SoundCloud.com turns a particular idea of the bootleg on its head. The term “bootleg” is often associated with black market recordings, but much of the realm is actually more grey market: not fake versions of commercial goods, but commercial versions of uncommercial goods, such as live recordings or studio outtakes. SoundCloud is where many musicians, professional, aspiring, and casual, post their works-in-progress. In other words, these are free versions of uncommercial goods. For a particular sort of listener — a listener increasingly characterized as a SoundCloud sort of listener — that is an enticing operation. Which means informed musicians are posting the very things that previously would have been considered the things one gets out of the way before posting something. Tautologies aside, it makes for good listening, and for a great social experiment in sound. Take Greg Surges, who besides having a great family name for someone eking the most out of experimental electronics, is an accomplished participant in the online music world. His mundanely titled “patch sketch_2” seems to take a filename for its name, but that’s true to what it is: an “improvised sketch,” as he puts it, for a forthcoming live concert (in Tijuana later this month). He explains his process briefly: “Using homebrew computer-controlled hardware into a custom software filterbank. Slower drones and percussive effects here.” The piece is a mix of slight fluctuations in tone and gentle if insistent percussion, like a Martian drum circle heard from beyond a massive sand dune.
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0263 / Overture Edit / Produce an overture to an existing album. • 0262 / Ice Code / Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it. • 0261 / Audio Journal 2016 / Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen five-second segments. • 0260 / Tone Fade / An exercise in when a sound ends. • 0259 / Signals Lost / Summon up a horror story in sound.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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