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 Glitch in Gastón Arévalo (MP3)

Static means different things to different people. The surface noise of vinyl. A programming error. A cable disconnect. Interference from a cellphone, a crossed signal. To some musicians, all of the interpretations, all of the guesses, are crossed signals — and to these musicians the static is yet another thing: a compositional element, one that itself signals a consciousness of the intrinsic failure inherent in technology. It can ring of nostalgia (a sonic palimpsest, the Ghost of Data Past), and it can suggest what’s yet to come (message seeping in from the future). In the case of Gastón Arévalo, the glitch is matched, in a track titled “Agreste,” with a lulling sensibility, a marshy, singsongy slow wave that neither suffocates nor is irritated by the glitch’s spiny presence. That balance is the track’s major accomplishment, and the source of its pleasure:

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/gastonarevalo. More on Arévalo at garevalo.info and twitter.com/microagreste.

This entry was supposed to go up last night, but I’ve been experimenting with using an iPad as a laptop replacement, and, well, let’s just say I still have a lot to learn (or perhaps the iPad does).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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