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.

Lori Scacci x Victoria Keddie

Pushing the Desire Loop to the breaking point

Lori Scacco’s album Desire Loop was released back in early July. The singular nature of the title served in marked contrast to the variety of sounds contained within. This wasn’t Desire Loops. It wasn’t a collection of source material. The title’s suggestion of a compositional technique was revealed as something more personal.

The album is inherently electronic. It isn’t just played on synthesizers. It is synthetic to its core. “Tiger Song” is drenched with waveforms that long into their blissful stasis give way to a poppy little beat and, then, to a proper melody, as if two rich strains of 1980s music (minimalism and new wave) had been yoked together to their mutual benefit. “Interactivity in Plastic Space,” two songs earlier on Desire Loop, manages computer whistles and vocaloid warbles above an overtly digital, and head-noddingly patient, rhythm track.

One album highlight is sandwiched between the two: “Back to Electric,” built on a bracingly looped thumb-piano beat and shot through on occasion with the ecstatic trill of some long lost silicon-chip tribe. “Back to Electric” isn’t just a highpoint of Desire Loop. It’s a highlight, as well, of the subsequent remix collection, Interpretations Vol III – Desire Loop, on which Victoria Keddie takes the original and, after an extended, playfully murky introduction, pushes its metrics to a polyrhythmic breaking point, until it all but evaporates. There are also remixes on Interpretations Vol III by William Selman, Helado Negro (aka Roberto Carlos Lange), A Grape Dope (aka Tortoise’s John Herndon), and Certain Creatures (aka Oliver Chapoy). Both Selman and Certain Creatures have previous albums and remix records on Mysteries of the Deep.

The albums are both available from the Mysteries of the Deep label (mysteriesofthedeep.bandcamp.com). More from Lori Scacco at loriscacco.com and from Victoria Keddie at victoriakeddie.com.

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Distressed Tape

A live, rough-textured ambient performance video from Hainbach

Just yesterday, the musician Hainbach released a short video, barely five minutes long, of a noise-informed, texture-rich ambient performance. The instrumentation on this is simple: cassette playback, which Hainbach controls four channels on, and an effects unit. The piece develops in two primary ways: as the relative levels of those channels are adjusted, and as the various effects are put into effect.

A loop of murky, sodden, melting melody, seemingly on piano, is warped beneath the distressed qualities of the tape on which it was first recorded. Wafts of white noise, much like the flapping of a flag in the wind, surround that piano, while other lines slowly make themselves present, notably an echoing rhythm.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my YouTube playlist of recommended live performances of ambient music. Track originally posted at Hainbach’s YouTube channel. More from Hainbach, aka Stefan Paul Goetsch, who is based in Berlin, at hainbachmusik.com and hainbach.bandcamp.com.

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Stasis Report: Laraaji (Remixed) ✚ Lori Scacco ✚ Classic Eno

Four recent tracks and one Brian Eno favorite newly added to the ambient playlist on Spotify and Google Play Music as of October 7, 2018

The latest update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist on Spotify and Google Play Music. The following five tracks were added on Sunday, October 7. Two of the tracks are brand new, two are from earlier this year, and one is three decades old and due for vinyl reissue.

✚ “Luminous Snow” off Visible World by Seigo Aoyama, released October 3, 2018, on Audiobulb Records: seigo-aoyama.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Ocean Flow Zither (Mia Doi Todd Remix), a remix by Mia Doi Todd off Sun Transformations from Laraaji, released April 21, 2018: laraajimusic.bandcamp.com, miadoitodd.com.

✚ *Læms” off Brødløs by Geir Sundstøl, released October 5, 2018, on the Hubro label: hubromusic.com.

✚ “Other Flowers” off Desire Loop by Lori Scacco, released July 6, 2018, on Mysteries of the Deep: loriscacco.bandcamp.com.

✚ “2/1” off Ambient 1: Music for Airports by Brian Eno, released 1978, and due for a November 16, 2018, vinyl reissue: pitchfork.com, enoshop.co.uk.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly two hours. Those retired tracks (by Ian William Craig, Deru, Helios, Klara Lewis [there’s another track by Lewis still in the report], Machinefabriek, H. Takahashi, and Vida Vojić) are now in the Stasis Archives playlist (currently only on Spotify).

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Disquiet Junto Project 0353: Warp & Weft

The Assignment: Read loom-woven fabric as a musical composition.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, October 8, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0353: Warp & Weft
The Assignment: Read loom-woven fabric as a musical composition.

Thanks to Kim Rueger for proposing this project, to John Horigan for allowing us to use this fabric as our source image, and to Mark Lentczner for the photography and for participating in this project’s gestation.

Step 1: Download the following image and look at it closely:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/brauliz2ryvdram/warp%20weave%20full.jpg?dl=0

Step 2: If you’re not familiarize with the terms “warp” and “weft,” understand them as relating to the act of weaving. Per the Wikipedia entry, “The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom while the transverse weft (sometimes woof) is drawn through and inserted over-and-under the warp.”

Step 3: Study the image with this concept of “warp and weft” in mind. Consider how the image can be interpreted as a musical composition.

Step 4: Compose a piece of music that, reflecting your thoughts from steps 1 through 3, reads the image as a music score.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0353” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0353” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0353-warp-weft/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, October 8, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, October 5, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0353” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: Please consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

Context: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 353rd weekly Disquiet Junto project (Warp & Weft / The Assignment: Read loom-woven fabric as a musical composition) at:

https://disquiet.com/0353/

Thanks to Kim Rueger for proposing this project, to John Horigan for allowing us to use this fabric as our source image, and to Mark Lentczner for the photography and for participating in this project’s gestation.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0353-warp-weft/

There’s also a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet to join in.

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Jessica Kert in the Frame

A live modular synthesizer performance video

A hand comes into view, the nape of a neck, a shoulder, a tattoo, then another. The camera moves continuously, seemingly the musician’s own viewpoint, until it isn’t. The perspective switches back and forth for the video’s nearly six-minute runtime, but its focus does not. The focus is always on a nest of synthesizers, patch cords going in every direction, lights signifying whether they are in or out of sync with the beat. The beat is everything in this performance by Jessica Kert. The beat is heavy and insistent, but also nudged, slightly off the initial cadence, an act of industrial dub.

This video is the precise opposite of the live performance synthesizer video I wrote about yesterday. Where yesterday Alan Dear left his modules to all the work, here Kert is ever coaxing, adjusting. There is a consonance between action and sound. Motion suggests intent and intent is mapped to how the sound alters, how it is altered. The result is formidable.

Video originally posted on Vimeo. More from Kert at instagram.com/jessyandthechords and at soundcloud.com/jessicakert.

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