The latest free MP3 EP from the Stasisfield label is Three Works, three tracks of anxious, if spacious, introversion by Meri von KleinSmid: “The Unrest-Cure,” which at times suggests the visits of UFOs in classic science-fiction films, the sense of rapidly spinning discs in the hazy middle distance; “Sphere of Interest,” which has a similarly retro feel, with its mix of analog-synth sounds; and “Idle Chatter,” which may be heavily processed conversation, judging by the title and the hint of an outline of speech patterns of its relatively high-pitched content. Stasisfield label at stasisfield.com; album here; von KleinSmid homepage at merivonkleinsmid.net.
Month: January 2004
The Traffic film franchise has entered its third stage. It began as a BBC mini-series, Traffik, then was transformed into a Hollywood motion picture, and now it’s a six-hour (including commercials) mini-series on the USA Network (the final of the three episodes airs this evening). Fans of the film version, directed by Steven Soderbergh, often credit its score, by Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Narc), for setting its mood and for amplifying the impact of its stylish production design. This new USA Network version of Traffic retains the feel of Martinez’s music with a new score by Jeff Rona, who had participated in film version’s recording sessions.
A veteran of Jon Hassell’s group, Rona has retained the Fourth World quality of film’s score, mixing ancient Central Asian ethnic song and percussion with technologized ambient textural music. Four stunning cues from his work on the film version are available for download from his own website, jeffrona.com. The tracks evidence the sort of music he has written for the TV version, the manner in which he uses spaciousness to imply tension, and how he consistently creates a bed of sound consisting of deeply rich drones. These Traffic tracks are simply titled “ex1” (file here), “ex2” (file here), “ex3” (file here) and “ex4” (file here). They segue together well. There aren’t any samples posted, yet, from Rona’s work on the USA Network iteration of Traffic. Additional cues are available from other Rona scores, including those for Exit Wounds, The Fan and Homicide: Life on the Streets.
Quote of the Week: Laptop Restraints
Aphex Twin, speaking to the Syndey Morning Herald newspaper in Australia:
For a few years, I only made stuff on a laptop just because I wanted to train myself. But now it’s like being released from a spell that I put on myself because I’m getting back into more physical inputs and loads of analogue synthesisers again.He is currently touring down under. Full article (“Synths, Drukqs and Rock’n’roll,” January 9, 2004) on the smh.com.au site (here).
More Game Boy MP3s
Following up on last Tuesday’s Downstream entry (here), there are three tracks made on the Nanoloop tool (a cartridge that turns the Game Boy into a rudimentary musical instrument) archived on the readymade.tv site: “Ich Traume Nur in Super8” by Felix Kubin, which starts with the demo track’s opening static, but ventures into a more robust little musical gem, a blip-hoppy ditty that deserves a game all of its own (file here); “Nanoloop” by the tool’s inventor, Oliver Wittchow, which resembles the original demo, but plays with the stereo effects and aims to make as metrically complex a rhythm as he can get out of this little sequencer (file here); and “Gameboygirl” by Ostinato, who drops in a bit of a vocal before diving into some deep house (file here). All are from the Nanoloop album, from Disco Bruit Records back in 2001. There’s more info, albeit in German, here.
Pocka MP3 Set
Following up on the December 9, 2003, entry in Disquiet’s Downstream (here), there’s a free online EP by the same artist, Pocka (aka Brad Mitchell), which saw release in mid-October of last year, and it’s well worth the download time. Released on the Please Do Something netlabel, Chronology Brought consists of five tracks, including “Like Water in Water,” a thick current of bright static; the more percussive and melodic “Star on My Arm”; a brief and gentle guitar tune, “Daniel Bradley Remixed” (the six-string part credited to Dan Weinhaus); “Me Make Pretty Again,” which drops in snippets of a dire vocal against an abrasive flange and a jittery beat, at times reminiscent of a Geiger counter; and “Lauren’s Face Pressed Against a Xerox Machine,” which relaxes Pocka’s penchant for noise in favor of pithy, electro-acoustic verve, leavened with a looped guitar phrase that’s a sort of anti-riff, a quick-fingered figure whose energy suggests a happy accident. (Please Do Something website at pleasedosomething.com; album page here.)