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

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Aphex Twin’s Selected Fridge Recordings

A new track makes for the 11th proper ambient piece amid his nearly 250 user18081971 uploads.

Aphex Twin uploaded a fresh batch of new old tracks to his user18081971 SoundCloud account this past week or so, about 20 in all. The activity followed a three-month break. As of this writing, there are 249 items in the account. The flurry coincided with the commercial release of Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-08, under his AFX moniker. He has become quite adept at using free archival music as a means to increase attention to the work he actually puts up for sale. As “experimental” as his commercial music can be, many of the free tracks are more straightforward in their experimentation. That is to say, they are not merely “experimental,” but also “experiments”: they appear to be test runs of equipment and very rough initial sketches of ideas. Many among the recent batch are modular synthesizer experiments, enough of them that he took the time to collate them in a playlist that currently has 11 parts over the course of half an hour. One highlight is the droning mechanics of “Lecce – Voltage Controlled Acoustic Resonators,” which indeed sounds like the industrial noise of a very large machine. The source of the material is, characteristic for ever-ambiguous Aphex Twin, unclear. The track includes a three-word liner note: “custom helmholtz resonators,” and down below in the comments he has a back and forth with someone who suggests it was an actual refrigerator he recorded back in 2011 while he was touring Italy:

20150904-lecce-fridge

And here’s a video of that Italy performance, at a far more frenetic pace than the archival audio:

The track is certainly deeply ambient, whether that ambient is the figurative effort of him in the studio, or the practical matter of everyday background noise framed in a four and a half minute field recording. In either case, I’ve added it to my Selected Ambient Works 3 (beta) playlist, which now numbers 11 pieces and a playing time of nearly an hour.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/user18081971.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0192: Psycatdelic Loop

Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF.

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Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at disquiet.com/junto, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, September 3, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 7, 2015.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0192: Psycatdelic Loop
Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF.

This project was initiated at the suggestion of Brian Biggs (aka Dance Robot Dance).

Step 1: You are going to compose 10 seconds of music. First, view the insane animated GIF at this page:

http://disquiet.com/2015/09/03/disquiet0192-psycatdelicloop/

Step 2: Now record 10 seconds that sync to that animation. (Alternately, record an extended piece of music that is intended, every 10 seconds, to sync with the animation.)

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. (Bonus points if you manage to sync the audio and animation and upload to a video service.)

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, September 3, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 7, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work will likely be 10 seconds, but could be longer depending on the choice you make in Step 2 above.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0192-psycatdelicloop” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information, and link to (and identify) the two SoundCloud pages for the source audio you selected:

More on this 192nd Disquiet Junto project (“Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/09/03/disquiet0192-psycatdelicloop/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Source of the animated image associated with this project uncertain, but used at the suggestion of Brian Biggs.

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Luong Hue Trinh’s Percussive Ambience

Plus live video from Hanoi, Vietnam

20150902-LuongHueTrinh

“Musick to Play in the Dark” is a mini-suite of shifting elements, from Vietnamese singing to antic percussion. It is by Luong Hue Trinh, a Vietnamese national who studied in Japan and has traveled widely. Opening with high-tension strings before the singing kicks in, it slowly becomes a majestic, maximalist work, heavy on hypnotically rhythmic percussion. The beat, heard as if from inside an old alarm clock, has a back and forth sway that creates intricate patterning, especially as it is set against distant pounding and sonic effects.

There’s also video of her performing an excerpt of the piece at the Onion Cellar in Hanoi, making it clear she’s working largely on a laptop from prerecorded field recordings and sampled music:

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/huetrinhluong. Trinh is one of the nearly four dozen women represented on the Synthesis Vol. 1 compilation of international women doing work in sound, released in 2014 by the Urban Arts Berlin. She posts occasionally on her Facebook page. Follow the Onion Cellar at theonioncellar.tumblr.com and facebook.com/theonioncellar.

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The Choir in the Echo

A dubby treat from the Bell Mechanical

By name and sonic appearance, this track “Choiroid Dub #11” by the Bell Mechanical is a choral recording treated until it becomes an echoing space unto itself. The soft syllables are electronically transformed until they sound like several aircraft landing at once in slow motion. There’s a voice intoning throughout, not the voice of the choir, but some intent narration that is never quite audible, like an old-time political speech or an especially dry book-on-tape. Eventually an organ appears, bringing the piece to a quasi-liturgical close.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/the_bell_mechanical. More from the Bell Mechanical, based in Salem, Massachusetts, at thebellmechanical.bandcamp.com and twitter.com/the_mjl.

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Freiband Communes with Bass Communion

A barren-ambient snippet of their new collaboration

The Important Records label has posted a gorgeously minimal swath of barren ambient music off a release by Bass Communion (Steven Wilson) and Freiband (Frans de Waard). It is like digital marbles let lose over and over in some dark, dry space, a space whose contours seem to expand and contort as the piece continues. It opens in near silence, and it isn’t so much that it gets louder — though it does — as that the silence gets closer and more consuming.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/importantrecords. More on the release, titled simply Bass Communion / Freiband, at importantrecords.com. More from Wilson at stevenwilsonhq.com and de Waard at fransdewaard.com.

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