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.

Live Circuit-Bent MP3s

There’s a cognitive disorder known as “musical hallucinations.” It afflicts not the young but the aged, those whose decades of aural experience can come back unbidden, turning the brain into an out-of-control iPod on shuffle. For someone raised in a household where video games and other electronic devices, rather than a standard stereo system, filled rooms with sound, the music of a Macintosh tech consultant who makes his home at techdweeb.com might provide a scary, yet entertaining, premonition of mental issues yet to come.

Performing under names including Univac, or the Univac Index, he’s a serious bender, taking the noisemaking toys and gadgets of yesteryear and soldering them into his own aural image. The site offers visual and sonic documentation of things like a Kawasaki keyboard with pitch controls and optical resistors added on: “When it crashes noisily, you can still play noisy notes on the keyboard. Cool!”

Cool, indeed. The interface on the techdweeb site’s “noise” section requires the viewer to guess-click on a collage of dated computer clip art to access free MP3s of his performances. Doing so on the phrase “Single Pulse Device” (hint: lower right hand corner) leads to a seven-track set recorded live in Los Angeles a week or so prior to Halloween last year. He lists his equipment as Demon MonKeys, Nice Cube of White Noise, Blue Kaoss Pad, TubbyBox TinyFlaccid Po, Opera Daisy Rust, and the Super Ear Blaster. Listening to what appears to be a fleeing Pac Man at the tail end of “Electron Flow” (MP3) or the even more mashed-up gamer cues of “Free Battery” (MP3) and “Right Angles to the Wire” (MP3) could provide premonitions of what hardcore gamers will experience in their golden years. And there’s much more at techdweeb.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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