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

Noise or Texture?

A track and a question from Kyle TM

The issue of whether something is “sound” or “music” is in the ear of the beholder, so in posting a track of incipient low-grade constrained cacophony, Kyle TM asks a less qualitative question. He wonders aloud whether his two minutes of bracing, brittle, fierce static is “noise” or “texture.” The answer may, to some degree, be a matter of volume level. Set on quiet, this is noise in the sense of white noise, a constant flux of utter, remote abstraction. Louder, though, the textural element comes to the fore, something like an array of flannel spun from rusted wire. And from within that frame, screeches and train noises and snatches of what might be music from a melodrama sneak through, perhaps illusions, perhaps source material revealing itself. In either case, a rhythm is clear, two even, one a pace-setting rumble, the other a rapid internal combustion. Titled “Terminal,” the track was originally posted for free download at More from Kyle TM at

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Comments: 4 ]


  1. Kyle TM
    [ Posted November 12, 2014, at 9:07 am ]

    Hey Marc, thank you for featuring my music! Love the work you do here and with Junto.

  2. bassling
    [ Posted November 15, 2014, at 6:33 am ]

    I like the term ‘noise’ but was reprimanded recently for using it. Apparently a ‘noise’ is an unwanted sound, like something interfering with the fidelity of a recording.

    • Kyle TM
      [ Posted November 15, 2014, at 3:50 pm ]

      A ‘noise’ is simply a sound, we attach our own meaning or stigma. An unwanted noise may turn out to be more beautiful than the most desired song.

  3. bassling
    [ Posted November 15, 2014, at 11:39 pm ]

    I agree, Kyle. Pointed out that ‘noise’ is a genre, which shows it isn’t unwanted noise. I did think there was some merit in using language clearly though.

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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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