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: ihop

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: Noctural Tokyo, Philly Beats

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

Deborah Walker’s Starflux, on the Elli Records label, ends with a spectral reworking of the prior tracks, committed by Emanuele Battisti, who also mastered the record and, thus, knew Walker’s work intimately. The metronomic rhythms of the source audio are re-rendered with a halo effect, the earthy original material turned into something intergalactic.

This isn’t music, per se. It’s an hour-long video someone took while walking around a neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan, at night. There is sound, however, the associated field recording of overheard chatter, and footsteps, and crosswalk signals. I usually have something like this running at half speed on a second screen when I work. Even better in black and white.

An added treat: the recorder of these videos, who goes by Rambalac, posts a map of the route. Here’s the one for this footage:

A couple months ago I highlighted a set of Small Professor’s instrumental hip-hop, and then missed the arrival of a subsequent downtempo hip-hop collection, A Jawn Supreme (Vol. 1). As the title might suggest, Small Pro, who traffics in expertly reworked samples, is based in Philadelphia. One highlight is the fractured piano lead on “Reflection,” in which the producer’s hand is just as light yet present as that of the original pianist.

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Details in the Beat

On a recent instrumental album from Jansport J

How the central sample seems to melt on “Antiques,” atop a rhythm that nudges along, little changes making themselves heard, a glitch on the beat here, a volume tweak there. How the snare on “KutKlose” is trimmed within a millisecond of its snare-ness, so compact is the repeated snippet. How the vocal-harmony sample on “letmyselfgo” is so muffled that it’s virtually unintelligible, and all the more musical for it (ditto the solo female voice reduced to a bell tone and a warble on “gimmethereason”). There’s much to love on NoLetUps., a beat tape from Jansport J, released back in mid-March. Those are just some starting points. Dig in.

Album originally posted at jansportjmusic.com. More from Jansport J, who is based in Los Angeles, at twitter.com/JansportJ.

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Current Listens: Philadelphia Beat Tape, Spacious Score

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

Minimalist patterning. Atmospheric score. Philadelphia beat tape. Fripp’s quietude. 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

Gorgeous little pre-release taste of Memory Loops, an album due out July 31 from Arms and Sleepers (aka Mark McGlinchey and Mirza Ramic). The soft repetitive patterns and descending melodic riff sound like the start of something, which makes sense since the track is the first of the album’s projected 14.

Cello, violin, voice — spare elements are the building blocks for the roomy music Martha Skye Murphy composed for a film titled The Late Departure, by Ivan Krzeszowiec. Listen for the entrancing electronic touches, like the glitchy delay midway through “Connecting Flight.” (Felix Stephens on cello, Murphy on the remainder.)

David Evan McDowell, aka Philadelphia-based musician æon, started 2020 with Rebirth, a dozen downtempo hip-hop (mostly) instrumentals full of jazz samples, surface noise, rhythmic play, and a remarkable sense of space.

Robert Fripp continues to make good on his promise of 50 straight weeks of “Music for Quiet Moments” instrumentals. The latest, “Skyscape (Chicago 12 Oct 2005),” number 11 in the series, is more synth-driven than some of the others, though his guitar certainly makes itself heard.

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Boogie Down

To the local used record shop

Nothing like living down the road from a great used record store where you walk in, after a tasty dim sum lunch nearby, and the owner says, “Oh, we have some new arrivals you will like.” Not might like. Will. And it’s true. And from that abundance you select a 27-year-old instrumental remix by A Tribe Called Quest of Boogie Down Productions’ “We in There,” off their final album, Sex and Violence. And it turns out the vinyl is a bright, translucent orange. You’re in it for the instrumental, but the color is a plus. “From your eye drops a tear,” indeed.

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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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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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.)

  • 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, 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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  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

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