Bleep.com is the digital-music download service operated by the folks at Warp Records, and it’s running a special free-download promotion in conjunction with Rip ‘N’ Burn magazine, which is ceasing to publish (the magazine, not the download retailer). Bleep is a DRM-free service, which means you purchase unencrypted MP3s, not heavily protected, proprietary files, which is the case with, oh, the iTunes Music Store. (DRM = “digital rights management.”) You need to register for Bleep to be eligible to enjoy the promotion, but registering is free, and once you do, you’ll see “RIPNBURN” listed toward the top of the pulldown menu that names all the Bleep affiliated labels (among them Warp, Ninja Tune, One Little Indian, Domino, Lex, Schematic, Skam and others; in other words, the good stuff). If you’re already registered, you can also just click on over to bleep.com/ripnburn. Every time you access this pulldown or that link, the site rotates through various free downloads, from deservedly prominent artists such as DJ Vadim, Luke Vibert and Four Tet. You can also access the free tracks individually from the menu on the left side of the screen, which features the covers of the albums from which the songs were extracted. There are 11 downloads in all: Busdriver‘s “Unemployed Black Astronaut,” Colder‘s “Shiny Star (Matthew Dear remix),” Fog‘s “10th Avenue Freakout,” Four Tet‘s “Smile Around the Face,” the Go! Team‘s “Get It Together,” Jamie Lidell‘s “The City,” Mugison’s “Murr Murr,” One Self‘s “Be Your Own (radio edit)” (that’s DJ Vadim with rapper Yarah Bravo), Quasimoto‘s “Greenery,” Luke Vibert’s “Funky Acid Stuff” and Vitalic‘s “Wooo.” Locate the ones you’re interested in, and then “purchase” each file for $0.00. If you’re not familiar with the Bleep interface, consider this a free lesson. Particularly recommended are the Four Tet (a funky beat with these high-pitched glossolalia vocals), the Vibert (which finds a common ground between his more recent electro-retro sounds and his earlier blunted downtempo), and the Vitalic (a heavyfooted fuzzed-out organ grind).
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
• February 5, 2020: The first session of the 15-week course I teach at the Academy of Art about the role of sound in the media landscape.
• April 15, 2020: A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the forthcoming 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.)
• December 13, 2020: This day marks the 24th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2021: This day marks the 9th 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.
• At least two live group concerts by Disquiet Junto members in the San Francisco Bay Area are in the works for 2020.
• I have liner notes for a musician's solo album and an essay in a book about an art event due out. I'll announce as the release dates come into focus.
• 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.
• 0465 / You Thank / The Assignment: Make a piece of music for someone or something for which you feel thankful.
• 0464 / Blanket Song / The Assignment: Play over a song, and then remove the original.
• 0463 / Making the Gradient / The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by the concept of a gradient.
• 0462 / Vade in Pace / The Assignment: Write a short piece of music that gets slower and slower as it proceeds.
• 0461 / Goldilocks Zone / The Assignment: Navigate a sonic space between the hospitable and the inhospitable.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 465 consecutive weeks to date.
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