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.

Christopher Willits MP3s

Sorry for the two-week break. I was traveling (in Tokyo, for the first time — notes on that trip at a later date, as time allows), and then the holidays hit. In any case, we return to your regularly scheduled, free and highly recommended downloads:

In the future, Christopher Willits‘ surname will likely become a verb, at least among musicians, for the technique that most succinctly distinguishes his work: the cascades of computer-pixelated guitar that make each of his records a must-listen. The “Willits sound” is so remarkable that it’s amazing a technophilic pop star like Bjork, Cher or Madonna hasn’t already licensed or aped it for one of their state-of-the-art singles. That his sound lends itself both to extrapolative, nouvelle-classical composition and to imaginary radio hits says much about its appeal.

Willits recently posted three MP3s on his site, all worth checking out: “The Fall in Love Machine,” off EADGBE (a guitar + computer various-artists compilation on the 12K label, also featuring Fonica, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Sebastien Roux); “Your Face Looks Like a 15th Century Carpet,” off Little Edo (Nibble); and “Touch Me and I End Up Singing,” off SMM Vol. 2 (a compilation on Ghostly International, also featuring Cepia and Lusine). That the latter two of these are vinyl-only releases in the physical world makes their free online availability, even as extracts, an added bonus. “Love Machine” is the most characteristic of Willits’ recordings in general: the lilting sway, the pointillist spray of melody, the bridge-like breaks that lend some of his compositions the quality of vocal-free songs. “Touch Me” shares “Love Machine”‘s pointillism, but with its deliberately uncertain rhythmic center it’s considerably less easy to pin down, even with the addition of a discernable, unmolested bass line and what appears to be lightly disfigured vocals. “Your Face” tempers the rush of the other two tracks in favor of a lacey, vocal-oriented piece featuring the processed soulful ahs of Latrice Barnett. They’re all on the “audio” page at christopherwillits.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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