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.

Pocka MP3s

The latest release from the netlabel 8bitrecs.com is a pair of songs by Pocka, aka Brad Mitchell. Both tracks almost demand to be played at a low volume, because doing so serves to emphasize the keen balance they locate between fragility and complexity. “Zero Inter Three,” at just over two minutes, employs a chime and a bit of acoustic guitar to introduce itself, the latter backward masked initially, as if it were teleporting into the studio, slowing phasing into view. The guitar’s presence places the track nicely on an MP3 playlist between, say, Greg Davis and Fennesz, but as the piece grows, it becomes entirely its own thing — the sounds of strings plucked and rubbed share headspace with a handful of electronic elements, fizzy noises and percussive marginalia that complement the acoustic line. It’s unfortunate it doesn’t go on longer. The second track, “After a Time in Argentina,” uses a steady, glitchy baseline as its main theme, and applies a series of sequences to it, some groovy and percussive, some hi-pitched and abstract. Both tracks are encoded at the generous bit rate of 256kbps, which especially suits “Zero Inter Three”‘s almost fetishistic attention to sonic detail. Check them out here.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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