My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

field notes

News, essays, reviews, surveillance

The Night Before

Late February in Brooklyn

There’s a scene, as my friend Westy Reflector reminded me via email recently, in many zombie films, among other tales of life after a dire change, when the story flashes back to “the days right before” — how, as he put it well, “all the signs are apparent in retrospect.” Those days before for me are the ones I spent in New York at the very end of February. The Disquiet Junto was due for a get-together, something I try to arrange when I travel, and a very small crew of us gathered on that frigid Friday night at a bar in Brooklyn, right across the bridge from where I was staying in Lower Manhattan. The place was virtually empty, as the restaurant in the hotel had been the prior afternoon for lunch, and as had been the flight from San Francisco, and as would be the train I’d take out to Long Island the next morning. We spent the evening talking about ancient synthesizers, and cover versions, and online collaboration, and musical mentors, and many other topics, including escape plans, and at the end of the night we headed over to pay up. Across from the cash register was this pinball machine. It stood there, humorously ominous in its bright silence. I’ll always associate it with the night before.

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Lab Rat

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Like a lab rat accessorized by scientists with some sort of mind-machine alpha-stage, pre-release technology graft, this humble, generic, ubiquitous model of doorbell has been raised to the ranks of high security thanks to the unlikely pairing of a digital touch pad. The pad comes with a sentience- and surveillance-suggesting red light. There are two other spots to its left where additional lights may appear, or maybe they are slots for cameras. Perhaps if you know the entry code, you’re aware of their purpose. Or perhaps that bit of knowledge is reserved for yet a higher tier still of security clearance.

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Offline(ish) Weekends

And plans

Hello from my Starship Earth cabin. Hope you’re secure in yours. Ship-wide communication was fun last weekend, but I’m taking this weekend off social media. This has been my mode for a long time, and while I appreciated being connected last weekend to friends as the tide in the current global scenario continued to shift, I’m going back into weekend offline(ish) mode again.

Suggested activities:

☐ Start a sound journal.
☐ Re-read a fave book just for its sound.
☐ Watch a movie silent with a fave album.

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Eternal Spiral

NIN x 2

Apparently this is what The Downward Spiral was foretelling all this time (waiting for the Nine Inch Nails albums to download). Jokes aside, they released two excellent albums in the Ghosts series today for free (at, because the internet hasn’t been suffering enough under Covid-induced streaming traffic.

Update: Not to be outdone in what is shaping up to be Prog War 2020, Battles has uploaded a free, 317-megabyte zip file of remix-able stems:

Clearly the next step is for Autechre to simply share those 750 hours of jamming they mentioned recently.

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Ah, Magnets

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Frequently and for months I tried different ways to hang up these wireless earbuds near my desk when I wasn’t using them. And then it occurred to me: oh yeah, they’re magnetic.

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