Let’s close off the week with a second consecutive Important Records entry, following up yesterday’s reference to the group Larsen’s Autechre-inspired Play. Like that album, Sirocco by Daniel Menche is of particular interest due to the music that fueled it. But whereas Play‘s ambitious post-rock benefited from Autechre’s glitch in ambiguous if imagination-provoking ways (Larsen reportedly jammed to Autechre melodies prior to moving into the recording studio), on Menche’s Sirocco the debt is literal. The album is constructed from one-minute slices of source material submitted by a range of musicians, including Andrew Lagowski, Asmus Tietchens, John Duncan, Scanner, Akira Rabelais, Illusion of Safety and Merzbow. As with Play, though, it’s unlikely you’ll recognize the raw ingredients in the final product. The result of Menche’s refined digital blender, as represented by a five-minute extract on the Important website, importantrecords.com (visit the “releases” page), is a cyclically chiming wonder, an epiphany on hold, something that simultaneously has the efflorescence of intense forward motion and the resolute stillness of a frozen moment glinting in the sun. More on Menche, who has albums on Trente Oiseaux, Soleilmoon, Ground Fault and other labels, and who has contributed to compilations on Ant-Zen, 23Five, Touch and other labels, at esophagus.com/htdb/menche.
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
• July 28, 2021: This day marks the start of the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
• December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
• January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the forthcoming 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.)
• 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).
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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.
• 0499 / Out of the Landscape / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.
• 0498 / Sonic Entomologist / The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.
• 0497 / Benjamin's Glass / The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica
• 0496 / Isolation Room / The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.
• 0495 / Protip Etude / The Assignment: Share a tip for making music or working with sound, and record a track that employs it.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 499 consecutive weeks to date.
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