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.
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5 Most Recent Posts
• February 6, 2019: First day of the new semester of the 15-week "Sounds of Brands" course I teach once a year at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
• March 22, 2019: I'm giving a talk at the Algorithmic Art Assembly, two days of events in San Francisco: aaassembly.org.
• 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.
• Ongoing: 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, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It has been translated into Spanish, and is due out soon in Japanese, as well. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0372 / Honeymoon Phase / The Assignment: Record a piece of music with (only) your most recently obtained instrument or music/sound tool.
• 0371 / Concrete Ambience / The Assignment: What could concrete wallpaper music sound like?
• 0370 / Through Lines / The Assignment: Follow a single strand in the accumulated material resulting from a multi-part, multi-thread collaborative endeavor.
• 0369 / Final Solo / The Assignment: Record the final third of a trio, adding to a pre-existing track, based itself on a prior pre-existing track.
• 0368 / Engage Duo / The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio, adding to a pre-existing track.
... And there is a complete list of past projects.
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