The way that Los Angeles-based musician and sound artist Steve Roden presents his music is a perfect match for the music itself. He has long been a proponent for what he terms “lowercase” sound: music constructed from some of the quietest raw materials available, the sonic equivalent of sculptures made from dust.
And he announced his latest release as follows: “to be honest, i don’t remember making this recording at all.”
He isn’t joking. The comment comes from the brief liner note he penned to accompany the track, which is titled “Amnesia (Live in Berlin, 2004), based on his deduction, long after the fact, that the piece was recorded during a gig there. The piece was released this week as a free half-hour download from the Term netlabel, a spinoff of the 12k record label. The casually funereal track moves from a creaky rhythm to a light whir of noise (MP3). In the process, Roden continues to redefine “headphone music” — what once meant a dense psychedelia best experienced in the sonic equivalent of a private arena now refers to music so fragile that it should be experienced in the anechoic chamber of one’s own noggin. More info at 12k.com/term and at Roden’s website, inbetweennoise.com.