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.

Three MP3s at Dawn

Three tracks trace a dawn-like arc on Pausal’s new self-titled net-album on the netlabel Highpoint Lowlife. The pieces individually move from near-silence through a creaky murmur through an enveloping warmth that grows and grows. This sense of a real-world soundtrack is abetted by cricket chatter on the opening entry, “Heroes=Dogs,” in which rich, long chords suggest a solo for organ (MP3). The world peeks out of the second track, too, “Songs from a Cloth Pocket,” in which birdsong plays hide and seek amid the ebbs and flows of swelling synthesized drones (MP3), before those drones begin — slowly, mind you — to take on the quality that might — again, only possibly — be mistaken for — hold your seat — a melody; a light, tension-building bustle of what could be orchestral strings would be obvious were they not employed with such economy. The third track, “Place,” is a kind of drone chamber music in which little motifs, akin to minimalist repetition, gather in layers that overlap to form varying permutations (MP3); if you close your eyes — and this is the sort of music that makes you want to close your eyes — you might mistake it for some pastoral moment in Debussy. More info at highpointlowlife.com and pausal.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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