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

tag: current listens

Current Listens: Recent Faves on Repeat

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

This week, some recent favorites to which I keep returning:

Awesome hour-long Loraine James laptop set of glitchy, club-borne IDM, even more intense, more shattered, than the session she recorded for Fact back in mid-August. (Thanks, Bradley Allen for the alert.)

Lloyd Cole recorded an economical little album of modular synthesizer music with one little noise source, from which the record takes its name, Dunst, as its focus:

Mike Weis translates grief into the beautiful, moving 49 Days (Music for a Transition), two quarter-hour tracks of bell field recordings pushed nearly beyond recognition. I’ve been returning to it daily.

The highly talented Jeannine Schulz has been releasing a steady stream of music at a pace in inverse proportion with how slow and placid is the music itself. Much of that has been on her own Bandcamp page, but the label Stereoscenic, of Cleveland, Ohio, released Ground . The Gentle, as a 10-track CD. Start with the aptly named “Heaven-Sent,” all cautious chords and dirty-windshield textures.

▰ In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

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Current Listens: London Beats, Robot Piano

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

London-based Vigi Beats delivers five brief instrumental hip-hop tracks, the loops expertly balancing a downtempo pace with a frenzy of sped-up samples. The set is titled Just Some Chops.

Hard to imagine the new Thys / Amon Tobin collaboration wasn’t initially conceived as the score to an unidentified video game or film project, so thick is Ithaca with scene-setting, rhythmically amorphous sonic experimentation.

John Schaefer’s New Sounds hosts two piano performances by Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds. Arnald’s new album, some kind of peace, involves his algorithmic Stratus software (“intelligent custom software that could trigger self-playing, semi-generative ‘ghost’ pianos — his ‘robot writing partners'” per the software company, Spitfire Audio, that released it). Listen to the interview at newsounds.org.

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Current Listens: Loraine James, Ginger Baker, More

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Awesome hour-long Loraine James laptop set of glitchy, club-borne IDM, even more intense, more shattered, than the session she recorded for Fact back in mid-August. (Thanks, Bradley Allen for the alert.)

The ranginess and looseness of Live in Japan, an album from Material, the Bill Laswell band, with drummer Ginger Baker, reinforces just how constructed was the (amazing) 1986 Laswell-produced album Horses & Trees. Recorded over three shows in 1992, this is a very different pleasure, with lots of space and soloing, but it’s still very enjoyable. In addition to Baker and Laswell the group features Foday Musa Suso, Bernie Worrell, Nicky Skopelitis, and Aiyb Dieng

If Tuvan throat singers reached the singularity in the presence of a synthesizer rack, it might sound like the abraded, glottal drones of J. Soliday’s Slow GENiE.

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Current Listens: Recent Retrospect

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

I listened to plenty of new music this week, from Autechre’s surprise Plus to Patricia Wolf’s remix of material from Fadi Tabbal’s new album to ioflow’s ambient workout on the Elektron Digitone, but I wanted to highlight in this edition of Current Listens some music I’ve written about over the past month or so that’s really stuck with me. The emphasis on the new can create a false impression of constant new. Even the recent new can linger in ways that change one’s initial impression, often for the better:

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

The patzr radio art-sound podcast of Jimmy Kipple’s musique concrète (music constructed from field recordings and pre-existing recorded sound) is a font of textural pleasure, especially the recent two-parter. Here’s the second half:

Loraine James’ remix of Lunch Money Life’s “Lincoln” reveals key moments of the source material before artfully falling to deliberately challenging pieces.

Lloyd Cole recorded an economical little album of modular synthesizer music with one little noise source, from which the record takes its name, Dunst, as its focus:

“Suite pour l’invisible” was the first track made available from Ana Roxanne’s forthcoming Because of a Flower album. I’ve gone back and listened frequently. It was followed up by the beat-machine-backed, almost Sade-like “Camille.” The full release, with five additional tracks, comes out on November 13.

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Current Listens: Halo Live + Aphex-ish Mansell

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Mike Weis translates grief into the beautiful, moving 49 Days (Music for a Transition), two quarter-hour tracks of bell field recordings pushed nearly beyond recognition. This is a record I hope to get around to writing about more soon, but I wanted to get a mention in sooner still, because I’ve been returning to it daily.

Lush and ambient all the way through, this 20-minute live solo performance by Laurel Halo was recorded at the Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães near Braga, Portugal.

Fahmi Mursyid, based in Bandung, Indonesia, ekes ripe atmospheres from a tape loop. The actual original tape is priced at $99. Four tracks derived from it comprise the album Satu, the digital version of which is set at whatever price the buyer wishes to pay.

There’s a lot of beauty in Clint Mansell’s score to Ben Wheatley’s new film version of Rebecca, much of it devoted to expertly old-school thriller grandeur. One standout track, “Côte d’Azur,” is to Aphex Twin’s solo piano “Avril 14” what Wheatley might have hoped his film would be to Hitchcock’s Rebecca: alternately hinting at and veering from the original, and offering its own pleasures entirely.

Also, covered with a bit more depth: Fadi Tabbal’s fifth solo album, Subject to Potential Errors and Distortions, + the Yumi Iwaki / Ryan J Raffa split Living Distances.

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
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    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
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    The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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