(all October 2010 news updates are combined to one entry below)
Wednesday we announced sale prices on CDs from our Binary sub-label, but someone pointed out to me that the mp3 audio clips for the first two,
Dweller at the Threshold – Ouroborus and
Paul Ellis – Into the Liquid Unknown were
broken. I’ve fixed those clips now, so if you’d like to check out those mp3 clips, follow those CD-listing links above, or these direct links to the mp3 clips below.
Ouroborus track list with MP3 samples:
1 Circular Logic 03:38 -mp3 excerpt-
2 After Logic Fails 10:41 -mp3 excerpt-
3 Ouroborus Part 1 13:04 -mp3 excerpt-
4 Ouroborus Part 2 08:01 -mp3 excerpt-
5 Worlds Without End 08:00 -mp3 excerpt-
6 Resolution 17:54 -mp3 excerpt-
7 Automatic Writing 08:57-mp3 excerpt-
Into the Liquid Unknown track list with MP3 samples:
1 Bend in the River 06:52 -mp3 excerpt-
2 Into the Liquid Unknown 13:35 -mp3 excerpt-
3 Moonlit Stream at the Mouth of a Cavern 00:58 -mp3-
4 Under the Waves, a Sky of Water 05:15 -mp3 excerpt-
5 Slowly Rowing Through Ghost Melodies 05:49 -mp3 excerpt-
6 Undines 03:38 -mp3 excerpt-
7 A Roaring Player Piano Left Burning on the Beach 06:04 -mp3 excerpt-
8 Glistening 09:11 -mp3 excerpt-
9 Drifting Shards from an Ice Floe 03:22 -mp3 excerpt-
10 Luminous Depths in a Sapphire Sea 04:53 -mp3 excerpt-
11 Suspended 03:48 -mp3 excerpt-
12 The Underground River 02:55 -mp3 excerpt-
13 Dissolve 02:47 -mp3 excerpt-
14 Alexandria 03:14 -mp3 excerpt-
15 Drop Becomes Ocean 02:03 -mp3 excerpt-
Browse the rest of the Binary sale items, if you like.
We appreciate your support of Hypnos and our sub-labels, as well as our general mail order business! Your
patronage helps support our release of more interesting music in the future.
We’re having a Binary sale!
The Binary sub-label of Hypnos releases more dynamic, percussive or energetic
sounds than the usual low-key style of the Hypnos label proper. Right now we’re
making available all the Binary releases at temporary price reductions.
You can browse our Binary
category or proceed to direct links to individual Binary releases (prices from $7.99 to $10.99) below.
Dweller at the Threshold – Ouroborus
Paul Ellis – Into the Liquid Unknown
Vir Unis & Saul Stokes – Thermal Transfer
Synthetic Block – Sonic Approach
Saul Stokes – Fields
John Duval – Hell’s Canyon
Dave Fulton & Giles Reaves – The Range
Saul Stokes – Villa Galaxia
| Alio Die – Music Infinity meets Virtues, Live in Prague 23th May 2009
(Price: $13.99) Performed live at Church of St. Simon and Juda, Prague , Old Town, May 23, 2009 and presented as
part of the concert series Music Infinity in association with the Italian cultural institute in Prague
01 Axis Mundi II 6:19
02 Brace di Trasformazione 6:35
03 Sine Tempore 11:26
04 Innamorato 4:57
05 Password for Entheogenic Experience 10:56
06 Duello con l’Incommensurabile 8:18
07 Raag Drone Theory 25:28
Total Time: 74:02….
Another batch of recent Hypnos release reviews, for Viridian Sun’s album Infinite in all Directions. I’ve abbreviated these reveiws, because there are
quite a few but you can read the full reviews on the CD page or on the
Hypnos store listing.
“The relative wild card of the four, Viridian Sun’s Infinite In All Directions is a different animal altogether. The group itself is a joint venture into abstract improvisation
involving Hypnos founder Mike Griffin and Hypnos solo artist David Tollefson, whose last Viridian Sun album, Perihelion, appeared a decade ago. Eschewing
synthesizers, Griffin and Tollefson build the album’s seven tracks from electronically treated and looped guitars, basses, and percussion. On the surface, there’s
not a radical degree of difference between Viridian Sun and the other artists in terms of sound — tones stretch out as extensively on Infinite In All Directions as they
do on the other recording …
The rawness of Viridian Sun’s attack may give Infinite In All Directions a visceral edge over the three other recordings, but again it’s all quality stuff that
more than enhances Hypnos’s reputation for distinguished soundscaping.”
–Reviewed by Textura.org
“Recorded live using just guitars, voice, percussion and looping and processing tools, Viridian Sun’s Infinite in All Directions is a nicely varied wash of drones and
textures, a disc that can challenge the ear one moment and deeply engage the mind the nextñoften in the same track.
Mike Griffin, head of Hypnos Records, and collaborator David Tollefson coax an array of noises from their instruments as they go, building moments and movements in
dependent, largely minimalistic layers, always with the sense that they are waiting for the next correct place to assail and mutate the sound. Vaporous guitar washes
discover sudden-but-fleeting moments of solidity, the actual, recognizable sound of a guitar, unfiltered, coming in like a beacon in the sonic mist. And this mist is
dense, often quite deep and, across the breadth of the disc, dark. There is an intensity to Viridian Sun, an edginess of feeling, which is where the more challenging
aspect of it comes from. As you’re being wrapped in sounds that can range from feedback to static in points, if they can be defined at all, there is a sense of this
piece, this moment, being inescapable — an understanding that no, this is not easy and yes, you are expected to see your own way through to the other side and then keep
Infinite in All Directions will set better with listeners who like their stuff dense, abstract and droning, with heavy doses of darkness and experimentation. Griffin and
Tollefson have crafted a constantly moving, beatless and expressive space that welcomes only the committed listener. But the rewards are worth the time and effort it
takes to fully dive into this disc.”
–Reviewed by Hypnagogue
“Roughly ten years ago, the Hypnos
obligatory, lyric ridden rock-n-roll of my generation into the obscure & somewhat marginalized musical
world of King Crimson, Robert Fripp, David Bowie & Brian Eno.
The album’s seven tracks, clocking in at just around sixty-three
minutes, are a gritty, grainy collection of electronic ambience &
drone-scaped, ethereal goodness — playing off morphed/processed bass
&electric guitar as well as percussion & voice (not that you’d recognize any of the preceding in their
final state), the listener is at once transported into a systemic sound world, leaving one looking for
said world’s limitations or edges… and finding them not.”
–Reviewed by G.A.B. on firstname.lastname@example.org
“Although Hypnos may not seem to appear as prolific as they used to be, its always good to see their releases. M. Griffin, responsible for the label, doesn’t set
out to innovate the world of music, but has carved out a niche of his own, which he likes to explore, either through his own music or that of others. Together
with David Tollefson he plays music as Viridian Sun. They both take credit for playing guitars, bass, percussion, looping, procession and Griffin also for voice.
… Seven tracks, clearly apart, perhaps that’s the extent of these
things that make them time based. According to the cover, this was all recorded live in the studio, which made me think that these boys should be on the road
and play all night concerts, endlessly improvising and exploring the depths of the synthesized ambient music. Warm music in cold days.”
–Reviewed by Frans DeWaard for Vital Ezine
“Infinite In All Directions is another fantastic cosmic space trip into the dark and unexplored regions–true “space music” in every sense of the phrase.
Without synths this time, the sound is much more dense than the duo’s debut Solar Noise (still one of the best Hypnos releases ever), but no less atmospheric.
You gotta love guitars (which I do) and all the magical new sounds that can be coaxed out of them with delays and other processing goodies, to appreciate this music.
I imagine this release is what may have resulted had Slowdive dropped the girl and the drummer, and decided not to make pop music anymore, but rather sit around
their own bedrooms and make trippy soundscapes for their own personal enjoyment. There is that intimate vibe present on this recording. Music not for the casual listen,
but immersive music that demands your full attention to appreciate every nuance of the sounscapes. One of the very best of 2009, and worth the 10-year wait.”
–Reviewed on the Hypnos Forum by Drone On
“I am listening to the new Viridian Sun cd, “Infinite In All Directions”, and I now think guitars in ambient music are cool!
If a listener expects country twangs or shredding solos or similar sounds, these may not always be found on the cd, but what you can find are deep,
meditative, immersive waves of sound that shimmer, pulse, and move about. I suppose some comparisons might be drawn– the duo floats synchronously like
Roach and Obmana, but it is more mobile and hopeful music than the aformentioned duo often made. An occasional guitar note sounds a little like the
famous “singing” guitar of Robert Rich, but not enough to be an imitation. Sometimes I feel a little like I am listening to an early Zoviet France composition,
but it’s nice because the sound is better. And I like Zoviet France.
Loops are used, and in a very active way. They shift, grow and move around. They are not just loops of stone, they are loops of cloth or light, flexible and intriguing.
… A comparison that somes to mind is with Rapoon’s excellent “Fires Of The Borderlands”. Melodic, inspired, with lots of movement, but also a little dark and edgey.
I would say that “Infinite In All Directions” is a really cool album and definitely worth picking up. I recommend it highly.”
–Reviewed by ambient recording artist Mystified, on the Hypnos Forum
This CD in special vellum paper sleeve with heavy booklet, is available for $10.99
Next installment of recent reviews for Hypnos releases features several for Primal Mystification by Mystified.
“Brand-new list member Thomas Park has a very fine new album out on Hypnos’ CDR sub-label “Secret Sounds”, combining rather than merely contrasting light and dark,
often ushered along with discreet, quasi-ethno beats.”
–Stephen Fruitman on the email@example.com mailing list
“The fifty-minute Primal Mystification is the first release by Mystified (aka US ambient-electronic musician Thomas Park) to appear on Hypnos Secret Sounds. Park is
no novice, as he’s collaborated with artists such as Nunc Stans (One Thousand Dreams, Dataobscura), Robin Storey (Rapoon), and Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions).
The four tracks on Primal Mystification are restrained in character and induce a state of calm in the listener — which isn’t to suggest they’re uneventful, as there’s lots
of activity and detail on display. Likening the mercurial drone sounds to the emergence of human beings from the ‘primordial ooze,’ Park shapes minimal elements
(some of it created from field recordings) into ten-minute-plus settings of placid design using ringing ambient washes, willowy synthetics, elemental percussive
patterns, and simple melodic phrases voiced by piano. In “Massive Turning,” elegant piano playing drapes itself across long-form droning tones anchored by a gently
swinging rhythm track made up of acoustic-sounding percussive elements (hand drums, bells). “Departing Certainty” exudes a ghostly, even tribal quality in its
crystalline swirls and cavernous rumble, while both “Not Knowing Where,” its nocturnal whistling tones animated by a midtempo rhythm track, and “Back to the Primal,”
its ethereal shimmer augmented by Eastern-sounding percussive pulsations, are energized by comparison.”
–Reviewed by Textura.org
“The idea behind this 2009 release from Mystified is simple: foggy drones glide slowly past, shifting and rolling as they go, while light touches of percussion lend a
faint tribal air. While I stand by that as an accurate description of how it’s done, I’ll also tell you that it sorely downplays what Mystified (aka Thomas Park) is able
to do and convey on this disc with that formula as his starting point. Primal Mystification is one of those ambient CDs that innocuously burrows its way into your
subconscious mind, persistently but patiently setting up its space in your head — and by the time you realize it’s there you’re really quite okay with it. Park’s drones are
warm, grey things that move in otherworldly waves. He varies his approach, track to track, to keep each of the four long pieces here fresh. The opener, “Massive Turning,”
takes its percussive sense from a gently played tabla, a sharp, solid and rhythmic snap over the wash. An echoing piano, played two simple notes at a time, wanders
through. At first I found this an odd choice for a disc that’s so drone-based, but in Park’s hands it quickly becomes an integral element in the piece’s definition.
“Departing Certainty” is abstract, shadowy, beatless and a bit foreboding. It’s the dream you can’t wake up from. I’m intrigued by Park’s choices of percussion in the
last two tracks, “Not Knowing Where” and “Back to the Primal.” The first has a hand-drummed feel, a fire’s-edge rhythm with a strong tribal sense. I like the way he puts
it up against a throbbing bass swell that, in its tone, is as unwavering as the drumming. (I’ll get back to this in a moment.) The percussive element in “Back to the
Primal” is two-pronged: a flangey and metallic electronic beat squares off with more hand drumming. It is the sound of the computer-age tribe calling back to its
ancestors, perhaps — and getting a distinct answer in kind.
Park drives home his musical intent in the form of repetitive motifs that change only slightly across time. Between the often-mellowing touch of the drones and the
insistent metronomic pulse of the drumming, in any form, the listener doesn’t have much choice but to follow his or her brain as it slides and sluices down into Parks’
umbral constructs to touch the primal memory in all of us.
I enjoy this disc more with every listen, and the deeper I go, the more I like it. Primal Mystification is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.”
–Reviewed by Hypnagogue
“Primal Mystification alternately conjures thoughts of settling in for the sleep of machines in the sub-
rumble of a boiler room; the aurora borealis toying with the audible spectrum; alien conquerors come to claim their
stake — our echoing fear; finally cracking the door to the secret spirit realm; the day that machines gain sentience
and blink up at their gobsmacked creators; and a group of motherless children beating out a post-apocalyptic drum
circle in desperate hope.
Truly, a sonic headphone journey that removes one far from the physical. Perfect for the Hearts of Space radio
–Byron Kerman, freelance reviewer
“The unbelievably prolific Thomas Park returns to us once again with a rather lovely full-length offering (as Mystified) on Hypnos Secret Sounds–‘Primal
Mystification’. Mr. Park’s more free-form (or perhaps it is more appropriate to refer to it as “formless”? I refrain from using the genre terms “ambient” or
“drone” as they have been over-referenced for decades) work often touches on something powerfully inexplicable and nebulous–magickal. This particular
release would be no exception.
The album starts out with a piece entitled ‘Massive Turning’. It’s a bit deceptive if one thinks they have the Mystified sound pegged–as one expects gassy,
shimmering atmospheres. It delivers just that… only it is coupled with an organic percussion that is unheard to me in the work of Mystified! An instrument such
a tabla would have been too obvious, so what sounds like bongo is appropriate and more enthralling. Layered along with these sounds are also piano chords.
‘Massive Turning’ seems to be literal–a massive turning POINT in the direction stylistically. And it works like a charm.
Next is ‘Departing Certainty’. And that it certainly is–a departure from the banalities of life into an almost hallucinatory, emotional transcendence. The piece
feels like walking in someone else’s shoes of their past , blurred and fading melancholia.
‘Not Knowing Where’ is the apex for this gem of a disc. This is the most potent track of all–and the one I am the most familiar with (seeing that I produced the
video for it). Every time I hear it I get the sense of being lost BLISSFULLY in the cosmos… but full of wonder. Music for lysergic inner-space travel.
Concluding this release is ‘Back to the Primal’. Despite an almost “electronic feel” at times, it is re-entry music for returning to the mundane tribe/masses
perpetuated by consensus reality–the primal of the flesh prison we are born into. Or is it vice-versa? Either way, it is a trip beyond this world (and beyond
genre traps) you wish would NEVER end! But until we leave this mortal coil and its restraints of the physical body, it is only possible to touch on these realms
with the aide of such ART as that of Mystified…”
–Reviewed by Allan Zane, musician and video artist, Jan 5, 2010
This limited CDR is available for $9.99
OK, trying to catch up on posting some recent reviews of Hypnos releases. For starters, two reviews of Children of Alcyone by Steve Brand.
“A supra-terrestrial theme also runs through Children of Alcyone, the second release by Steve Brand (who’s also issued recordings under the Augur name) to appear
on Hypnos Secret Sounds. The inspiration for the work came from the writings of Barbara Marciniak whose books supposedly channel information from the Pleiadians,
distant ancestors of ours from the Pleiades constellation (Alcyone, incidentally, the name of the constellation’s ‘central sun’). Initial sound sketches for the recording
were produced in September 2007 during a master class taught by Steve Roach and were refined subsequent to it at Brand’s studio. The material on Children of
Alcyone is minimal, even simple, by design but is alluring nonetheless. Lonely tones whistle to one another across immense expanses, and a melancholy spirit
shadows the four calming meditations. A brooding epic of long tones and ringing percussive flourishes, “Outside the Grid of Time” forcefully draws the listener into its
murky depths, but the recording’s coup de grace is the stirring “Light Age” where minimal synthetic tones unfurl gracefully for an entrancing twenty-three minutes.
Showing a deft and pitch-perfect touch, Brand skilfully weaves the elements into hypnotic form, never hurrying the material along nor slowing it down too much either.
The result is that rare thing: ambient music that’s both artful and moving.”
–Reviewed by Textura.org
“I have drifted my way through the four pieces in Steve Brand’s new release, Children of Alcyone, four times nowñand by that I mean the recent now, in the past few hours,
letting the thing loop quietly through my space, shaping the air, and quite content to have it do so. ChildrenÖ is a straightforward ambient disc, designed for this sort
of quiet, repeated and almost inattentive listeningñbut, as can be said for most good ambient discs, offering a lot of depth and interest to the focused listener. The
content here is crafted in familiar, deep-sigh synth pads rolling in slow waveforms toward the horizon. Shifts in tone rise up infrequently to pull attention back to the
music. (Again, as good ambient music does.) Brand shows equal strength in developing calming flows, as in the first two tracks, “Golden Cloud” and lush, 22-minute “Light
Age,” and tenser, more dramatic musical scenes, evidenced by “Outside the Grid of Time,” which can at times be almost discomforting in its edginess. With the fourth
track, “Into the Central Sun,” Brand folds in sparse percussion for a low-level, unobtrusive tribal feel. In handling all these sides of his ambient self, Brand
effectively creates a sense of narrative, movement and completion of thought. Outside of the opener, which comes in just under nine minutes, these are long, patient
tracks. There is movement within each, with Brand exploring and developing their distinct personalities and themes with a certain hand. This is my second exposure to
Brand’s music, and my appreciation for the quality of his work grows, not just with each new CD, but with each listen.”
Children of Alcyone is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
–Review by Hypnagogue
This limited CDR is available for $9.99
It’s been a while since the last CD release on our own label(s), but here’s the next installment in the Seren Ffordd
Artist: Seren Ffordd
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds
hss31, limited cdr edition of 300
Reissue of out of print 2005 recording by Seren Ffordd, an ambient artist residing in Wales. This is the second in our series of reissues by this artist, following
Stellar Nurseries, and we previously released his album Veils, Shadows on Hypnos Secret Sounds a few years earlier.
Arhythmia is hypnotic and at times restful, yet often has an “edge” or a discordant quality. It’s more “active” than most other Seren Ffordd music
Cycles, patterns and rhythms, the world is full of them. Not the steady beats prevalent in most music, but subtle interlocking rhythms that dance and move through each other. The flow between the monthly phases of the moon and the daily tides. Stellar precession and the turning of galaxies. The pulsations of our blodd, neurons and breathing.
In five parts, Arhythmia is an exploration of such shifting patterns that can be heard and felt but not danced to. Rhythms and movements of sound that draw the mind and spirit into other places of dreaming. Arhythmia is a mixture of light and dark textures that contain both flowing and hypnotic elements.
All the sound sources on the CD are acoustic in origin. They include field recordings of Thunder, rain and other things. The rest of the music is created on singing bowls, voice, gourds and chimes. All the effects and sound manipulations are performed on a Korg D16 digital portastudio. Recorded in June and July 2005.
“Interestingly with a title like Arhythmia, the artwork on the front of this one looks much like the inside of a heart valve, albeit softened in both texture and color.
As for the music, hopefully it won’t give you any cardiac trouble. Darker and more experimental than his other discs, here Benford takes us into what he calls ‘an exploration
of rhythms that can be heard and felt but not danced to.’ Rumbling and churning sounds are joined by a steady rain in the background. Benford notes that the music is divided into
five parts, although it plays as a single track… Arhythmia is daring adventurous fun.”
–Review by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
This limited CDR release, on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint, is available for purchase for $9.99
New additions to the
Hypnos Store from First Fallen Star, a relatively new label.
| Mystified – Passing through the Outer Gates, Eulogy Series Volume 1
(Price: $12.99) Ambient and dark ambient soundscapes alike are deftly populated by neo-classical elements, occasionally with an experimental twist.
There are no comparisons to other musicians or albums, as this album and the journey within are distinctly those of Mystified! Dare you join Thomas on his
spiritual journey? Or do you fear to leave this world behind?
Mystified’s Passing Through the Outer Gates is presented in an A5 digipak with silver foil-embossed lettering and a specially die-cut cover whose
coffin-shaped hole reveals only a hint of the true album cover artwork underneath! Featuring David Demaret`s Burning Souls painting, with additional graphics
and layout by Eclipse Media. Limited to 500 copies…
| Secret Druid Society – Restless
(Price: $12.99) Long after we are all dead and gone, the planet will continue to go about its business. The duo of musicians that form Secret Druid Society
carefully carved, molded, and eroded drones and minimal dark ambient soundscapes, finally recording what had evolved from the process, in order to tell a story
not of human misery, not of an apocalypse, but of what Earth has always done and will continue to do for periods of time wholly unfathomable by the human mind.
Limited to 500 copies, Secret Druid Society’s Restless is presented in digipak format with an 8-page booklet, featuring short poems penned by the hands of the