One-Track Mind: SoundCloud recently added a “repeat single track” function to its web player. This means that if you’re listening to something on SoundCloud you can click a button to have it repeat when it ends, rather than have the service automatically move on to another track. This is a very welcome turn of events. When it comes to audio streaming, we often don’t really hear something the first time we hear it, and often get lost in the continuity. The ability to repeat a single track in some ways having a chance to really pay attention through repetition. http://disquiet.com/2014/12/01/soundcloud-single-track-repeat/
Replicant Soundscape: Speaking of listening on repeat, this following track has been online since August, but I only just learned of it via an io9.com post about a related subject. The account of “crysknife007” on YouTube is filled with great “ambient geek sleep aids” such as the sound of the Starship Enterprise’s engines running for 24 hours straight. What follows is the sound of Rick Deckard’s apartment in Blade Runner playing for half a day, so you can imagine you’re a cyberpunk gumshoe when you’re really just sitting at home paying some bills. Though YouTube comments are rightly avoided, a useful follow-up to the track did note that this same sound was later used in Alien for the Nostromo’s medical bay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7FhEpif1cA
Ambient Comedy: The BBC has produced a retrospective of Chris Morris (Blue Jam, Four Lions), the British satirist. I had very much hoped to interview Morris for my recent book on the Aphex Twin album Selected Ambient Works Volume II because he used music from the album in his radio and television sketches to especially haunting effect, but sadly he wasn’t available. The BBC retrospective is three hours long and, according to the BBC webpage, will be online for another four weeks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04sp5pq
New Heights in Eavesdropping: A thorough overview of the U.S. government’s system “Automatic Speech recognition in Reverberant Environments,” aka ASpIRE, an advance speech-recognition tool. http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/12/what-happens-when-spies-can-eavesdrop-any-conversation/100142/
This first appeared in the December 2, 2014, edition of the free Disquiet email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.