Friday, October 30, 2009

Hypnagogue Podcast 13

Get comfy. 90 minutes of ambient & electronic music coming your way...

Begin this time on the uptempo side: dub influences from Ministry of Inside Things, rhythmic grooves from The Current, a sultry space cruise in first class from Alpha Wave Movement, a ballad from Dave Preston that should set your soul dancing, a touch of jazz courtesy of Geoffrey Armes. and indescribably tasty mashes of electro-funk and noise from cyberChump and Lopside. From there, Deepspace takes us out onto calm seas before handing the tiller over to Altus. Terra Ambient follows, stirring the spirits with tribal beats from his latest. Steven K Smith keeps our pulses up with driving, aggressive guitar noise. Resonant Drift guides us through a meaningful ritual and Mingo ushers us back into a quiet realm within his once and future world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One for Jim

The ambient & electronic music community is an unusual thing. We represent a small, very niche group of music fans and while we're spread across the globe, that niche aspect imbues us with a certain familiarity. We know names, and we feel that we know people. We're closer to the musicians than in many other genres of music. They are us, we are them, we're all in this together and we know nobody else gets it.

This morning the community lost Mr. Jim Brenholts, who recorded as Rigel Orionis. Jim was a supporter of the music for more than 20 years, and his presence on the various message boards and social media sites was known and welcome. Just yesterday he had shot over to me a friend suggestion, linking me with Alpha Wave Movement. It's less than 24 hours later, and Jim's passed on.

I didn't know the man outside of the community. Never met him in person. But we'd shared a few e-mail asides, he sent me a greeting when I got onto Facebook and Ning, told me it was great to see me there....and that was Jim, as I knew him. Glad to have you on board, we're all in this...

Now we're in it without Jim, and it's a genuine loss. I was on his site recently, looking to scoop up some music, and I saw that he had created a piece, in honor of a friend who had passed too soon, called "The Spectre Looms Suddenly." This morning--and I hope I am not crossing any lines here--I have downloaded it and put it, in its entirety into this podcast. Because we've lost a friend too soon as well. Much too soon.

In honor of Jim Brenholts, I offer this special podcast as my personal tribute. It is simply this one album, "The Spectre Looms Suddenly," played straight through.

As another member of the community noted, I do hope that somewhere Jim is listening to more beautiful music than he ever heard in his too-short time among us.

peace & power,
John Shanahan

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hypnagogue Podcast 12

An immersive excursion into ambient & electronic music.

Jason Sloan starts the show quietly with some elegant guitar drones before we are delivered into a very Pink Floyd-like sense of majesty at the capable hands of Giles Reaves & Dave Fulton. (Who’s doing that great Rick Wright impersonation?) We pause to pass into a stretch of all-new music, including an excerpt from Steve Roach’s superb latest offering, dark textures and somber narratives from Wolfskin, Collapsar and Joe Renzetti, and then an abrupt (and kind of amusing, to be honest) turn to an intriguingly jazzy slice of Runningonair and a dose of soothing New Age flavor from Jamie Craig. After that your host gets a bit lazy and turns the proceedings over to an uninterrupted flow courtesy of Jeffrey Koepper, Will Grega, Darshan Ambient and new music from Wes Willenbring.

By the by...I know this makes three podcasts in three weeks...but #13 is two weeks away as I resume my old schedule. And this goes up on Friday eve because my Saturday is booked!

Comments welcome!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hypnagogue--now on Facebook

For a couple of years now I've maintained a presence on myspace. But as far as social media sites go, myspace is starting to become something of a wasteland. For the most part I'm not much of a social media kind of guy. I had a personal FB account for a few months but after a while I got tired of endless status updates about who was enjoying a latte, who wasn't sleeping, and who just wanted to post attention-seeking cryptic statuses like "Joe is wondering what could possibly happen next."

However, I recognize the value of social media in getting the word out about the podcast and the review site. I like to think that the myspace page did its job as far as creating listeners and letting musicians know about the existence of the review site. So now I've just migrated myself over to FB. And although you may never find out what kind of beverage I'm drinking or catch me in a pensive, just-have-to-share mood via my statuses, I can guarantee that you'll hear about new music, upcoming podcasts and more.

So join me. Head over to FB and search "Hypnagogue Reviews." I'm there.

peace & power,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hypnagogue Podcast 11

Possibly the quietest Hypnagogue podcast yet....

No need to check the calendar. You're right, it hasn't been two weeks. But I've gotten a little ahead of myself in production now that I'm feeling more at home with Audacity, and--more importantly--earlier this week I hit 60 subscribers, my new high point.

So as a thank you, I thought I'd deliver #11 a week early. (Yes, you may have to wait two weeks for #12. We'll see...)

This episode started out with the intention of being a solid 90-minute mix of drifty ambient. I thought I'd try my hand at piecing together a nice flow. But about 25 minutes in, I lost confidence, backed out some of the crossfades and decided to do a regular podcast. But the mix as it was was so nice and mellow and low-key, I kept that feel going.

So kick back and enjoy. Our artists this time through are Justin Vanderberg, Matt Borghi, Numina, Arcticology, Steve Roach, Arrocata, dreamSTATE, Ben Cox, Slow Dancing Society, Rudy Adrian, Ganucheau and Story & Roedelius.

A heartfelt thank you to the growing number of subscribers for letting me know that the music is getting out there and you're digging my efforts.

peace & power,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hypnagogue Podcast 10

It's my pleasure to continue to bring you your 90-minute fix of solid ambient & electronic music.

The journey this time begins quietly with work from Chad Kettering and Lucette Bourdin, then grows slowly darker in texture and feel at the hands of Petal and Weird Fields. Justin Vanderberg escorts us back to a place of light and calm. Then, as so often before, the groove takes over starting with Middle Eastern-flavored beats from Ephemeral Mists, a bit of aggressive buzz and flow with Tkatka and electro-percussive rhythms Outer Space Alliance. Transcend with Time helps us wind down and Elissa Luu invites us into her garden to chill. And since there’s no such thing as too much relaxation, this one closes with sixteen minutes of pure drift—and the occasional roll of distant thunder—from Brannan Lane and Robert Carty.

Your comments are always welcome at


peace & power,