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. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Past Week at Twitter.com/Disquiet

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Hairshirt Industrial (MP3)

The tribal, droning, fuzzy beats of Would-Be Messiahs‘ “Broken Teeth (Small Rock Movement)” move steadily between past and present as they proceed forward. The monotone quality, the prevalent white noise, the whip-fast sonic artifacts, are all quite of the moment, drawing from the danker realms where dub and techno intersect uneasily albeit with mutual benefit. Yet the track’s overall aura, especially the abraded spoken snippet (“Why? Why is this all so painful?”) and the willfully plodding beat, are all hairshirt industrial music from the 1990s, the heavily burdened vibe of Consolidated having come particularly to mind. The result is a song that for all its blissful stasis seems to undergo broader temporal phase shifts as reference points cycle by.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/would-be-messiahs. More on the Messiahs, aka John Ryan, at unlessyougotlostonpurpose.blogspot.com.

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Sonic Incense from Antwerp (MP3)

The music that comprises DhÅ«pa, the new release by Dirk Driesen under the name BpOlar, brings rich texture to dark tones. The effect is appropriate for an album named for the word, in Hindi, for incense. The sounds are ritualistic and dread-inducing, and while the effect is monastic, the feel is entirely modern. Here, by way of example, is the second of its four tracks, “Nag Champa,” which mixes industrial drones, field recordings of uncertain provenance, and distorted verbal communication (MP3). Get the full set feedbacklooplabel.blogspot.com at and archive.org. More on Driesen/BpOlar, who is based in Antwerp, Belgium, at soundcloud.com/bpolar and his mac.com page.

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/fbl022Bpolar-Dhpa/02NagChampa.mp3|titles=”Nag Champa”|artists=BpOlar]
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Sketch of a Drone / Drone as Sketch (MP3)

The Canadian musician who goes by the name Pacers semi-dismisses a recent track of his own making — it’s titled “Myra” — as mere “faffing about.” Presumably “faffing” is a euphemism for one or another word that starts with the same letter, but neither applies here. It’s a steady drone just under five minutes in length, and it hovers like the sound of a church organ being tuned by an especially patient and exacting workman. At times it gains in density and internal momentum — becoming less like an organ, and more like a full orchestra — but it never loses its grip on its singular spectral droning center. According to a brief liner note, it’s a sketch of a work in progress. Writes Pacers, “Helped me work out a process for something else though, so not all is lost.” We’ll see what is next up for “Myra.”

Track originally posted a soundcloud.com/pacers. There’s no image associated with the MP3, so the above photo, which seems aesthetically aligned with the music, is selected from Pacers’ twitter.com/p_cers account. More on Pacers at pacersmusic.tumblr.com.

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A Variety of Noises, White and Otherwise (MP3)

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/PhilJulianrecentErrors/phil_julian_recent_errors.mp3|titles=”Recent Errors”|artists=Phil Julian]

White noise is a common enough staple of sonic experimentation. What surprises, and engages, in Phil Julian‘s “Recent Errors” is when, at around two minutes in, the track suddenly shifts states. It goes from grey drone to scintillate whine in a split second. And that subsequent section itself has reveals transformations as it progresses, dipping down in volume, sending out thin contrasting lines of sound (MP3). These aren’t the last shifts in the piece, by any means. It continues on to include industrial churn and 8bit cicada chirping, among other phases. Track originally made available at the netlabel Absence of Wax, at devinsarno.com/absenceofwax. Track housed at archive.org. Julian, who also records as Cheapmachines, makes his home in the UK and at cmx.org.uk.

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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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    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
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  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
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    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
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