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

Unboxing Gristleism

Below is brief, quickly cobbled together, somewhat lo-rez slideshow of the new Gristleism device, a collaboration between industrial-rock legends Throbbing Gristle and Christiaan Virant, who as half of FM3 was responsible for the development of the Buddha Machine.

Like the Buddha Machine, Gristleism is a small, self-contained sound-looping device. The Gristleism audio quality is about twice that of the Buddha Machine’s, noticeable especially in how at louder volumes it doesn’t peak out, and how the built-in speaker lacks a certain Soviet-era rattling effect when the deeper tones kick in. Like the second generation Buddha Machines, Gristleism includes a pitch control, allowing the speeding up and slowing down of each track. The Buddha Machines, both version one and two, each contain nine loops, and Gristleism contains 13, each of which appears to be a sliver of a pre-existing Throbbing Gristle song, such as “Hamburger Lady,” off 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Unlike the Buddha Machines, Gristleism doesn’t have an audio-out jack.

There are several variations in the initial release, including red and chrome versions, and collector’s editions. The black one came with a reflective metallic silver business card that reads “The Meme Is the Message.”

The full set is viewable at flickr.com/photos/disquietpxl. The individual images are shown one at a time after the jump:

More on the Gristleism gadget, including instructions on how to install an audio jack, at gristleism.com.

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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