The loopdiary.com website collects a fairly steady schedule of guitar-based soundscapes, 20 so far this year by a single musician who goes by the name Disproduction. These are loops, but not loops as in brief presets that you can download and use as patterns in your home audio-production setup. No, these are long-form loop-based performances, in which sounds recur repeatedly, over an extended duration, overlapping with themselves and their derivations, and develop a sleepy realm of aural ghost images. How long is long-form? Two thus far clock in at over 10 minutes. Disproduction describes them as follows: “Semi-ambient guitar improvisations using a single guitar, various effects and long recurring delays. … Sometimes referred to as ‘frippertronics’, these pieces are minimally edited, nominally processed, and likely uninteresting.” That’s an accurate description, aside from the “uninteresting” line. Particularly recommended are “03.12.05a,” which has a nearly vocal effect in its silk-thin harmonies, and the more evidently guitar-produced accents of “03.21.05a.” Among the more dissonant entries are “02.02.05a.mp3,” which highlights a more varied number of contrasting elements than do most of the pieces here, and “03.08.05b.mp3,” which milks what appears to be a particularly tangy alternate tuning. The site’s homepage appropriately features a mythological beast eating its own tail.
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
• 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.
• 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.)
• 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.
• 0506 / Wipe Out / The Assignment: Take something whole and erase half of it.
• 0505 / Line Out / The Assignment: Share a track, get feedback, and give feedback.
• 0504 / Transform Formula / The Assignment: Take a sound, change it, and contrast that with the original.
• 0503 / Sing Song / The Assignment: Record a song using only your voice transformed beyond recognition.
• 0502 / Global Swarming / The Assignment: Create a swarm of imaginary insects.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 506 consecutive weeks to date.
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