My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Monthly Archives: October 2000

Listening to Earthquakes

This page from the official site of the United States Geological Survey (quake.wr.usgs.gov) converts “shakes to sound.”

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Antarktika Stream

Beautiful streaming audio of an hour-long industrial-ambient set by Antarktika (born David O’Toole), recorded on January 22, 2000. Mentioned as a streaming offer in the July issue of the Disquiet.com newsletter; now available for download (for free). In the Toshoklabs label site’s “download area” (toshoklabs.com)

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Solex Live on the BBC

Limited window for this live session by Solex, courtesy of legendary BBC DJ John Peel (bbc.co.uk/radio1). Twelve songs in all.

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Worth Getting Lost In

Like perfume, ambient music comes in lots of different flavors, and it isn’t always as subtle as its fans might imagine. On Fade (Austere), Austere paints quiet music with broad strokes — singular, thick swells that can sound like giant steamships passing overhead, albeit muted by a thick ceiling and, no doubt, a pillow or two. The result here is much more corporeal than the group’s packaging suggests (all white, with barely legible typography), but that physicality is very much in the music’s favor. This is immersive stuff, ranging from vast expanses of sound to something closer in timbre to a digital didjeridu. The last track on Fade experiments with near-intelligible vocal samples, and the result is especially haunting. Worth getting lost in.

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Washburn via Sweden

Moljebka Pvlse is actually someone named Mathias Josefson, a Stockholm, Sweden-based electronic musician. He toured the U.S. early this fall with his countryman, Mikael Stavostrand. You wouldn’t know from your first taste, but the six tracks on the appropriately titled Koan (Eibon/Prefeed) are based, in large part, on the sound of a Washburn guitar. There’s a real thrill, if that’s the appropriate term in such downbeat circumstances, to hear him work hard to posit tiny details amid huge clouds of ambiguous sound. The music seems to bend under its own weight as it progresses from one track to the next. “Micchaka” is a fairly traditional atmosphere, albeit rich beyond most electronic musicians’ abilities. “Parshva” lopes with an extremely slow, automated pace. “Zhijian” will test your speaker’s bass response with its brobdingnagian heart murmur. All the tracks fade in slowly, magnifying their dread, like a particularly bad Monday.

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