Memories of our early file-sharing ways: This is a detail from a story by comics artist Jillian Tamaki, collected in her recent book, Boundless. The story, first published in 2015, has nothing to do with random Squarepusher songs being illicitly downloaded, and instead focuses on a single MP3 that has an unfortunate effect on listeners. (The track is six hours long and titled “SexCoven.”) In a few panels, Tamaki captures a different time from ours. She casually posits the past as a beta test for the current technological present. The past isn’t foreign, just more pixelated. There’s the boxy interface, the requisite time sink (another panel shows just how burdensome dialup surfing could be), and that no longer ubiquitous wired mouse/pad combo, among other details. Kudos in particular for the varied case treatments of Squarepusher’s name, an early glimpse at the impact of metadata fluidity, and the smudge effect of “scroll scroll” in the subsequent panel (that action description was invisible to me in print, and I only noticed it after looking at this photograph of the page). The case issues with the Squarepusher titles are the visual gateway drug into how the story’s title track makes its way from an anonymous user’s computer to countless ones around the globe. This specific story might never have begun on a commercial website, or in a bricks and mortar record store for that matter. And even if the story is a fiction, a dark fantasy rendered in the artifacts of realism, the sense of a rupture in time, a shift in culture, a warping of communication, is trenchant.An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
5 Most Recent Comments
Robert Gable: "Classical Pulse had slipped my mine. I remember at the time thinking that Robert Levine listened to a..."
Ian Joyce: "Thank you Marc for such a lovely and thoughtful review! "
Debashis Sinha: "Thanks so much for this Marc – spot on analysis. You nailed it exactly. "
Brian Biggs: "Fantastic. There’s a Rube Goldberg analogy hidden there in the electronics. "
djbaroki: "Thanks for ur post ,what is your opinion about this techno pack is it a good choice for minimal techno..."
5 Most Recent Posts
• January 2, 2018: This day marks the 6th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• February 7, 2018: Start of the semester for the course I teach on the role of sound in the media landscape at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
• December 13, 2018: This day marked the 22nd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0324 / Factory Floor / Make music for newsrooms, design studios, and other collaborative workplaces.
• 0323 / Music for Meditation / Record a piece of music suited to meditation.
• 0322 / The Wanderer / Make a short piece of music that encourages the the mind's tendency to wander, based on research by Dr. Liila Taruffi, PhD, and her colleagues.
• 0321 / Let’s Active / Make a short piece of music that decreases the mind's tendency to wander, based on research by Dr. Liila Taruffi, PhD, and her colleagues.
• 0320 / Table of Contents / Make a composition containing loopable background-music segments for each chapter of one of your favorite books.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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