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

Playing Catch-up with Kosma

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Twenty years ago I picked this up at a record store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: a box set from Kosma (aka Roskow Kretschmann) titled New Aspects in Third Stream Music. The box came with the first 12″, which I loved — orchestral sounds bent to fit then-modern beats — and you were to collect the others as they came out over the course of the following half decade. Which, of course, I didn’t. Recent pandemic-induced home-cleaning led me to rediscover the near-empty box, and I just started buying them online. The first (which is to say, the second in the series) arrived this afternoon.

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Listening to T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones

Extending my horizons

This is from The Twisted Ones, a 2019 novel by T. Kingfisher, pseudonym of the author Ursula Vernon. I don’t read a lot of horror, and the recommendation from a friend was an attempt, successful so far, to extend my literary horizons. The connection between horror fiction and horror movies seems more distant than, by way of contrast, in science fiction, historical romance, or spy thrillers. The tensions in this novel are less less intense, more slow-burn, less acute, more atmospheric, than would be the case in a filmed telling of the same story. A moment that read and viewed versions might have in common is when atmosphere is the topic, though then the film would have to sort out how to posit the sort of simile that the narrator (along with the author) is free accomplish with a toss-away phrase.

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A Variety of Elevations

An ongoing series cross-posted from

By definition, a doorbell is a three-dimensional object, four dimensions if you count the sound of that bell ringing as it is experienced over time. To press a doorbell is to push, to exert some amount of pressure — to, in effect, prematurely enter the premises, if only by a millimeter or two. Still, in most cases, a doorbell presents an effectively flat visage, two dimensions, generally white and circular. Even as time passes and the doorbell falls — almost inevitably, at least in urban settings — into disrepair, that flatness is its natural mechanical state. But sometimes the third dimension has a means of making itself felt. Putting aside the readymade punk-rock-flyer quality of the dwellings’ numbers, the buttons on this doorbell are situated at a variety of elevations. This is due to damage over time and subsequent attempts to address the damage, not some sort of experimental next-level user-interface design. Apartments 1 and 2 are truly distended, the color-coded red and yellow tape seemingly providing some sort of support to the mechanisms. (The yellow appears to be consistent with the makeup of the two buttons on the top row, suggesting the red tape is an after-market DIY fix-it attempt.) Even apartment 4 is further out than the baseline depth provided by apartment 3. I usually shoot doorbells straight on, but this one required an angle and some elevation to be faithfully represented.

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Stages of Autechre Expectancy

Due date: October 16, 2020

It was early this morning when I logged onto Autechre’s website to pre-order their new album. Where it said “Checkout” it also said “Sign” because Sign is the name of the album. I was confused because I thought I needed to sign in, even though I’d already signed in, so I stared at it for a while. Like I said, it was early.

These are the stages of Autechre listening, of being expectant of a forthcoming release:

Stage 1: Huh, it’s been awhile since there was a new album.

Stage 2: I sure hope the next one isn’t another massive multi-hour release.

Stage 3: Oh, it’s here! And it’s just a single CD, barely an hour of music.

Stage 4: Wish it had been another massive multi-hour release.

Speaking of Autechre’s release schedule, it’s a sign for me of how messed-up April 2020 was (as the pandemic kicked into full gear) that I somehow missed (meaning: utterly forgot) until yesterday that there had even been a seven-city live set (AE_LIVE 2016/2018) released way back then. What feels like “way back then” but was just a few months back.

And as someone point out online today (forgive me, there was a flurry of Ae activity, of Aetivity, so I’m not sure who), the shape of the image on the cover of Sign resembles the shapes from AE_LIVE 2016/2018:

All the cover art is by the firm the Designers Republic. Sign is due on October 16, 2020.

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Remaining Sane on Twitter

Seven tips during turbulent times

Seven key ways to maintain Twitter sanity:

7: Turn off alerts

6: Stick with reverse-chronological order

5: Don’t use it evenings and weekends

4: Block accounts

3: Mute accounts

2: Mute words

1: Set your Trends location to a place where you don’t know the language

My Trends were “in” Tijuana, Mexico. Then border politics got heavy and my Spanish turned out to be better than I thought it was. So I “moved” to Seoul, Korea. That was awesome: Aside from BTS and some Covid news, I was blissfully ignorant. I just “moved” to Iceland where there seem to be no Trends at all.

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