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.

Spare MP3 Album

Raemus‘s superb Nine Days is that many tracks of deceptively simple music, raw percussive-oriented songs that leave plenty of room for the mind to wander about in. The individual instrumentals are, for the most part, as spare as minimal techno, but without the resounding dub that lends that genre its loungey depth and allure. Instead, Raemus settles, with a few exceptions, for the brittle. Most of the tracks follow the pattern of the lead entry, “Saturday Night,” which is built from little more than a handful of acoustic knocks and pings, with the occasional gong-like reverberation — like a DJ doing his best to entertain a crowd during a blackout. Each entry adds something to the equation. The closing of “Friday Morning” pounds back and forth and into the distance while squeaky metallic sounds crowd the foreground. “Thursday Afternoon” adds a bass line and distant soundwash (perhaps a nod to the Brian Eno album of that name), but keeps to the reticent mode. “Monday Morning” drops in snippets of treated spoken words. “Tuesday Afternoon” stands out, trading percussion for minimalist organ sounds, the fugue riffs reminiscent of Philip Glass’s early-career loft jams. And “Thursday Morning” applies those organ sounds to a thick consortium of drones. The Nine Days album is the most recent full-length release from the 2063music.de netlabel. (Go directly to the album here. Raemus’ web presence is here.)

By the way, tomorrow, February 24, is “Grey Tuesday,” so named for the web-organized protest against Capitol Records’ shortsighted, heavy-handed legal assault on Danger Mouse, whose now infamous Grey Album mixes together the Beatles’ The Beatles (aka the White Album) and Jay-Z’s Black Album. Disquiet.com doesn’t have the resources to join the protest fully (that is, to mirror the files from Danger Mouse’s album-length mashup), but suffice to say that this site’s Downstream department exists to shed light on practical uses of the web to distribute experimental music for free to a growing audience that recognizes that current copyright laws are woefully outdated. More info on the protest at greytuesday.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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