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

Bach, Through a Sampler, Darkly (MP3)

Tokyo, Japan-based Yasuo Akai recently uploaded this reworking of a piece of J.S. Bach‘s Goldberg Variations. A listener from New Mexico praised it for its “wobbly” quality, and the word is quite appropriate. It’s not that the rendering solely takes the monastic geometries of the original and plays them as if on a vinyl LP left out in the sun for too long — though that is, arguably, what it often sounds like. Indeed, the broken, melted quality lends the work a maudlin sensibility, a deep nostalgia that brings to mind Kid Koala, albeit minus the beatcraft. But there’s more too this than simply a distortion.

By smudging the original, Akai has engendered new details, little crackles and creases, bent notes and fragile melodic intervals, that are entirely the result of the new version.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/yasuoakai.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. papernoise
    [ Posted January 22, 2011, at 1:35 pm ]

    So you mean, they did not really record this on vinyl and leave it out in the sun? I indeed suggest a feeling of sun, summer and heat… if not in the material, at least in the music.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted January 24, 2011, at 12:19 pm ]

      I don’t think they actually did that. Just sounds that way.

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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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