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.

Noise-Improv MP3s

In the world of noise music, no one can hear you scream. Or, more to the point, your scream may be heard, but it’s likely to have been so utterly transformed by digital and analog sonic torture devices that it will not be comprehended. The squelched voices in the work by a duo going by the name Look to the Skies sound, at times, like some robot Diamanda Galas in full torque mode. There are over 20 tracks, many in the 20-minute range, at the Skies website, looktotheskies.net, and among the more recent entries, such as “A Deep Gash in the North Face” (MP3) and “A Series of 42 Negative Statements” (MP3), the human voice is heard as something so heavily sublimated that it might be mistaken for pure electronics. Still, on the former you hear a distinct if muddied melody that almost approximates singing (think of an industrial spin on Gavin Bryars’ “Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”), and on the latter speech makes itself heard, if not understood, amid a crackle of fire and the whorl of overhead motion. Elsewhere, “56 Witnesses” (MP3) has the brute force, at times, of an ongoing battle and “Phone Box Somewhere” (MP3) follows a slow sine wave of throb and muffle until what very well may be carillon bells.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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