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A (Temporarily Free) Record Album in Advance of Its Instrumentals

First: act quickly, as this free offer is only good until 9:19pm this evening, Philadelphia time. The Philadelphia-based producer Y?Arcka is a frequent subject of Downstream entries here at Disquiet.com, thanks to his intensely focused hip-hop productions, which tend to take a tiny slip of an existing track and extrapolate from it a fully considered instrumental composition. Though his own works at times push him toward the avant-garde edge of the instrumental-hip-hop continuum, Y?Arcka (alternately Why?Arcka, which stands for Young Architect) in no way distances himself from basic algebra of hip-hop, in which a prepared track is passed to a vocalist, yielding a finished work that has, generally speaking, one author responsible for each of its constituent parts — not counting, of course, the musicians who were the source for the samples, or guest vocalists.

In a full album just out today, and available for free download only until 9:19pm (Philadelphia Time), Y?Arcka has teamed with over a dozen rappers/vocalists, including the noted rhythmic raconteur Zilla Rocca. According to a tweet Y?Arcka sent me earlier today, folks who download the album will also receive a set of the instrumental versions. Especially looking forward to hearing the instrumental of “Up My Sleeve,” its central riff something halfway between a talking drum and a flute, and of “Mr. Matic,” with its super tight mix of drums and guitar.

Album available at arckatron.bandcamp.com. Y?Arcka is on Twitter at twitter.com/whyarcka, where he bills himself as “conceptual programmer.” Read a 2009 Disquiet.com interview with Y?Arcka, born Shawn Kelly: “Young Communicator.”

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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