New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Downtempo Instrumental Hip-hop MP3 from ProF

The title of Lawrence Lessig’s recent book Remix refers to all manner of cultural activity, not just the professional DJ taking two songs and yoking them into one, but also everything from kids swapping out the audio of anime snippets, to gallery-based visual artists appropriating sections of Hollywood movies.

Still, at this moment, the word “remix” sums up select mental images, primarily, I’d argue, a laptop and a pair of turntables. So, it seems appropriate, with a nod to the latter, to close this week’s series of Disquiet Downstream entries — all of which have been tailored to the topics covered in Remix — with a bit of instrumental hip-hop.

Though much of the techniques employed by hip-hop had precedents in avant-garde tape loops and the means by which jazz musicians and classical composers would interpolate pre-existing melodies, rap music is what brought the whole idea of sampling into the modern public imagination. Back in the day, as they say, sampling was the result of painstaking use of audio tape and of computer equipment with severely limited data capacity, as well as the live performance mode that came to be known as turntablism. Today, turntablism is taught in colleges and music schools, and digital loopers can handle essentially infinite amounts of data. Perhaps as a reaction to that open-endedness, a lot of instrumental hip-hop has come to the fore that celebrates the quieter gestures, the surface noise, the way a beat can shape the moment, the way an echo can fill a room. This is instrumental hip-hop: beats as a musical end unto themselves, not necessarily crafted with the intention that a vocalist will drop some rhymes atop them.

[audio:http://www.insideamind.net/music/A_Life_Force_master.mp3|titles=”A Life Force”|artists=ProF]

The California-based producer ProF (born Cheldon Paterson) has posted, as a teaser for the forthcoming album Superorganism (5&1/4 Records), two and a half minutes of hip-hop bliss, beats that slow the pace of your breathing, and watery samples of piano, strings, and muffled moans that fill the space with a contemplative vibe (MP3). The track is titled “A Life Force,” and ProF recently made it available for free download via his myspace.com/professorfingers page.

Though it’s quite possible to quote a pre-existing song and make that reference a humorous, incongruous, or otherwise meaningful statement, part of the art of ProF’s piece is that whatever material he has used, he has so subsumed it into his work that it’s all largely unidentifiable. The result is music that you know came from somewhere else, but where doesn’t matter; the only where that matters is where the sounds ended up.

More on the release at tablist.net and his myspace.com/professorfingers blog post.

The focus on Lessig’s Remix this week has been intended as a supplement to the online group discussion I’ve participated in at artsjournal.com/gap, thanks to an invitation from “Mind the Gap” blogger Molly Sheridan.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • 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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts