Stems: Autechre Crowd, Reich/Radiohead, Sonic UI/UX

Plus: hold music, country blues modernity, Eno tribute, more

¶ Exai Excel: Just beautiful, this shared Google doc in which the trainspotting crowd collectively identifies the tracks that appeared in Autechre’s two free live streaming events on earlier this weekend, via Autechre’s latest album, Exai, was released in digital form at the start of February and will appear in physical form this coming week. Here’s a detail of the tracklist document, which at this stage is unsurprisingly unwieldy to navigate, but still worth parsing for its line items and interesting segues, such as moving from the radio rock of Steve Miller Band to electronica of Seefeel:


¶ Reich Head: At, Max Richter, who expertly reworked Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” this past year, interviews Steve Reich about reworking Radiohead. The audio is less than eight minutes long, and well worth a listen. They cover how Reich came to Radiohead’s music, what he did with/to it (“A lot of people will say, ‘Well, where’s Radiohead?'”), and the broader means by which other music has made its way into his work. It’s only the third time that Reich has consciously reworked another composer’s music, the two previous being Pérotin and Stephen Sondheim, though as Richter says, “A lot of music as well as what it purports to be about is also about other music.” One thing they do not touch on that would have been good to hear about is Reich’s take on remixes of his own work, of which there have been many. Reich’s re-use of Radiohead is titled “Radio Rewrite” and it will be premiered March 5 in London by the London Sinfonietta. The work was co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Alarm Will Sound. The U.S. premiere will occur at Stanford on March 16.

¶ Fit to Hear: Just to follow up on the New Republic’s inclusion of an audio version of articles in its website redesign, there’s increasing evidence of having audio editions of its stories that originate as text pieces. The project has not taken root in the site’s formal navigation sidebar, which includes things like a single-page version, a print version, and so forth, but take a look at the page for a recent write-up Hugh Howey’s novel Wool and you’ll see a prominent SoundCloud embeddable player in which someone reads the article.

¶ In Brief: The announcement by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that ended work-from-home has been getting a lot of attention, but I’m more interested in her criticism of Yahoo’s on-hold music, which she reportedly called “garbage”: ¶ More than slightly off topic, but I reviewed the new Wayne Hancock album, Ride (Bloodshot), for the Colorado Springs Independent: It’s easily his strongest record since his 1995 debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs. This isn’t as off topic as it may seem, because Hancock, a yodel-friendly country blues singer, is a prime example of how matters of genre and modernity get all mixed up, and how hard it is to innovate, or develop one’s own voice, in a form not just predicated on but posited in the past. As I say in the review, “Ride is so old-school it feels downright groundbreaking.” ¶ If you’re in New York and have the cash, the venerable institution the Kitchen is holding its spring gala in honor of Brian Eno. It takes place May 7: ¶ The 61st Disquiet Junto project ended last night at 11:59pm, and ended up with 45 contributors, for over an hour and a half of music. The theme was a riff on — a follow-up to — the Instagr/am/bient compilation of sonic postcards from late 2011. This time around, rather than using Instagram images as source material for ambient tracks, the participants used tweets from the great @textinstagram Twitter account, such as “branches against a colorful background,” “a rusty old door,” and “warped picture through a glass.”

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