The New York-based duo of Justin Carter and Andrew Gath, who record together as Royal Trans, have released a second free collection of Buddha Machine mixes. The previous set, In an Expression of Form: The FM3 Experiments (archive.org, disquiet.com) took the nine brief loops contained in the Buddha Machine and recorded them in a variety of environments, letting the loops resound and chart the contours of the given locale, and also letting the setting’s own inherent sound mix in with the original material.
The audio on new collection, In an Expression of Form: Vol. II, released last week, is much cleaner than was the first volume. And so, though the album includes none of the helpful explanatory text that accompanied the volume one, it’s likely that live field recording wasn’t involved in the process.
The original loops will be familiar to anyone who has heard a Buddha Machine, and attractive to anyone who hasn’t. “Neu Pink,” for example, takes the sound of circulating strings and adds a rising momentum suitable to a thrill ride (MP3). “I Set My Hand on Fire” emphasizes the texture of the original before locating a loop within the loop (MP3). “Meandering,” the opening track, does quite the opposite of what its title suggests, forming a glitchy pop instrumental where there had been little more than waves and air (MP3). As a result, the recordings sound much more Royal Trans’s own than had the first Expression of Form collection. Get the full set at archive.org.
Two Royal Trans albums are already scheduled for the near future: 9 Drones for Horses contains pieces that reportedly complement or were inspired by individual tracks on Patti Smith’s Horses and Mint Tea will include a bonus EP of covers of songs by the Cure, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Cat Power, Pavement, the Beatles, and Nirvana.