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.

Franken MP3s

As the Kikapu netlabel, at kikapu.com, creeps steadily toward its 100th release, out pops something dark and dreary, and altogether listenable. Roto Visage‘s Der Golem, Kikapu’s 87th entry, is 11 tracks not to be listened to before bedtime. That warning is intended not just for the ones with the most self-evident ties to the golem myth, two tracks titled “From Mud to Memory,” in both of which snatches of spoken dramatic text suggest something’s afoot: the dialogue provides raw materials that, like the golem itself, might become coherent with a little imagination, some science and magic. Much of Der Golem, though, is the better aspect of gothic, the pure mood, served up in haunting stretches of the audio equivalent of fog creeping through dead villages and infernal machines running slowly on automatic. It isn’t without beats. “Ketias” posits them as occasional hints of something centering, a few raspy punctuations in a row, before one is allowed to reverberate into the background. “Catalyst,” too, has a beat, but it’s merely the seam where the sample of static starts over. Such seams, inherent in loop-based music, take on a special meaning in the world of the golem, the myth that led to Frankenstein. Check it out at kikapu.com. More on Roto Visage at rotovisage.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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