SoundCloud is different things to different people. It may be where your favorite bands host their tracks. It may be where your favorite record label stores its catalog. It may be the home for podcasts you follow, or for media related to a favorite news service, or museum, or consumer product company, for that matter. SoundCloud has grown and changed as time has passed. But for many early adopters, it remains a window on their laboratory, a glass held, welcomingly, to the thin wall of a home studio.
For many musicians, SoundCloud remains a place for sketches, for works in progress. How can one tell? Well, for such musicians, the sketches are often distinguished by their titles, which tend to take the form of a list of ingredients and techniques, as much a reminder for the recording artist as a clue to the listener.
Case in point: “epiano, timeline, processed,” which is Dance Robot Dance, aka Brian Biggs, running bits of a virtual electric piano, an emulation of a stately Rhodes, through a variety of effects. This is all laid out in the brief liner note and handful of tags accompanying the track. What it is to the ear, however, is a splendidly glitchy, syrupy, artfully broken, nearly seven-minute procession of warped samples. It’s the beautiful sound of a music box melting under the summer sun.