Tangents (Buddha, Syrianna, Mieville)

Quick Links, News and Good Reads: (1) Apparently this (link) is a half-hour video of the duo FM3 (Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian) playing chess with their Buddha Machines at the De Appel museum of contemporary art in Amsterdam, November 2005 (via chaile.org). The sound quality isn’t great, but eventually people shush and the music makes itself heard. … (2) Deep in the recent NAMM audio convention, one blogger noted a particularly cool trailer for DJ tools (video), for the Eclectic Breaks Pro X Fade (via skratchworx.com). … (3) Matmos talks to the camera for 40 minutes, including snippets of live performances, about teaching snails to play the theremin, swapping out a balloon for cow’s uterus and more (brainwashed.com), in advance of the April 2006 release of The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast. … (4) The publisher Continuum has announced (at 33third.blogspot.com) the next 21 volumes in its 33 1/3 series of small books devoted to individual albums, among them Nine Inch NailsPretty Hate Machine (by Daphne Carr) and Brian Eno‘s Another Green World (by Geeta Dayal). Also listed, 20 Jazz Funk Greats (presumably the Throbbing Gristle album) by Matmos member Drew Daniel (via lacunae.com). … (5) The retailer eMusic.com announced in a January 23 press release that its sales would now be included in the Nielsen SoundScan ratings. EMusic has in its catalog a much wider array of electronic-oriented record labels than does Apple’s iTunes Music Store. … (6) “Weird Noises That Blossom Into Symphonies,” from the occasional Circuits section in the New York Times, on new fangled instruments, including the tenori-on, by Toshio Iwai. Also mentioned: Perry R. Cook, who apparently created a MIDI controller for, of all people, trad jazz man Wynton Marsalis; Don Buchla and Shawn Greenlee (nytimes.com). … From engadget.com: (7) musical uses for a castoff tool from a video game (link), and (8) a newfangled instrument puts on airs (link).

… Score Keeper: (1) Interview with Alexandre Desplat (soundtrack.net), Syriana score composer: “Also, almost all of the string patterns are doubled by synthesized electronic sounds that blur the strings. The concept was to blend all the sounds, so that no single sound would be too clear or defined.” … IMDB.com has (2) John Powell attached to Watchmen, the third X-Men and the next Bourne Identity movie (he’s done the first two in that series) and (3) Jeff Rona attached to Hellion and a TV series called Brotherhood.

… Select New Releases: These new release lists are less than useful, given the broad range of music released each week. Still, it’s a look at what’s imminent. Names of labels and artists link to webpages, where available and, of course, known. … (1) Coldcut‘s Sound Mirrors (Ninja Tune), with guests John Matthias, Roots Manuva, Annette Peacock, Robert Owens, Andrew (Fog) Broder and others. … (2) DJ Cam‘s Revisited By…, with remixes by DJ Premier, Thievery Corporation and others (Recall).

… Disquiet Heavy Rotation: (1) Pierre Bastien‘s Pop (Rephlex) will find a home in the collection of anyone who prizes the rickety sang-froid of Kid Koala’s turntablism or of Benoit Charest’s music for the film Les Triplettes de Belleville. Like both those gentlemen, Bastien uses humble materials to produce music that suggests Europe at its most elegantly dilapidated, but in place of Koala’s dusty vinyl and Charest’s musical kitchen appliances, Bastien has crafted his own small orchestra of makeshift instruments. His inventions take on a life of their own. Just listen to the muffled, slack-jaw howls that punctuate “Pep.” It’s the sort of sound that keeps you up nights. … (2) Producer DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill, House of Pain) and rapper GZA team up, or face off, on the recent Grandmasters, and a 12″ captures two GZA-free slices of Muggs’ background hip-hop, both laced with electric guitar. The A-side, “All in Together Now,” is a bare-boned layering of beats, with a touch of late-1980s rhythms that sound a bit out of place amid the track’s digital clarity. The keeper is the richer B-side, “General Principals,” on which a sad-toned guitar part suggests a hip-hop Ennio Morricone. … (3) Disquiet Downstream entry of the week: two sound-collage MP3s from Tyondai Braxton, of the rising math-punk supergroup Battles (link).

… Quote of the Week: From the short story “Details,” in China Mieville‘s collection Looking for Jake, published last year: “As if the notes of all the different noises in the house fell into a chance meeting, and sounded like more than dissonance. The shuts and bangs and cries of fear combined in a sudden audible illusion like another presence.”

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