Jo Jena‘s Rhythm ‘n’ Drones, from the test tube netlabel, could just as easily exchange that “‘n'” for an “or.” The album’s eight tracks are divided in two: half are titled “Rhythm I” through “Rhythm IV,” the other half “Drone I” through “Drone IV.” A standard rhythmic track, like “Rhythm II,” features crafty guitar counterpoint that evades a strict downbeat by suggesting many. To Jena, it turns out, this is what constitutes rhythm: something sharp and hard, of definite shape and pulsating with momentum. Other variations include scraped percussion and a moire pattern of pizzicato action, but the real keeper, “Rhythm III” (MP3), sounds, of all things, like ersatz African juju pop music, complete with sour bent notes. Jena’s drones are equally varied, including the industrial hum of “Drone I,” which is textured with scrapes, and the orchestral-sounding “Drone II.” The album is organized in a kind of broken symmetry: alternating rhythms and drones three times, and then reversing for the final pair. According to a note on Jena’s site, jo-jena.com, “‘rhythm ‘n’ drones’ consists of eight pieces which should be listened to without (even very short) pauses.” Get the full set at the test tube site, monocromatica.com/netlabel, and listen to them as you wish.
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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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