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The Sound of One Sound Glitching

The work of the Japan-based musician Ichion

The Japan-based musician who goes by the name Ichion explains the barebones appellation in a brief SoundCloud account bio. By this telling, “ichi” is the Japanese word for “one,” and “on” is the Japanese word for “sound.” All of the music on the Ichion account is extrapolated from a single sound. Well, more than one sound is present on the account. It’s that each individual Ichion track is “made from one sound only.” There are, of course, multiple sounds within each track, because Ichion transforms each seed sound into glitchy, rhythmic treats.

Some of the resulting music is downright club-ready, and some, like “Dada,” is enticingly minimal. “Dada” begins with the sense that something has gone wrong. The beat snaps and repeats like a machine rebooting on instinct. That cycle continues to dominate the track, as darker, more mechanical renditions of the central sound become more pronounced. A low throb and a froggy clip-clop then dominate until all the sonic pieces slowly disappear one at a time. The work is a small triumph of editing, of doing more not just with less but with virtually nothing.

“Dada” is just one track among dozens on Ichion’s account. Dig into the chase-scene momentum of “Erueee,” or the funky industrial music of “Chikara Chikara,” and all the other one-note wonders.

Track originally posted to soundcloud.com/ichionmusic.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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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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