Philips, Stephen

Multi-instrumentalist Stephen Philips has been a musician for more than 30 years. He founded Dark Duck Records in the late 80's as a way to expose his musical endeavors to the general public. Music has always been a way of life for Stephen. He began his musical sojourns at the age of 8 with the Clarinet. At the age of 13 his interest moved to the guitar, bass, piano, and synthesizer which led him into several pop bands through his late teens. He recorded 3 albums for the alternative/college band Troubled Thought before exploring electronic music in the early 90's. His fascination with the vast space of ambient music and an interest in the godfathers of ambient (Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, John Cage, etc.) led him into full-on experimentation with ambient music and an indepth study of the history, roots, and methods of ambient music composition.
Philips, Stephen
Deep Chill Network - Drones for Deep Sleep Vol. 1

Artist: Stephen Philips aka Deep Chill Network
P: 2007
One long Ambienttrack.

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Stephen Philips - Cycles 2

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 1999
One long Ambienttrack, spooky.

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24,50 EUR
 
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Stephen Philips - Cycles 3

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2000
One long Ambienttrack, spooky.

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Stephen Philips - Cycles 4

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2002
One long Ambienttrack, spooky.

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Stephen Philips - Dagboken

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2005
The third release on the new Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint, and the first release by Philips on Hypnos (though we will release his Into the Dark later this year), this is a deep drone work exemplary of the style of Stephen Philips.

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Stephen Philips - Desert Landscapes

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 1998
Stephen Philips' Desert Landscapes comes from the same time frame as his other consonant and extremely gifted works, such as Cycle 1 and Cycles 2. In these recordings, as well as Desert Landscapes, Philips has captured a strangely beautiful ambience that truly whisks the listener away and changes the ambience of their living space as well as their mind space.
This is an extremely peaceful recording that has an air of optimism and patience that seems to emanate from the very sound of Philips' well-chosen and slowly evolving sonorous timbres. Again, the comparison to the Cycles series must be made because there's something captured in these recordings that even the best and the oldest in the ambient genre have never been able to capture. Philips is quite possibly one of the brightest and most up-and-coming composers in the ambient genre. Having appeared on over 100 recordings, his work is virtually everywhere, and all of his work is admittedly excellent, though some of the work is good while other works are extraordinary. Desert Landscapes is certainly the latter and one of the best recordings in all of Stephen Philips' expansive catalog. This is a highly recommended recording for anyone who wants to relax, meditate, contemplate, or even have sweet dreams while they sleep; beyond that it's just an excellent recording.

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Stephen Philips - In the Moonlight

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 1999
From ambient and electronic music artist Stephen Philips comes an album very unlike (mostly) his other work. In The Moonlight sounds like a cross between Brian Eno's Neroli, Ernesto Diaz-Infante's Ucross Journal and the late Dan Hartman's New Green, Clear Blue. These minimalist introspective piano (and sparsely used synth) improvisations paint a somber and reflective, yet mesmerizing soundscape. Introspective and yet warm and inviting at times, the music is not as minimal as Eno or Infante, but it lacks any structure that would be recognizable even to a fan of George Winston, Janie Campbell or William Watson.
This is not new age piano music - not by a long shot. But I found the album amazingly calming just the same (I had the same reaction to Diaz-Infante's Ucross Journal). Maybe that makes me a depressing kinda guy, since the music itself seems suffused with a rich melancholy at times (or at least an overdose of reflection). Surprisingly, sometimes the music is more active than any of the other artists mentioned (except for Hartman, whose one masterpiece still remains the epitome of floating and warm serene piano/synth music to my ears).
Most of the six cuts are solo piano - occasionally whisper soft and at other times single notes strike out with sudden urgency. "Relative Experience" actually begins to resemble a more traditional (well, relatively) song at times, but for the most part, you won't be humming cuts like "Free Flow" or "In A Round About Way." But, don't think this CD is dissonant or harsh. While the juxtaposition of soft and loud notes takes some getting used to, perhaps, the balance makes the music all the more interesting.
The title cut will be the one to evoke comparisons to Hartman, as low key subtle synths permeate the background, while gentle piano notes walk forlornly on the surface. It's a flat out great song (and, at over eleven minutes, worth the price of admission alone). But there's also the closing cut, "Snowfall" which also adds synth textures to its lower register piano to incredibly visual effect. I can almost see myself walking deserted city streets in fading light of a late afternoon in winter, as shadows grow deeper and the world readies itself for nightfall. Those of you who have never lived in the northern climates may not believe me, but falling snow actually makes a sound, if you're lucky enough for the world to be still enough to hear it. Sad yet beautiful, it's a sound that speaks of peace and sleep. In the same way, Stephen Philips' In The Moonlight echoes this sense of repose and solitude - much like a solitary walk in the snow.
The CD is highly recommended for people who want to bring some stillness into their lives and can listen to silence as easily as they can to music. This album is a marvel of economy and a deeply satisfying emotional experience.

13,90 EUR
 
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Stephen Philips - Into the Dark

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2007
Into the Dark is a beautifully restrained and elegant piece of ambient music reminiscent of Neroli by Brian Eno, and Entering Twilight by James Johnson. Moving patterns of sounds, varying from bell-like chimes to deep rumbles vaguely-ethnic rattles, interact and react to create an always-shifting atmosphere, a sense of "place" and mood while avoiding ambient music cliches.

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Stephen Philips - Natural Environments

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2000
Instead of the gun-toting, khaki-clad adventurer stalking through the jungle to bring untamed animals back alive for the zoo, picture Stephen Philips as an intrepid audio-explorer, braving the wilds of Washington DC to capture the sounds of Natural Environments, then caging them within ambient electronic walls of his own design.... However you prefer to conceptualize them, 10 slices of electronics plus atmospherics add up to 69 minutes of surround-sound earspaces.
Not only do we hear many of the "standard" nature sounds, we also get a couple of bits which are more pertinent to the nation's capitol, such as the health-care issues of opening track, Breath. Faint guitar notes wander (though never very far up or down the scale) as murky, medically-slanted conversations and television reports flow in the distance.
Splishy aquatic sounds dapple Sun Splash (10:36) as ephemeral organ-like tendrils slowly writhe and thrum. Warm-though-thin synth rays stretch throughout Daytime, luxuriating amongst occasional bird chirps and a rising/falling breeze.
A billowing cascade of synthtones descends upon the rougher textures of Rumble; the underlying ... Self-explanatory Thunder (3:11) and rain are enlaced by twisting spirals of dark soundstreams; delightfully ominous! Higher warles radiate through another relatively short piece, Incandescence whose "environmental" source I'm unsure of, other than sporadic insect/avian sounds.
Humanistic Prattle interweaves (often indecipherable streamed) human voices with a glowering electronic cloud from which the odd sci-fi eruption is emitted. An audible mention of insurance and distant mediaspeak again places a socio-politoco-healthcare spin on the proceedings.
Buzzy waves of Enveloping Darkness ripple in ever-expanding arcs, with a muted undercurrent of TV news speech and a diffused mechanical aura.
Cricketsong and reverberating guitar strands fills the air of Dusk to Nightfall, but are intruded upon by street and pedestrian traffic,rather like noisy neighbors ruining an otherwise peaceful listening experience... ...and bringing an end to this exploratory 8.4 trek through Natural Environments as captured by Stephen Philips.
A sonic mixture of nature and humanity backed by various ambient moods and modes

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Stephen Philips - The Sobbing Stone

Artist: Stephen Philips
P: 2007
Science can't explain it. No one can. A seemingly ordinary stone has been brought to the attention of four of the best paranormal experts in the world. As the hours progress, they find out why. The stone emits sounds, in no particular order, and no one can record them. But why? And how can it do this? This chilling discovery haunts them to the core of their minds and souls... but they can't escape the Sobbing Stone. What they find is a kind of truth that will change their lives forever. The Sobbing Stone... you've got to hear it... to believe.
This is the best Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Iv'e heard since the release of John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness Soundtrack back in the 80's. It is just what a horror/thriller soundtrack should sound like.
Here you will find dark, moving, atmospheric, and very haunting songs in the vein of John Carpenter himself. Being a 2007 release I was actually very surprised there would ever be a soundtrack again that matches the work of John Carpenter etc. But never say never, this is a great CD that I would recommend to all those who collect Soundtracks, and especially to those who collect John Carpenter's Scores.
Highly Recommended!!

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V/A - Message from a subatomic World

Artist: Various Artists
P: 2008
Message from a Subatomic World excels at doing what the label does best with their compilations – introducing listeners to a variety of new and established artists in a cohesive album. Austere's "Crystil" is first, and it is a cool ten minute journey into a variety of ambient sounds. At first the music is almost imperceptibly quiet, but soon the soft drones are joined by beautiful wordless vocals that border on operatic in feel. Piano adds to the regal nature that briefly takes over before becoming soft drifting ambience again. Barely intelligible male vocals come later in forceful whispers.
Evan Bartholomew's "Sacrosanct" is next, and it does have a touch of the sacred about it – ambient church music perhaps. Bleeps and blips in "Distant Radiance" by Relapxych.0 are juxtaposed against glassy smoothness. Numina follows with "Nadir Ever Spirals," which swirls about in equal parts lightness and darkness. The entire disc, and this track in particular, has a very relaxed meditative quality. Jason Sloan paints a sonic picture of dark restlessness in "faded.forgotten[trace]." It is eerie and beautiful at the same time, whereas Phaenon's "Quantum Silence" dives down into the depths. Ironically, Stephen Philips "Down Deep" brings us out of the darkness with a comparatively light airy floater. Pure drones fans have to check out Eric Kesner, aka True Colour of Blood. His "Choosing To Remain Blind" is composed entirely on guitar, though its warm ambient tones scarcely resemble one.
Svartsinn creates a review for me with the perfectly titled "Cold But Strong."
The disc closes with one of the best known names in ambient music, Italy's Oöphoi. Also aptly named, "Icelight" could have formed a bookend with Svartsinn called "Cold But Bright" instead. With not a bad track to be found, this is an essential addition to any true ambient fan's music collection.

Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

11,90 EUR
 
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