The latest from the Portuguese netlabel test tube is a truly superb mix of acoustic and electric elements, with all the elegance of classic minimalism and all the presence of an early-1970s singer-songwriter album. It’s sure to appeal to fans of Greg Davis’ Arbor (Carpark, 2002), and other so-called folktronic music. Credited to Aitanna77 (aka Spanish musician Mikel Martinez), the Spring Is Coming Soon EP’s four tracks mix gently plucked acoustic guitar and a smattering of digital effects. What makes the work special is that the blend of analog and digital isn’t predicated on conflict, but on how the elements work together. This isn’t the countrified hip-hop of the Dust Brothers’ collaborations with Beck, or the electronified blues of Moby’s Play, in which contrasting sounds rub against each other to stoke the frisson of pop fusion. On the title cut, soft hums serve as ghost images to the melody, and then bits of reverb exaggerate the finger picking. On “Licking Ice Cream Cones,” which has John Fahey’s way with a lilting melody, guitar parts accumulate thanks to multitracking, veering slightly apart from one another and lending the cut the hypnotic quality of overlapping patterns. Other instrumentation on the brief set includes electric guitar, xylophone and that touchstone of dub, the melodica. Be sure to check it out, at monocromatica.com/netlabel.
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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: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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