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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Trans-Tokyo MP3s

Darren McClure and Hiroyuki Ura performed live at a spot in Tokyo, and in preparation to do so, they brought the outside in. According to the brief liner notes that accompany Content in a Void, a four-MP3 document of that performance, the duo “gathered field recordings from the area around the venue” and then improvised on a mix of various electronics. That real-world sound is especially evident on “Loop Line I” (MP3), which is close to six minutes of the urban audiosphere, from kids screaming to water dripping to whistles blowing, all sewn into a singular trip. “Loop Line II” (MP3) trades exteriority for its opposite, a fine thread of miniscule sounds, little fuzzy bits, with the occasional high-pitched bleep of a Morse Code machine on the fritz. “Loop Line III” (MP3) adds mechanical drones, which threaten to subsume those coded beeps. And the real keeper, “Loop Line IV” (MP3), locates a nearly melodic cohesion that deserves repeated listens; its lovely pulses approximate a developing musical pattern, even if they’re clipped and splintered like flashing images from an old zoetrope. Though the four tracks have their own inherent flavor, they are intended to be listened to straight through, and easily fade from one to the next. More info at the website of the releasing netlabel, standard-music.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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