The group Larsen consists of four Italian musicians on standard rock tools with some additional homey instrumentation: harmonium, xylophone, accordion. Their recent Play album, on Important Records, adds some guests, in the form of a cellist, a keyboardist, a violinist and a synthesizer player. Wondering, at this point, what Larsen has to do with the Disquiet Downstream section, beyond the fact that Play shares a record-label home with Jack Dangers (of the industrial band Meat Beat Manifesto), not to mention art-noisemakers Fe-Mail and Merzbow, and late ambient figure Muslimgauze? Well, according to Important, Larsen preceded the Play recording sessions with a particular exercise: “improvising around some of their favorite melodies from Autechre albums,” Autechre’s groundbreaking glitch having about as much to do, on the surface, with accordion rock as, well, fill in your favorite cultural-divide simile here. As it turns out, the Autechre factor infused Larsen’s recordings with a deep post-rock vibe. The Pitchfork online magazine’s MP3 page, pitchforkmedia.com/mp3, features a nearly eight-minute Larsen piece, “C,” which slowly makes its way from stasis to just short of ecstasy, building and building like some folksy ritual. And over at the Important site, at importantrecords.com, are two more tracks (on the Play album’s page). One, clocking in at two minutes, appears to be an edit of the Pitchfork track. The other, at three minutes, is an edit of an even more drone-like recording, the accordion bringing to mind, immediately, the protean work of Pauline Oliveros. Aside from this latter track’s clipped close, it’s heavenly.
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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: • 0278 / Chew Concrète / Make music inspired by C. Reider's Chew Cinders album procedures. • 0277 / MacConnel’s Jingle / Interpret a work of contemporary art as a graphically notated score. • 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."
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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