New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

tag: current listens

Current Listens: Jóhannsson Tribute, Cole’s Synths

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.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Paul Hillier in this three-minute video talks about the work he and his fellow musicians in Theatre of Voices did with the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, notably on the film Arrival:

When Lloyd Cole refers to his “day job” in the liner notes to his latest album, what he means by it is writing songs. Better known for the well-crafted British rock and pop filed in record stores under Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, he’s also a deeply engaged employer of synthesizers. For this album, recorded in June, he focused his efforts on a single module, the Dunst from Ieaskul F. Mobenthey, which emits chaotic yet nuanced noise (other modules were utilized as well, of course).

The company ModBap has released a new synthesizer module, Per4mer, intended to appeal to hip-hop musicians. Among the demos is this psychedelic beat from Ali the Architect. (Found via Synthtopia.)

Three field recordings from Dublin, Ireland-based composer Linda Buckley, including birdsong after the rain, and a prayer echoing in public (presumably in Astoria, Queens, based on the track’s title).

Also, covered with a bit more depth: harp player Mary Lattimore’s classical/ambient Silver Ladders, produced by Neal Halstead of Slowdive, and the dense drones of Havdis, aka O.A. Jensen

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Current Listens: Newly Sequenced, Windshield Filter

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.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

I admit that if I’m not careful, this could end up being a new Jeannine Schulz album and a new Orbital Patterns video every week (I say that in the hopes that they discover each other’s music and team up). But so be it. My listening is my listening.

Orbital Patterns welcomes a new sequencer into his synthesizer rig, and the result is a super slow melody that’s part jazz sermon, part illbient atmosphere:

Glistening, blippy, pop-leaning instrumental piece performed live by S. B. Arweiler.

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 last week the label Stereoscenic, of Cleveland, Ohio, announced Ground . The Gentle, 10 tracks available for pre-order as a CD, but already streaming in full. Start with the aptly named “Heaven-Sent,” all cautious chords and dirty-windshield textures.

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Current Listens: Varied Pianos, Archival Afrobeat

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.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Erika Nesse makes music with fractal algorithms, in this case applied to the sounds of a piano. Get lost in the patterning.

Film composer Matija Strnisa slows the pace of the piano on “Tender Loneliness” to a near standstill, and then fills the spaces in between the notes with a drone that’s like cozy warm wool. A cue from the score to House of Hummingbird (벌새), from director Kim Bora (김보라).

The label Comet Records is reissuing classic albums by the late Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, including this pairing of two extended takes with Fela’s Afrika 70 ensemble. No Accommodation for Lagos was recorded in 1978. Allen passed away April 30, 2020.

The form of Matmos’ The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form is 99 musicians’ tracks layered into an ever-shifting collage, the commonality being the tracks were all recorded at the same speed (99 BPM, naturally). The three-CD set comes with a map of the contributions, and that may be the best way to experience it — watching and listening for transitions and studio-yoked collaborations.

Ten tracks of sublime instrumental music: fragile surfaces that cover depth, tension, and resolve. This is the album Out of the Valley from composer n-So (aka Nick Angeloni). Music for slow mornings — or perhaps better yet, meditative music for anything-but-slow mornings.

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Current Listens: Questlove(s RBG) + Meditative Loops

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

This is my 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.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Friday night, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Questlove of the Roots spun three hours of Radiohead, chopped and screwed, as he put it, thick with reverb and delay, echoed to dubby extremes. He talked in between songs, and during them, about fending off stress-eating, and about his own political awakening during the Obama campaign, and how when he plays early Radiohead he has to remind himself that the band once employed what he calls “mortal instruments.” The screen displays details from his DJ software, confirming the mournfully slow BPM. (Thanks for the tip, Alex Hawthorn.)

Jeannine Schulz keeps up the relentless pace of slow-music releases with Unfolding Circles, five tracks of melty loops made from guitar parts and, of course, the textural quality of the degraded tape itself. (Based in Hamburg, Germany.)

Three lengthy tracks of music for meditation comprise the Zazen set by Insomniac Hotel. Dense, murky drones with melodic and percussive undercurrents. (Based in New Jersey.)

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Current Listens: Sonic Paintings + Cathedrals of Air

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

This is my 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.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Jeannine Schulz is my new favorite ambient musician about whom I know virtually nothing, except that she’s based in Hamburg, Germany, appears to do work in contemporary dance, and has released numerous albums this year of hypnotic, droning beauty. The second track on Closeness, “Shimmer,” is a particular favorite. It’s the sonic equivalent of standing very close to a massive painting and getting entranced by the texture.

Melatonia, from the duo Pausal (Alex Smalley & Simon Bainton), is like a tour of cathedrals made of air. Shoegaze organs for days and daze. The releasing label, Past Inside the Present, is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The album came out a month ago tomorrow.

Four tracks, all recorded using no-input mixing, meaning the source audio is merely the noise of the system feeding back on itself and then transformed into something else entirely. Here, on Cycles by ANMA (aka Andreas Mangweth), that means rhythmic, echoing, industrial intensity. The recording was done back in March in Innsbruck, Austria. Mangweth posted some description of the process at llllllll.co.

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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, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • 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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    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

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    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
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    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

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