Fully half the top 10 most popular posts on Disquiet.com in the past month were not MP3 downloads (out of a total of 44 posts in April). It’s always a little rewarding to know people are checking out the site for something other than free music. These entries include: (1) the second in a series of probings of George Prochnik‘s new book, In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise; (2) a questioning of the definition of the term “music industry” in Megan McArdle‘s essay “The Freeloaders” in the May 2010 issue of The Atlantic; (3) a critique of founding virtual-reality technologist Jaron Lanier‘s new book, You Are Not a Gadget; (4) a note on the arrival of the Apple iPad, focusing on the transition of software from small screen to larger screen; and (5) a look at the handmade retro-futurist musical instruments of Arius Blaze, as shown up top.
The other five most popular posts this month were in the site’s Downstream series of (legally) free MP3 downloads: (6) great old-school hip-hop instrumentals by Damu the Fudgemunk (cover shown at left); a (7) very different take on turntablism by Christoph Hess (aka Strotter Inst.), who treats his wheels of steel with sewing needles and rubber bands; (8) still yet another turntable fantasy, this time Achim MohnÃ©‘s dust-inspired locked grooves; (9) music derived from recordings of backyards by Tristan Louth-Robins and Sebastian Tomczak; and (10) electronica-ly enhanced European free improv from the groups Diatribes and HKM+.
The most popular post of both the last 60 and 90 days was a piece on a handy little homebrew tape-loop device, shown below, developed by musician Marc Fischer, no doubt thanks to considerable push by Rob Walker‘s focus on the cassette tape as an object of consideration at his great murketing.com blog (and, more recently, as the subject of his “Consumed” column last Sunday at nytimes.com):
The top 10 (in fact 11, due to a few ties) search terms on this site for the month of April were: “performances,” “topic,” “ito,” “postclassic,” “best cds 2005,” “best cds 2007,” “biggs” (as in artist Brian Biggs, who contributed the first in what I hope to be a series of “curating Twitter” illustrations of sound-related objects), “black to comm,” “rss,” “The rest is noise,” and “vinyl.” Those first three items (“performances,” “topic,” “ito”) have been standard for a few months, though I don’t for the life of me know why.