs from the Alan Lomax archive, tow off shreds of ballads, guitars and old keyboards floating on the vibrant surface of a fairy river. Rapture and sweet loss are the main sensations. This could be listed as avant folk, or experimental blues, or ambient roots, or contemporary aesthetics and aching nostalgia.” -coldspring.co.uk


Ginaluca Becuzzi – We Can Be Everywhere
–$11.99
silentes94

“We Can Be Everywhere” includes collaborations with Deison, Svart1, Retina.it as well as solo tracks by Italian ambient / electronic music artist Gianluca Becuzzi. “We Can Be Everywhere” is his best work to date. And his darkest one.” -alchembria.pl

Listen to the track, “Headless Shadows” from this album HERE.


Fabio Orsi – Find Electronica
–$11.99
silentes95

“Guitars, piano, old keyboards, field recordings, this Italian composer creates long instrumental tracks of repetitive, minimal and relaxing ambient music full of catchy melodies and hypnotic loops.” -alchembria.pl

Fabio Orsi – Endless Autumn –$11.99
silentes96

“Each new album by Fabio Orsi is an experience apart. The atmospheres created by the Apulian artist, who lives in Berlin, penetrate the smallest gaps of the cerebral cortex, just where the memory lives. “Endless Autumn” is a work that draws inspiration in its title from “Endless Summer”, by Christian Fennesz, but shines with its own light. Recorded between Taranto and Berlin, it embodies the environmental sounds that come from Puglia and German capital. Orsi captures the essence of the landscapes that he loves to observe, letting the listener fly with his mind over Apulian sunny coasts and countryside, up to German lush forests. The sounds come together naturally with melancholic and slight electronic textures and guitar melodies.”
-coldspring.co.uk

Listen to an excerpt from this album and view a wonderful fan video HERE.