Achim Mohné (minimalist) and Philip Jeck (maximalist) and their wheels of steel
The first half of the hour is Achim Mohné on a trio of turntables (Omnitronics), and the second is Philip Jeck on a pair (Dansettes, we’re informed) and in place of a third, Jeck employs a sampler. Both musicians take a device intended to project, to reproduce, sound and then they explore the device’s unintended sonic mechanisms and consequences. In Mohné capable hands, this means a revelatory series of details born of the tight circling patterns of a record needle caught in a groove, of the turntable’s aged gears moving in place; it’s a fantasia that erupts from the sleep induced by the cycling’s monotony. Jeck, with his sampler, layers his source material for a rousing, seesawing haze (MP3).
The set was recorded by Philip Marshall (“from desk to hard drive”). Track originally posted at touchradio.org.uk. More on Mohné at achimmohne.de, and on Jeck at philipjeck.com. Photo above by credited to Mike Harding and Philip Marshall.
Time heals all musical genre rifts
Musics from disparate cultures that occur during a similar era might have shared dispositions, shared characteristics, that become clear only as time progresses. Case in point: Ethan Hein‘s recent experiment in employing a Buchla modular synthesizer to rework source material from hip-hop, specifically the human beatboxing of Doug E Fresh. Fresh isn’t himself self-evident in the track, so transformed are his syllables. But the vibrancy of the track makes sense when the listener is informed of the source material. Hein reports that it is a rough draft of a piece for a class he is taking with Morton Subotnik, who back in 1963 was responsible for commissioning the development of the Buchla, which was the first analog synthesizer: “Rough mix of my newest Buchla epic,” writes Hein, “with some processed beatboxing by the great Doug E Fresh. Presently long and unstructured. Future iterations will probably be shorter and more orderly.”
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/ethanhein. Earlier homework by Hein for his Subotnick class: “The Modular Harmonica.” More on Hein at ethanhein.com.
News, quick links, good reads
4’33 Neoteny: Jonathan Lethem gave the tenth State of Cinema address at the 55th San Francisco Film Festival on April 21, and wired.it posted a bootleg of the audio. The sprawling lecture, which is highly recommended, is very much a novelist welcoming film to post-relevancy. Of course, Lethem turns matters of relevancy on their head, employing the concept of “neoteny,” in which juvenile traits surface in adult behavior (that is a poor paraphrase). In the process of outlining his thinking, he attributes neotenic qualities to John Cage’s 4’33”, describing it as the sounds a child might accomplish before even beginning to learn to play piano. Lethem’s latest book is a study of Talking Heads’ Fear of Music, which was produced by Brian Eno (continuumbooks.com).
Ball, Game: The name Noah Sasso will be familiar to longtime readers of Disquiet.com due to his having been a founding member of the Kracfive collective (kracfive.com), whose Iron Chef of Music was a big presence on this site for many years, and was an influence on the development of the Disquiet Junto. Like many electronic-music practitioners, Sasso has an active role in game development, and his new project, BaraBariBall, will debut at the NYU Game Center’s Third Annual No Quarter Exhibition (nyu.edu) on May 18. He’s posted this video trailer (at vimeo.com) for the game. It has that perfect mix of pixel elegance and stellar fluid motion, like watching basketball through mosaic sunglasses:
Sasso says it was developed for Windows and Mac but has no current planned public release. More on Sasso at strangeflavor.net and soundcloud.com/strangeflavor.
App Updates (iOS Edition): Tabletop, a virtual music studio with device emulators, has improved the manner in which one swaps between devices. …
Animoog has debuted a SoundSet by Richard Devine in its in-app storefront. …
The Buddha Machine app has been updated to include sounds from the Buddha Machine 3.
A new track from the Lisbon-based musician
Leonardo Rosado‘s “Sharp Knives Eyes” opens with what could easily be, or be mistaken for, the warning signals of fog-deep lighthouses, muffled and solemn sirens that pulse slowly and forbiddingly. As the track proceeds, the sounds soon move from apparent naturalism to a more representative approach, as what appears to be a slowly implemented guitar registers a barren sonic landscape. The music straddles the line between enticing and remote, between the depiction of a stark realm, and being pleasing in its solitary presence.
The track appears on the Escala 2:3 compilation (escalared.com). It was also posted, individually, at soundcloud.com/l-r-1. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Rosado runs the great feedbacklooplabel.blogspot.com netlabel. More on him at works-by-lr.tumblr.com.