We at Hypnos are very excited to bring you our first new CD release after an extended hiatus!
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is a new long-form piece from one of our favorite Ambient music artists. Based in Wales, Seren Ffordd has previously released many albums on the the Umbra label, several of which were later reissued on our own Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint. He also collaborated with the late ambient master Oöphoi on their album The Martian Chronicles, released by Hypnos in 2011.
Of his latest recording, Seren Ffordd says:
Some music arrives quickly – almost completing itself. However this album has not been like that, taking it’s own time, requiring periods of patience and silent waiting.
The title ‘Dreaming In The Well Of Slow Shadows’ was inspired by the seemingly endless well of imagination out of which we create art, music, ideas, civilisations….The slow depths from which formless and incoherent energies arise and take on shape, form as they are birthed into the world.
It was a number of years before the ‘Well’ first found its voice as the recorded sounds of a visiting friend’s harp playing began to take shape and form in the studio.
The album is composed almost completely from transformed and sculpted harp with minimal addition of other sounds to add to the sonic textures, patterns and shiftings… The album is a long-form single track that moves slowly and deeply while shimmering like a mirage, the textures and tones drifting over time.
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is packaged in our new CD release format, a plastic-free eco-wallet, rather than a digital or jewel case.
The Hypnos team hopes you will enjoy this deep and rich soundscape, and we look forward to bringing you more ambient, drone and minimalist recordings in the near future.
Track listing with mp3 sample clips: Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is a continuous 75 minute track, so we have provided below representative clips selected from throughout the extended piece.
We’ve got several restocks and one newly-added item from the INNESTI label this week, but inventory is limited and these tend to sell out quickly, so visit SOUNDSWIM soon and get yours before they’re gone!
“Shape Memory is the first full-length recording made through a collaboration between 12k label mates and friends Marcus Fischer and Simon Scott. In the fall of 2017, on a free day between US tour dates for Slowdive (for which Simon is the drummer), the pair managed to conceptualize and record an album at S1/Synth Library in Portland, OR.
In advance of their meet up, the pair shared sounds and recordings and then dubbed them on to cassette tape loops. Field recordings, processed acoustic sounds and synthesizer found their way to these tapes. In person, once they had a system of looping tapes playing back, they layered additional live elements: a bed of cymbals and scattered percussion, contact mic’d objects, live sampling, guitar and modular synths.
Shape Memory unfolds as a 36-minute piece (divided into three movements) rich in texture and deep connections. Fans of both artists’ solo works will recognize shadows of their unique aesthetics but the beauty lies in the new direction they chose to take it together. There’s a captivating density to the sound with plenty of atonal moments highlighted by the metallic resonances of the cymbals. Floating drones underpin granular guitar scattering while tape loops, lost in noise, provide a rhythm that’s not quite there. By the end, deep tones, mysterious and murky, take over, darker than each artist often goes.
Collaborations are all about creating a new entity beyond the expected from the members. Shape Memory is an album that’s not simply the sum of its parts, but a new creation from two talented explorers and friends.” –12k.com
“Michael Grigoni is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in dobro, lap steel and pedal steel guitar living in Durham, North Carolina. His songs are beautiful, slow, wistful and lonely. The hazy, sliding sound of the guitars steep the music in nostalgia and mystery. Mount Carmel is his debut release on 12k”
FROM THE ARTIST:
“I’ve always been curious in my listening, searching for something in music and sound. I grew up playing the piano, and in college I took up the uilleann pipes, spending a summer in Ireland taking lessons. I traded the pipes for the dobro toward the end of my undergraduate years and discovered lap steel and pedal steel guitar a few years after that.
I studied ethnomusicology at the University of Washington where I learned about ethnography. Ethnography is a method for field-based research developed by anthropologists. The method involves spending time with people and learning about different ways of being in the world, and taking notes while one does so—jotting impressions, observations, feelings, snippets of speech, social landscapes. Ethnographers put experience to paper over and over again, over a lengthy period of time—for months, sometimes years.
This sensibility colors my music—this layering of textures, feelings, and ideas. Through this process, something emerges or is discovered or revealed. Blending and enfolding sounds made with an instrument, with sounds recorded in the field, is deeply satisfying and grounding for me. Making and recording music in this way is somehow like ethnography.
I wrote Mount Carmel with the place of my childhood in mind. The neighborhood in which I grew up had only two streets, both of which wound into cul-de-sacs between an interwoven set of barren, gentle hills in Rancho Peñasquitos, California. Growing up, my mother, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States to marry my father, told me that “los peñasquitos” means “the hills with white rocks on them.” Today I am told by the internet that it means “little cliffs.” I spent a lot of time on those little cliffs, kicking through dust as I explored them, watching for rattlesnakes.
I grew up between these hills, under the sun. Feelings anchored to material things constitute my memory of that place: the ice plant in our front yard that we would step on to crush out its juice; the lava rock beneath the pine trees; the Santa Anas – hot, dry winds that would suddenly manifest in our backyard; the dry hills without trees, only brush – chaparral and sage – that I constantly climbed. This particular landscape permeates and orients the record for me.
I named the album Mount Carmel because there was a church at the bottom of our neighborhood that I attended growing up called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I used to think of that entire landscape – the neighborhood, the church, the hills – as Mount Carmel. In my mind, I lived at the base of Mount Carmel.”–12k.com
“Corey Fuller is one half of the duo Illuha on 12k and Break is his first solo recording for 12k. A crashing wave, the breaking dawn, an impact, the crushing of emotional spirit… the breaking of a storm. These are all relevant ideas behind his choice of a title for this highly emotional abum. Fuller has addressed the universality of human struggle without going into specifics of his own personal waves. The ideas that we as humans all share many of the same difficulties is both a launching point and a message he wishes to share with Break — the catharsis.
While Illuha’s music is known for its attention to small sounds and light textures, Break, while equally as fragile, sees Fuller working with much heavier elements. Still highly melodic, the work pulls and churns between harmony and tension, weight and air, the crash of a wave, the pull of the undertoe. The album is focused intensely on melody and harmony, progressions more carefully composed than the serendipitous found sound of his work with Illuha.
The piano is often at the center of these songs, an instrument (his own) that has become much an extension of his own body. His own voice plays an important role as well, sometimes lyrically ethereal and sometimes just a breath signifying the ever-fragile thread of life. Beautifully recorded in his Tokyo studio, the sounds are captured with all of their inherent physical flaws. As Fuller himself states about the piano being “Recorded in a way that you can hear the bones, like an open ribcage, moving contorting…” Everything on Break is there for a reason, not just the sound and soul of the piano but the electronic elements as well, rattling bass tones and dramatic, emotional waves of synthesizer rising and dissolving.
If a single word can be used to describe Break it is physical. From the instruments and techniques used to produce the album to the concepts of vulnerability of the human body. Break is an emotional riptide where violence and rest struggle to be the last voice.” –12k.com
“Taylor Deupree and Federico Durand share simple sounds with complex stories. Their music balances an edge between translucency and exploration, focusing on obscurity, repetition and a shared fascination of the mountains between them.” –12k.com
“Gareth Dickson is ghostlike. From the dark outskirts of Glasgow he has sent three studio studio albums in to the world – Collected Recordings (2009), The Dance (2010) and Quite A Way Away (2012). These albums have bewitched a growing inner circle, including some of the most innovative musicians around today – Juana Molina and Vashti Bunyan to name just two. Gareth has been the only constant member of Vashti’s touring outfit over the past ten years and latterly they have stripped down to a duet on their worldwide travels. Vashti indeed makes a spectral apparition on the first track of Gareth’s new album Orwell Court.
Gareth Dickson’s music is both beautiful and dark. A quiet Scottish melancholy underpinned by a grace and ethereal purity paired with a unique impression where the delicacy of Nick Drake mixes with the openness and space Brian Eno. Gareth’s music is often stripped down to the spare elements of voice and acoustic guitar, but a complex and mysterious music hides beneath the surface, demanding but generous and surprising. Clearly picking up where his previous albums left off, Gareth throws in a few surprises. Gleaned from his time spent touring and experimenting between albums the addition of a drum kit, some keyboards and guest vocalists enrich the palette. But fear not, these elements, while previously unheard of in his music, are approached with the subtlety that his listeners expect. They are a texture that adds dimension throughout the album. The hush is still there in its most genuine form.
His music is a form of modern classicism, by a man constantly aware that perfection lies shrouded in mists of uncertainty and ambiguity. It is above all a question of obsession and atmosphere. And it is a unwaveringly sublime cover of this Joy Division title that closes Orwell Court. Past revisited, and behind that, transcendence.” –12k.com
“Five Wooden Frames marks the return of Italian artist Giueppe Ielasi to 12k after his captivating polyrhythmic explorations on Aix (12k1051, 2009). He completely abandoned the guitar in the mid 2000’s to explore minimal electro-acoustic abstractions (see his releases on his own Senufo Editions) or rhythmic and groove-based music (see his Stunt series, the Inventing Masks project, and Aix and Tools on 12k).
Once again, however, the guitar has become his main focus, both as an instrument in the traditional sense and as source of sound material. The sections on Five Wooden Frames were produced using continuously shifting and modulating loops of acoustic guitar glissandos resulting in pitches that slide around in a haunting, yet spirited juxtaposition of delicate and strangely playful textures.” –12k.com
2020 update: Now available on CD for the first time.
“Patterns Of Consciousness is the powerful second full length album from analog synth composer Caterina Barbieri. Gorgeous high resolution analog textures and algorithmic melodies unfold under Barbieri’s careful control, exploring the basic nature of sound and consciousness. These pieces are minimal in arrangement but maximal in presence asserting Barbieri as a unique voice in contemporary electronic music composition.” –importantrecords.com
2020 update: Now available on CD including the bonus track Bestie Infinite from Caterina Barbieri’s split LP with ELEH.
“One of electronic music’s most interesting new voices.” –FACT
“’Born Again In The Voltage’ is an astonishing collection of electro-acoustic pieces for Buchla 200 system, cello and voice composed and produced by Caterina Barbieri at Elektronmusikstudion (SE) between 2014 and 2015. Edition of 500.
Music produced by Caterina Barbieri between August 2014 and August 2015.
Recorded and mixed at EMS (Elektronmusikstudion) in Stockholm (SE).
Buchla 200 modular synthesizer + vocals + cello. Cello by Antonello Manzo.” –imprecrecords.com
ELEH’s Home Age 2 is packaged in a thick, letterpress printed Arigato Pak by Stumptown Printers in Portland, Oregon. This is a one time CD edition of 480 copies.
“ELEH’s Home Age series was composed and recorded over a period of 5 years and it reflects a search for color, form, connection and growth. The handmade artwork contained in each package was created during the same period of time the music was composed and is an integral part of the meaning of Home Age.
For this release Eleh plays modular & analog synthesizers, piano, organ, bass and symphonic chimes.” –imprecrecords
“Eliane Radigue’s Adnos trilogy was composed between 1973 and 1980 and is among her finest compositions. Adnos is a deeply meditative work of infinite depth and sensitivity; one of the high points of modern minimal electronic composition.
Packaged in a heavy duty 3xCD thick coated matte jacket including extensive archival materials.”
“Eliane Radigue; feedback on magnetic tape Includes archival photographs and liner notes.
‘Vice-Versa, etc…’ is a minimal work which possesses an infinity of possible variations, a secret object containing the seeds of the oeuvre to come, and a discreet turning point linking the composer’s two important working phases, an extremely subtle cross-fade between her feedback loop period to her ARP period.” –imprecrecords.com
“Before the greatest achievement
Before the greatest detachment.
At the limit of the frontier space of the unconscious – tuned waves – ‘consonant things vibrate together.’
Where does the change happen? In the inner field of perception or the exterior reality of moving things in the course of becoming.
And time is no longer an obstacle, but the means by which the possible is achieved.”
~ Eliane Radigue – June 20, 1973
“Transamorem – Transmortem was premiered on March 9, 1974 at The Kitchen in NYC, where the music programmer at the time was Rhys Chatham – this was right before his guitar phase. During this period, Transamorem – Transmortem was presented along with other compositions by Eliane Radigue in a linear mode of listening, although the piece had originally been conceived, during its composition, as a sound installation. Of course, both modes of listening are possible, and each works marvelously in its own way.” –imprecrecords.com
“Important Records is proud to present Eleh’s Homage series, remastered and on CD for the first time. Certain frequency combinations that were impossible to cut on LP are effectively presented in this digital edition. Packaged in a heavy duty 6 panel fold out jacket with inner printing and a matte finish.
Eleh, an artist who flourishes in restraint, uses a reduced sonic vocabulary to highlight delicate intricacies in a logical path toward harmonious satisfaction. The organization of hypnotic square waves, rippling sine waves and triangle/saw tooth waveforms is a discourse in the infinity, rather than the limits of reduction. By employing a natural practice of balanced interpretation, Eleh enables an individual reaction free of the clutter of white noise.” –importantrecords.com
“This deluxe 3 CD set presents Eleh’s Retreat, Return & Repose together for the first time.
Retreat is a collection of exploratory sound assemblages put together during a cabin sojourn. New timbral richness, tonal expansion and deep synthesis make these pieces rather different from previous work.
Return reflects on time away.
Repose contains only one piece, the final recording of Circle Two: Coastal Rotation For Dune Loop which was debuted at 2010’s Mutek festival in Montreal. This piece completes the Retreat/Return trilogy with Repose and is intended to stand very much on its own. Rain on your hood. Your heart beats. A beach break roaring in the distance. Isolated pines are played by the wind. A fine spot for repose. You turn around and head home.” –importantrecords.com
“Eleh demonstrates once again how a single amplified gesture delivered just so can reveal the inner workings of an entire cosmos.” –Tony Herrington/Wire
“Some stock here of the long out of print CD on dutch Barooni label from 1991. It includes one track with basic material by Thomas Köner and comes with a booklet on special see through paper. In our opinion it is one of Tietchens’ “scariest” works to date. ” –aufabwegen.de
“On ‘Temporary Audiosculptures and Artefacts’: After 15 years of silence this is the first major release by Duesseldorf electronic artist Detlef Funder, aka Konrad Kraft. In the early days of experimentation he was one of the leading figures behind the label SDV (Stimme des Volkes) who put out stuff by such great projects like Strafe Fuer Rebellion, Paul Schuetze and TUU. For ‘Temporary Audiosculptures and Artefacts’ Detlef has changed his trademark ambient sound flows to resemble something that sounds like a cross between fade out post-industrial, concrete sounds and a desire for filmic density.” –aufabwegen.de
“Tidal zone is a fluid line between land and sea, a site of perpetual motion and metamorphoses.
During 2008 – 2010 I collected a variety of sounds in coastal areas of Western and Southern Ireland and on the other side of Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland, Canada: the remote fishing village of Conche, the ghost settlement of Crouse, and the St.Georges peninsula. I recorded underwater: crackles of decapods, dolphins, mink-whales, a breaking iceberg, a sea-otter fishing in the harbor. And on land: a wooden church crackling in the wind, engines of boats, pebble-surf, sea-gulls …
All sounds and individual sequences used in the composition were recorded as-it-is. There is no other transformation than editing and mixing. Though sounds are organized in groups by the location of recordings, there is no intention to re-create an acoustic representation of the location itself. Sounds are chosen solely by morphologic associations and treated as abstractions.” –aufabwegen.de
“60-minute CD in full color digipak carton sleeve designed by David Lee Myers. 500 copies. On ‘Arcs:’ Asmus Tietchens and David Lee Myers have been collaborating since 1993. The dialogue continues to this day, with a new collection of 14 pieces entitled ‘Arcs’ that were created over the past two years. Asmus Tietchens has molded the sourcings delivered by David Lee Myers into shapes and textures of abstract elegance and flowing transparence.” –aufabwegen.de
“This collaboration was bound to happen someday! Out of mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work Asmus Tietchens and Frans de Waard decided to work on some music together. The result is ‘Oordeel’ (dutch for ‘judgement’) – eleven tracks of diverse character and subtle beauty. From distorted groans and gritty pulses to delicate and abstract sound layers Tietchens and de Waard have created a fascinating sound world of bizarre beauty.” –aufabwegen.de
LP sized sleeve, reproducing an original drawing by Guido Hübner; layout and design Rainer Frey. Limited to 300 copies
“On ‘Die Eisenbüglering:’ The idea for this project was in the air since the late 1980´s. There was an intense, though short-lived, (snail) mail contact between DSM and P16.D4, RLW´s group in those days, which fell into sleep for reasons unknown today. 20 years later the contact lived up again. After getting themselves informed about the actual respective state of work, methods and techniques and sounds, the recordings for the project started. RLW cd:The basic recordings were done by rlw from early to mid 2009, sound sources are instrumental (piano, trombone) and household objects. First detailed sketches of the compositions (autumn 2009) include heavily treated versions of these recordings, cross-modulations with sounds supplied by DSM and with DSM-variations of the RLW sounds sent to Caen. Fine-tuning of the compositions took until fall 2010.DSM cd:With very few exceptions I used only the original sound recordings of RLW, discarding most of his own processing that he provided me with as I wished for treatments only what would be conceived to be already into the realm of the compositional strategies I fancied for these works. So up to which degree a processing of a sound turns it into an autonomous new one is a question without answer. In consequence resulted a collaboration starting with extremely few basic recordings. However as they had been particularly distinctive by their material character as well as the audible space of the recordings and the variation of their physical intensity as they all resulted from manual efforts they provided me with what was needed. Besides dynamical treatments and cleaning up, my sound processing is not only mostly analogue or equivalent too, but mostly even mechanic. Playing back recordings through ‘no-fi equipment’ and recording them again, while manipulating mechanically reproduction and recording devices is what I employ most.” –aufabwegen.de