My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's 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.

Hot Doggin’ (MP3)

Beats from Virginia

On first listen, and fifth, what to make of “Wawa.” by Glia, whose soundcloud.com/glia account lists the state of Virginia as point of origin? There’s a slow and steady if enjoyably off-kilter beat, and two main flourishes: a flanging noise like an excited drum head and an occasional snippet of female voice echoed to dubby effect. The track as posted on SoundCloud is accompanied by a photo of a white-label piece of vinyl, and it’s free of any explanatory tags, which isn’t quite the Internet equivalent of white-label vinyl, but close. In any case, it’s a great little two-minute rhythmic treat. When there’s this little information associated with a track, what little there is takes on greater meaning, and in this case the location, Virginia, combined with the arid and inventive beat brings to mind Timbaland and Missy Elliott, commendably.

There is one other bit of text aligned with the Glia track: it links through to the typographically inventive and only slightly less rhythmically resolute “hºly W A w ∆” by ⒿⒶⓂⒺⓇⓈoⓃ, at soundcloud.com/jamerson. This track has a more pronounced keyboard part and slightly more limited instrumental expanses, and seems to have provided source material for Glia’s piece. The female vocal is still brief, even by club music standards, but it’s more intelligible than in Glia’s, and a deep synth swell in the final third serves as evidence of interest in compositional development. The Jamerson track is accompanied by a photo of a Wawa corner store, the sign only partially visible.

Glia track posted for free download at at soundcloud.com/glia, and Jamerson’s at soundcloud.com/jamerson.

(Side note: I pretty much lived on Wawa hot dogs my first semester at college. By “pretty much” I don’t mean I ate other things. By “pretty much” I am gauging the extent to which I almost didn’t live: by Thanksgiving I ended up in the hospital for something akin to malnutrition. There was a strike by employees at the school, and we were given back the 70 bucks or so a week that our fees had included for food, and then left to our own devices to feed ourselves. What I didn’t spend on hotdogs at Wawa I spent on records.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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