February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Germanic Soundscape MP3 Album

In Traum (“traum” meaning “dream”), by the German act Seetyca, could very well take as its title the name of the netlabel that released it: Dark Winter. It’s nine tracks of near-lifeless, emotionally and physically remote soundscapes. Or is it? The closing piece, “Vielleicht Erlischt das Licht” (roughly, in English, “Perhaps the Light Expires”), shares with the hour-long album as a whole the same hovering clouds of white noise, and the nearly subaural rumblings of deep bass-line activity that root everything here. But it also could be heard as a kind of heavenly choir, albeit not one that brings to the mind’s eye images of sun-split heavens and rotund angels. The sense of awe is too intense, too existential, to allow easy resolution into joy. That confliction, along with an ever-present flicker of digital noises throughout “Vielleicht Erlischt das Licht,” makes it more than just an exercise in sonic despair. Most of the tracks do sound like field recordings from icy and underpopulated regions, but some have metallic touches that suggest interior spaces, like “Im Travergange,” and occasionally voices can be heard, though only as transmuted sonic elements. Get the full set at darkwinter.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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