February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, 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.

Tom Moody’s 8bit MP3s (and Other Media)

The artist Tom Moody applies the same lo-fi, lo-tech tools to visuals as he does to sound, an approach generally described as “8bit.” Even when he is using acrylics instead of software like MS Paintbrush, he ports over the pared down geometries and limited color palettes of early digital media, sometimes including the pixel patterning. Much as Agnes Martin would restrict herself to rarefied grids, and Robert Ryman himself to a stark white canvas, Moody works within the confines of such time-honored devices as the animated GIF and the Korg Electribe Groovebox.

Two recent music files on his website provide a back beat to his modus operandi. “Song 8 (Blip)” sounds like a rave for pixel characters (MP3, tommoody.us) while “Reggaedrome II” employs the genre’s dubby rhythms and then layers in tentative effects; the latter, he explains in the post, were an attempt to convey “students learning to scratch” (MP3, tommoody.us). For the sake of audio-visual comparison, the image above is Moody’s digitally produced “sketch_a4 (dutch remix)” — click through to see the full-size original on his site.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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