Steve Brand – Spiritual Science (2012 re-release) (2cdr)
(Relaxed Machinery category)
(Price: $19.99 2cdr)
From the 2009 release notes, Brand says, “I’d been an Ishq (Matt Hiller) fan for about 3-4 years. I found his music as part of my complete immersion in Ultimae material (Ishq kept showing up in the ‘If you like this, you’ll like this’ area of iTunes). I bought ‘Orchid’ and was hooked. I love his atmospheres and beats, the delicacy, expansiveness and expressiveness of feeling, and his intuitive and spiritual approach to music. Really feels like home to me. Anyway, Matt had some free loops of his sounds on his site at that time and I couldn’t resist—I used some in a piece and sent the piece to him, Matt kindly responded. I then suggested a collaboration. He quickly sent me a entire DVD of unique material, and here we are. Very easy and organic. I think everyone will really enjoy these disks which are a very nice mingling of our individual sounds; you can hear the Ishq influence, but overall, probably a bit of a darker journey than his own work, but still spacious, organic, emotive.”
Re-mastered by S. Brand 2011-2012 and re-released on Brand’s Pioneer Light Music label.
“This CD from 2010 offers 61 minutes of cosmic ambient music. Synthesist Brand is accompanied on one track by Matt Hiller (from Ishq) and Charity Masters (from Holon).
Pensive percussives match introspective electronics to produce gentle auralscapes of a cosmic milieu.
The electronics are mainly textural in nature, harmonic vapors that generate a seamless realm of celestial clarity. These atmospheric vistas are augmented by additional tonalities that flesh things out without achieving an intrusive density. Changes deceptively occur in the flow, hidden by their gradually evolution.
These tenuous drones approximate an extended breathing pattern for reality, allowing the listener to slip through gaps between molecules and find themselves adrift outside of space and time. The listener’s perceptions of the textural flow becomes intensified by this removal from conventional tangibility.
While rhythms are present in one track, they generally manifest in processed form in other pieces, often transformed into beatless sounds (like gongs expanded into infinite stability) that suitable fit with the textural sonic foundation.
These compositions exhibit a stately character, a soft authority that derives its puissance from subliminal influence rather than any boisterous bias. Presented in songs confined to lengths of five to fourteen minutes, this music doesn’t indulge in protracted growth but instead swiftly establishes its gist and elaborates on that ethereal structure without undue delay.” –Reviewed by soniccuriosity.com
Here’s a recent review from the always excellent textura.org site:
“Brand follows two previous Hypnos recordings (on Hypnos Secret Sounds), Bridge to Nowhere and Children of Alcyone, with Avatara, a Sanskrit word that stands for “descent” in the sense of a deity’s descent from heaven to earth; the title also takes its inspiration from avatars such as Buddha and Krishna and from cultural myths about humans who’ve become “ascended masters,” non-human beings who choose to return to Earth to assist others. In keeping with such concepts, the album’s six tracks are deep ambient in style, often long-form in design and conducive to meditative drift and elevated states. “Morning Glory” unfolds in a series of irradiated exhalations with pauses generously spaced between them, while the aptly titled “Still Here (Breathing Space)” arrests the pace to near-stillness, with percussive rustling seeming even more active when heard alongside the track’s streaming washes and tones. At fourteen minutes the album’s longest piece, “Act of Creation” perpetuates the meditative mood with the quiet chatter of newly born life-forms audible in between church-like synth tones. Largely downplaying percussion, Brand’s becalmed material emphasizes long trails of synthetic chords, their ethereal character heightened by their pristine synthetic design, throughout its epic, hour-long journey.” –Reviewed by textura.orgAvatara can be purchased for $12.99 direct from Hypnos.
Many of you have already ordered this from the Hypnos Store, but we missed promoting this important new release from one of our favorite artists Steve Brand and the Relaxed Machinery label.
Steve Brand – Subtle Movements Inside (cdr)
(Relaxed Machinery category)
(Price: $9.99 cdr) Steve Brand’s latest on Relaxed Machinery. Steve says:
“Subtle Movements Inside,” was inspired after re-visiting a group of old poems and by recent events in my life. Increasingly, I’m convinced that our lives are changed not so much by outer events, or profound revelations, but if we’re sensitive and attuned to it, by the subtle migration of thought and feeling — subtle movements inside. The final track on this group of songs includes a contribution of treated guitar from Bobby Jones/i’ve lost which takes the emotional top. Thanks to Bobby for agreeing to be a part of this release. Sounds include keyboard, thumb piano, shakers, voice, overtone flute, bass flute, guitar and field recordings.
1. Holding the Light 19:00
2. Lit from the Original Flame 8:00
3. A Certain Restlessness of Soul 23:02
4. Subtle Movements Inside 8:16
5. Our Wilderness of Heart (w i’ve lost) 19:16
Here are a couple of new reviews by Bert Strolenberg of recent Hypnos releases.
“If youíre 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.”
“Intangible is the outcome of a collaboration between Barry Craig (aka A Produce) and Loren Nerell, both known as skilled ambient composers for many years. Composed between 2007 and 2010, the seven moody tracks on their debut album are a journey into warm textural drone paintings and smooth sequencer patterns with both an adventurous as high-tech touch. Imaginary spheres with timeless vistas are very nicely displayed on the title track and the fascinating “Planet Atmo.” “String Area” though is a short percussive outing where Mr Nerell displays his expertise on mysterious Balinese sounds, followed by the cosmic scenery and slow rhythm of “Area 51.1.” Deep morphing and alienating atmospheres immerse the listener on the hypnotizing waves of “Lost in Transformation” while exotic and tribal elements are never far away. Tasty percussion and more accessible and lush textures make up the spacious “Meadow Dusk.” A veil of sonic magic returns on the immersive drift making the final piece “Pot Covers at Dawn,”
Those having an eye for explorations in ambient sound shouldn’t miss out on the beautifully crafted ambiences of “Intangible,” a vibrant sonic vista where the exotic meets the tribal and the cosmic.”