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Music from London’s Linear Obsessional (MP3)

"This piece was devised for boiling water, hot fat, synthesizer and sopranino saxophone."

Mark Browne‘s Malapert and Erratic is an expansive and ambitious project: seven tracks, one over twenty minutes in length, none shorter than six minutes, all with lengthy titles somewhere between a Dickensian subtitle and a Fluxus manifesto, such as “Adjusting the Windows in the Loneliness of My Car so That the Wind Whistles Through at an Ill Defined Pitch and Volume.” But the true mark of the album’s broad goals is the way it mixes such seeming disparate elements as improvisation, jazz, field recordings, and noise into one rich associative endeavor. The strongest track may be the longest, “From the Diaries of the Too Numerous Cursed Poets.” It is a deeply coded narrative of dark intonations and frazzled nerves. Browne’s sound may be abstract, but he isn’t uncomfortable explicating his maneuvers in text. Accompanying the album is a lengthy PDF, with track-by-track notes. This is what Browne says of his “From the Diaries”:

This piece was devised for boiling water, hot fat, synthesizer and sopranino saxophone. This is the second piece I have recorded using this instrumentation and approach and is largely the result of finding the appeal in listening to Noise Music at low volume levels. The piece uses four frying pans initially containing only water. Variation is created by allowing the pans to nearly boil dry, adding and melting fat into the water, and adjusting the gas. The synthesizer uses a touch pad that can be operated using a small stone allowing the saxophone to be played.

Get the full album at linearobsessional.bandcamp.com. It was released by the London-based netlabel linearobsessional.weebly.com. This is the first Linear Obsessional release to be featured on Disquiet.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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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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