My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's 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.

Electro-Organic MP3s

ELECTRO-ORGANIC MP3S: A cough, of all things, lends some context. As if to underscore that what you’re hearing is, in fact, being performed live, amid several of the downloadable tracks by Doogie (aka Nathan Mclaughlin) at his website, fluxed.net, you can quite clearly make out someone clearing his (or her) throat. It may be Doogie himself, it may be an audience member, but it isn’t particularly distracting, and in fact hearing the familiar sound helps your ear get a sense of the space in which the performance took place, because nothing else here is remotely familiar. Soothing, yes. Artful, yes. Terrestrial, no. This is beautiful music, exemplary of the kind of electronic goods that get described, widely, as “organic.” Though the sounds are self-evidently artificial, their rendering is so warm, and they so suggest life forms the way they cycle and burble and quaver, that you can’t help but think of them as, well, organic. Particularly recommended is “Whats in a Species” (sic), a chimey formulation, like some cast-off riff by mid-period R.E.M. that’s taken on a purpose all its own (MP3). (The live tracks, recorded last November, feature accompaniment by one D. Fox.) “Keys,” from Doogie’s album The Spatulate Finger, released last September, is a drone that slowly changes over the course of nearly five minutes, from monastic om, to breaking-dawn lightness, to industrial burr (MP3).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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