The new four-track release by Cycom, titled Isotope, packs in a compressed set of drum’n’bass that despite some occasional asides for moody filigree tends to favor of spare, hard beats — and at a time when more florid d’n’b has long since become standard TV-advertising and cop-show background music, that’s a gesture worth applauding. Isotope doesn’t have the gristle and anger of more contemporary drill’n’bass or the fetid, subterranean pleasures of dubstep, but it distinguishes itself with single-minded intent and some delicate touches. “Isotope” (MP3) opens with a glitchy salvo but dives headlong into rapidfire switchback rhythms that are accented by electronic tones; kudos to Cycom (born Thomas Fleischer) for the unexpected breaks. It’s the strongest track on the set, followed closely by “Funky Giraffe” (MP3), which does its best to locate a common ground between d’n’b and fusion jazz, with warm modulations and natural drum sounds. None of the tracks are new. “Isotope,” for example, dates from 2001 and “Giraffe” from 2004, but are previously unreleased. The closing track, a “bonus” entry titled “Down the Drain,” was first was heard on an Alphacut Records release back in 2006. Get the full set and more details at the website of the releasing netlabel, plainaudio.com.
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0276 / 808 Blockchain Beats / Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain. • 0275 / Revisit Something / Make a track all over again. • 0274 / Broken Sound / Record a piece of music in the genre called "broken sound." • 0273 / Alarm Clocked / Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock. • 0272 / Exoplanetary Intervals / Use music to express the relationships between planets.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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