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.

Robert Henke Is on Bandcamp

And revisiting some early free downloads he posted in the mid-2000s.

In a welcome development, Robert Henke (aka Monolake) started a page on Bandcamp today. There’s just one release currently, a dreamy 10-minute drone titled “Oomoo.” The sinuous palindrome of its title mirrors the flowing vibe of the piece. The name was familiar to me, and then I realized that I wrote about the track when it was first released, back in 2007, as a free MP3 download from his website, which no longer seems to be operational. (He was releasing a free MP3 a month back then.) Instead, he makes his home on the web at, as well as, now, at That’s the same year, 2007, that SoundCloud was founded, and it’s a year before Bandcamp was founded, and longer still before either became default locations for musicians to post their recordings. The track “Oomoo,” meanwhile, sounds as fresh today as it did upon its release. As I described it at the time: “it’s a film-score-ready drone that moves like a single sheet of material buffeted by wind, from rapturous peaks to rumbling valleys. Listening to it in a car alone after dark will turn any routine drive into a scene from a Michael Mann movie.” I don’t usually post tracks twice on, but this seemed like a reasonable occasion to do so. Very early on in the Downstream series here I accidentally did, because so little music was freely available and I’d forgotten. A reader at the time helpfully pointed it out. Technically, the track “Oomoo” remains a free download, because it’s set at “name your price,” but do consider chipping in a little.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Music for the Pause of Time

From Shipwreck Dective of San Francisco

To follow up yesterday’s video, more music from the musician who goes by Shipwreck Detective, aka San Francisco-based Devanand Addison Bhat. These four short, “simple tape meditations” were recorded just as the shelter-in-place orders were taking effect in the city (March 23 – 29, 2020), and then released a couple days later (the 31st) under the collective title Rest. They are textures comprised of melodies comprised of textures. Track “i” sets the pensive tone and tempo for the set: a warped tune that melts as it proceeds. Track “ii” introduces the slightest crackle of surface noise, and what would be listened past in most other music here becomes percussive due to the deeply quiet context. Each piece, including the plucked, echoing “iii” and the mix of fast-moving drone and sodden keyboard that comprise “iv,” has the quality of a Buddha Machine set on loop as the batteries slowly run out. There’s more to it than that, but only a little, and the restraint is key to Bhat’s success. In subtle ways, the tracks do progress, like how “iii” introduces static-like rain (or perhaps rain-like static), and how “iv,” in particular, gains substance as it goes. But as Bhat suggests, the motion here is all relative. This is music for our collective pause. The world has grown chaotic at the same moment when so many find their lives on hold. This is music for its title purpose, rest.

Album originally posted at More from Bhat at

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

The Ocean a Year Ago

A track by Shipwreck Detective

Located in the perfect slot between listening and not listening, this earthy drone by the musician who goes by Shipwreck Detective dates from over a year ago. The Shipwreck Detective account on YouTube has been a frequent source of comfort during the current spell of cooped-up-edness. This track’s brief description calls it “the ocean heard in a conch.” The ocean is barely a mile from where I live, and this track brings it close, indeed. When the track was first posted, I imagine the sounds summoned up a vast expanse, whereas now it feels cloistered, personal, homey.

Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Shipwreck Detective, who is based in San Francisco, at and

Tags: , / Comment: 1 ]

Portrait of an Inbox from Artists

Or, why I haven't replied about your new release

I listen continuously. I write about what I’m drawn to write about. I can’t reply to every email I receive.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]


A comic with Hannes Pasqualini

Read more »

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]