Quick Links: (1) The Freesound Project is “a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds,” at freesound.iua.upf.edu (via makezine.com). Among the highlights is a “remix tree,” in which users add samples of previous entries, forming an outline-style branching tree of derived sounds. … (2) Also via makezine, the WorldEar project, a somewhat utopian sound-art project that proposes piping ambient sound from cities around the world to each other, to be played in public transportation (link). … (3) When the Hard Rock Cafe opened a new location in Manhattan on August 12, some 100 Gibson guitars were smashed to commemorate the event (link). It’s billed as the biggest guitar smash ever. Guinness might have been on hand to record the world record, but shouldn’t Christian Marclay have been, too? … (4, 5) Via gizmodo.com: a MIDI-controlled beer-bottle organ (link) and a neural synthesizer (link). … (6) Engadget.com covers said synthesizer as part of a roundup of boutique synths (link). … (7 – 9) Boingboing.com was on a music roll this week, including: sonic blaster used by LAPD (link), a proto-historical version thereof (link) and “laughing” records (link). … (10, 11, … ) Createdigitalmusic.com points to eBay circuit-bent goodies, microtone data, and more (link).
… Good Reads: (1) The New York Times on the theremin (link). … (2) The BBC on “DIY DJs” (link), part of a series on “digital citizens” who create their own culture. … (3) At Wired.com, the future of hearing aids and a related exhibit in London (link). “Social noise has tripled since the 1980s and most people struggle on a regular basis to have conversations in noisy places,” says one audiology professional (via lifehacker.com). … (4) In Artforum, a report on a William Basinski exhibit/performance in Los Angeles (link).
… Select New Releases: (1) Among the contributors to Luaka Bop Remix, from the label run by David Byrne, are John McEntire, Fila Brazilia, Mario Caldato, Masters at Work, Carl Craig and Scratch Perverts. Among the remixed are Tom Ze, Los Amigos Invisibles, and Zap Mama teamed up with Erykah Badu. … (2) Rapper Common‘s Be will reportedly be made available as an official instrumentals version (Geffen), which means it’s essentially a solo Kanye West album, as West produced the full set. … (3) Broadcast‘s single “America’s Boy” takes as its subject the war in Iraq (Warp). … (4) From Aphex Twin’s label, Rephlex, comes Quantum Transposition, credited to the mysterious Arpanet. … (5) The Black Dog‘s drowsy dub Trojan Horus 12″ (Dust Science) … More new release info at brainwashed.com/releases and icemagazine.com.
… Disquiet Heavy Rotation: (1) Koji Asano‘s Sanctuary on Reclaimed Land, his 36th full-length album on Solstice, finds the itinerant musician — who has resided in London, Tokyo and Barcelona over the course of his career — performing live in a warehouse in Osaka, Japan. He was invited to be an artist-in-residence, and he decided to record live piano in a sizable empty warehouse, processing the music and its reverberations with his computer. Despite muddy, distant sound (due, likely, to the diffusion of the warehouse’s inherent acoustics), it’s a majestic piece. … (2) Judging by the album Pounded Masses (Hymen), if there’s a Bermuda Triangle where grime, IDM and industrial music meet, that’s where Somatic Responses has chosen to set course. They may never make it back alive, but their distress signal is mighty entertaining. … (3) The top Disquiet Downstream entry of last week was Chris Herbert‘s deceptively quiet “Chlorophyl” (MP3, entry)
… Quote of the Week: “The noise around them is a random susurrus of machine-generated crowd scenery, the people motionless as their shared reality thread proceeds independently of the rest of the universe.” The word “accelerando” is a term in musical notation that directs the performer to gradually speed up the tempo. Accelerando is also the title of science fiction writer Charles Stross‘s humorously hyperbolic new novel, from which that quote was taken. The book, which describes the intense fast-forwardization of humanity, is in stores now, but it’s also downloadable for free at accelerando.org.