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

Industrial Industrial Music = Folk Music (MP3)

About a third of the way through Durán Vázquez‘s recent podcast at cronicaelectronica.org, there is a tea-kettle whine to end all tea-kettle whines.

[audio: http://download.cronicaelectronica.org/cronicast068.mp3|titles=”Casa das Atochas (August 19 2010)”|artists=Durán Vázquez]

It is high and it is shrill, and it is pitched like a war cry and it is as insistent as a hungry infant. And yet, it is thoroughly enjoyable (MP3). It has, in this context, the quality of a high lonesome yodel in a country song, or of a piercing clarinet solo in a klezmer performance. The context is a roiling whir of mechanized activity — brushed-metal static and turbine roars, fissures of static magnified for the ear. Which is to say, it’s industrial industrial music. And which is to say, it is folk music: like much music made from the sounds of the automated environment, it’s a music that takes the world around us (the world we ourselves made: the built environment) and transforms it into something celebrates those sounds, and frames them for consideration outside their everyday context.

At almost 24 minutes in length, it’s a hefty listen, moving slowly through territory at once alien and familiar. According to a brief note, the recording was made live during a “Tan inauditos!!” (translated: “So unheard!!”) performance at Casa das Atochas, A Coruña City, Galicia (Spain), on August 19, 2010.

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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