Perpetual Energy

No-input mixing from Indonesia-based Fahmi Mursyid

No-input mixing is the perpetual-energy machine of electronic music. Maybe more than perpetual energy. Perpetual energy often suggests something simple, like a spinning wheel or a car battery, that has been tricked into running forever. In contrast, no-input mixing suggests one is tapping into a dangerous force. The trick is not to make it run forever, but quite the contrary: to keep it in check. To make something raw and vital be useful and malleable. The sounds are often employed in noise music, or, as in the case of this Fahmi Mursyid video, ambient. In it, Mursyid probes at the noise that the mixer produces, lending a sense of space with a reverb pedal and letting it loop and grow. For all the subtlety of the piece, there is a strong undercurrent, the feeling that it could get out of control very easily. (Fun fact: right click on a YouTube video and a little menu pops up. Then select where it says “loop,” and let it do so.) According to a comment by Mursyid, we’ll hear more of this work soon: “The long version will be out on ‘feedback’ compilation or I will upload it on my Patreon page.”

This is the latest video added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of live performances of ambient music. Video originally posted at YouTube.

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