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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Disquiet Junto Project 0220: Rhythmic Arrhythmic

The Assignment: Make overtly rhythmic music from short loops of overtly arrhythmic source audio, following instructions from Dennis DeSantis.


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 17, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 21, 2016.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0220: Rhythmic Arrhythmic
The Assignment: Make overtly rhythmic music from short loops of overtly arrhythmic source audio, following instructions from Dennis DeSantis.

Dennis DeSantis adapted this week’s project from the chapter “Implied Rhythm in Short Loops”from his excellent book Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers. The project explores how rhythm emerges from almost any audio material if short fragments of it are repeated incessantly enough.

Step 1: Find or make an audio recording of the arrhythmic material of your choice and gradually reduce its loop length until rhythmic patterns begin to emerge.

Tip: This usually works well with loops that are no longer than about two seconds.

Tip: Good sources include: existing music, field recordings, and recordings of speech.

Tip: “Bad”or uneven loops can often yield the most interesting results. Don’t necessarily aim for loops with clean boundaries or that are aligned to zero-crossings.

Step 2: Use the inherent rhythm in these short loops as the basis for a piece of new music in which the “discovered”rhythm is clearly audible.

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 17, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 21, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, though between two and four minutes seems about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0220-rhythmicarrhythmic.”Also use “disquiet0220-rhythmicarrhythmic”as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 220th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Make overtly rhythmic music from short loops of overtly arrhythmic source audio, following instructions from Dennis DeSantis”) at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

The photo associated with this project is by Junto member Will Benton (, a computer scientist based in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Gesturally Rhythmic Ambient Music

Straight outta Hiroshima

Ebb and Flow is a split EP of gesturally rhythmic ambient music built from field recordings and other noise sources. It doesn’t have a beat, per se, but it draws percussion into the mix. Half of the EP is by Stabilo and the other half is by Gallery Six. Both Stabilo (aka Yasutica Horibe, of the band Speaker Gain Teardrop) and Gallery Six (aka Hidekazu Imashige) are based in Hiroshima, Japan. The highlight of Ebb and Flow is “Endurance,” which balances a twinkling percussive element, like a vibraphone being played by tiny rubber balls, amid water drops and a thick sonic fog. Gallery Six’s “Vapor” is more textural than its title may suggest — it’s like the sound of a thousand pachinko machines playing from deep in some flooded cistern. There are four tracks in all, and the full set is highly recommended.

The EP is available for free download at More from Stabilo at More from Gallery Six at

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Sustained Chamber Ambient Music

Borosilicate Purl arrives on SoundCloud

“Liberation Suite” was the first track to appear at the SoundCloud page of Borosilicate Purl, an ambient duo out of Michigan. Three more tracks have appeared in the past day, but as of yesterday “Liberation” stood alone. It makes for a strong start. It’s a beautiful work of sustained chamber ambient music. Strings maintain a running, cloud-bank placidity, while organ-like tones begin to fill out the body of the piece. At times it brings to mind the song-less country music of the Boxhead Ensemble, at others the amplified zithers of Laraaji, and at others still the more introspective guitar performances of Adrian Belew. The ambition of Borosilicate Purl is clear in how the apparent sparseness of the work belies its emotional heft, and how it utilizes over 10 full minutes to get where it’s going.

Track originally posted at Borosilicate Purl is the duo of Michael Rice and Jeffrey Niemeier. They are based in Grand Rapids, Michigan

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Most doorbells that haven’t been replaced or repainted in years speak volumes about disregard. Despite their explicit invitation to say hello, to push that button, to connect face to face with another human being, they seem more like symbols of seclusion. With most well-worn doorbells, it’s as if the elements, not the touch of countless fingers, had diminished their luster. But some, like this one, do seem to capture the occasions of many visits, welcome ones by friends and family. There’s a uniformity to the scratches, and a resilient solidity to the device itself, that suggest a doorway that continues to see frequent activity, rather than one that serves a shut in as a blockade from the outside world.

An ongoing series cross-posted from
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A Fantasia of Dank Spaces

By OCP out of Porto, Portugal

It’s unclear if Subspace Unit, based in Porto, Portugal, is a side moniker of the prolific musician João Ricardo, who mainly records under the name OCP, or if Subspace is some sort of label or, perhaps, collective that packages other people’s tracks. Either way, the first Subspace upload is an OCP piece (found via an OCP repost) of a rainy-day dub titled, simple, “E.” It echoes as it evaporates, dense waveforms fracturing as they escape the rhythm, the overall sound design getting more and more psychedelic as it proceeds. It’s a fantasia of dank spaces.

Track originally posted at More from OCP/Ricardo at

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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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