New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dustmotes’ Inaugural Podcast (MP3)

Free MP3: Beats that veer toward ambient

The platform has many strengths. Key among them is how the fluid nature of postings on the service leads to a specific situation that few if any other music-hosting services have approached. It’s one in which a truly fluid sensibility is easily associated with the postings. In other words: a musical sketch — a rough draft or a work-in-progress — makes sense on Soundcloud in a way it does less so, say, on or in iTunes. Those latter two systems emulate the tradition of the recording as document, as self-enclosed entity. Soundcloud allows for such a thing, with its “sets” feature, but the default mode on Soundcloud is a reverse chronological list. It’s just a thread of whatever the musician uploaded most recently (the majority of Soundcloud accounts appear to be associated with individuals, though bands and organizations house there efforts there, too). Which is why it makes all the more sense that Dustmotes, the ace turntable-textured beatmaker, has launched a new podcast series hosted on Soundcloud. The six-minute inaugural entry is a suite, a medley, of found and homemade bits, filtered through Dustmotes’ trademark old-school-yet-of-the-moment, veering-toward-ambient approach to what could be broadly described as instrumental hip-hop. Which is to say, it’s downtempo, and it’s promising. Looking forward to the sophomore effort.

Track originally posted at More on Dustmotes, aka Paul Croker, at

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Video + 2 Free MP3s from Michal Jacaszek’s ‘Glimmer’

When it comes to best-of lists, the end of the year is also the beginning of the year. (My list is here.) We list our favorites not just to reflect on them, but also to spur interest among potential listeners. And so it’s nice to see when record labels play along. Though 2011 is in the past, the Ghostly label continues to build on the popularity of deserved Glimmer, an enchanting full-length recording by musician Michal Jacaszek, who records under his family name and originates from Poland. Ghostly just sent out an email announcing this spectral wonder, a video for a Glimmer track, “Dare-gale,” that matches the song’s mix of glitchy harpsichord renderings with layers of manipulated Super 8 footage. True to what might be termed the Ghostly aesthetic, the whole thing moves along like a slow montage of Instagram photos: artfully hazy, willfully nostalgic, admirably insouciant:

And though in the past it was generally the case that a video existed to sell a song that existed to sell an album, in this case “Dare-Gale” is one of two tracks off Glimmer that Ghostly has made available for free download. The other is “Seiden Stille,” which is more rangy in form, with orchestral washes, deep dips and asides, and eerily dramatic pauses.

The visible “Seiden Stille” player only has a “buy” link, but there’s a download link on the track’s page.

More on the album, including two additional videos, at More on Jacaszek at

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Post-Soviet Turntablism (MP3s)

Someday we’ll learn — likely in some cross-functional collaboration between a sociologist and a musicologist — not only how it is that old-school hip-hop production thrives in the former Soviet Union, but also how it is that the two leading influences seem to be Pete Rock and DJ Krush. The great netlabel is one of the major players in the free-culture quadrant of post-soviet turntablism, and its digitally manipulated progeny. Just about every recording on the label has at least one seriously enjoyable track, and Project Monarch, by the duo of Tab & Anitek, is no exception. The duo, which is half based in the U.S. and half based in Switzerland, may not share geography with the majority of its labelmates, but the label’s inclusion of Monarch in its catalog is a confirmation of a specific aesthetic at work here: downtempo, arid palette, one or two central samples, soulful, textural. The strongest tracks are “Dormouse” (MP3) and “ArtiChoke” (MP3), both of which exude a strong Krush vibe.

[audio:|titles=”Dormouse”|artists=Tab & Anitek] [audio:|titles=”ArtiChoke”|artists=Tab & Anitek]

Get the full album, 14 tracks in all, at

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Widesky, Live in Seattle (MP3)

The album Floating in Being by Widesky made my top-10 list of favorite free releases from last year, and a recently posted live recording makes a fine follow-up. Taped just three days ago, on January 14, in Seattle, it’s a solo performance by Widesky that mixes foreground and background just as effectively as it does the tensile and the incandescent. There are watery field recordings and harsh textures, there is a layer of broken radio signals that ebb and flow like a tide, but there is also a lovely, sustained undercurrent of angelic guitar, piercing notes that decay so slowly you suspect they never quite fully truly disappear. Widesky lists his equipment as “field recordings, electric guitar, eBow, AM radio, & processing.” The event took place at Gallery 1412 in Seattle, Washington.

Recording originally posted at More on Widesky, aka Seth Chrisman, at

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Epiphany in a Toaster (MP3)

Tags are funny things. They are in many ways more useful than genre as a means to focus in on a particular piece of music. But when misapplied, they seem less like mistakes and more like hints. “Epiphany” by Toaster is, flat out, a giant sweeping brain-on-hold drone with undercurrents of tension. However, at Toaster’s page, where it is currently the lead item, it is tagged as, in addition to “drone,” the following: ambient, electronic, idm, minimal, techno, ambient, “drone ambient,” and “San Jose.” The “minimal” and “electronic” and “ambient” and “drone ambient” certainly apply. The work is nothing if not a swath of synthesized haze, enjoyable for its attenuation, the way it instills not so much calm as pause. Perhaps the “idm” and “techno” mentions relate to that tension that underlies the overwhelming bliss. Seeing them there in turn gets the ear to focus in on what might, otherwise, be passed over as mere texture.

Track posted originally at in December 2011. More on Toaster, aka Todd Elliott, at his page, where his bio reads: “I make music by programming things.”

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