This is the fifth and final entry in this week’s Disquiet.com Downstream section — all five recommendations this week of freely downloadable listening, along with the subject of the week’s “MP3 Discussion Group,” have been culled from the great resource soundcloud.com. I’m at soundcloud.com/disquiet.
Vuzh is C. Reider, a musician who’s admirable for his interest in constant experimentation and for his prolific nature. He digs in deep to whatever challenge he sets for himself, but he’s as curious as he is diligent. The majority of his many releases have a theme, which can often be read as a kind of wrestling with one or another self-imposed restraint.
His Ne Quid Nimis is all sourced from “unlikely objects.” His version of Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting in a Room” used voice-to-text software as the source of its slow dissolve from meaning. And The Long Defeat shares the sound of guitar in a massive space.
Among his latest is a series of recordings at his soundcloud.com/vuzhmusic space, in which his sole instrument is an early analog drum machine, one called the TR-606, which was manufactured by the Roland corporation in the early 1980s. Reider milks the machine for all it is worth, and what’s remarkable about it isn’t just that he’s taken a tool of percussion and turned it into a tool for space music — all wandering echoes and hallucinated canyons — but how much, to fans of his other work, it is immediately of a piece with things he’s made on far different instruments on other sonic journeys he’s taken.
This track is one of five off the fourth volume in a projected series of five albums focused on “experimental explorations of the textures and sounds of analogue drum machines,” as Reider puts it in his liner notes at vuzhmusic.com:
“The intentions of this project were: to use single analogue x0x (et al) machines as sound source material for each individual track — to use those well-trodden sounds in non-standard ways … to draw upon the styles of industrial, IDM, minimal-techno and noiseambient without having the work be strictly classified as any one of those styles.”
The file can be downloaded using the little down arrow in the above SoundCloud interface. More at soundcloud.com/vuzhmusic.