Hypnos News Archive, 1999
The most recent Hypnos Recordings release, Altara by A Produce & M
Griffin, has been appearing on a lot of “Best of 1999” lists. For instance,
Phil Derby, reviewer for Wind and Wire, Expose and SMD, named it his “Ambient
Album of the Year.” It received the “Album of the Year” award on the Ujamaa’s
Ambient Experience web-zine,
and what’s more, Hypnos won their “Label of the Year” award.
Plenty of our other 1999 releases have appeared on such yearly “Top Ten” lists —
particularly Richard Bone’s Ether Dome, Jeff Greinke’s Lost Terrain,
and Robert Rich’s Inner Landscapes. Also, interestingly, a pair of 1998
Hypnos releases, David Tollefson’s New Eyes on the Universe and Jeff Pearce’s
Daylight Slowly, have appeared on many “Best of 1999” lists…. which just
goes to show you the remarkable staying power of the music Hypnos puts out!
Speaking of Tollefson, his follow-up release, Near and Far, is due any day now.
Completed a major restructuring of the
Hypnos Online Store, primarily a
reorganization into new categories. Several customers had complained that the way the store
was previously structured (organized mainly by recording labels) unless they knew which label
released, say, Vidna Obmana’s Crossing the Trail album, they might have a hard time finding it.
Now the categories include groupings by record label, and also a series of categories for the
“best selling” artists we sell. The above example of Vidna Obmana’s Crossing the Trail,
would be listed under both the “Vidna Obmana” category as well as the “Projekt label” category.
Remember, of course, that you can also use the “search” function to look for an artist’s name, an
album title, or even a keyword that appears in an album’s description. For example, you could
search for “rich” and turn up all Robert Rich’s solo albums, his collaborations, his compilation
appearances, and even all CDs that might have been described as “rich-sounding.”
Added two new titles to the
Hypnos Online Store, both by
Synthetic Block. The debut release (1998) simply entitled Synthetic Block, and the
1999 followup is The Opposite of Staring into Space. Both albums are excellent
examples of a merging “classic” e-music sounds, with a fresh and modern perspective. Many
listeners are put off by bands that seem to be imitating Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze,
or other e-music pioneers, but Synthetic Block is an example of one who acknowledges
his influences, and yet approaches composing and recording from an entirely new and
A few of you have asked when you’ll be able to find a couple of new/upcoming
Vidna Obmana titles at the
Hypnos Online Store. Of course
you can see from yesterday’s update that Echo Passage by Vidna Obmana and Alio Die
is now available.
Variations for Organ… by Vidna Obmana and Willem Tanke, and
Spirits by Vidna Obmana and Jan Marmenout, are another story. Though both
are listed on Vidna Obmana’s own web site as
1999 releases, neither has actually been issued, apparently. We’ll make every effort to
get our hands on those, and offer them to you, as soon as possible.
The latest addition to the
Hypnos Online Store is a
much-anticipated one: Echo Passage by Vidna Obmana and Alio Die.
An Italian import on the Musica Maxima Magnetica label, Echo Passage is a single,
continuous CD-length piece (not too far from Vidna Obmana’s Hypnos release, Landscape
in Obscurity), smooth and gentle in feel. A lot of you have been requesting this one,
so rush on over and order yourself a copy! It’s $14.99.
Also added a couple of Matthias Grassow solo titles on the Amplexus label — Dissolution
is $14.99 and Namakar is $15.99. Both are limited editions in special packaging, as are
many Amplexus releases.
You might want to skip today’s news update if you have never purchased anything from
the Hypnos Online Store,
and/or have no interest in making such purchases ever in the future.
This morning I made a few minor “under the hood” changes to the Online Store, which
should eliminate most of the “browser warning” messages people have been receiving
during online purchases.
I should point out that all transactions on the Online Store have always been,
and continue to be, completely secure. There were, however, a couple of circumstances
which produced warning-type messages in your browser window during the checkout process.
First was a warning that said “This document contains both secure and insecure items — do
you wish to continue?” (or something like that — a slightly different message wording was
used depending on which browser you use). The reason for this was that I had modified the
“shopping cart” software in order to include an extra graphic “button” people could click
on at any time to get information or help regarding use of the store. This graphic file
was stored on a non-secure server, so your browser window, during secure transactions, had
to access both the secure documents, and this non-secure graphic button, which caused the
warning. The solution to this problem was simple — I “un-hacked” the shopping cart software
to remove that non-standard button link. This “browser warning” that came up on every screen
during transactions was certainly more trouble than the added info link at the top of the
screen was worth. You can still access “store info” pages from the “Store Front” page.
The second “warning” or error people receive during online transactions is a message that said
“The name on this site’s Secure Server Certificate does not match the name of the site itself
— do you wish to continue?” The reason for this warning is that Hypnos licenses its Secure
Server Certificate from the company that hosts the hypnos.com domain. The Secure Certificate
is fully valid and functional, and Hypnos is definitely authorized to use it. Transactions
undertaken using the Hypnos Online Store’s Secure Server Certificate are 100% secure. Some
customers have mistaken the browser “warning” to mean that the transaction is non-secure. This
is not the case — if you look at the corner of your browser window, you’ll see the little
“lock” icon (the location of this icon varies depending on whether you use Internet Explorer or
Netscape) which indicates a secure transaction. In other words, your browser is notifying you
that the name on the secure certificate is not “hypnos.com,” in case you want to know…. but
that warning does not indicate that you should not proceed, or that the transaction is non-secure.
So, to sum up… the first warning about “both secure and insecure content” being contained in the
browser window has been eliminated, and the second warning has not yet been eliminated, but is not
something you should worry about. Probably some time in 2000 Hypnos will obtain its own Secure
Server Certificate, not because it provides any greater level of security, but just to prevent
the occasional emails I get saying “I got a warning on the Hypnos Online Store that said something
was wrong with the security.” Until then, rest easy knowing that your credit card number
and other personal information are completely safe, and nobody can intercept that information between
your own computer screen, and our secure server.
For those of you who missed the announcement about the 12.08 update to
the Hypnos Releases page, we bring you this
distillation of what’s coming in the year 2000 (and beyond) from Hypnos:
Robert Rich Humidity (Three Concerts) (Jan.2000)
Vidna Obmana The Surreal Sanctuary (Feb.2000)
Jeff Pearce To the Shores of Heaven
Saul Stokes Outfolding
M. Griffin Fabrications
Various Artists Nevertime
Jeff Karsin Proton Jelly [artist’s debut] (tentative)
Robert Scott Thompson [as yet untitled Hypnos debut] (tentative)
Vidna Obmana The Contemporary Nocturne
Robert Rich Sunyata
Viridian Sun [as yet untitled 3rd album] (tentative)
M. Griffin / Dave Fulton [as yet untitled first collaboration] (tentative)
This is pretty exciting, obviously. We here at Hypnos don’t think we need
to hype or exaggerate the sheer fantastic-ness of what we have cooking. The
names listed above, and the fine works done previously by these artists,
should speak for themselves.
Don’t forget, of course, that prior to that (in fact, prior to Christmas 1999), we will
release David Tollefson’s second solo release, Near and Far.
Added the first two releases by a new label, Green House Records, to the
Hypnos Online Store.
These include the Various Artists compilation Convergent Evolution, featuring
Vidna Obmana, Vir Unis, Steve Roach, and others… plus the new solo album by (Roach and
Ma Ja Le collaborator) Vir Unis, entitled The Drift Inside. These are offered at
the eminently reasonable price of $13.99 (each, of course), and we hope you will
rush right over there and take advantage.
Of course we always like it best when you buy your Hypnos CDs directly from
us, but from time to time we like to do a quick survey of the various music
outlets, online stores, and catalogs, to see where else Hypnos stuff is available,
so we can let people know where to look, if they don’t feel like buying direct.
It seems that lately just about all the online stores sell every Hypnos title —
from the highest-profile shops like amazon.com and cdnow.com and
towerrecords.com, to ab-cd.com or cduniverse.com.
Of course, there are also the more specialized outlets like Soleilmoon,
Projekt/Darkwave, Playing by Ear, and Backroads Music.
There are also a few places that carry a selection Hypnos titles, but not every
CD — places like EchoDisc and Rioux’s.
Then we have the overseas sources like Groove Unlimited (The Netherlands),
Staalplaat (The Netherlands), Deep Listenings (Italy), CUE
(Germany), CD Services (Scotland), and probably others I’m forgetting about.
We’d especially like to expand into some new markets — particularly Japan and
Australia — so if you happen to be a distributor in one of those places, who has
an interest in ambient, atmospheric, and experimental sounds, get in touch! Or if
you’re an ordinary listener (though we’ve found that none of our listeners
are ordinary!), and have any ideas who might want to make Hypnos CDs available in
new parts of the world, email email@example.com.
Updated the Hypnos Releases page, first to sort
releases by year (so many CDs have been coming out that the list was getting a
bit messy), and secondly to ensure that every Hypnos artist has their own info
page (not just a link to a page for one of their CD releases, or their outside
web site), and every Hypnos release has its own page.
These individual CD
release page include an image of the cover and track listing, as well as a
link to the pages that will include reviews and audio clips for that release.
This may be expanded in the future to include full promotional information
for each release, if people are interested.
Right now on the
Hypnos Online Store,
we’re offering a great deal on a couple of Projekt CDs we’ve had listed
for a while. Due to a special purchase, Vidna Obmana’s Twilight of Perception
and the Vidna Obmana/Steve Roach/Thom Brennan Amplexus Collected compilation,
are both $8.99. This price is good only while existing supplies last, after which the
prices go back up to $11.99 and $13.99, respectively.
The cover artwork for the next Hypnos release, David Tollefson’s second album,
Near and Far, may now be previewed here.
The first Hypnos release of the new year/decade/century/millennium/whatever
will be Robert Rich’s Humidity – Three Concerts, which we consider
to be truly fabulous material. It’s a collection of 3 fairly recent live
concert recordings (hence the title), a 3-CD set. Retail price will be $27.99
here at Hypnos, though of course your local shop or other online source might
charge you more.
The title sequence for David Tollefson’s Near and Far has been finalized.
Cover artwork will be previewed on this page in the next couple of days.
Tracks will include:
Field of Blackbirds
Pattern of Islands
David Tollefson’s upcoming 2nd solo release, the followup to New Eyes
On the Universe, has been retitled Near and Far instead of
The Near and The Far. A subtle change, sure, but some people worry
about this kind of stuff.
Now stocking the latest from the 12k label, Taylor Deupree + Richard Chartier’s
SPEC., at the
Hypnos Online Store.
We’re receiving lots of nice feedback on ALTARA by A Produce and M Griffin.
In addition to a fair amount of radio play, and kind words from various
listeners whose ears we trust, a few reviews, both formal and informal, have
been received. As always, if you’re on the fence about whether or not you might
enjoy a given Hypnos release, we encourage you to investigate in one of two ways.
First, listen for yourself. The RealAudio clips on the Hypnos
Audio page aren’t quite as smooth & lovely sounding as
the CDs themselves, but they give you a good idea of the style of the music.
Or, consider the opinions of others. The Hypnos Reviews page
includes a selection of formal and informal testimonials offered by magazine writers,
DJs, ambient music “celebrities,” and regular old listeners. Maybe they’ll convince
you that a certain new CD is (or isn’t) something you’d like.
Naturally, we always think it’s great when people choose to buy Hypnos CDs directly from
us, whether via the Hypnos Online Store, or just mailing in an old-fashioned check…
But we’re also encouraged to see Hypnos CDs available in an ever-increasing range of
other places. Hypnos stuff has always been available on
Amazon.com, but more recently,
CDuniverse.com have listed an increasing number
of Hypnos titles. Perhaps soon, you’ll be able to pick up CDs of the choicest recent
ambient/space tunes at your corner 7-11 store!
Audio clips for the new A Produce and M Griffin album, ALTARA, are now available.
There are clips, in RealAudio format, for all 5 tracks. Check
the Hypnos Audio page.
The first collaboration between A Produce and M Griffin, ALTARA, is officially
Updated release date for A Produce/M Griffin – ALTARA is Friday, 11/5/99.
Added all 5 releases from the Simulacra label to the
Hypnos Online Store.
Includes releases by Tear Ceremony, Sonogram, and Yuval Ron.
Added plenty of new Soleilmoon, Staalplaat and Touch label releases to the
Hypnos Online Store.
Artists include O Yuki Conjugate, Zoviet France, Lustmord, Ryoji Ikeda, The
Hafler Trio, A Small Good Thing, Matthias Grassow, and a couple of nifty
Various Artists compilations.
New items added to the
Hypnos Online Store:
Kevin Keller – PENDULUM (Lektronic Soundscapes label)
Spacecraft – EARTHTIME TAPESTRY (Lektronic Soundscapes label)
The Hypnos web site — the whole ball of wax, including the Hypnos
Online Store, and all the sites hosted on hypnos.com (Greinke, A Produce,
Bone, Pearce, and ChromaStatic) — was down for several hours earlier today.
It’s been fixed, and everything should be back to normal. I don’t think any
email was lost during that period, but if anyone sent a message to any hypnos.com
address early today (Monday 10/11/99) and didn’t get a response, go ahead and
send it again just in case.
Those of you who have been asking about progress on the A Produce/M
Griffin collaboration, ALTARA, will be pleased to know that work is
now complete. All that remains is to have the CDs pressed, so the
final release date should be right at the end of October or beginning
of November. View the cover image here.
Updated the monthly “Hypnos Recommends” titles on the front page of the
Hypnos Online Store.
Additions include Steve Roach’s LIGHT FANTASTIC (Fathom label) and Nosei
Sakata (*0) & Richard Chartier’s 0/R collaboration (12k label).
Upcoming release announcement:
Coming early in 2000 from Hypnos Recordings
and Jeff Pearce, the latest solo release from the master of guitar
atmospherics…. TO THE SHORES OF HEAVEN. Continuing in the style of
his poignant and poetic recordings THE HIDDEN RIFT, VESTIGES, and
DAYLIGHT SLOWLY, Pearce again spins his rich and smooth guitar-based
textures, but this time broadens his sound palette considerably.
Fixed the screwy prices for 12k titles on the
Hypnos Online Store…
So if you visited that page, and thought about ordering some 12k titles but
were put off by the high prices, check again.
The following pre-release review of the upcoming Hypnos release by Vidna Obmana,
THE SURREAL SANCTUARY, has been written by Star’s End Radio host, Chuck VanZyl.
The Surreal Sanctuary by Vidna Obmana (Hypnos)
Throughout his historic career in electronic sound, Vidna Obmana has always
created music dealing with the range of mood, being and emotion. From the
emptiness and desolation of “Acqua” to the bittersweet melancholy of
“Mellow At Heart”; the strength and sureness of “Forest Arrow” and the
contemplative introspection of “Float Through Nights”, Vidna Obmana aptly
conveys his state of existence from the headings between these four points
on the compass of feelings.
On the latest Vidna Obmana CD: “The Surreal Sanctuary”, he rolls out a
remarkable new map, the kind used by adventurous travelers to move across
stricken borders, through unusual terrain and down lost highways. Still
present are the cerebral qualities of his past recordings, only now they
are joined by a strong sense of place and movement in four dimensions.
The pieces evolve slowly often fading one into the next. The album is
smooth, a soundworld of shifting drones and deep timbres. The contemplative
pacing of the dark harmonies is not meant to relax or reassure. Quite the
The music on this album is meant to evoke a desolate, foreboding place. As
with any kind of travel to exotic lands, the emotions here stem from the
uncertainty of the strange environment. Guiding us through this eerie land
is Vidna Obmana. One can imagine him a few paces ahead, leading us through
the landscape; with fog so dense we follow the mere sound of his overtone
In addition to playing several varieties of Fujara, Vidna Obmana also
utilizes: sampler, synthesizers, electric guitar, harmonica, feedback and
studio processing devices as well as the collaborative efforts of Steve
Roach on guitar, bassist Joris De Backer and the overtone singing of Jim
Cole. When these sources are combined and shaped by Vidna Obmana, two
noticeable regions are created out of the seven lengthy tracks.
Much like the soundtrack work of Howard Shore, Vidna Obmana’s music on The
Surreal Sanctuary deals with tension but no release (at least not until
volume two). During the overture to any Cronenberg movie, Shore’s music
bestows upon us a sense that something singular is about to unfold, a story
that will make us uneasy, an experience we need to brace against. It may be
best to describe The Surreal Sanctuary in these kinds of terms… an
experience you undergo, something descended into, a world that has slipped
–Chuck van Zyl – Host of Star’s End
The Hypnos label release schedule for the rest of 1999 is as follows:
OCT.99 | A Produce & M. Griffin | ALTARA
NOV.99 | David Tollefson | THE NEAR AND THE FAR
Added items from the 12k Label to the
Hypnos Online Store.
This stuff is some of the coolest experimental electronica out there. It’s
more rhythmic than much of what you’ll find in the Hypnos catalog, but the
beats are restrained, generally more like a pulse than a THUMP THUMP THUMP.
My personal favorite so far is “Comma,” by Taylor Deupree (12k founder).
The Hypnos Online Store is
growing & changing like mad! If you haven’t yet taken a look, please do. Whether
or not you order anything, we’d appreciate feedback, including ways you think we
might make the store easier to navigate, as well as suggestions for new items to
include in the catalog.
The formal announcement about the new, exclusive relationship between Hypnos
and vidnaObmana has not yet been posted on the web site, so here is our press
release, from last month:
Hypnos Recordings and Belgian artist vidnaObmana
are pleased to announce a new, long-term alliance. Early in 2000, Hypnos
will release vidnaObmana’s upcoming solo work THE SURREAL SANCTUARY,
the first half of a special “dual” release to be followed a year later by
the second half, THE CONTEMPORARY NOCTURNE. These titles had
previously been announced as releases on the Projekt label. Future,
as-yet-unannounced vidnaObmana solo releases will also be available
exclusively on Hypnos Recordings.
Hypnos is perhaps the most significant new force in the field of ambient
and atmospheric music, and has released materials by such luminaries as
Robert Rich, Jeff Greinke, Vidna Obmana, and Jeff Pearce.
VidnaObmana is Europe’s foremost practitioner of atmospheric and tribal
ambient sounds, and has nearly twenty CD releases to his credit, most on
the Projekt label. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with
Steve Roach, including CAVERN OF SIRENS, WELL OF SOULS, and
ASCENSION OF SHADOWS, but his solo works such as the recent
CROSSING THE TRAIL and THE RIVER OF APPEARANCE also make a
powerful and unique artistic statement.
Hypnos and vidnaObmana worked together previously to release LANDSCAPE IN
OBSCURITY, an early 1999. More information will be available soon, on the
respective web sites of both Hypnos and
Just a quick rundown on what’s coming soon from the Hypnos Recordings
label… First off, out just last week is Richard Bone’s second
release for Hypnos (his tenth or so overall), ETHER DOME.
Next up will be the A Produce/M. Griffin collaboration, ALTARA, a collection
of long, slow-moving pieces. ALTARA is scheduled for release in October.
After that, in no particular order, will be: David Tollefson’s THE NEAR AND
THE FAR, Robert Rich’s HUMIDITY-THREE CONCERTS, vidnaObmana’s THE SURREAL
SANCTUARY, Saul Stokes’s OUTFOLDING, and the third Hypnos various artists
compilation, NEVER TIME. That takes us through the first couple months of
2000, and it’s possible some other unexpected releases could find their way
into the middle of that mix.
Added to the
Hypnos Online Store
the ability to subscribe to
Wind and Wire,
a fantastic independent magazine that covers a wide spectrum of music, from
electronic ambient & space, to new age, to Celtic, smooth jazz, and a whole
range of other stuff. Wind and Wire is not related to Hypnos, but we do
support what they’re doing, and for that reason we’re
making their subscriptions available through our Online Store. Now people
have the option of paying for a subscription by credit card.
Added to the
Hypnos Online Store
seven new items from the Mirage label, out of Canada. All Mirage releases,
including titles by Robert Scott Thompson, Vidna Obmana & Jeff Pearce, and
some very strong compilations, are included.
Added new items on the Soleilmoon label and its Dutch “sister label” Staalplaat,
(for now, only to include Rapoon titles) to the Online Store.
Initiated this (long past due) news update. The
intention is to update this page on an irregular schedule, whenever something
noteworthy occurs, in terms of new releases, artist tours, major revisions to the
web site, or new items added to the
Hypnos Online Store.