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.

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Daily recommended free MP3s + streams

The Experience of the Day

A piece by Iowa City–based the Ambiguity

There is absolutely nothing explicitly natural about “Snow on North Linn,” and yet it feels real in its own way. It has sublimated melodic material that couldn’t be mistaken for the wind, and yet it feels like a breeze passing. It has piercing moments that suggest the sun breaking through a cloud, but that couldn’t be the case since, of course, the sun doesn’t make a peep. Recorded by Charlie Broderick, who goes by the Ambiguity, it is a lush, welcoming, reflective piece that captures not the actual documentary sound of the day, but the emotional experience of the day.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/the-ambiguity. Found via a repost by soundcloud.com/murkok. More from Broderick, who is based in Iowa City, Iowa, at theambiguity.bandcamp.com.

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A Brief Arc of Narrative-Laced Noise

With Forelight's “In the Eye of the Storm”

“In the Eye of the Storm” is a brief arc of narrative-laced noise. It transitions through states, through stages, pausing on occasion, each new phase of static and tone surfacing from what preceded it. It originates with a foment of rapidly shifting chaos. A slowly pulsing drone emerges while the short-circuit flare subsides. Henceforth there are many short-term shifts, from slightly more rhythmic material, like a mallet instrument heard in a white-noise rain, to more fractured scenes, in which the ear struggles momentarily for a modicum of foundation. Throughout the randomness is never tantamount to confusion. The piece is grounded with that mallet-like pulse, and even those shifts occur with an orderliness that provides an underlying sense of orientation — comfort in the storm.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/forelight. More from Forelight at forelight.bandcamp.com.

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A Moment of Reflective Calm Before All Hell Breaks Loose

This is "Melting Square" by Suss Müsik, with Marc Manning

Suss Müsik refers to his music as “Post-classical ambient minimalism for crepuscular airports,” which seems about right. The track “Melting Square” is a flowing amalgam of overlaid guitar patterning: strumming electric beneath louche waveforms amid spaced-out echoes. It’s like the midpoint music from a Michael Mann film, a moment of reflective calm before all hell breaks loose. The track, which teams Suss Müsik with musician Marc Manning, itself gets calmer as it proceeds, the strumming eventually fading out entirely in favor of the voluminous echo, that echo then fracturing into a quietly intense, psychedelic field of ghostly twinkling.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/suss-musik. There’s no active external links on his SoundCloud page, but the easily Google-able sussmusik.com has a promising “Website coming soon / We’re on it” dated February 3 of this year.

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An Enticing Sonic Interiority

From Netherlands-based Kopenz

“Modderlaars” is the sort of track that is quiet enough to draw you in and dense enough to then creep up and surround you. By all rights, the minimal materials should seem tattered and light. And yet they accumulate with an unmistakable hardness, like thick musty glass, acknowledging the world but still blocking it out. Throughout is a steady pulsing that has a blood-in-the-ear intensity, especially on headphones. But much as the sounds are thin yet strong, the pulse is pounding yet slow. The result is an enticing sonic interiority. You can luxuriate in it, but you also cannot escape.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/kozepz. More from Kozepz, of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, at kozepz.bandcamp.com.

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It’s Not a “Drone” in the Military Sense

Except to the extent that it sounds that way

“That’s Not Me” feels like the sound design for the opening credits to a thriller — maybe a video game, likely a film, but in any case a very good thriller, indeed, packed with septuple agents and all matter of styling, technologically mediated skullduggery. The underlying pulse of the piece is a slow, methodical burr that rises up and cuts off. It’s like a contained flare, or an especially militant drone. The track, recorded by Adam Fielding, sets the pace for a growing assembly of careful additions. There’s a secondary beat that eventually arrives, the echo treateed as a rhythmic shadow, and then vaporous percussion and thick atmosphere synthesis fill in the space between those pulses.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/adfielding. It’s part of a Bandcamp subscriber release, Apparitions, at adamfielding.bandcamp.com. More from Adam Fielding, who’s based in Huddersfield, England, at www.adamfielding.com and twitter.com/misterfielding.

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