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

While My Guitar Gently Beats … (MP3)

Aeroc is Geoff White, and “For Sake” is a free track made available from his soon-to-be-released (December 13) album with the promising title R+B=? on the label Ghostly. The album title brings to mind that of rock critic Robert Christgau’s long-running “Rock & Roll &” column (once upon a time in the Village Voice, of late at the website of Barnes & Noble). Both formulae suggest pop music as a medium of accrual. It’s a suggestion that can be taken at least two ways. It can mean over an extended period of time. It can mean in a given instance. The former is a suggestion that rock’n’roll gathers constituent parts like a cultural Katamari Damacy ball. The latter recognizes that a given track, a given song, a given studio-constructed composition, is the sum of a set number of tracks, and that many songs are orchestrated only to the extent that we hear those layers play against each other.

The second of these is quite clearly the case in Aeroc’s “For Sake,” wherein several concise layers are added, one at a time, until a whole is completed. These layers consist primarily of a beat and a guitar figure. It’s a classic case of cooked and raw, digital and analog. Many such conglomerations succeed by emphasizing the differences. Aeroc appears to, admirably, have his ear on the similarities. It’s a downtempo track, which lets the ear focus on the parts. Nothing rushes by eagerly. And what makes it work is how, texturally, the beat and guitar aren’t so far apart. The guitar plays a largely rhythmic role, and the beat comes across like a slightly harder and slightly colder version of the sound made when a finger scrapes a length of a guitar string.

Track available for free download at soundcloud.com/ghostly and ghostly.com, the latter of which address has additional information on the R+B=? album.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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