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: live-performance

Current Favorites: Guitar Samples, Instrumental Hip-Hop, Surround Keyboards

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.

▰ There’s one track up thus far from the self-titled Sweepsculp, the remainder due out on the Nous’klaer Audio label May 7 (I’ve seen it listed as late April elsewhere; May 7 is the date on the Bandcamp page). Sweepsculp is a pseudonym for Dutch musician Thessa Torsing, best known as Upsammy. Apparently the EP is “using only an acoustic guitar besides drums.” The first track, “Plaudable,” is laudable for its tight groove, its punchy, low-key beats, and its playful exploration of slight variations amid minimalist repetition.


▰ On Bandcamp Day, Los Angeles producer Jansport J uploaded the instrumental tracks to rapper Quadry’s mid-2020 album Don’t You Weep. It’s seven soulful cuts, the tidy beats rich with backing vocals, old-school electric keyboard, dubby percussive effects, and occasional double-speed samples.


▰ Vancouver, B.C.-based musician Scott Morgan, aka Loscil, has a new record, Clara, due out on May 28. The production process is fascinating: “[It was] sourced from a single three-minute composition performed by a 22-piece string orchestra in Budapest. The subsequent recording was lathe-cut on to a 7-inch, then ‘scratched and abused to add texture and color,’ from which the entirety of Clara was sampled, shape-shifted, and sculpted.” The first track is all glimmering grainy heavens above a scratchy rhythm.


▰ If you dig Nils Frahms’ live setup, an indie-studio reimgaining of Rick Wakeman’s surround-keyboard mode, then this video of Hania Rani may appeal, especially when, at 7:15, she puts a stone on her Prophet sythesizer to hold a note.


▰ The dental drill wind tunnel noise of “Exhalation” and the lost, dubbed-out spaciousness of “Lost Race” were our first two tastes of the 13 tracks that will comprise End of Trilogy, before it was released this past Friday. Now out on the excellent Room40 label, it collects pummeling sounds from Yuko Araki. She’s a force to be reckoned with.


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Algorave Review in The Wire

Livecoding by Chiho Oka, Kindohm, and AFALFL

Yeah, that typeface means something. I’ve got a new piece in the Wire magazine, the issue with (musician) Warren Ellis on the cover. It’s a review of a livecoding livestream from February 13, 2021, of Chiho Oka (Tokyo), Kindohm (Minneapolis), and AFALFL (Paris), hosted by Alex McLean as part of the No Bounds Festival. There’s something quite digitally native about a livecoding livestream. Had algorave not already existed, Covid-19 certainly would have engendered this cultural variant.

McLean posted the full review at slab.org. The concert is archived on YouTube:

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Impure Celestial

Five CDs of organ music from Sarah Davachi


Sarah Davachi has collected five CDs as a box set of recent interrelated works that engage with various organs in the context of other instruments, notably synthesizers. A key track is “Accord of Voice I,” off the album Laurus, released last December. It is a procession of held notes, their rich tonalities layering deeply, the result being beautifully impure harmonies, dense slow motion cacophonies that achieve something almost celestial. The collection is titled Cantus Figures Laurus and it includes two previous double-CD sets, Cantus, Descant and Figures in Open Air, as well as Laurus and what Davachi describes as “an extended EP of early sketches for the music fully realised on Cantus, Descant.”

Record originally released at sarahdavachi.bandcamp.com. More from Davachi at sarahdavachi.com.

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Current Favorites: Cooked Viola and Buddha Machines, Thawing Ice

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.

▰ On the double album If Not Now, released at the very end of 2020, Meredith Bates sends her violin and viola through a range of processing, yielding echoes and textures, layers and atmospheres, stutters and breakage. It somehow manages to be both intimate and orchestral at the same time. Bates is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


▰ Three field recordings of what’s going on under the ice, captured by Ivo Vicic of Rijeka, Croatia, on Under the Ice – Secret Sounds of Nature. As Vicic describes it, what we’re hearing is a water stream, amomg other activity, recorded at a lake that has frozen over during the winter. Released earlier this month. (Thanks for the recommendation, Patricia Wolf!)


▰ In a 10-minute live video, Poland-baed Grzegorz Bojanek makes rough-hewn ambient music in realtime with a handful of Buddha Machines and effects pedals. Even if you’re entirely familiar with the source audio, you’ll be enchanted by the new territories Bojanek explores.


▰ The cacophonous fragility of Marcus Fischer’s mid-February “Thawing” is a field recording made during the Portland, Oregon, winter. Writes Fischer of the brief track: “Thawing ice releasing itself and falling from a large oak tree onto the snow-covered street below.”

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DJ Krush in the Temple by the Foot of the Mountain

An hour-long live set recorded in February


The widespread isolation of pandemic culture provided the natural incubator for DJ Krush to spin echoes of turntablist gestures alone in a Japanese temple as winter turned to spring.

Please trust me that while I’ve only seen Krush live a handful or so of times, I have listened to countless hours of his recorded concert performances, and this is, I believe, one of his finest. Krush originated as a Japanese hip-hop DJ, and from the beginning emphasized abstraction and atmosphere, as well as utilized regional music and sonic culture as source material and inspiration.

This hour-long set was first streamed in late February as part of the MUSO Cultural Festival, broadcast from the temple Daichuji, located in the Japanese city of Numazu, Shizuoka, by the foot of Mount Ashitaka. A brief accompanying statement explains: “Within the temple, a conceptual live performance was filmed as if to experience the essence of Zen through sound.” The festival takes its name from Muso Soseki, who founded Daichuji in 1313.

The show opens with an exceptionally sparse seven minutes of elegant, cautious play, then ratchets up to something closer to the smokey, noir quality of his early work. From there the pace slowly builds, remaining downtempo throughout, but gaining depth: more sounds, more motion, more contrast. Even as the audio accrues, there remains room for the slightest hand gesture to bring a warble to the surface, for his wrists to syncopate martial drums and drop in quick samples. So much gets folded in: dance music, chanting, birdsong, and rapturous percussion stuttered in his mixer.

The show ends as it began, with choice bits of sound, wooden flutes from some of his most famous music, until the beats drop out. From there on, for the last five minutes or so, the work is Krush at his most ghostly, not mournful so much as reflective, peaceful, finally resolving in a climactic drone before dissipating like a candle blown out.

Video originally posted at YouTube. More on the festival at muso-festival.com.

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