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.

tag: remix

Disquiet Junto Project 0244: Euro Mixin

The Assignment: Combine tracks from three different European netlabels (Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) into one sonic union.

Sun & Rail

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks were added to this playlist during the duration of the project:

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, September 1, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 5, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0244: Euro Mixin
The Assignment: Combine tracks from three different European netlabels (Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) into one sonic union.

Please pay particular attention to all the instructions below, in light of SoundCloud having closed down its Groups functionality.

Big picture: One thing arising from the end of the Groups functionality is a broad goal, in which an account on SoundCloud is not necessary for Disquiet Junto project participation. We’ll continue to use SoundCloud, but it isn’t required to use SoundCloud. The aspiration is for the Junto to become “platform-agnostic,” which is why using a message forum, such as llllllll.co, as a central place for each project may work well.

And now, on to this week’s project.

Project Steps:

Step 1: This week’s project is a remix. The following three tracks are available for creative reuse thanks to a Creative Commons license. Please download them and extract the specified source segments:

Use the first 20 seconds of “The Station and the Underclass,” performed by the Phonetic Orchestra, released on the Insub. netlabel based in Geneva:

http://insub.org/insub44/

Use the first 20 seconds of “Cloud Scissors” composed by Lo Wei; performed by Cristián Alvear, Santiago Astaburuaga, Gudinni Cortina, and Rolando Hernández, released on the Impulsive Habitat netlabel based in Portugal:

http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihabp001.htm

Use the first 20 seconds of “Zraerza,” performed by Geeksha Beka and Berio Molina, released on the Alg-a netlabel based in Galicia:

https://archive.org/details/alg-set05-zraerza/

Step 2: Create an original piece of music based on the source audio from Step 1.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0244” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: This is a fairly new step, if you’ve done a Junto project previously. In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co post your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0244-euro-mixin/4361

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, September 1, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. Around three minutes seems like a good length.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0244” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, 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.

Download: Due to the Creative Commons license allowing for this work to be remixed, it is necessary 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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 244th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Combine tracks from three different European netlabels (Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) into one sonic union” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0244/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

http://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0244-euro-mixin/4361

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project is by Thomas, used via Flickr and a Creative Commons license:

flic.kr/p/92xKFZ

Also tagged , , , , / / Leave a comment ]

Unleash Your Personal Drones

A tape release from Austin, Texas–based Amulets — motivated by motivational tapes.

Part of the beauty of cassette releases is when they tap into the design energy — the tactile experience, the cultural legacy — of the object itself. As Ted Laderas wrote to the New York Times late last year in a letter to the editor, the cassette continues to offer something beyond mere nostalgia: “The cost of manufacturing vinyl and CDs is prohibitive for musicians who sell small numbers of albums. While not ideal, tape is easy to manufacture and easy to personalize, and provides small-time musicians with a viable way of sharing our music that our fans are willing to buy.”

chart-of-the-day-music-industry-1973-2009-feb-2011

Sure, the tape cassette was once a dominant pop-music medium, and yes it has long since faded from mainstream commercial employment, but in addition the pop music market it was the foundation of late-night infomercials that promised a fast-forward education in business, real estate, language — and self-knowledge. The Austin, Texas–based Amulets (aka Randall Taylor) feeds on this association with his new album, Personal Power. Its seven tracks, with titles like “Self-Sabotage” and “The Power of Focus,” are built from the source audio of motivational tapes, specifically those of Tony Robbins, the audio of Amulets replacing the original text spoken by Tobbins. Personal Power was released on June 28, just a few days after participants in one of Robbins’ “firewalks” were reportedly treated for second- and third-degree burns.

Short bursts of speaking flesh out some of the tracks, referring to the side of the tape the listener is on, and welcoming the audience to the realm of self-actualization. The music itself is deeply droning, occasionally giving hints of guitar and loops, and generally enjoying the warpy loveliness of tape-based composition. There’s a certain cultural bleed at work here, a certain irony, in that for all his “business” aura, Robbins is a creature of what’s often called the “new age” movement. The music of the new-age movement, in turn, overlaps with and bears certain aesthetic and structural parallels with exactly the sort of music that Amulets is up to, namely a meditative music that can serve as background for activities and focus on introspection.

tonyrobbins2

Amulets’ creative repurposing of the source material isn’t restricted to the sound and the tape cassettes. Even the “notes/study guide,” as he described them, are part of the project. No doubt the limited edition, a total of 20, was determined by the availability of the originals. If you miss out on the physical cassettes, the audio will still be available for download.

tonyrobbins1

Album originally posted at amulets.bandcamp.com. More from Amulets at amuletsmusic.com. (Chart via businessinsider.com.)

Also tagged , , / / Comment: 1 ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0234: Remix Ximer

The Assignment: Make a remix of three tracks of a remix of three tracks, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

20140213-actsofcommons

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. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

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

This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 27, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0234: Remix Ximer
The Assignment: Make one track from three different netlabels, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

This week’s Junto project builds directly on last week’s, though you needn’t have participated in last week’s to join in this one. This week we’re remixing remixes. The remixes we’re remixing are the pieces that resulted from last week’s project, which involved taking three tracks from different netlabels and making one new track from them. Last week’s Junto project celebrated derivatives, as licensed by the Creative Commons. This week’s celebrates derivatives of derivatives. (Thanks to Audio Obscura, aka Neil Stringfellow, for proposing this week’s project.)

These are the steps:

Step 1: Select and download three tracks from last week’s project, Disquiet Junto 0233:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0233

All the tracks in last week’s project were made from the first 30 seconds of three pre-existing recordings: “HNY” off the album Wormbole by ʞık (Karl & Karlik) on the Bump Foot netlabel, “Pepper Jelly” off the album Recombinations by Andre Darius and Riley Theodore on the Haze netlabel, and “Autista 3” off the album Autista by Pablo Reche on the Impulsive Habitat netlabel.

Step 2: Extract the first 30 seconds from each of the three remix tracks that you selected in Step 1.

Step 3: Create an original piece of work including that source material from Step 2.

Step 4: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Length: Length is up to you, though between two and three minutes seems about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, 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 in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0234.” Also use “disquiet0234” as a tag for your track.

Download: It is necessary that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing and attribution, per the Creative Commons license of the source audio.

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 234th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Make a remix of three tracks of a remix of three tracks, courtesy of a Creative Commons license” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0234/

Be sure to credit all the tracks (first and second generation) employed in your piece.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place on a Slack (send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for inclusion) and at this URL:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Thanks to Audio Obscura (aka Neil Stringfellow) for proposing this week’s project.

Also tagged , , , / / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0233: Netlabel (NND Remix)

The Assignment: Make one track from three different netlabels, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

jetlee

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. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

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

This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, June 16, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 20, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0233: Netlabel (NND Remix)
The Assignment: Make one track from three different netlabels, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

Seeing the “ND” tag on a netlabel release is a major buzzkill. The “ND” tag denotes a Creative Commons license that rules out creating derivative work. Fortunately lots of netlabels do allow for creative reuse, and this occasional series of collaborative remixes seeks to celebrate that activity, and encourage other netlabels to switch off the ND tag. Take “NND” to mean “not no derivatives.”

Step 1: Download the three tracks that will provide source audio for this remix:

Use the first 30 seconds of “HNY” off the album Wormbole by ʞık (Karl & Karlik) on the Bump Foot netlabel:

http://www.bumpfoot.net/bump207.html

Use the first 30 seconds of “Pepper Jelly” off the album Recombinations by Andre Darius and Riley Theodore on the Haze netlabel:

https://hazenetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/recombinations

Use the first 30 seconds of “Autista 3” off the album Autista by Pablo Reche on the Impulsive Habitat netlabel:

http://www.impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab113.htm

Step 2: Create an original piece of work including that source material.

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, June 16, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Length: Length is up to you, though between two and three minutes seems about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, 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 in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0233.” Also use “disquiet0233” as a tag for your track.

Download: It is necessary that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing and attribution, per the Creative Commons license of the source audio.

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 233rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Make one track from three different netlabels, courtesy of a Creative Commons license” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0233/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place on a Slack (send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for inclusion) and at this URL:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Image associated with this project is by Jet Lee and it is used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

blender

Also tagged , , , / / Leave a comment ]

Playing a Tape Cassette by Hand

Listening to a new device, the HC-TT

static1.squarespace

This little device, called the HC-TT, is a “human controlled tape transport.” It plays standard tape cassettes with no motor, no automation. The only power is a turn of that large knob. The knob moves backward and forward, allowing for gestural effects, as demoed in this Instagram from the account of the manufacturer, the Brooklyn-based Landscape:

A video posted by Landscape (@landscape_hc_tt) on

In this next example, it’s paired with a looping machine, the Elektron Octatrack:

A video posted by Landscape (@landscape_hc_tt) on

There’s a large set of audio examples at Landscape’s SoundCloud account, drawing from flamenco, hip-hop, business self-help, and other sound sources:

The tape cassette has proved to be a useful tool for musicians in recent years to inexpensively release physical documents of their recordings. It’s also prevalent as an instrument, for such things as old-school tape echo and looping, thanks to both reclaimed reel-to-reel systems and cassettes. The HC-TT brings a modern, gadget-maker ingenuity to the medium.

More on the HC-TT at hc-tt.com. It ships with a power supply and “one randomly selected old cassette tape.”

Also tagged / / Comment: 1 ]