October 10/28/23, 2023
According to the legends at hand, the moniker AeTopus suggests time (Ae), while “Topus” loosely means place. This makes for the perfect aural experience, creating legends and contemporary spiritual moments centered on imagined ancient sacred sites. Music suggests opportunities, choices, wishful thinking, and best of all, creative illusion. Bryan Hughes is a multi-media artist whose music is influenced as much by the arts and nature, as by the human experience. Music for the imagination and soul, a deeper, richer investigation of progressive electro-acoustic music. Hughes as AeTopus has won a Zone Music Reporter Award (ZMR) for Best Electronic album, and earned three Best Electronic album nominations. Cup is the first album by AeTopus on Spotted Peccary Music. Something more is out there, yet to be discovered, with unfolding heraldry and cinematic flourishes hidden inside a gentle vaporscape which forms like clouds that glow with changing colors.

Named for the Zen parable of the Broken Cup, which teaches acceptance in the face of misfortune, Cup is a new album of solitude and celebration by veteran electronic music artist AeTopus (Bryan Hughes), and his first release on the Spotted Peccary Music label. On Cup, AeTopus explores humanity’s place in nature through a stunning synthesis of electronic beats and rhythmic structures combined with saturated ambiences of enduring beauty. Experience Cup now on your platform of choice: https://orcd.co/aetopus-cup and at Bandcamp.

With this new album, AeTopus continues to evolve as an artist, capturing the calm and wildness of the forest in thirteen tracks of complex serenity, suggesting the solace found when, divested from external pressures, one embraces their own impermanence.

When composing, AeTopus builds lush soundscapes from pulsing electronic sequences and traditional percussion, then subtracts and subtracts from them. As a trained visual artist, AeTopus learned the value of negative space and applies that knowledge to these compositions. This approach leaves fragments of interlocking elements with simultaneous sparseness and complexity. “Pure” ebbs and flows around an odd-meter beat, briefly interrupted by sylvan guitar. “Glance” swells from a stuttering warble into a subtle, propulsive rhythm. “Access” hypnotizes with its strobing beat, a darkly reflective counterpoint to the album’s peacefulness. Ultimately, Cup is a work of passion that demonstrates the artistic process throughout all the pieces with such refined, beautiful expression.

In AeTopus’s own words: “Cup is the product of my time in the natural world, and of the realization that the universe is scarcely affected by the triumphs, tragedies, and day-to-day lives of even the greatest of personalities, the mightiest of nations, or the most enduring of belief systems.” Cup is an album of exploration and acceptance, a celebration of our place in the cosmos, however small it may be.

Mastered by Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary PNW Studios, Cup is available as a CD and for streaming and downloading, including high resolution studio master formats. The project's images and layout were designed by Daniel Pipitone, Spotted Peccary Studios NE.

Listen to the AeTopus interview on Tones & Drones: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/tonesanddrones/episodes/Tones--Drones-w-AeTopus-e28p78p

Watch an interview with AeTopus by Fairfax City News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RJuWY_QFjI

Music Smartlink: https://orcd.co/aetopus-cup
Amazon: https://a.co/d/0VQKoPV
Tidal: http://www.tidal.com/album/317835892
Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/album/cup/1708642623
Spotted Peccary Album Page: https://spottedpeccary.com/shop/cup/
Bandcamp: https://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/cup
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spottedpeccary/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spottedpeccary