We’ve got another round of blowout items for you this week, and the extra-low prices will be good through September 13th!
John Hudak – Sand or Stars –Sale price $4.99
Comparisons between the sand of the earth with the stars above are many, but comparisons of this release by American composer John Hudak with his previous work are far less to be found.
The first piece of this CD mastered by John’s friend and collaborator Stephan Mathieu (Sirr.ecords, Lucky Kitchen, Hapna, etc), is unlike much of John’s previous work in that it features sharp staccato percussive sounds suddenly dodging in and out, but nevertheless it still has John’s “endless” compositional sense written into it. A subtle sense of humor seems to be inherent in the piece as well, as if some of the sounds hesitate with indecision as to whether or not they should make their presence known or perhaps they are trying to avoid colliding with some of the other sounds. And upon listening to this piece, be careful with volume settings at first listen, because the listener will quickly discover another aspect of this piece that is unlike much of John’s previous work: sudden volume shifts. This seems to suggest that the sounds are also changeable in temperament as well!
The second piece on this CD is perhaps the most meditative of the collection with its muted midrange buzzing that jumps around within the stereo spectrum, perhaps being reminiscent of musical radar signals or sonifications of normally inaudible activity occurring in a planet’s magnetosphere, all the while maintaining a benevolent warmth throughout.
And what could possibly be described as the amplification of rolling ion particle blasts being broadcast via shortwave radio, tells us that we have reached the third and final piece of this collection of what could be considered as being among John Hudak’s finest works.
If, Bwana – Radio Slaves –Sale price $4.99
“Originally issued as a limited edition cassette “Radio Slaves” on the Medicinal Tapes (France) in 1986, then re-issued on CDr by the Generator Sound Art (USA) in 2003, this album finally released on CD with some bonus tracks. Loopy and sampledelic, it will return the spirit of 80s into your ears. Great collage music from the pioneering American experimental sound project. “Radio Slaves” album was recorded in 1986, when Al Margolis had just gotten the Casio sampler SK-1. It was cheap and easy to use, producing very short loops, probably only up to four seconds. Almost the entire recording uses that technology, loops completely populating the pieces. These works in particular make use of samples from the radio and vinyl as the main sound sources – the LP scratches heard on some of the tracks are meant to be there, as they are an integral part of this work.”
Flux – Protoplasmic –Sale price $3.99
Seven stunning tracks of unique progressive pop. James Plotkin creates sounds with guitar that defy conventional wisdom. Lots of layered loops, exotic effects, and other egghead guitar madness!
“James Plotkin, formerly the guitarist for the legendary OLD, comes out with this new project that mixes house with ambient and progressive guitar. Odd mix? You betcha. But it works. Using repetitive high end guitar, catchy guitar lines, house-styled drum programs (I believe Mick Harris of Scorn had a lot to do with that as he was the producer), and the “matter-of-fact” recitations of Ruth Collins, there is a certain trance-like state one can reach listening to this work. Collins, especially on “Patterns of Traffic”, reminds me of that girl who patters on in Orb’s “Fluffy Little Clouds”. Worth checking out.”
-Review by John Chedsey, SSMT
Mico Nonet – Marmalade Balloon –Sale price $4.99
We here at Hypnos HQ think this is one of the nicest and best-est things to have crossed our ears in quiet a while. It’s a beautiful, ear-pleasing blend of relatively “straight” chamber music with just a touch of electronic tones.
A minimalist layer of ambient analog synthesizers with cello, viola, French horn and oboe performed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
“The Marmalade Balloon is the year’s ultimate flirtation with subtlety and seductiveness. Existing somewhere between the neo-classical and the ambient, Mico Nonet fashion a world that is hazy and succinct, at times dark and haunting and others playful and inspiring, but always open to personal interpretation. The balance between musicians is gracefully maintained, where neither the electronics nor the strings are ever overly pronounced as to withdraw the listener from the intoxicating, spellbinding trance which The Marmalade Balloon invokes. The future will certainly take this musical act on a variety of different presentations, but with their strong understanding of musical space and development, we’re confident that they’ll be a favorite for years to come. ”
–Jordan Volz, The Silent Ballet
“Once all the synths and sequencers have echoed out and it is time to return to Earth, STAR’S END turns to The Marmalade Balloon (36’42”), a smart, artfully constructed EP by Mico Nonet. Played on conventional chamber instruments (viola, cello, oboe, french horn) plus a well-hidden synthesizer, this work combines the idea of ambient music with the sophisticated sensibilities of the classical quartet. The most difficult part of this undertaking was in directing the virtuosic talents of four seasoned orchestra musicians towards a music that achieves a sustained atmosphere – away from the familiar climax and release of their repertoire. The Marmalade Balloon succeeds in maintaining a gradual coalescence throughout. Somber thematic workings move with deliberate slowness as this group carefully strides towards a sense of quiet musical contemplation. Through a unique intuition, the musicians leave enough room not only for one another, but for silence as well. The result is an incredibly beautiful and elegant music, so fragile that at any moment it may dissolve into thin air.” –Chuck van Zyl, Star’s End Ambient Radio
Immedia – 2|1 –Sale price $4.99
A collection of material from two very limited edition CDRs in audio and virtual recordings of imagined spaces. the sound of immedia’s work implies silence/microcosms and the underlying resonance of spaces. in audio: sound works that exploit the limitations of basic digital equipment, utilising a combination of malfunction, error and accidents to produce new data. in audio is a constantly evolving project. these pieces are not intended as a final product but as a documentation of works that are inherently in progress. these works are also open to reinterpretation and continuation by other artists. virtual recordings of imagined spaces: the invisible presence of imagined spaces: domestic and industrial, public and private. the looped recordings and the listening environment merge to create a new sonic space. Immedia are Vicky Paniale and Darren Reynolds, a duo from London, UK.
Seele – The Deep Side Of My Soul –Sale price $3.99
Seele is a collaboration between Amir Baghiri and Stefano Gentile.
After the previous Silentes cd: “Berlin”, Seele offers a new, entrancing excursion into urban atmospheres. A rhythmic trip thats deeply moving and coloured, mixing different styles with remarkable originality. Seele uses synthetic sounds, drum machine grooves, ambient textures, alluring female vocals, iridescent chants of the orient, exotic instrumental sounds, rapper-esque vocal phrases, arpeggios of pizzicato strings, and deeply evocative piano melodies. An unbelievable blend of sonic elements clash to create a new sonic fabric that has never been experienced before. Uncharted musical terrain for the listener seeking a completely new direction in sound.
Markus Reuter and Robert Rich – Eleven Questions –Sale Price $4.99
This international collaboration was conceived, composed and recorded in person in one intense week at Robert Rich’s Soundscape studio in California. Robert Rich is arguably America’s most highly regarded ambient musician and composer. With a discography spanning over 20 years, he is widely regarded as a figure whose sound has greatly influenced today‘s ambient, new age, and even IDM music. Touch Guritarist Markus Reuter is known for his adventurous work with Centrozoon and Tuner. Unlike most releases of the ambient/electronica genre, each piece on Eleven Questions has an instant appeal. The songs form concise statements and mostly feature acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments (lap steel, touch guitar, piano, acoustic guitar, flutes), rather than synthesizers. With audiophile sensibilities, Rich and Reuter employed the best of custom tube, vintage and contemporary studio equipment to craft a unique sonic landscape.
Francisco Lopez – Untitled (2006-2007) (2CD) –Sale price $7.99
“Francisco Lopez is musician from Madrid, active since 1980. His music is usually made from field recordings, using the environmental sound as the source for composition. These compositions can be absolutely different in both sonic and dynamic approach, atmospheric and fast paced fragments can be associated with real soundscapes and more abstract images. Sometimes it takes much attention, but finally tells us about art of listening, whether it is to noise or silence.” -Monochrome Vision
Afflux (Eric La Casa, Jean-Luc Guionnet & Eric Cordier) – Bordeaux TNT –Sale price $4.99
Long after the first two releases issued by Ground Fault and Edition Ellipsis, and/OAR & Alluvial Recordings are pleased to finally be able to present the final release in a trilogy covering the sonic expeditions of the French location-specific electroacoustic trio Afflux (Eric La Casa, Jean-Luc Guionnet & Eric Cordier).
This release summarises what was initially a 6 hour performance / installation / radio broadcast that occurred at the TNT cultural centre in Bordeaux, France. The TNT centre is situated inside a former shoe manufacturing building. With several hundred meters of cables, the exterior and interior of the building were recorded using several different condenser and contact microphones, modified and mixed in real time on a 32 channel mixing desk. Simultaneously, the live mix was played into the concert hall / space using 8 channels for 8 loudspeakers. While the improvisers were on the upper level, the audience was listening and walking around on the lower level.
The final mix for the CD was edited by Eric La Casa.
Tom Heasley – Desert Triptych –Sale price $3.99
This new release captures Tom live on the road leaving behind the Tuba used on the last two CDs and featuring a rich tapestry of Didjeridu and Voice layered with live looping, recorded during Tom’s 2003 solo tour. Robert Rich is back on the mixing board mastering this CD. You’ll be amazed at the sound of this sonic road-trip and Tom’s ability to layer textures in real-time.
“Breathtakingly beautiful, totally mesmerizing”. -Anne LeBaron