The Kikapu netlabel’s 75th release comes from its founder, Brad Mitchell, who records under the name Pocka. Titled Devoured by a Shark, it collects what he describes as “random” tracks that have been on his “hard drive for the better part of a year or more.” The set opens wisely, with one of its strongest pieces, “Metahmafasis,” which floats a brief piano figure over the sort of microsonic whirring we’ve come to expect from Pocka. That foreground melody doesn’t evolve much, though he does eventually embrace some thick chords. It’s actually the background that changes the most, from light buzzes to scrappy rhythms, and there’s a lesson in there: throughout this album it’s worth paying attention to the background; even if it initially seems like ambient inaction, that’s often where the action is. This is especially the case on tracks that are nothing but background, like the haunting “Gwely Mernans (Remix)” and the arid “Ratsagain (Extended),” both rich swaths of sound. A drum’n’bass/dancehall montage (“Cutty Ranks Mashup”) doesn’t offer much that’s new, except to longtime Pocka followers, who might be surprised that someone who has produced a substantial amount of enticingly vaporous sounds has interest in these by-the-books rhythms. The same could be said of “Ziggomatic 17 (Remix),” but at least it does inject some brisk chaos. Those are all just a few of the album’s 14 tracks. One major highlight is “Cherublossom,” which plunks electric piano for funky little riffs, and then sets ’em against an equally tasty drum beat. Download the full batch at kikapu.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: • 0263 / Overture Edit / Produce an overture to an existing album. • 0262 / Ice Code / Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it. • 0261 / Audio Journal 2016 / Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen five-second segments. • 0260 / Tone Fade / An exercise in when a sound ends. • 0259 / Signals Lost / Summon up a horror story in sound.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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