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

Extended Murk-tronic MP3

Like a lot of abstract, ambient-leaning electronic music, Maikko‘s new release on the netlabel Statisfield, titled Kneedeep, defies the ear’s sense of scale. It could be a close-up audio recording of bionic buglife, or the seeping hum of some giant, slow-moving machine. Either way, though, it’s rich in detail — perhaps the microscopic workings of something smaller than your earlobe, or maybe the semi-organic sinew of something significantly larger than your apartment building. Confusingly, Kneedeep consists of a single track with a split title, “Wasteland / Flowers on Their Graves,” but at almost 20 minutes in length, it also has enough distinct stages, or movements, to deserve at least twice as many names. Note that all three given titles suggest organic murk. It’s a through-composed journey the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. There are moments of what sound like heavily vocoded speech, computer babble filtered through layers of feedback and transformative algorithms. What suggests spoken words is, specifically, how arrhythmic yet fluid that material is, like it has its own internal, if amelodic, logic; listen around the five-minute mark, and above the pulsing wave there’s a fuzz box that sounds like a Cylon Raider on a bender. By the 15-minute mark, the piece has an understated groove; it’s amazing how the odd offbeat can make the most mechanical of sounds seem to swing. Check the album out here, the MP3 file here. Maikko is a cofounder of the Italian collective Otolab (more info at otolab.net, and check out the Otolab music archive here). More on Stasisfield at stasisfield.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • 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

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