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Sounding out technology.
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Monthly Archives: January 2007

Frippertronic Duet MP3

The “hot tickle” free downloads posted by guitarist Robert Fripp over at dgmlive.com don’t hang around forever. A subscription to the series’ RSS feed (RSS) is the best way to keep up to date. Among the most recent is a duet featuring Fripp, on, as ever, his heavenly, looping guitar, and Theo Travis on woodwind (flute?). The two start off matching pitches with eerie verisimilitude, but soon enough launch into something much more compelling and complex and dissonant than mere tandem tone-riding (MP3). The following note accompanies the posted MP3: “Don’t forget this isn’t necessarily the finished article but very much a work and mix in progress.” How’s this for freshness? It was recording on January 5, 2007, in Salisbury. Travis (theotravis.com) plays in a quartet that includes bassist Andy Hamill (4 Hero, LTJ Bukem) and he collaborated with DJ Krush back in 1997.

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FM Noise MP3s

The attenuated noise of Phillip StearnsAutopoiesis – I isn’t a matter of drones, per se. At least the five “Structures,” labeled “I” (MP3) through “V” (MP3), do not burrow deep into singular sounds and coast in a den of intense sameness. Quite the contrary, though the sonics of these pieces, described briefly by Stearns as having been produced on “Mixer and FM transmitter feedback,” may initially sound narrow and amusical, even drone-like, they in fact change continuously. (FM transmission also serves as the link between him and the two other musicians, Aaron Drake and Cassia Streb, who make up the improv trio DSS.)

The pieces don’t end where they begin, but they make complete sense as they unfold, moving from raw noise through tortured slivers, sinuous sounds appearing below beeps that might be mistaken for violin or bag pipe, each entry clearly distinct from the others. In a warning attached to the recordings, Stearns says, “Please mind your listening volume as some of the tracks may cause damage to speakers and/or ears,” but one needn’t cue them up to full-ear assault to appreciate their richness. More info on Stearns, who is based in Los Angeles, at art-rash.com/pixelform.

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Lynchian Japanese MP3

It opens with the misfunction of some broken old, little machine and then fades, countintuitively, into impressionistic piano. The latter, with its gentle daybreak melody, brings to mind the soundtracks of Angelo Badalementi, and that quietly instrusive mechanical sound reaffirms the association by focusing further on something akin to Badalamenti’s work with director David Lynch. The track is titled “Shousetsu” (MP3), off the album Odori, which is out from Japanese musician radicalfashion (born Hirohito Ihara) this month on Hefty Records. More info at heftyrecords.com.

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Found Sound MP3s

From found radio to wobbly vinyl, the source material that comprises Lee Rosevere‘s Play 2, on the WM netlabel (wmrecordings.com), all comes across a little warped, a little nostalgic, a little maudlin, which is all to Rosevere’s credit. From the flurry of violins on “The Missing Shadow” (MP3), mixed until they collectively achieve a supple quality, to the bunker realism of the mashed up broadcast signals on “Nobody Goes to Heaven” (MP3), to the angelic tones of “Pendulum” (MP3), Rosevere manages to tweak existing sound enough to make it his own, leaving a taste of the original intact. That violin montage, “Missing Shadow,” was done on the same equipment as “Pendulum,” a sampler with a whole four seconds of memory to its credit. This background studio information comes courtesy of some useful liner notes Rosevere has posted along with the music. More info on Rosevere at geocities.com/happypuppyrecords.

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Viennese Particulate MP3s

A collection of six deeply inlaid tracks, Seroton reveals Sascha Neudeck as a master of details. Just listen to how small noises are introduced above the buzzing foundation of “Stringent#3,” for example; the sounds, which range from static to bent drones to pin drops, don’t hit the ear as inherently musical, but there’s something downright tuneful about their placement and manipulation (MP3). “160 mg,” the most still entry on the album, opens with a vorpal whir of fuzz before initiating an extended decay, a slow fade in the background of which is heard myriad distant elements (MP3). The set is the latest from the con-v netlabel, at con-v.org. More on Neudeck at sascha-neudeck.com.

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