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. • Disquiet.com 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.

Laundromat Techno MP3

Kwook, with his nonsense syllable of a nom-du-MP3, knows that much as a word repeated ad nauseam becomes almost alarmingly meaningless, a sound repeated on end becomes a potent rhythm track. The self-descriptive “Washerloop,” off his four-song Immiscible EP on the One netlabel (downloadable free here), starts with a washing machine but becomes pure techno even before the light comes on to signal a call for detergent.

In part this is because your standard everyday laundromat is a natural minimal-techno engine, an armory of things that rattle as they rotate, things that being mechanical have inherent, often eccentric, rhythms, even if they do not adhere to what we think of as a proper downbeat. “Washerloop” is fine field-recording techno also because the recognizable sound elements are matched and eventually subsumed by a more artificial brand of throbbing, roiling sound.

What “Washerloop” achieves with the noise of a Sunday morning laundry session, “Apolloguiltly” does with deeply distorted vocals, virtually unintelligible, as if they’re being tapped in an aquarium. Where “Washerloop” goes for dance-floor agitation, this track beatifies its source material, ascending from the mundane concerns of the muffled conversation toward something heavenly, the come-hither voices of the Information Age sirens. “Psychopomp” achieves similarly haloed ends with more traditional instrumentation; the elegant stretch of ambience could easily be transferred to church organ.

The only disappointment on Immiscible is the opening track, a pulsing shunt of pop-minimalism with the generic spirit of a lesser Tangerine Dream score. It’s built on bland synthesized sounds, washes of silicon waves, pointillist riffs played with all-to-familiar preset tones, unearthly choral harmonies sung by eunuch androids. The rest of the EP, though, especially “Washerloop” and “Apolloguiltly,” more than make up for this misstep. (More on Kwook, aka Simon Bennet of Perth, Australia, at kwookyworld.com.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Comment: 1 ]

One Comment

  1. Chris Hatton
    [ Posted August 24, 2009, at 7:29 am ]

    Each to their own, I found the opening track, Cloudhopper, to be one of the most deep and intense ambient grooves I have ever had the pleasure of.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com 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, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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 oup.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, 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

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts