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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Broken Vocal (MP3)

The latest entry in the excellent Radius podcast out of Chicago is credited to HMBKR, a quartet based in Vancouver, Canada. Their track, “Radio Majesty,” clocking in at just over 17 minutes, ties in with Radius’ ongoing focus on the artistic utilization of the radio spectrum and of radio technology. The brief liner note accompanying the track, which is available for free download, explains that HMBKR’s work is “based on the fragmentation of pre-set parameters, textured abstractions, minimalist drones, non-linear narratives, and digital detritus.” The resulting music is heard largely as a compelling treatment of vocals, a voice contorted and shifting as it moves through various stages of distress. The arrangement shuttles between something approximately a song-like structure and blast-furnace noise. There’s something remarkable about how the voice, for all its contortions, remains recognizable, a kind of sonic center to the piece, despite everything that occurs through its duration.

HMBKR consists of Ross Birdwise (of Ejaculation Death Rattle), Samuel Macklin (of Connect_icut), Constantine Katsiris (of Scant Intone), and Emma Hendrix (of Coin Gutter). Track originally posted at theradius.tumblr.com. More on HMBKR at last.fm.

More on Radius and its opening sonic theme in this interview with Jeff Kolar, who administers the series.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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