My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Infirmity as Muse

Aphex Twin's breathing apparatus

A photo posted by Marc Weidenbaum (@dsqt) on

As I mentioned on instagram.com/dsqt last week, the first single that Aphex Twin released after his Selected Ambient Works Volume II album was “Ventolin.” A collection renditions of a central track, the claustrophobic intensity of “Ventolin” was, as its title and cover art suggested, a reflection of Aphex Twin’s own asthma. My Instagram photo displayed a pair of inhalers I’d just been prescribed by my doctor, due to an insane allergy season this year that had rendered me essentially mute for a week. “My life,” I whined on Instagram, although not with the intensity of the whine at the “Ventolin”‘s heart, “has imitated art.” Aphex Twin has continued to roll out archival audio to the cloud, and among the tracks yesterday was perhaps his most literal exploration of his health issues, “Asthma1,” which is constructed from modulated audio of his own constrained breathing. It’s not an easy listen, but it is revealing:

Track originally posted at Aphex Twin’s new SoundCloud account, soundcloud.com/user18081971. The new account name is derived from his birthday, August 18, 1971.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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