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.

SoundCloud Is the Past of Music

And in a good way. Add Scanner to the list of eminent British electronic self-archivists.

Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) and, to a lesser degree, Mike Paradinas (µ-Ziq) are getting attention for uploading their early sound archives — but they aren’t alone. Aphex Twin has opened his cellar door the widest (at soundcloud.com/user18081971), and gotten the most praise and plays, likely because of the significant, decade-plus quietude that preceded his sudden recent musical activity. His longtime colleague Paradinas has been posting a heap of tracks (at soundcloud.com/mikep), many with the hashtags #1993 and #1994 to note their place in his discography. But those two aren’t the only early, IDM-era British electronic musicians posting their archives to the Internet.

Be sure to add to their ranks Scanner, aka Robin Rimbaud, who thanks to a recent home relocation has been unpacking crates of old tapes and uploading them for general consumption. SoundCloud, with its free-flowing “feed” approach to user interface and its comfortable setting for half-finished material, is a natural place for such archival finds. Scanner’s most recent revelation is a great set of music originally recorded for the late filmmaker Derek Jarman (Sebastiane, Caravaggio, Blue). The three tracks are mixes of percussive elements, like trap drums and doorbell/elevator beeps, snatches of tensile violin, and field recordings. They have a rhythmic minimalism that brings to mind early Michael Nyman, David Lang, and Janice Giteck: avant elements and techniques in a populist arrangement. The tracks share similar elements, and emphasize them to varying degrees. The third track is the most pensive, and least overtly musical, lingering more on the birdsong that is sublimated on the other pieces.

Writes Scanner of the work:

Three variations on a musical theme, written for a film by the late British filmmaker Derek Jarman in 1987, in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Richard Heslop.

Richard and I played around in a London studio with the piano and percussion and produced these three unheard tracks that sadly were never finally used for Jarman’s film. I found them on a cassette in a mass of boxes as part of my digitising process of the Scanner Archive Tapes :-D Plenty more stuff to follow, one day soon.

Set originally posted at soundcloud.com/scanner. More from Scanner, who is based in London, at scannerdot.com, instagram.com/robinrimbaud, twitter.com/robinrimbaud, scannerdot.com, and scanner.bandcamp.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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