Like a lot of abstract, ambient-leaning electronic music, Maikko‘s new release on the netlabel Statisfield, titled Kneedeep, defies the ear’s sense of scale. It could be a close-up audio recording of bionic buglife, or the seeping hum of some giant, slow-moving machine. Either way, though, it’s rich in detail — perhaps the microscopic workings of something smaller than your earlobe, or maybe the semi-organic sinew of something significantly larger than your apartment building. Confusingly, Kneedeep consists of a single track with a split title, “Wasteland / Flowers on Their Graves,” but at almost 20 minutes in length, it also has enough distinct stages, or movements, to deserve at least twice as many names. Note that all three given titles suggest organic murk. It’s a through-composed journey the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. There are moments of what sound like heavily vocoded speech, computer babble filtered through layers of feedback and transformative algorithms. What suggests spoken words is, specifically, how arrhythmic yet fluid that material is, like it has its own internal, if amelodic, logic; listen around the five-minute mark, and above the pulsing wave there’s a fuzz box that sounds like a Cylon Raider on a bender. By the 15-minute mark, the piece has an understated groove; it’s amazing how the odd offbeat can make the most mechanical of sounds seem to swing. Check the album out here, the MP3 file here. Maikko is a cofounder of the Italian collective Otolab (more info at otolab.net, and check out the Otolab music archive here). More on Stasisfield at stasisfield.com.
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0276 / 808 Blockchain Beats / Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain. • 0275 / Revisit Something / Make a track all over again. • 0274 / Broken Sound / Record a piece of music in the genre called "broken sound." • 0273 / Alarm Clocked / Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock. • 0272 / Exoplanetary Intervals / Use music to express the relationships between planets.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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