TWiS Listening Post (0002)

A review, a haze, and a video

This issue is just for paid subscribers of This Week in Sound. It’s an experiment, intended to supplement the usual Tuesday and Friday issues.

This past week I asked what readers, in a highly unscientific poll, what might encourage them to pay to support This Week in Sound, and the results strongly weighed in favor of ambient music recommendations and an extra email. This format accomplishes both those ideas. We’ll see how it goes. I’m enjoying it.

Today, we’ve got: (1) a review, (2) a haze, and (3) a video.

I wrote a bit more about Oval’s recent album, Romantiq, which I reviewed for Pitchfork on Monday, plus a pice of jagged ambient music by the Japanese producer Corruption, and a live (defined broadly) video by Ukrainian synthesizer musician Igor Yalivec.

Oh, and one additional quick note about last week’s issue: Those voices in the Karen Vogt remix by Yolanda Moletta were in fact Moletta’s own singing, not simply samples of Vogt’s original track — so, “echoes,” yes, but not literal echoes.

Orbital Patterns Live

Glitchy atmospherics, shimmery foundational sonics

The YouTube channel of Orbital Patterns is always worth returning to. Over a year has passed since the Michigan-based musician’s The Lonely Orbit album, and in advance of news of a follow-up, there’s a steady stream of live ambient jams to fill the void. The latest is trademark Orbital Patterns: glitchy atmospherics, shimmery foundational sonics, slushy melodicism. He mixes in vocalizing and field recordings with a sublime sense of balance. The music is at once oceanic in its swelling, and wondrously detailed in its production.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted at

Algorithmic Art Assembly 2022

And I'll be participating on March 11

The Algorithmic Art Assembly conference/festival is back, with quite the lineup. Additional details at It runs March 10, 11, and 12, 2022, at Gray Area in San Francisco (

I’m looking forward to being part of it, doing a live interview with Mark Fell, Rian Treanor, and James Bradbury on the second day. I gave a talk about the Disquiet Junto at the first Algorithmic Art Assembly, back in 2019. The organizer, Thorsten Sideb0ard, puts his all into this.

And here’s the full lineup:

Thursday 10th March (Algorave)
Rich DDT \ \ A/V Club \ Iván Abreu \ C. Lilly \ LuisaMei \ Spednar \ William Fields

Friday 11th March
Shader Park \ Jamie Fenton \ Chris Carlson \ Mark Fell, Rian Treanor & James Bradbury \ Amy Alexander \ Hannah Davis \ Lauren Sarah Hayes \ John Bischoff \ SPACEFILLER with Mick Marchan \ {arsonist} \ Trash Panda QC \ Myriam Bleau

Saturday 12th March
Phil Burk \ Barcelona AAA node w/ the Intelligent Instruments Lab \ RM Francis \ Ellen Phan \ Irwin/Miller \ Cassie Tarakajian \ Tom Hall \ Ross Goodwin \ CNDSD \ Kindohm \ Richard Devine

Tickets at (Also, there are discounted festival scholarships for artists, students, and scholars from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in the fields of art, design, and technology. This scholarship gives preferences to those who self-identify as LGBTQ, women, nonbinary, or minority racial and ethnicity groups.)

#Jamuary Is Happening

Join in

It’s Jamuary, which, if you take note of the switch from “n” to “m” in the month, helps explain why YouTube is even more jam-packed with uploaded music tracks than usual. Like National Novel Writing Month (which takes place each November) or the somewhat lesser-known February Album Writing Month (which helpfully follows on the creative sparks of Jamuary’s heels), but more performative, more in-the-moment, Jamuary is a celebration of musical activity to kick off each new year. Jamuary is, in many ways, what is best about hashtag culture — about the way a communal rallying cry can provide an asynchronous-but-coherent sense of dispersed collaborative experience.

By way of example, there’s this reworking of various samples by the musician who goes by Keurslager Kurt. Piano and other sounds are layered, filtered, looped, and otherwise tweaked on the Digitakt (from the Gothenburg, Sweden, company Elektron) over the course of six minutes. Kurt credits another musician, Oscillator Sink, for having introduced the technique employed. (Also credited is the source of the piano sample: the Leo Svirsky album River Without Banks.) Oscillator Sink explains in his own tutorial that what he’s doing is using the Digitakt for — rather than the standard triggering of beat samples on a clock — “manipulating an ongoing sonic event.” That approach lends both the Oscillator Sink and Keurslager Kurt pieces an ambient quality, one that emphasizes stasis and texture rather than rhythm and percussion.

Jamuary is by no means a YouTube-exclusive pastime. It’s flourishing on Instagram, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, and elsewhere.

This is the first video I’ve added this year to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live ambient performances. Video originally published at YouTube. More from Keurslager Kurt, who is based in Belgium, at and at, which has a collection of synthesizer kits for the AE Modular system, including a take on the excellent Sloth, originally created by Non-Linear Circuits.