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

White Noise or Techno or Both (MP3)

Nearly half an hour of glitch and static from Portugal-based João Ricardo

20130326-ocp

At about 13 minutes in — that is, 13 minutes into its nearly 25-minute running length — the track glitches out like a restaurant CD player caught in a digital groove, the skipping a fast-motion mantra, a bit of pointillism psychedelia. That the track, “Lobe,” needs to achieve near stasis for the glitch to truly overwhelm says much about how gentle and effective it is up to that point, because it is constantly reconsidering its direction, fading out before veering left, the slightest bit of percussive detail suddenly emerging as the cornerstone of the metric approach, the whole notion of a downbeat seemingly up for grabs at all points. Right from the opening, its pneumatic percussives like tiny little steam-release valves, the track teases how much it is white noise disguised as techno, and how much it is techno disguised as white noise. The rhythm emerges slowly, like the head of a particularly anxious tortoise from its shell. At its best moments, and there are many, it is like a pause tape made entirely of static.

Track posted by João Ricardo, of Porto, Portugal, under the Lopa pseudonym at a “name your price” rate at opcabpol.bandcamp.com. More from Ricardo at joaoricardo.org and twitter.com/ocpptvu.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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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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