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.

Sing-Song Ambient MP3 EP

Marsen Jules‘ free online EP, Yara, on the Autoplate netlabel as of May of this year, is caught in a blissful limbo between the Cocteau Twins’ hypnotic chamber stews and Julee Cruise’s dub-tinged torch songs. The six-song set is both light and thick, elegant and rapturous. Much of it has the rich, formless, sing-song ambience of a tugboat’s midnight hymn. But what’s particularly amazing is how a seemingly neutral tonal field can fully subsume rhythmic clutter. This is certainly the case on the second track, which starts with a looped snippet, marked by the anti-percussive gap, or seam, where the sample is cued to repeat, but which gives way, effortlessly, to lush drone. The tracks are simply labeled “Yara 1” through “Yara 6.” Number four balances field-recording randomness with a deep, spacious blanket. Number five hangs out in a higher register, but with the same languorous pendulum swing that distinguishes many of the other tracks. Apparently the source material comes (permission granted) from a live performance by a group named Trio Yara — hence the mix of tonal and found sound. Trio Yara and Jules hail from the same city: Dortmund, Germany. Download the full Yara set from the Autoplate website, at autoplate.org. More on Marsen Jules at marsenjules.de.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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