Weekly Sale Item: At the Still Point of the Turning World

Our sale item for this week is Robert Scott Thompson’s “At the Still Point of the Turning World,” priced at just $5.99 through December 30th.

AT THE STILL POINT OF THE TURNING WORLD
still point

This is the Hypnos label debut of one of the great names in ambient/electronic music, Robert Scott Thompson. At the Still Point of the Turning World is spacious and meditative, yet with a delicate musicality. Robert is Director of the Center for Audio Recording Arts (CARA) in the School of Music at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He also runs the Aucourant Records label, which has released selections of his work in a wide range of styles.

Reviewed by Bill Binkelman for windandwire.com:
“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.”

READ MORE/LISTEN/BUY HERE.

Newly Arrived: Steve Brand – Over-soul

We have the latest special limited edition CDR from Steve Brand newly added to the Hypnos store.

Steve Brand – Over-Soul (Ltd CDR)
(Steve Brand category)

(Price: $16.99 LTD CDR) Limited First Edition CDr in 5×7″ bi-fold booklet, first edition limited to 50, signed, hand-numbered and assembled.

The long form version of Over-soul began as a seed of an idea—a track just over 9 minutes on my 2011 self-released album, “Upwelling.” The original inspiration for this long form piece was my readings from various esoteric sources, and the idea that although we may see ourselves as separate, isolated and alone, in fact we all are individual expressions of one unifying, all-encompasing source, and therefore linked to that source and ultimately to one another.

Over the past 3 years, I’ve expanded and elaborated on this original idea. The result is this 61 minute long form piece, divided into three seamless dexpanses of driftscape: i-The Wise Silence; ii-The Collective Heart; iii-Unity. Over-soul was created entirely with keyboards and medicine drum.”
-Steve Brand

“…a haunting drone piece that is awash with sound & texture, a piece that moves and evolves throughout the hour — Steve Brand is a consistently excellent musician and Over-Soul is a timely reminder.”-Headphonaught…..(MORE/BUY)

Weekly Sale Item: Twilight in the Offing

Our sale item for this week is Chad Hoefler’s “Twilight in the Offing,” on sale for just $5.99 through December 22nd.

TWILIGHT IN THE OFFING
twilight

This is the Hypnos debut, and in fact the CD release debut, of an fantastic ambient music artist. It’s one of those rare, special debuts that immediately designates the artist as important and worth watching. Twilight in the Offing is the work of a mature and experienced artist, with a sonic variety and depth that stand up next to the best of the ambient/space music genre.

Chad says:
As the title of my debut CD, Twilight In The Offing, metaphorically suggests, this 7 track, 1 hour long CD represents my attempt to sonically capture the concept of inevitability. I endeavored to use track titles that portray the muse for this work: the inescapable fact that darkness follows dusk (at least in the vast majority of places on this planet), that fall and winter follow summer, and that the expiration of life is the ultimate certainty. Tracks vary widely from one another from deep and dark orchestral soundscapes with tribal percussion to floating sonic surrealism to abstract, pensive soundworlds. If I had to compare the genre of this work to the genres of other ambient artists, I would say that it belongs to the same family of work represented by the likes of Alio Die, A Produce, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, etc.”

REVIEWS:

“Hailed as a great new talent before his debut CD came out, Chad Hoefler lives up to the advance billing on Twilight in the Offing. “Crimson Lost” flows smoothly from silky synth pads to crisp percussion that is equal parts modern and primitive. It compares favorably to Patrick O’Hearn’s Trust CD. After a strongly tribal first half, this piece changes significantly, downshifting completely into a formless silky slab of ambience, more like Robert Scott Thompson from The Silent Shore. The title “Enveloping Shadow” is evocative of its nature, dark spirals of sound radiating outward and downward into the caverns. Steve Roach’s disc two from Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces comes to mind. Despite the many comparisons already made, this is not derivative music. Hoefler’s music has strong reference points to these and other worthy ambient artists, but he builds upon the foundation laid before him and offers his own worthy contribution to the genre. “Substrata” has a steady, unsettling pace with very dark underpinnings. The sound that provides the rhythm here is otherworldly, like something knocking on wood but defying easy description. Nicely juxtaposed is the markedly brighter “Refugia,” a more ethereal gossamer piece with touches of Jeff Pearce or Jonn Serrie. Still, no one is going to mistake this for new age, it is serious ambient. “In a Marooned Moment” again uses a simple steady beat to effectively create a sense of unrest. The last two tracks continue to mine the depths, although “Orchard of Stone” brightens some at the end as a relaxed beat carries it along in a unique ambient-meets-easy-listening mode, a surprising but perfect finish.”
–Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

“Twilight in the Offing (60’27″), the debut album by Chad Hoefler, deals with our inescapable encounter with Truth. The 7 tracks exist as leviathans within this album’s soundworld; to warn listeners of the approaching night. With its Godzilla size drones representing a mounting tension and cavernously deep reverberations revealing a nervous restlessness, Twilight in the Offing is more about the rising darkness than it is the coming dawn. This work makes heat through its crosscurrent of turbulent electronic soundwaves. The line of each piece uncoils, surges and swells into a sustained density. Breathing drones and murmuring sonic prominences intensify the listening experience. Hoefler’s mood ranges from that of a charred hellscape to the closing moments of a rapturous dream, somehow echoed into the world. Material is a reaction to form. Here, the sound design provides a brief space in which to contemplate transition. While sounds mingle like moving shadows in the dark, we consider the proportion of material to length, and that which is beyond twilight, and our lives.”
–Chuck VanZyl, Star’s End Radio

Read more/listen/buy HERE.

CD Release: Forget the Past by Antonio Testa & Michel Moglia

Antonio Testa (www.antoniotesta.info) 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.

hypnos-atmm-ftp

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.

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atmm-ftp-int

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. We’re very proud to bring this recording to Hypnos listeners, and trust that the sample clips will convince many of you to give this a full listen.

Purchase for $12.99 (discounted to $8.99 Dec 11 through 17)