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

Flirting with Entropy

Squelch and distortion courtesy of Salt Lake City's sunhil

The track “FMMMOPm” by sunhil runs for under two minutes. The transformation processes within it unfold in a manner that works well on repeat. The piece brings to mind aspects of the recent Autechre album, elseq — there’s a short riff that replays itself over and over, each turn tweaked this way and that by various effects, and the shifting of effects doesn’t directly parallel the ebb and flow of the loop.

The emphasis is on a rich, compact squelch, and on a distortion field that never fully encompasses the source material. Interference and static, sonic moirés and signal chiaroscuro are all in effect at various moments, but under the full, strong control of sunhil (aka Jeffrey Paul Shell of Salt Lake City, Utah). The piece flirts with entropy but never succumbs completely.

Presumably this short Instagram video, captioned “Saturday FM” on instagram.com and at his Twitter account, is from the sessions that yielded this track:

A video posted by Jeffrey Shell (@aodl) on

The video shows the screen of a Teenage Engineering OP-1, whose FM synthesis is half of the toolset in the brief liner note accompanying the track:”FM operations between OP-1 and Monomachine. OP-1 FM synth being sequenced and processed by Monomachine, accompanied by a pair of MM’s FM-PAR machines.”

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sunhil. More from Sunhil at euc.cx, sunhill.bandcamp.com, and twitter.com/jshell.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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