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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• December 13, 2018: This day marks the 22nd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0359 / Broken Clock / The Assignment: Use an image not as a graphic score, but as a graphic depiction of a remix.
• 0358 / Rhythm + Blue(s) / The Assignment: An exercise in genre.
• 0357 / Clock Work / The Assignment: Base a piece of music on your previous 12 hours.
• 0356 / Ground Swell / The Assignment: Derive something spooky from a specific place.
• 0355 / Sonic Vivisection / The Assignment: Operate with incisions on a live sound in real time.
... And there is a complete list of past projects.
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