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

Top 10 Posts & Searches from September 2010

By far, (1) the list of most read/visited posts of this past month was topped by a project that both is near to my heart, and yet I had nothing directly to do with. Eleven musicians equal in their talent and generosity put together a compilation of baby-friendly music, to welcome my first child, who was born on August 31 (which explains the slightly decreased pace of publication this month). The album is titled Soothing Sounds for Baby, as a nod to the work by famed musician/technologist Raymond Scott. The musicians (in the order of the tracks) are Fredo Viola, Autistici, Nomad Palace, Hey Exit, the Oo-Ray, Nils Quak, Stephane Leonard, Talkingmakesnosense, Benjamin Klein, He Can Jog, and Brian Green.

Six of the top 10 were drawn from the site’s Downstream department, which collects legal freely available music on the web: (2) a live performance by guitarist Oren Ambarchi (courtesy of the record label Touch’s ongoing free Touch Radio series), (3) two free DJ Shadow MP3s (up for just a short time, and now no longer available), (4) a recording of maggots (yes, maggots) by Richard Devine (apparently Jiminy Cricket isn’t the only popular singing insect), (5) a bit of Fourth World audio tourism by Aboombong, (6) C. Reider‘s vision of steampunk (emphasis on the steam), and (7) five free Bonobo MP3s to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the label Ninja Tune (like the DJ Shadow tracks, no longer available for free).

Also in the top 10: (8) a look at some guitar picks designed by musicians Taylor Deupree (who runs the label 12k) and Marcus Fischer (“These Guitar Picks Kill Genre Isolationists”), (9) an appraisal of the history of silent television (with some thoughtful comments by reader Yasuo), and somewhat peculiarly (10) the “Top 10 Posts & Searches” post of the preceding month, August.

The top searches for the month: musician “alan morse davies” (whose work I’ve mentioned when discussing that recent Justin Bieber and Inception slo-mo-sound meme) “soothing sounds,” “bandcamp” (a web service that recently changed its service agreement, to some uproar), “oval,” “topic” (your guess is as good as mine), “autechre,” “holzkopf,” “monkey puzzle” (that one yields a null result), “tummaa,” “arcka” (Great Philly-based producer), “best of 2009,” “blow up hollywood,” “feldman,” “jazz” (a word I’ve been considering adding as a topic/tag), “marc fischer,” “marcus fischer,” “mille plateaux,” “music apps,” “ocarina,” and “pessoa.” The list is longer than 10 due to a bunch of ties.

The site currently has two interface experiments running. One is a wide dispersal of the Twitter icon, about which I have mixed feelings, but wanted to give it a try. The other is the ability to subscribe, via email, to the comments to a given post (this appears at the bottom of any given post page). Among the posts from the past month with the highest number of subscribers: “Quote of the Week: Silent Television” (mentioned above) and “Generative Experiment (MP3)” by Alec Vance. After that, a whole lot of ties.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • 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

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