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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Classically Sourced Solo MP3s

The shskh.com netlabel was founded a few years back by Jody Pou and Igor Ballereau, Manhattan-based musicians. Their latest is a compact anthology of experimental music that takes classical instrumentation as its starting point. For fans of electronic music, the best entry point may be “January 21, 2009,” by Kenneth Kirschner, who treats flute electronically (originally performed by Erin Lesser) until it becomes his own characteristic spectral glare (MP3).

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“Monochrome pour Igor” by Giuliano D’Angiolini sounds like stripped down Ligeti (MP3); cautious lines horn lines (that’s Benjamin Herrington on trombone) overlap in stereo in short segments that are more Webern-like koans than full compositions. (Speaking of which, the forthcoming shskh.com release will be Webern-related. It’s due out this summer.)

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The double bass (performed by Tom Blancarte) that serves as the origin for sounds in Igor Ballereau‘s “Noctis Labyrinthus” (MP3) plays a similar game to the trombone in the D’Angiolini: short bursts of tonal play and modest riffing are interspersed with framing silences. (Suggesting the Igor in D’Angiolini’s title is Ballereau and not Stravinsky.)

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And Joe Bergen provides the timpani for Aaron Siegel‘s “Our Reluctance Is Overstated” (MP3), a work of subliminal passion, all muted tribal beats.

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The interface at shskh.com is absolutely beautiful, by the way. There’s a playful table of contents for the releases (this is the label’s fourth thus far), and the in-browser audio player shows waveforms of the current track. (There’s even a full-screen view.) It’s unfortunate, though, that for all the website’s stylish presentation, you can’t find all the information about a single release on a single page, and must tab through.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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