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.


Daily recommended free MP3s + streams

After “Sorry”

A remix of an approximation of speech

There are few pleasures unique to the post-Internet age as the fairly immediate experience of hearing your effort as filtered through another person’s viewpoint. In the case of the music remix, the idea of a filter can be quite literal. Yesterday while playing with the manner in which one sine wave can be used simultaneously to multiple ends, with an interest in a kind of coherent complexity, I stumbled on something that resembled human speech. Today, the far more talented Larry Johnson has taken the tones of that work and attenuated them into a throbbing, dusky drone.

Track originally posted for free download at

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“Sorry Sorry Sorry”

A little modular synth thing

2015-01-24 17.53.22

Teaching my modular synth to speak. It apologizes for me.

I’ve been really focused on how one sine wave can serve multiple purposes, in this case affecting another sine wave. I think I’d like a second voltage control oscillator.

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That New Aphex Twin Track

It's a tasty one


Get it while it’s available. Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, aka AFX, aka the musician behind the Selected Ambient Works Volume II album I wrote the book about for the 33 1/3 series, having previously wiped clean his SoundCloud account, suddenly, yesterday, popped a new track up, “Diskhat ALL Prepared1mixed [snr2mix].” I tweeted the arrival at the time (, but am only now getting around to a post.

It’s a minor downtempo masterwork, the plinky pianos against loose-snare vaguely funky-drummer beats sounding more like early DJ Cam, or DJ Krush, or Funki Porcini for that matter, than like what folks might necessarily expect from Aphex Twin. Its appearance coincides with the release of the new EP Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt2, and this freely downloadable track appears to be a slight variation on the EP’s opening cut. After an album, the widely praised Syro, that sounded like it was recorded shortly after his 2001 Drukqs, it’s especially refreshing to hear something that sounds unlike him, even if, peculiarly, from a stylistic standpoint, it sounds like it was recorded before Drukqs.

Highly recommended. And, again, download now, because he’ll almost certainly soon enough again wipe clean that SoundCloud account. Speaking of which, does anyone reading this have a copy of the alternate version of “Avril 14th” he briefly had on his SoundCloud account?

Track originally posted at

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Disquiet Junto Project 0160: One Minute Past Midnight

The Assignment: Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are).


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, 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 set for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, January 22, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 26, 2015. (This week there is a little wiggle room. See below.)

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0160: One Minute Past Midnight
The Assignment: Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are).

This week’s project is very simple. It asks that you make a field recording of sound, just one single minute, starting at a specific time: midnight.

From simple things complex things sometimes grow, and this project is a hopeful initial step toward a variety of related projects that may spring up over the course of 2015, perhaps even culminating in some sort of collection, maybe even in a physical space along the lines of the “Sonic Frame” installation at the San Jose Museum of Art (that piece largely drew its sonic material from an earlier Junto project). No one’s work will be repurposed without their permission, and it’s appreciated if you post your track with a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial reuse and sharing.

The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Record audio, outdoors or indoors, at midnight wherever you are.

Step 2: You can post the audio as is, or create a slight fade in of volume at the start and fade out at the end.

Step 3: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. Please consider posting photography, even video, associated with your efforts.

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

Deadline: Projects are usually due at 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 26, 2015. This time, if you need to do the recording the final night of the project, it’s OK to upload early on January 27.

Length: The length of your finished work should be one minute.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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, please include the term “disquiet0160-oneminutepastmidnight” 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:

More on this 160th Disquiet Junto project — “Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are)” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

Photo associated with this project adapted from one by Manuel Delgado Tenorio and used via Creative Commons license:

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A Collection of Collections

Delicate layers from Danny Clay

Ganymede by Danny Clay is a collection of delicate fragments that shudder and whir as they cross each other, making light moire patterns of noise and patterning as the process unfolds. The album is rich with moments that in most contexts would barely trigger awareness, let alone a response, like the way the skipping vinyl at the start of the album’s second track, “glow iii,” suggests a toy piano, or how after an extended grey-wool static-scape, the first track, “glow i,” is slowly subsumed by the rising pitch of what might be someone vacuuming the neighboring studio. It’s an absolutely beautiful collection of collections, each track a small jewelry box of dusty, worn goods, from the jangly rattle the underlies “glow v” to the echoing watery current of the closing track, “im morgenglanze.”

The liner note gives some background on the methods behind Ganymede:

“Ganymede” consists of almost exclusively sounds produced by turntables, utilizing found objects, friction sounds, and lathe-cut records of sine-waves, piano, and music box. Many of these sounds have been further amplified by turntable preparations such as plastic cups with needles, combs, etc. and baby monitors.

Clay has worked with many musicians and ensembles, including Kronos Quartet, Sarah Cahill, Karl Fousek, Greg Gorlen, Quinn Walker, and Nobuto Suda.

Album posted at More on the album at More on Clay, who is from Ohio but is based currently in San Francisco, at and

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