New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Monthly Archives: March 2002

Recommended Sonic Diptych

Cue up Brian Eno‘s ambient Thursday Afternoon (EG), 60 minutes of blissful wash, and lay over it the off-kilter, astringent beats of DJ Krush‘s Kakusei (Red Ant).

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

MP3s of Jazzy Breakbeats

Billy Martin is the drummer from the rambunctious jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood. Martin produced a breakbeat album of tasty grooves and then supplied the vinyl to various DJs, who worked the themes into sets with live musicians last July in New York. Bountiful live MP3 files from the sessions are available, free, from Martin’s Amulet Records website, filed under Turntable Sessions. One set by DJ Scotty Hard (with, among others, Cyro Baptista on percussion). One set by DJ Olive (with Ikue Mori and Martin’s bandmates Chris Wood and John Medeski). One set by DJ Logic (with, among others, among others, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich).

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

CD by Ambient Great-Godfather

By no means an “electronic” composer, Erik Satie (1866-1925) remains essential listening in this area, owing to his clairvoyant modernity, which often emphasized a philosophical repose, and his musical writings, which championed the value of background music. Pianist France Clidat‘s three-CD Complete Piano Works (Astoria) has little aside from its comprehensiveness to recommend it, but that’s enough. The minimal liner notes are sentimental and fluffy and individual CDs peculiarly opt to combine many of Satie’s multi-piece works, notably the three-part “Gymnopedies,” into a single track. Of particular interest to electronic-minded listeners are his “Descriptions automatiques,” which deserve consideration as a predecessor of the remix. Per Satie biographer James Harding: the piece opens “with ‘Sur un vaisseau’ which, in its stylized representation of a ship pitching and tossing, adopts an ‘automatic’ rhythm. … Against this rocking of the boat a popular refrain cuts in, ‘Maman les p’tits bateaux … ont-ils des jambes?’ which he would have remembered from his seaside childhood.” Just to get this straight: a sample of a pre-existing song is set over a mechanical rhythm. Voila, the remix.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Alt-Country Gets Wired

Wilco‘s recent Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) deserves electronic-minded listeners for its unique application of studio effects to, which is generally the domain of the self-consciously technophobic. Notably, the album was mixed by Jim O’Rourke. The drums on the album’s opening track, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” are played in imitation of the sort of tape loops that the Beatles used to experiment with, but Yankee Hotel‘s more far-flung sonics bring back fond memories of far more renegade realms of popular music, including John Fahey’s tape-loop requiems and Robert Wyatt’s rural art rock.

/ Leave a comment ]

DJ Classic Gets Re-released

The record label Journeys by DJ will soon be rereleasing 70 Minutes of Madness, an inestimably manic album by Coldcut, the DJ duo who run the Ninja Tune record label. 70 Minutes manages to combine such disparate elements as spoken-word guerilla Jello Biafra, minimalist composer Harold Budd and drum’n’bass pioneer Photek along with a host of dance music, including such Coldcut labelmates as DJ Food and Funki Porcini. The album lists 35 individual source elements (Air Liquide, Mantronix, Gescom, Masters at Work), and rarely is one heard at a single time.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]
  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly ( at Gray Area (
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0554 / Cage Chord / The Assignment: Riff on a chord by John Cage.
    0553 / Break That Cycle / The Assignment: Record in a steady tempo but break it on occasion.
    0552 / The Radio in My Life / The Assignment: Record music in response to a John Cage and Morton Feldman conversation.
    0551 / The Bends / The Assignment: Get less strict about something you're strict about.
    0550 / Abrupt Probability / Make music based on a chance graphic score.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 554 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts