This is how the year ends.
The year ends with not a bang or a whimper, but a blip. There are four blips, in fact: two pairs of the same tone, two low, two high, and they alternate to suggest a seesaw effect. There’s a gap between the pairs and this lends the decidedly electronic affair something that nonetheless might be suggestive of swing. The blips are at relative ease, their pacing slow, even if the overall recording is just 15 seconds in length. They’re best experienced as a loop, which adds a third beep: the seam that marks the slight incongruity between repetitions. And then there’s the light noise of foundation that permeates the space in which their transit takes place, sound that seems to be as if the blips themselves are heard coming into view and just as efficiently exiting it, the sonic equivalent of headlights and vapor trails. The recording is the latest in the innovative GIFBites series, in which each recorded MP3 is intended as the score to a pre-existing GIF image, in this case the nostalgic Pong image shown above.
Track originally posted at for free download at soundcloud.com/gifbites. There’s a bit more about the project at its homepage, gifbites.com.
The Miami fallout moves from words to audio
Since the DJ Shadow brouhaha earlier this month (see: “DJ Shadow cuts short Miami club set”), when the beat innovator refused to alter his set at the request of a club promoter, one with good reason may have been wondering what, exactly, Shadow even sounds like these days. It’s been a long 16 years since his Endtroducing….. album put him on the map, with its abstract yet populist approach to rhythm and sampling. After the recent Miami situation, words were traded in the press, with Shadow (aka Joshua Davis) seeming more pleased at the attention than perturbed, and the club eventually apologizing. Shadow has gone a step further now, and posted on his SoundCloud account a 45-minute set from July. Abstract, it isn’t, but as a beat-heavy and slick, seamless survey of several crates worth of varied source material, it’s certain fun — and more than anything, it makes the club look really, really silly:
Oh, and if you’re wondering what exactly made the club promoter anxious, it was reportedly “Spit Thunder” by Netherlands-based Krampfhaft:
From a concert earlier this month
Marcus Fischer has posted a brief, elegant excerpt of a recent live performance, a solo work whose threadbare quality hides an intense array of details. As he explains in a brief accompanying note, even the underlying whir was the result of trial and error: “you can hear the pulsating buzz of snare drums throughout this recording. i was able to hit the right resonant notes to vibrate the drum heads along with the music. the it was something i had thought about playing around with and the result was really satisfying. i would love to play in that room again and try to make use of more of the drums natural resonant qualities.”
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/mapmap. More on the piece at unrecnow.com.
From ice in a glass to dirty minimalism to netlabel remixes — and onward
Right now, around the planet, musicians are at work on the 52nd weekly project in the Disquiet Junto series. The projects began on the first Thursday of 2012 with a simple request: take the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it. The response was strong enough to suggest the projects be announced weekly, and that in turn has led to almost 1,700 tracks by almost 280 active contributors, and to concerts in 4 cities around the United States. The 52nd, in which three tracks from the Bump Foot netlabel are being combined into one original work, is due, fittingly, one minute before midnight on New Year’s Eve — that’s 11:59pm wherever you are. The Junto will continue into 2013, right on schedule, with a new project next Thursday, January 3. Here is a recap of the projects from year one of the Disquiet Junto:
1: ice cubes • 2: duet for foghorn and steam whistle • 3: expanded glass harp • 4: remixing Marcus Fischer • 5: adding sounds to everyday life • 6: remixing archival Edison cylinders • 7: create through subtraction • 8: rework Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography • 9: cross-species collaboration • 10: remix a previous Junto track • 11: everyday mechanical rhythms • 12: cut and paste • 13: remixing wild Up playing Shostakovich • 14: sonic version of Matt Madden’s Oubapo story • 15: aural RGB • 16: sandpaper and dice • 17: transition between field and composed • 18: relative prominence • 19: graphic score (photo by Yojiro Imasaka) • 20: use the NodeBeat app • 21: the four seasons • 22: sonic decay • 23: palindrone • 24: a suite of sonic alerts • 25: remixing project 24 • 26: making music from your trash • 27: turm the instruction text into sound • 28: remix a netlabel release • 29: music from water, inspired by William Gibson’s Count Zero • 30: sounds from silence • 31: Revisiting a 1955 Yoko Ono Fluxus piece • 32: sonify the 2012 U.S. presidential election polling data • 33: making music with a turntable but without vinyl • 34: Use the theme song of the Radius broadcast as the source of an original composition • 35: Make music from a sample page of Beck’s Song Reader sheet music • 36: Reworking Bach into abstract expressionism • 37: The sound of commerce • 38: Make a fake field recording • 39: Combine three tracks from the Nowaki netlabel into one • 40: Turn a Kenneth Kirschner duet into a trio • 41: Dirty minimalism • 42: Record a “naive melody” with your oldest and newest instruments> • 43: Make mechanical roars from the sound of a retail space • 44: Transition from storm to calm using field recordings from Sandy 2012 • 45: Combine material from the public domain adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Tom Sawyer • 46: Investigate a recording of the voting process for its “sonic fingerprint.” • 47: Turn the muffled voices of a distant party into the foundation of a recording. • 48: Celebrate the Creative Commons license that allows for derivative works by remixing music from the Three Legs Duck netlabel. • 49: Make a track, 50% of which is the sound of a tape cassette deck in motion. • 50: Encode a word or phrase in Morse Code and employ that as a track’s rhythm. • 51: Create a 2012 audio diary with a dozen five-second segments. • 52: Celebrate the Creative Commons by remixing three tracks from the Bump Foot netlabel.
More on the Junto at its soundcloud.com page.