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

A Beat Amid Voices

A new track from Oakland-based Marilyn McNeal

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Marilyn McNeal’s new album, Spacetime, ranges from off-kilter techno (“Frere”) to folktronic blues (“Nice Home”) to downtempo beatcraft (“String Theory”), and in numerous other directions as well, often simultaneously. There are six tracks total, and each puts a unique spin on whatever realm of music it might feel closest to approximating. Perhaps the most significant treat is the track that, naturally, is most difficult to even begin to classify:

That track would be “Tower,” which loops several vocal lines — one deep and slow, one high-pitched and rapid, one ethereal and modulating this way and that — all of them echoing in and out of sync with each other. Through the post-verbal quilt runs this fascinating little beat, not much more than a terse click track, so innocuous it might not even be evident on initial listens. How that beat holds its own needle-drop composure amid the psychedelic syllabic cascades is just one of the piece’s many pleasures.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/marilynmcneal. More from McNeal, who is based in Oakland, California, at marilynm.org and twitter.com/popularmagicsf.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. Otto Tintenfisch
    [ Posted October 6, 2016, at 2:50 am ]

    Hey I heard this once before, wanted to share it with my friends. but the soundcloud link is gone? any idea what happened?

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted October 6, 2016, at 7:00 am ]

      Seems like it’s working now.

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com 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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