It begins cinematically, with a heartbeat, some typewriter keys, the distant crack of lightning and a small amount of rain. Or maybe that’s a car revving, its gears shifting, followed by the crackle of fire. It’s all sound, so you lend your own mental images to help find your way, much as the track in question, “Sullen City,” the opening piece to Layborn‘s five-song Rubik, eventually introduces a hard, if limber, rhythm to lend structure to the looping swell that’s been rising in the background (MP3). Nothing like a simple back beat to locate the tempo of a seemingly organic sine wave. Rubik falls squarely in what’s called minimal techno. It’s about the beat the way certain films are about place and certain novels are about ideas, in both cases rather than being about character. It’s all background, even when it veers into the foreground, as with the percussive chatter of “A Pin in the Sky” (MP3) or more of that field-recording drama, again rain, on “Solitary Drive” (MP3). The balletic torque of an undertone in “Wires and Whispers Came” (only available if you download the complete, archived files: ZIP) brings to mind Peter Gabriel’s Passion, his score to Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, while at its most minimal, on the closing, the sonic matter is nothing but tiny slivers of static masquerading as drums. More info on the website of the releasing netlabel, archipel.cc.
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
• August 15 - September 15, 2019: The Disquiet Junto is teaming up with Musikfestival Bern for a series of projects.
• August 29, 2019: This day marks the start of the 400th consecutive weekly Disquiet Junto project. It will be a collaboration with the novelist Malka Older.
• December 13, 2019: This day marks the 23rd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2020: This day marks the 8th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• March 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.
• 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.
• 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).
Most Recent Posts
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.
• 0398 / Rauschen Bern / The Assignment: Make music by making a collage of noises.
• 0397 / Numbers Racket / The Assignment: It's 808 Day. Do it up.
• 0396 / Front Page / The Assignment: Make music with by humming a song and then processing the humming.
• 0395 / Acoustic Expanse / The Assignment: Make music with (samples of) the biggest guitar in the southern hemisphere.
• 0394 / You & Me / The Assignment: Accompany the music made by a species other than your own.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 398 consecutive weeks to date.
Tags8-bit app audio-games brands of sounds chiptune classical comics copyleft field-recording film free free download gadget generative i-hop IFTTTgram installation ios ipad iphone ipod ipod touch junto listening to yesterday live-performance modular netlabel noise recommended stream remix rock saw2for33third science-fiction score site-maintenance software sound-art sounds-of-brands studio journal this week in sound turntablism TV video video-games voice
Most Recent Comments
Mahlen: "Regarding the Android comment: as you say, simultaneous audio is clearly already possible in Android. The..."
Dave Seidel: "Best subtitle ever. Thanks, Marc! "
Mala: "Dear Marc, it was a very interesting article that you have penned. Thank you for sharing your interview..."
Darwin Grosse: "I use random words – responding at the appropriate time with nonsensical words. “French..."
Mim: "This is a very helpful post coming at the right time for me. Thank you. "