Music for Casual DJing

The title of the compilation Music to Listen to Music By (Privatelektro Records) may have been intended as a joke, but it’s worth taking at least a little seriously — what with John Cage’s famous comparison, in his book Silence, of music to wire sculptures through which one views other things. The album title suggests music that is so quiet that it can be added to other music like so much salt and pepper. In fact, though, it isn’t volume that distinguishes the 13 cuts here from pop music; it’s their eschewing of static metrical structure for a more open form, like the industrial static and drone of Alias‘ “Darkdust” and the semi-chaotic jitters of triPhaze‘s “Kilmarnok.” There is no self-apparent downbeat, or chorus, or verse, to be heard on most of the album. Instead there’s the ominous “Early Walk to the Busstation” (also credited to triPhaze), which sounds like a UFO field recording, a theme picked up on “300 Years and Waiting,” which teams triPhaze with another contributor to the compilation, listed here as Mr. Sakori. One other thing, besides a purposeful lack of rhythm, that binds much of the tracks together is the presence of vocal samples, which share a B-movie flavor. An alternate title might have been Music to Witness Alien Invasions By.

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