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

tag: video

Grid Across Generations

A live video from Sudden Language

The Tenori-on is almost 15 years old, but it still looks like an instrument from the future. It was an early progenitor of the grid-based instruments that blanket the music-making world these days. Here it is heard sequencing sedate exotica beats, as filtered by an offshoot of another matrix instrument. That’s a Norns Shield on the left, a little music computer from the makers of the Monome Grid. The video is from a musician who goes by Sudden Language.

The Tenori-on was developed by Toshio Iwai and Yu Nishibori. Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Sudden Language at suddenlanguage.bandcamp.com.

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Current Listens: Recent Faves on Repeat

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.

This week, some recent favorites to which I keep returning:

Awesome hour-long Loraine James laptop set of glitchy, club-borne IDM, even more intense, more shattered, than the session she recorded for Fact back in mid-August. (Thanks, Bradley Allen for the alert.)

Lloyd Cole recorded an economical little album of modular synthesizer music with one little noise source, from which the record takes its name, Dunst, as its focus:

Mike Weis translates grief into the beautiful, moving 49 Days (Music for a Transition), two quarter-hour tracks of bell field recordings pushed nearly beyond recognition. I’ve been returning to it daily.

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 the label Stereoscenic, of Cleveland, Ohio, released Ground . The Gentle, as a 10-track CD. Start with the aptly named “Heaven-Sent,” all cautious chords and dirty-windshield textures.

▰ 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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Hand-Modulated Loops

A demo from Mudlogger

When I want to learn about a piece of music equipment, hardware or soft, YouTube is often my first stop, and last as well. The main issue with YouTube tutorials and demos is I frequently can’t stand the music itself, so I have to learn by watching while half-listening. But that’s not the case here, as Mudlogger, aka Jason Taylor, puts a looper script through its paces, and creates highly enjoyable music at the same time.

The technological details are laid out in the video’s accompanying text, so there’s no need to go into them. The gist is that device on the left, with the knobs and sliders, is controlling audio loops in the device on the right, the silver-ish one with fewer knobs and matching buttons. Listen as the sounds slowly morph, and then are suddenly put to quick changes, sped up and clipped, layered and truncated, taking on the quality of bag pipes or pipe organ. As Mudlogger notes, there are more than 100 controls available to be tweaked. Listen as a handful of them are put to glitching, sprightly purpose.

Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Taylor/Mudlogger at soundcloud.com/mudlogger and mudlogger.bandcamp.com.

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Ana Roxanne, Back in 2019

A live set in a railway terminal

There’s a great new album out from Ana Roxanne, Because of a Flower, which I’ve mentioned once or twice in the run up to its November 13 release. Definitely check it out for its layers of looped vocals and other forms of lush, often semi-verbal playfulness.

And while you’re at it, (re)visit this video of a half-hour set that she performed at Union Station in Los Angeles back in mid-May 2019. It’s a great show, benefiting especially from the way the vast hall expands upon her already well-documented penchant for echoing spaciousness. And note the facial expressions each time the train announcements threaten to disturb the fragility and serenity that the music has worked so hard to achieve. Ooo, and it closes with a cover of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby” that would make Angelo Badalamenti cry for an encore.

Video originally posted at youtube.com. More from Roxanne, formerly of Los Angeles and currently of New York City, at instagram.com/frincess.

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Current Listens: Loraine James, Ginger Baker, More

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.

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Awesome hour-long Loraine James laptop set of glitchy, club-borne IDM, even more intense, more shattered, than the session she recorded for Fact back in mid-August. (Thanks, Bradley Allen for the alert.)

The ranginess and looseness of Live in Japan, an album from Material, the Bill Laswell band, with drummer Ginger Baker, reinforces just how constructed was the (amazing) 1986 Laswell-produced album Horses & Trees. Recorded over three shows in 1992, this is a very different pleasure, with lots of space and soloing, but it’s still very enjoyable. In addition to Baker and Laswell the group features Foday Musa Suso, Bernie Worrell, Nicky Skopelitis, and Aiyb Dieng

If Tuvan throat singers reached the singularity in the presence of a synthesizer rack, it might sound like the abraded, glottal drones of J. Soliday’s Slow GENiE.

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