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

1998 Digital Frippertronic Experiment (MP3)

Ken Mistove digs out some archival looping.

Ken Mistove has uploaded a 1998 experiment in live looping. He explains that his intent was to replicate Frippertronics — in other words, “realtime performance using looping.”

He explains in some detail:

The looping was done in Max/MSP recorded direct to disk. The only “mastering” was fades and normalizing. It was a simple patcher that I feel gave great results at the time. I wrote the patcher on a dare. An aquaintance asked if I could reproduce Robert Fripp’s live system from the mid/late 90’s (Soundscapes). I barely scratched the surface of what RF was doing. The patcher was four 60 seconds loops with an audio switcher/mixer in front of the delay lines. The four delay lines where set to unique times. I changed patches on the D-50 and routed the output to various delay inputs.
The result has the composition-through-accrual feeling of Fripp’s work, especially the way slight variations in metric sensibility get subsumed into the haze of background as subsequent layers are added on. The major distinction is less the specific material that Mistove draws from than the variety. Mistove culls from a wider array of sonic items than Fripp, who tended to work from a single guitar. Mistove, too, elected to use a single instrument, a Roland D-50 synthesizer, but the collective sounds have significantly less of a sense of common flavor. That isn’t to critique the piece. Quite the contrary, the divisible nature of the elements lets several linger in the ear far longer than they might have otherwise.

Track originally posted for free download at More on Mistove, who’s based in Simi Valley, California, at

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]


  1. icastico
    [ Posted September 17, 2012, at 8:33 am ]

    Here is a piece I did in the early 80’s that also plays off of Fripp’s techniques. This one was done in the NMSU experimental music lab. I used two 1/4 inch reel to reel tape decks for the delay.

  2. Ken Mistove
    [ Posted September 17, 2012, at 12:18 pm ]

    What a pleasant surprise. Thanks for posting my track. I listened to it last night for the first time in around ten years. I thought why not share on SoundCloud.

    I’m thinking of revisiting live looping. I always enjoyed it. To quote Fripp: “this remains the best way I know of making a lot of noise with one guitar”. We’ll in my case no guitar (yet…).

    By the way, I’m redoing my website so there is nothing there at the moment. Soon I hope…

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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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