One of the great pleasures of listening to an active electronic musician for an extended period of time is observing how they bring new equipment into their orbit. There is the question of how that equipment, in turn, informs their work. There is also how they achieve their now familiar sounds with unfamiliar tools. The musician Dustmotes’ adoption of a new percussive-oriented sampler is a case in point. The London-based Dustmotes, also known as Paul Croker, has been making elegantly gritty instrumental hip-hop at least since 2011, which is the earliest credit on his discogs.com page, and also the first year I wrote about his music. His music often features a slightly drifting rhythm, a beat missed here, a tempo ebbing there. He regularly explores gentle sounds on well-circumscribed repeat against muffled beats. Playing with a new tool, the Elektron Digitakt, he recently posted a short video, which he dubbed a “Spontaneous live performance” in the brief accompanying note. It has all the modesty of his earlier work, with a newfound level of grit and glitch. The video was shot overhead, so you can watch as he goes. Even if you’re not familiar with the Digitakt’s interface, you can infer correspondences between action and sound — how a knob adds a new effect, or changes the pitch, or welcomes additional elements. It’s a great piece.
5 Most Recent Comments
audio pervert: "Try listen to albums like it was … Instead of chasing mindless playlists as background muzak. "
Michi: "I love the artwork. Great guitar picks "
Ian Joyce: "Beautiful as this is to listen to at home – her performance in person is totally absorbing. Her..."
Jens Alfke: "Has anyone made a mirror of this playlist on Apple Music? If not, maybe I will… (i know I can..."
Jason Richardson: "Nice. Reminds me of Barbara Bartos’ soundscape instrument, see https://vimeo.com/barbarab..."
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• January 2, 2018: This day marks the 6th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• February 7, 2018: Start of the semester for the course I teach on the role of sound in the media landscape at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
• December 13, 2018: This day marked the 22nd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: 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, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0345 / Sample Time / Make your own drum machine sounds, do something with them, and share them.
• 0344 / Careful Symmetries / The Assignment: Explore palindromes in musical form.
• 0343 / Big Pun / The Assignment: What does a musical pun sound like?
• 0342 / In Sea / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in tribute to Terry Riley's In C using only samples of water sounds.
• 0341 / Sample Forensics / The Assignment: Place a fragmentary sample into a natural-seeming setting.
... And there is a complete list of past projects.
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