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Monthly Archives: October 2005

Guit-Tronic MP3

An untitled crackup of mashed guitar snippets and broken beats is the latest entry in the “MP3 Rotor” at the kracfive.com collective. Credited to wwcarpen, the cut (MP3) is abstract more for the utter lack of supporting information than for anything else. Filling that void of biographical data is a mesh of strings and bang that speaks well enough for itself. What makes the scattered strums and off-meter beats work is how, over time, they become nearly indistinguishable from each other. It’s all just a pleasingly chaotic assemblage in motion.

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Post-Piano MP3s

Like many electronic musicians, John Kameel Farah posts MP3s of his work on his website, johnfarah.com. Unlike most, he also lists in detail the classical piano repertoire that he’s mastered, from such cornerstones as Bach’s toccatas and Beethoven sonatas, to modern works by Satie, Webern, Messiaen and Cage. Few of the Farah MP3s evidence his expertise on the piano, though “Spiral Flower” (MP3) layers keyboard lines in a manner that must be studio-aided. Many of his original compositions do share an intrinsic melodiousness in keeping with someone steeped in Debussy, Mozart and Haydn. Two key recommendations are “Bas Relief” (MP3), a mix of treated piano figures and rough-hewn field recordings that achieves an admirable measure of density and heft, and “Cells” (MP3), a lengthy drone that feels nearly sub-audial even as it consumes your peripheral hearing.

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Stephen Vitiello MP3

Excerpted edits are rarely Disquiet Downstream fare, but when the fragment is almost four minutes in length, owing to its having been culled from a nearly hour-long CD, then so be it — especially when it’s the likes of Stephen Vitiello‘s exceptional BuffaloBassDelay. The releasing label, Hallwalls, explains where the delicate mix of found sounds originated: “The CD consists of one 54 minute track developed from field recordings Vitiello made while exploring abandoned grain elevators along the Buffalo River in 2003.” The result (MP3) may carry the weight of ambiguous real-world audio recordings, but it’s more than mere atmosphere; they’re mixed into a flush of beady little rhythmic delights. Vitiello recorded the piece while on a Hallwalls Artists in Residence Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. More info at stephenvitiello.com and hallwalls.org.

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Jack DeJohnette MP3s

Jack DeJohnette, born in 1942, is one of the great living jazz drummers, beloved in electronic circles for, among many things, his role in trumpeter Miles Davis’ transition from bebop to fusion. DeJohnette has a new outfit, Ripple Effect, which teams him with Ben Surman. The duo perpetrates a fairly rarified realm of fusion, and it’s represented by two tracks at music.download.com that represent if not dual ends of that spectrum, then at least two potential directions, one welcome, one less so. “Ancient Techno (Remix)” (MP3) has a tinny quality at its core that keeps it from ever getting remotely close to the hubristic indulgences of the worst fusion, but it isn’t comfortable enough to leave melody behind in favor of open-ended music-for-music’s-sakeness; it has some nice touches of MIDI percussion, but much of the tuned percussion draws too much attention to itself, too eager to please. However “Ocean Wave (Remix)” (MP3) gets a lot closer to a state of pure motion, sounding like a thorough reduction of juju music: the dappled lines, the kinetic rhythms, the elated counterpoint. On “Ocean Wave,” even the solos are in service to the groove. (If the links don’t work, then search for Ripple Effect or DeJohnette at music.download.com.) More info at jackdejohnette.com.

The Ripple release, which came out on October 4, is well-timed to coincide with an archival Miles Davis box set, The Cellar Door Sessions 1970, released the week prior, featuring Johnette, along with John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett, Airto Moreira, Gary Bartz and Michael Henderson.

Update: Apparently the Cellar Door album has been delayed. Thanks to Jeff LeVine (jefflevine.blogspot.com) for the news.

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e/i Reviews

Issue number five of the print magazine e/i is out, and my reviews of the following albums appear in it: Koji Asano‘s Sanctuary on Reclaimed Land (Solstice), Bird Show‘s Green Inferno (Kranky), Brian Eno‘s Another Day on Earth (Hannibal), Growing‘s The Soul of the Rainbow & the Harmony of Light (Kranky), Damon Holzborn‘s Adams & Bancroft (Accretions), Giuseppe Ielasi‘s Gesine (Hapna), LichensThe Psychic Nature of Being (Kranky), Ilya Monosov‘s Architectures on Air and Other Works (Elevator Bath), Ikue Mori‘s Myrninerest (Tzadik), Adam Pacione‘s Heat (Primary) and Colin Andrew Sheffield‘s First Thus (Elevator Bath). More info at ei-mag.com.

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  • about

  • 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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