The PCDJ software loads slow, has the jittery feel of programs ported over from Windows 3.1, and is unlikely to win any awards for interface design. That said, this is the rare piece of software that’s both free and priceless.
What it does is allow you to play any two MP3 files simultaneously (even the same file, with no need to make duplicate copies), and to set the tracks’ volume levels separately, a la a real-world mixer.
For fun, make an MP3 of something extended and minimal — say, an instrumental movement from a Philip Glass composition. Then play the file against itself, starting the second copy a bar or two later than the first, sort of like a round: it’s a poor man’s dub minimalism, and it’s addictive. Check out the gratis program at the VisioSonic site, visiosonic.com.
Milwaukee-based soloist Eulb says he wants to “kill techno,” but apparently he’s going about his mission by embracing the enemy. A cut titled “Dull Bulbs, Broken Bylbs (Bylblem Fort)” is hard-core, aggressive, pneumatic and incantatory. Quite the contrary, “Interrupt the White Gold” is downbeat and goofy. The latter is described as “acid jazz,” but only to screw with anyone who’d take that genre tag as an incentive to download. Those cuts and others are on Eulb’s MP3.com site.
Eulb’s home page (at angelfire.com) also features soundfiles, along with an illustrated guide to the equipment in his studio. In short: the sound of “blue,” backwards.
Twine is Greg Malcolm and Chad Mossholder, two Ohio-based minimalists with a penchant for disorienting metrics and raspy nuances. Many cuts are available at the duo’s MP3.com site. Solid cut: “lantern.”
The atmospheric world of electro-acoustic music, meshing the digital and the analogue, gets an incredibly crafty addition on The West (Deluxe) thanks to Matmos, the conceptually oriented San Francisco duo, and a host of friends (on, among other things, slide guitar, drums, jew’s harp, trumpet and more).
The album Parallel Processes (Worm) by Jake Mandell takes its title from computer terminology for multitasking, but unlike much electronic music being produced in this moment of inexpensive CPUs and a flush economy, Mandell’s is a distinctly human effort: warm, humorous, playful, single-minded.