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

Monthly Archives: July 2004

Un-Saccharine Industrial EP

Robert Willim (aka Selko) has followed up his group field trip with a solo excursion. The IC1 – The Birth of Industrial album, which he organized, featured musicians crafting electronic tracks from a shared set of samples, all of which originated at a sugar refinery in Sweden. Among the participants were Scanner, Tonne, Pheek and Rechenzentrum. Now, as a free online follow up to that proper CD release, Selko has posted a four-track virtual EP, Refinery, each track “mainly based on” sounds from that same locale, notably the pneumatic jitter that gives “Sucrose” its underlying anxious jolt. “Shelf Life” likewise maintains a steady, antiseptic beat that one can easily identify as “industrial,” while “Chocolate Rework” and (to a lesser extent) “Microcrystalline” purposefully devolve into some more concerned with space and texture than with rhythm and song structure, and they’re alive with buzzy hive activity. Check it out at pleazure.org/selko.

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Hrvatski Streaming Jukebox

On and off, the website of musician Hrvatski (born Keith Fullerton Whitman) has offered a free MP3 of the month, many of them key entries in the ongoing Disquiet Downstream setlist: lightly edited field recordings from overseas, live guitar experiments from dank clubs in random cities. A few months back, though, Hrvatski switched from downloads to streams, and posted on reckankomplex.com a massive streaming jukebox (click on the word “radio” when you visit), which as of last count had 75 tracks, many of them his own — lonesome, meandering drones; elliptical reflections on static and low-key noise; layered live-looping ditties — and others credited to celebrated peers, including Pimmon, Kim Cascone and Fennesz, among many. There’s no annotation to speak of, and if you don’t click off the “random playback” button the interface can be unintentionally unwieldy, but it’s a rich trove. Dig in.

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Matmos Live MP3s

Late last year, the San Francisco-based electronic duo Matmos took over a gallery in the city’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and turned it into its studio, complete with throw rug, piano, computers and all manner of lo-fi noisemakers. For most of a month, Matmos (the pair of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) showed up at the gallery-turned-studio as if it were a culture factory, a workplace, and made music while museum-goers wandered through. Most nights, they invited musician friends to drop by and jam. A baker’s dozen of those jams now appear for free download as a package of MP3 files on the group’s website (brainwashed.com/matmos), featuring them playing with Coelacanth; Sagan; J Lesser and Vickie Bennett (under the DISC moniker); Kendra Juul and Phatima and the Stud Middle Eastern Drum Ensemble; Sutekh and Safety Scissors; Wobbly and Thomas Dimuzio; and Wobbly and People Like Us. Particularly recommended are (1) the DISC track, which despite its meager substance (“As ever, it’s just compact discs skipping,” reads an accompanying note), churns richly, and (2) the Phatima track, which mixes live percussion and dark, treated piano. (Also, this is the first Disquiet.com posting in over two months. Apologies for the unintended hiatus.)

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