February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, 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.

Revealing the Glitch in Voice (MP3)

By all appearances, the musician who goes by All N4tural is the only one on the Soundcloud.com audio-hosting service who applies the tag “colliding banter” to his recordings. This is unfortunate, because the resulting work is deserving not just of a listen, but of emulation.

The “colliding banter” material uses spoken words — not “spoken word” as in poetry,” but “spoken words” as in “spoken words,” i.e. human speech captured in its colloquial form — for source material in the pursuit of a glitchy funky music. Though a given track has no semblance of the shape of a song, the presence of bits of human speech amid a kind of rough tunefulness lend it the feeling of a song. Fans of Scott Johnson, Steve Reich, and John Oswald will likely appreciate the sonic machinations. Here, for example, is “They Was Utterly Helpless”:

The term “glitch” is applied here purposefully. Not because the music, with its naked brokenness, has the fast data-processed cut’n’paste feel of music often described as glitch — though, of course, it does — but because glitch at its core is about error, and the work All N4tural applies to the human voice celebrates all the inaccuracies and unintended accentuations of speech.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/all-n4tural. His music has been covered here frequently in the past.

The image shown here is a detail of the photo that the track took as its “cover”; it’s from flickr.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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