It feels a little late for holiday music, but there’s really nothing season-specific about “Christmas 1983,” a free MP3 (download) from PanAmerican, culled reportedly from the same recording sessions as PanAm’s Quiet City album (2004, on Kranky Records, whose website, kranky.net, hosts the file). Note for the anti-Santa camp: the Kranky website refers to it as “Christmas 1983,” but the MP3 appears to carry the more secular title, “December 1983.” It opens with a heartbeat pulse and some seemingly computer-generated ambience, and soon enough a six-string enters, playing at a determinedly rudimentary pace. Occasional tones match and hold the pitch of a given guitar note, like it’s too good not to linger over — the sonic equivalent of a ghost image. Only a little quieter than that confectionary haze is some natural background noise (a little movement, perhaps a muffled voice, some shuffling), which lends the whole production a down-home appeal that contrasts nicely with (or, more to the point, subsumes) the more markedly digital elements. Midway through, Mark Nelson (who essentially is PanAm) starts talk-singing (“the streets are in ruins… “), and the combination of his detached vocals and the automation of the track sounds like nothing so much as a long lost Underworld song, like “Born Slippy” in super-slomo. The MP3 is part of Kranky’s ongoing semi-monthly giveaways. More info at kranky.net, under “news and tour updates.”
5 Most Recent Comments
Nuun: "Hi Mark, I’m truly honored and surprised by your review of my track! Thanks for your carefull listening..."
Marc Arsenault: "Have you ever played a music box over a guitar pickup? Do it. "
reis: "Thanks Super enjoyed this atmospheric masterwork. Love your review …it gains mass detail as it moves..."
Markian Volkov: "That’s what I was wondering. Now how can I promote my music on soundcloud without groups?..."
Monsterovich: "https://soundcloud.com/losttal entgroup Join us if you want normal groups back. "
5 Most Recent Posts
• 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: • 0248 / Galactic Tick / Celebrate the new celestial holiday in music. • 0247 / Waltz, Maybe / Interpret as a graphic score an illustration drawn upon waking by Lark Pien. • 0246 / Double, Quadruple, Sextuple / Compose a piece of music that increases speed in stages as it proceeds. • 0245 / Practical Music / Write a piece of music for getting things done, suitable for playing on repeat. • 0244 / Euro Mixin / The Assignment: Combine tracks from three different European netlabels (Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) into one sonic union.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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