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Pithy Noise MP3s

The ten brief sound segments posted at the Polarity Records website (polarityrecords.net) by musician Haruna Ito bring to mind the Buddha Machine. Insectoid noises, termed “grainbugs” (MP3), sit side by side with metallic chatter, “shpfb” (MP3), and soft tones, “pohwomb” (MP3), just to point to a few. They’re independent little flavors, ranging from seven to forty two seconds in length. But unlike the little sounds that fill the Buddha Machine, Ito’s loops are intended to be savored in various permutations, not individually.

According to Ino’s bio, she was born in Japan but raised in the U.S., before returning to Japan in her teens. These days, in addition to crafting her own solo sound art, she’s in the band Skist with Samm Bennett. Bennett was arguably the most song-minded musician among the core figures in the early days of the Knitting Factory, the downtown Manhattan club that was once the epicenter of the local out-music scene. One full track from Skist’s latest album, Taking Something Somewhere, is also up on the Polarity site; “If There Is Any News” sets her light, half-spoken vocal above a buzzy, equally fragile foundation of mechanized noises (MP3).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • 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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