YouTube may have its own longstanding audience for full-length recordings, and that ever-expanding catalog may align well with owner Google’s Play Music service, but among YouTube’s great distinguishing strengths is, as with SoundCloud, a facility for casual, of-the-moment works.
Forget those fetishistic unboxing videos, in which newly purchased equipment is unwrapped with the chilly fervor of a robot stripper. Where musical equipment is concerned, YouTube is arguably at its best shortly after unboxing, when new tools are first put to use.
Take SineRider’s “Floating:Drifting” (the full title is “Floating:Drifting (4ms Spectral Multiband Resonator)” — in electronic music, as in classical, the titles often resort to the equipment employed. It’s a single-take video that focuses on a single module that is part of a larger, off-screen synthesizer rig. We listen as waves of cloudy loveliness tease at key signatures and overlap to form gossamer moiré patterns.
Occasionally a hand drops into view to turn a knob or adjust a setting. The correlation between action and sound, between cause and effect, is less clear here than in the videos I include in my video playlist of live ambient performances, but then again, this is early on in this musician’s employment of the tool in question. The alignment of cause and effect may be just as much an enigma to SineRider as it is to us.