My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's 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.

The Light Pleasures of Dark Drones (MP3)

“Nicely ominous” — perhaps no other phrase can so well sum up the conflicting emotional effects of a well-crafted drone. Those words were part of a comment a few days ago, responding to a track by Hoist at soundcloud.com/hoist.

Appropriately titled “Bleakscape,” the track is a lightly meandering, slowly circulating drone that doesn’t so much progress linearly as seap outward as time progresses. It could be the sound of an infant’s crib-mobile slowed to an extreme. It could be the score to a planetarium installation, each newly introduced sound timed to the appearance of a star.

Throughout, this undercurrent of tension, a tremulous if distant rumbling, is set against the glints that comprise the most prominent aspects of the composition. It’s quite a lovely thing, overall, in particular how the various different elements change how your ear perceives the work’s pacing.

Hoist is Boston, Massachusetts–based Charlie Hoistman.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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