Weekly Sale Item: Echoes of Polyhymnia

This week we have our all-female Hypnos compilation, “Echoes of Polyhymnia,” on sale for just $5.99 through March 30th.

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

Hypnos manager (and artist) Lena Griffin curated this specially-themed compilation which gathers an assortment of ambient & atmospheric sound works from around the world. This project reveals a totally new angle on ambient music, more diverse and wide-ranging than all previous ambient compilations from Hypnos. Ranging from ethereal to dark to pretty to spooky to melodic, we think this album displays a solidly worthwhile musical and soundscape content beyond just the curiosity and “I’ve never seen that before” factor of the theme.

“The nine Muses struck up a lifestirring melody. Polyhymnia, nursingmother of the dance, waved her arms and sketched in the air an image of a soundless voice, speaking with hands and moving eyes in a graphic picture of silence full of meaning.” –The Dionysiaca of Nonnus

REVIEWS:
“A wonderful compilation from Hypnos, featuring women in ambient music. Highly recommended.” –Scott Raymond, WVKR-FM

“My compliments for /echoes of polyhymnia/, great album!” –Dennis Koepper, Databloem

What ties these ten tracks together is the fact that all of this are by female composers. Some of them operate in the strict Hypnos field of ambient music, such as Kristin Miltner, Margaret Noble, Sara Ayers, Gydja, Amanda Volta (though quite dark there), K. Cornelius (with too much reverb). The exceptions here are made by Stelleria Fennica, whose pieces has some ethereal singing (think Hyperium’ ‘Heavenly Voices’ series), the marimba and glockenspiel minimalism of Clarissa Barba and the treated piano of Rose Bolton. Lena Griffin’s piece for heavily treated viola might pass on as true Hypnos music too, but its so dark that it falls outside the well-known paths too. These four tracks make the difference here, but throughout it was a most enjoyable compilation, with many interesting names to watch out for.” –Frans DeWaard, Vital Weekly

READ/LISTEN/PURCHASE HERE.

CD Sale: Cold Spring Label

We’ve done a price cut on the entire Cold Spring label category on the Hypnos Store.

ITEMS:
Nordvarger – Pyrrhula (now $9.99, was $13.99)
Machinefabriek – Daas (now $9.99, was $13.99)
Alex Tiuniaev – I Knew Her (now $9.99, was $13.99)
Inade – Aldebaran (now $9.99, was $13.99)
Z’EV – Sum Things (now $9.99, was $13.99)
Tor Lundvall – Ghost Years (now $9.99, was $13.99)
All Hail the Transcending Ghost – All Hail the Transcending Ghost (now $9.99, was $13.99)

We’ve also added these items to the CLOSEOUT section of the store.

Don’t forget our two currently-active coupon codes:
10MAR2014 gives 10% off any purchase.
20MAR2014 gives 20% off purchases over $100.

Both coupon codes are valid through the end of March 2014.

Weekly Sale Item: Abstraction

This week we’ve got “Abstraction” by Saul Stokes for just $5.99 through March 23rd.

ABSTRACTION
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This is the first release by Saul Stokes on the Green House label (2001.) It 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:
“Abstraction” fuses the best of 3 years of concert recordings with 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.

“Saul Stokes is an American electronic musician and composer. He creates music that most would consider ambient, using an array of modular synthesizer equipment that he builds from scratch. His “hand forged electronics” include handheld synthesizers, rhythms pads, and tabletop modular synthesizers. His music is largely improvisatory in nature, especially when playing live.” -Wikepedia

Read/Buy HERE.

Check out more music by Saul Stokes HERE.

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.