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

Video Game Abstraction (MP3)

The Hexawe netlabel is dependable for low budget techno, for delectable bits of video-game instrumental pop that mix everyday source material and a definite taste for the abstract. In some ways, it’s music for nobody — fans of video-game scores will find the mad variety in any given track to verge on chaos, while fans of experimentation in music will bristle at the goofy sounds that are employed. All of which is what makes the label’s true successes, such as the single “China Shipping Co” by I, Cactus, such a treat (MP3).

[audio:http://www.hexawe.net/hex002E_CHINA_SHIPPING_CO_by_I%2CCactus.mp3|titles=”China Shipping Co”|artists=I Cactus]

Video games are a natural for fast changes in genre, given that sonic cues usually alter from stage to stage, level to level. In the mind of I, Cactus, that means something akin to Naked City”“era John Zorn, with a dozen or so little bits of melodic play packed into less than three and a half minutes of song. In this case, there is dubby mid-tempo lounge, a gizmo walking bass line, the inevitable pachinko tomfoolery, not to mention the super slomo opening, which leads to a brief section of squeaky noise-making.

As always with Hexawe, the track is accompanied by the raw materials from which it is constructed, so you can play along at home. More on I, Cactus (aka Connor Long) at icact.us. Visit the releasing label at hexawe.net, where the track was uploaded on February 24, 2010.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. kris
    [ Posted June 17, 2010, at 7:57 am ]

    i’m getting “file not found” on the player. anyone else?

  2. Marc Weidenbaum
    [ Posted June 17, 2010, at 9:32 pm ]

    Sorry about that. I have now fixed the MP3 URL in the player. For some reason, it doesn’t play nice with commas (so I needed to swap out the “,” in “I, Cactus” for “%2C”).

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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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