I’d've

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New release by C. Reider
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C. Reider – I’d've
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This is a collection of drone work that I think is particularly beautiful. I made this work from about 2000-2003, completing & mastering in ’03. Because I liked it so much, I wanted to release it in a special edition. Plans never worked out so it sat unreleased for over ten years.
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It’s out now, you can have it for free if you want it. Please listen.
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http://c-reider.bandcamp.com/album/idve


Distressing

Sunday, 26 January 2014

There is a new release by C. Reider at the excellent netlabel Eg0cide. The album is titled “Distressing”
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It is free to download from: http://eg0cide.com/2014/01/18/eg0_107-c-reider-distressing/”
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Eg0cide welcomes well known sound activist C. Reider (founder of Vuzh Music netlabel and experimental band Drone Forest), who sent us a very interesting “process-music” album based on the use of 4 sounds he found irritating. The result of these sound studies will make you discover the hidden musical potential of what most of us usually hate to hear.
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Description by the artist:
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This album requires some explanation. “Distressing” is a collection of ‘sound studies’ as Eg0cide label administrator Serge-Antoine would put it… although, to me, ‘sound studies’ describes everything I’ve ever done in music. I would call the sounds presented here ‘process-music’ because the method of arriving at the sounds is systematic and understanding the method is necessary for a full appreciation of the work.
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The idea for “Distressing” came about from a discussion I was having with an internet acquaintance of mine named Sarinne Fox, who uses the twitter handle @NoiseHelp. She and I were talking about annoying sounds, and my position was that there are no objectively irritating sounds, “noise” is nothing more than a personal judgment about sound. I think there could be something beautiful about any sound.
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I did not always hold this opinion, and our conversation led me to think about sounds that have irritated me in the past. When I arrived at a few of them, I decided to make a project out of them, to explore the sounds. The four sounds I decided to focus on were 60 cycle mains hum, white noise, dial tone and the piezo beeping of my alarm clock. I listened to recordings of these sounds for a while, and I think perhaps the only bothersome thing about them to me was the initial shock of going from silence to an un-ignorable sound. Once that shock had passed, there was plenty to notice… not so much in the sounds themselves, but in the dynamic act of perception.
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In thinking about these sounds, and the thematic element of ‘things that annoy’, I decided to apply a technique that annoys me. The use of longform sound stretching, is in (very) common practice in contemporary ambient music, popularized by the computer program Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch, aka PaulStretch. I think this tool can be very useful, but in my view right now it’s being over-used in an unimaginative way. People seem to simply pile up a minute of sounds, hit the button and Voila! An hour of instant ambient smush. Maybe that’d be interesting if it weren’t so ubiquitous.
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I don’t actually have the PaulStretch program, but I had previously used the time stretch algorithm in my go-to audio editor Amadeus Pro in another project I did recently that poked fun at the PaulStretch craze. In a collection called “Squeezed”, I found twenty-four longform ambient netlabel releases from various artists that allowed for derivative works in their licensing. I then used the time stretching function in Amadeus Pro to render each of them to under a minute in duration. Twenty four hours became twenty four minutes.
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For “Distressing” I began with a one minute segment of each base sound and stretched it to an hour in length. Then I took that file and squeezed it back down to a minute in length. Then I repeated that process a few more times. With each stretching and squeezing cycle, the original sound came apart a little more, became porous and lost luster – became distressed. I compare it to the fatigue that occurs when you bend a piece of metal back and forth.
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What you hear in “Distressing” is a small section of the four sounds – mains hum, white noise, dial tone & alarm beep – followed by an excerpt from the first hour long stretch which segues into an excerpt from the second stretch (where the 1st file was squeezed back to a minute, then stretched back out again), and then an excerpt from the third (where the 2nd file was squeezed and re-stretched). As the track progresses, you hear the original sound decay and change, only to receive a shock when the next sound begins unaffected.
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The variations in the stretched parts arise from the process. Since the stretching algorithm in my audio editor does not use the spectral smoothing that PaulStretch does, the results are glitchy and not smooth and ambient. As the track plays you can hear the effect the process has on the sound as the more heavily processed iterations fade in.
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For those interested, a more detailed description of each step is attached below.
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C. Reider
January 12, 2014
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Method:
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One 60 second source file is selected.
The speed is altered to 50% of its original speed, resulting in a file twice its original length.
This same step is done five more times, resulting in a file of a little over an hour in length.
This file is saved as iteration 1.
The speed of this file is altered to 200% of its original speed, resulting in a file half its original length.
That same step is done five more times, resulting in a file of about a minute in length.
That file is altered to 50% of its original speed, resulting in a file twice its original length.
That step is repeated five more times, resulting in a file that’s a little over an hour in length.
This file is saved as iteration 2
The speed of this file is altered to 200% of its original speed, resulting in a file half its original length.
That same step is done five more times, resulting in a file of about a minute in length.
That file is altered to 50% of its original speed, resulting in a file twice its original length.
That step is repeated five more times, resulting in a file that’s a little over an hour in length.
This file is saved as iteration 3
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Quick math reveals that from start to finish, each of the 4 sounds was processed 30 times to result in the final version, therefore 120 distinct stretching/squeezing operations were done to make this recording.
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A multitrack program is used to compile the 4 resulting tracks. The original sound plays for a few seconds, then iteration one fades in and plays for 3 or 4 minutes, then iteration 2 plays for a few minutes, and finally iteration 3 for a few minutes. Each iteration fades out as the following one fades in.

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http://eg0cide.com/2014/01/18/eg0_107-c-reider-distressing/”


New at Dystimbria

Sunday, 26 January 2014

There are two new releases available at Dystimbria.
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Dystimbria is a netlabel focusing on music that lies between ambient and noise music. Each new release samples from the previous releases, lending a continuity to the catalog.
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The newest releases for 2014 are by Katarrhaktes with a track called “The Breath that Conjured the Fall” and Kinematik VKE giving us “Placental Drops From A Gestating Sky”
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They are both available for downloading and streaming for free at http://dystimbria.cc


2013 review and 57 Notable Netlabel releases

Sunday, 22 December 2013

I’ve gotten a bit wordy in previous year-end review blog posts, so this time I’m going to keep it a little simpler. The deal is this: I’m going to post five lists of 2013 releases: one each detailing all of the releases of the year on my three netlabels Vuzh Music, Dystimbria and Derivative and then one listing all of my own stuff that was put out on various netlabels this year. I’d be very pleased if you took the time to listen to some of them.
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After that is the list of my favorite things I found from listening to netlabel music this year. I’ve got 57 titles to recommend this time. I’ll try to write a few descriptive words for each of the things in that list.
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If you want to look at my previous year-end lists, here’s 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.
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Everything listed below is free to download (with the exception of my cassette release “Hold Music”… it is obtainable by trading or paying)
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2013 Releases on Vuzh Music

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Le Berger – “Trivial Cataclysms”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/trivial.html
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Mysterybear – “the Quiet Sun”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/sun.html
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Leo Bettinelli / Jaume Muntsant – “Wingu”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/wingu.html
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Daniel Barbiero – “Four Transformations”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/transform.html
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Miquel Parera – “MUME Selections”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/mume.html
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Schemawound – “Occupy Dreamland”
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/occupy.html
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Caroline Park – “RIM”
http://vuzhmusic.com/releases/rim.html


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2013 Releases on Derivative Netlabel

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C. Reider – “the Conjuncts”
http://www.deriv.cc/works/?p=50
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Kid Feardive – “Toyland”
http://www.deriv.cc/works/?p=200
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A Small Glass Ghost – “Fake Beats”
http://www.deriv.cc/works/?p=245
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Various Artists – “and…and…and… (Disquiet Junto derivations of The Conjuncts by C. Reider)”
http://www.deriv.cc/works/?p=264


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2013 Releases on Dystimbria

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Schemawound – “Beasts (Homonculus-Basilisk)”
http://sonicsquirrel.net/detail/release/BEASTS%28Homunculus-Basilisk%29/16864
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Scott Lawlor – “The Ebb and Flow of the Cycle of Time”
http://sonicsquirrel.net/detail/release/The+Ebb+and+Flow+of+the+Cycle+of+Time/16865
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Katie Gately – “Across the River”
http://sonicsquirrel.net/detail/release/Across+the+River/16884
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the Icarus Descent – “Forsaken Ghosts”
http://sonicsquirrel.net/detail/release/Forsaken+Ghosts/17002


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2013 Releases by C. Reider on various netlabels

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C. Reider – “Edge and Artifact” (Ilse Netlabel)
http://ilse.bandcamp.com/album/edge-and-artifact
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C. Reider – “the Conjuncts” (Derivative Netlabel)
http://www.deriv.cc/works/?p=50
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C. Reider – “Failing CD Player” (Ideal State No Number Series)
http://idealstatenonumberseries.bandcamp.com/album/failing-cd-player
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C. Reider – “Hold Music” (Vuzh Music)
http://c-reider.bandcamp.com/album/hold-music
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C. Reider – “Oído con plomo” (Impulsive Habitat)
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab081.htm


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Fifty-Seven Notable Netlabel Releases of 2013

(presented alphabetically)
Since this list is kind of daunting, I’ve denoted “can’t miss” items with a little pulsing GOLD STAR GIF … but seriously, if you just picked a few of these albums at random and downloaded them, you’d have one hell of an interesting playlist.
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Meanwhile, here’s a mix “cloudcast” I made with a bunch of cool tracks from many of these records. Listen while you read?
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Notable Netlabel Music 2013 by Vuzh on Mixcloud



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@c – Half-Life, Still Life
Crónica – CC BY SA Derivs allowed!
http://www.cronicaelectronica.org/?p=077

Art music composed for various installations and commissions. Computer collisions of percussion and field recordings.


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Aerosol Constellations – Things Will Never Be the Same
Panospria – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://www.notype.com/drones/cat.e/pan_077/

Dronestuff with various skitterings and scatterings.


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Alozeau and Miquel Parera – Five Structures and a Cold Void
Treetrunk – CC BY SA Derivs allowed!
http://treetrunkrecords.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/miquel-parera-and-alozeau-five-structures-and-a-cold-void-treetrunk-270/

A departure for perennial favorite Miquel Parera. Rhythmic loops and textures and gestures join with the long dronings.


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Avelino Saavedra – MUD
Audiotalaia – Conflicted licensing! Listed as CC BY NC ND at label’s site & CC BY NC SA at archive. Forced to presume: No derivs!
http://www.audiotalaia.net/catalogue/at063-avelino-saavedra/

A beautiful collection of explorations using a massive Udu drum run through processing, used in feedback experiments, and simply played with light delay. I like the focus of using a single sound source and finding as many unique sounds & approaches as you can. Really great stuff here.


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Daniel Barbiero – Allusions to Fogs and Liquids (Complex Silence 37)
Treetrunk – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://treetrunkrecords.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/daniel-barbiero-complex-silence-37-treetrunk-275/

Slow, overtone-rich improvisation on double-bass.


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Lali Barrière – Unknotted
Audiotalaia – Conflicted licensing! Listed as CC BY NC ND at label’s site & CC BY NC SA at archive. Forced to presume: No derivs!
http://www.audiotalaia.net/catalogue/at067-Lali-Barriere

A pair of improvisatory explorations with everyday objects. Quiet, intimate… a perfect opportunity for attentive listening.


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Tommy Birchett + Ben Owen – Untitled Improvisation
Homophoni – License not listed No derivs!
http://homophoni.com/homo054.html

A hushed improvisation using glass, motors & maxMSP.


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Adrià Bofarull & Joan Saura – Cràter
TecnoNucleo – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://www.tecnonucleo.org/index.php?page=release&release=38

Musique Concrète. Embarrassingly, I had presumed for most of the year that this was a collaboration between two women, due to my American associations with those names, but Bofarull and Saura are men. I guess that has nothing to do with the sound, just a thing.


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CDRX – Greetings from Heidiland
Eg0cide – CC BY SA Derivs allowed!
http://eg0cide.com/2013/03/03/eg0_092-cdrx-greetings-from-heidiland/

A confounding collage of processed site recordings and electronic additions. The sounds for this thematic tribute to Switzerland were chosen because the composer felt they were “typically Swiss”.


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Marti Guillem Ciscar – VIBRASÒ // RotorNoRoto
Audiotalaia – Conflicted licensing! Listed as CC BY NC ND at label’s site & CC BY NC SA at archive. Forced to presume: No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/at066MartiGuillem

Pretty cool sounds here, the first track made with objects vibrating due to synth-driven speaker cones, some un-effected sounds and some computer manipulation. The second is made from a turntable motor interacting with other sounding objects.


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Cloud City Cars – & The Cult of Fine Cabinetry
self released – CC BY NC Derivs allowed!
http://cloudcitycars.bandcamp.com/album/the-cult-of-fine-cabinetry

Opiated loops of what sounds like an extremely distorted guitar with all the high end rolled off. Works for me.


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Viv Corringham – Gum + Butts
Linear Obsessional – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/gum-butts

The document of a somewhat incredible project wherein Corringham does site recordings in various places while improvising a vocal performance (mostly extended techniques, and some freeform sung tones) in response to the space and to what she hears. This kind of interaction with environmental sound is thoroughly intriguing to me, especially when done with something so intimate as human voice. I often find myself responding to this album with my own vocalizations, allowing my own surrounding environmental sounds to intermingle while listening, all barriers falling away. This is a captivating recording, I can’t recommend it enough.


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Alan Morse Davies & Mysterybear – Sing Men and Women!
At Sea / self released – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://mysterybear.bandcamp.com/album/sing-men-and-women

Deep electronic drone music. The oscillations and interferences in these long drones kind of turn my brain into half-melted margarine.


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Joshua Davison – I Been Thinking Of The Universe
Jackknife Barlow – CC BY NC Derivs allowed!
http://jackknifebarlow.bandcamp.com/album/i-been-thinking-of-the-universe

Sparse modular synth patterns recalling ’70s works by TanDream, Mother Mallard, Ashra, or perhaps more appropriately, recalling the synth revivalism of bands like Forma. One track title name-checks Vangelis. I’m suspicious of myself for liking this, wondering if it stems from a nostalgic bent, but I do like it, so I guess that’s that.


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D’Incise – De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari
Reductive – no license listed No derivs!
http://www.cimaural.net/reductivemusic/dincise.html

Minimal rumbles & high pitched pings for 15 minutes. Toward the end of it, there’s some kind of squishy sounds


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Eucci – Dirty Modern Tapes 2013
self released – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://sunhill.bandcamp.com/album/dirty-modern-tapes-2013

Noisy modular synth music. Sounds like at any minute it might go blasto.


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Evematic – Bisonogram
Earthrid – Copyright No derivs!
http://earthrid.bandcamp.com/album/bisonogram

This album is by an artist named Eve Thacker, who died in January of this year. Earthrid re-released this 2004 album as a free download in memory of her. Synthy percussives & not-quite melodies. The album kinda goes back & forth between dark-ish, moody constructions and then beepy, boopy tone-loops that tumble around in a lopsided groove. Circa-1985 this might have been called “industrial music” (Trent Reznor hadn’t yet hit puberty, so lunk-headed rock music wasn’t de rigeur in that most debased of genres). The album could’ve done with some editing, most tracks have a charming “unfinished” quality about them, but some tracks ~really~ sound unfinished. Even so, I’ve enjoyed listening to it.


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Cosmo Gardner + Jack Harris + Samuel Rodgers – we’ve had enough of this powdered wig algebra
Homophoni – no license listed No derivs!
http://homophoni.com/homo055.html

Three improvisors in a state of near suspended animation; this is exceptionally restrained. At times all you hear is the sound of the performers listening.


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Mario Guida – FlussoSottile
Batenim – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://www.batenimnetlabel.net/BN_LP005_05_13.html

Ringing resonances and jittery granulations.


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Half Evidence – Le Cachot Lumineux
Eg0cide – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/eg0_088_237

A half-an-hour-long piece of gently droned & plucked & scraped stringed instruments.


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Kev Hopper – Tonka Beano
Linear Obsessional – License varies by track, some deriv, some ND
http://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/tonka-beano

Love that album title. This is big collection of fun, weird, little proto-techno rhythm studies. Could’ve done with a bit of editorial trimming, but yeah.


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The Implicit Order – Drifters
self released – CC BY ND No derivs!
http://theimplicitorder.bandcamp.com/album/drifters

Anthony’s work in recent years seems to have made a turn into explicitly melancholy territory, this one is just about as sad as you can get. He takes inspiration from having known a young transient girl who was murdered by a drifting psychopath, apparently. All the normal elements are here for a work by IO, liberal sampling from musical & TV sources make up just about everything you hear.


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ISZ -Miquel Isaza- – 200X
Impulsive Habitat – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab068.htm

From a very quiet start, it builds into a sprawling swampscape of insects & amphibian buzzes & burbles.


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Jatun – The Mass of Portland
self released – Copyright No derivs!
http://jatun.bandcamp.com/album/the-mass-of-portland

A lo-fi loop of some faux-primitive drumming backed with some vinyl crackle develops as droning synth & guitar enter the mix. Effectively the synth/guitar drone feels like a coda, but it lasts for most of the duration of the 45 minute long piece.


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John Kannenberg – Audio Tour: The 4’33″ Museum – Collection 2
Stasisfield – Copyright No derivs!
http://www.stasisfield.com/releases/year11/sf-11002.html

Kannenberg’s project of doing site recording at museums around the world is further documented here, with a series of four minute, thirty-three second long excerpts, his “secret performances” of John Cage’s well known composition.


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‘kirchenkampf’ – Europa
self released – Copyright No derivs!
http://kirchenkampf.bandcamp.com/track/europa

Synth-based space music from this old comrade.


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Kirill Platonkin – Clouds for Breakfast
Xylem – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://xylemrecords.bandcamp.com/album/clouds-for-breakfast

A great goulash of sound, everything is thrown into the pot… toy instrument noodling, spacey organs, field recordings, snippets of Russian folk-pop, just sorta whatever. This kind of thing could end up being an overcooked mush, but all the flavors blend together pretty well. I’m hungry now, stupid metaphor.


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Jeff Kolar – Ice Cream Truck Songs
self released – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://jeffkolar.us/icecreamtrucksongs

I guess that ice cream trucks’ music is generated by little electronic devices, and I guess this guy got a bunch of them and circuit bent them. Very brief, sweet little blast of spasming circuitry.


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Le Berger – Variations on Not Too Much Really
self released – CC BY SA Derivs allowed!
http://leberger.bandcamp.com/album/variations-on-not-too-much-really

A collection of brief, pretty, modally interrelated guitar loops with all the rough edges sanded off. I could see these used to good effect as soundtrack music for some moody independent film.


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Norah Lorway – i’ve had dreams like this
Earthrid – Copyright No derivs!
http://earthrid.bandcamp.com/album/ive-had-dreams-like-this

Ambient compositions with enough variety of mood & tone to keep my interest.


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Marsh and May – Falling, More Slowly
Linear Obsessional – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/falling-more-slowly

This one really knocked my head around. It fakes you out by setting up an expectation of one thing with it’s almost trad-jazz sounding intro, but then the sound of the piano, drums & standup bass dissolve away, leaving twitching effected remnants. The instrumentation doesn’t actually change much throughout, but due to effects and extended techniques they aren’t so recognizable. A touchstone for what is up here might be a band like Supersilent, but that band’s approach (from what I’ve heard of it) is kind of a saturated, claustrophobic, heavy hallucinatory trip, whereas Marsh & May have a softer touch, exploring an airy, wide-open-spaces surrealism. This is a total pleasure to listen to.


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Makoto Masui – Silence+
ElementPerspective – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://elementperspective04.bandcamp.com/album/silence

Birds and languid keyboard playing. Simple & clean. Short enough that it leaves you wanting more.


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James McDougall / Philip Sulidae – Ecological anti realism
Impulsive Habitat – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab071.htm

As per the normal with the Impulsive Habitat netlabel, this is based on field recordings. There may be some electronic post-processing, it’s really hard to say for sure. There’s very little to give context to the sounds, they just exist as something to listen to. Good album title, nice work.


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Christopher McFall – Quivering into your Night Blood Radio
Impulsive Habitat – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab064.htm

Look, it says “Christopher McFall” on the cover, so you need to get it. High quality, as usual.


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Hal McGee & Jukka Pekka Kervinen – Nonsense About Espresso
Tharoop – CCBY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://tharoop.blogspot.com/2013/06/thar030-hal-mcgee-jukka-pekka-kervinen.html

A brief little chaotic abstracted sound blast. Both of these artists have worked with speaking voice quite a bit, so definitely expect some of that. Wait, nevermind, expect nothing… that’ll serve you better.


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Abdul Moimême – Mekhaanu – La forêt des mécanismes sauvages
Insubordinations – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://insub.org/insubcd08/

Clangor! A bunch of improvisations with two prepared guitars. I love it.


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Monoiz – Multiplied Phoneme
Crazy Language – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://crazylanguage.bandcamp.com/album/cl-043-monoiz-multiplied-phoneme

I try out a fair bit of minimal techno from netlabels, but it’s rarely very satisfying. A bit too much corn syrup & artificial coloring. This one is not a barn-burner or anything but I did enjoy it, as it seems to take its cues from Ryoji Ikeda rather than Tipper.


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Morphine Bandit – Shamanic Anesthesia
Eg0cide – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
https://archive.org/details/eg0_086

Boy, I really hate that album title. Doesn’t matter though, these are very satisfying, pulsing drones.


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Mystified – Music for Journeys
Treetrunk – CC BY Derivs allowed!
https://archive.org/details/Music_For_Journeys

Thomas Park’s scaled back his normally gargantuan efforts for the last year or so, but he still put out a good few records this year. This one evokes the relentless plodding forward of tires on pavement and the descending, doppler-shifting moan of semi-tractor-trailor trucks passing heavily with a resigned momentum.


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Juan Antonio Nieto – Out of the Blue
FugaDiscos – no license listed No derivs!
http://fugadiscos.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/juan-antonio-nieto-out-of-the-blue/

Very miminal ambient stuff.


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N.O.F.P. – Live @ Sonoscopia
Editora do Porto – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/edp061

Meant to mark the centenary of Luigi Russolo’s “Art of Noises” manifesto, this sounds like several performers with rattling, scraping, ratcheting metallic constructions (turns out they have a couple of intonarumori!) and some laptop manipulation (always hard to say with certainty what’s pre-recorded & what’s performed with this kind of thing). Portugal, Spain & Catalonia seem to be the places to be for contemporary musique concrete music, if I could, I’d consider a sound-tourism vacation.


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Lee Noyes & Massimo Magee – Lent
Nowaki – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://www.nowaki-music.org/album.php?id=172&L=1

I was really on an improvised music kick this year wasn’t I? This one has a lot of feedback, homebrew synthesis and piezo roughness. Nowaki doesn’t really allow a direct link to the album, so you’ll need to scroll down to find this album in their catalog.


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Ongaku2 – Short Stories
La Bél Netlabel – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://www.labelnetlabel.com/releases/short-stories-ongaku2

A bit of a snarky group name, right? Do they intend to be the sequel to Group Ongaku? First song sounds like a guitar & sax doing contemporary improvisation, that’s followed by a more tuneful piece with metal bowls and cello. It’s a bit of a back and forth between abstract approaches and tastefully restrained tunefulness. Instrumentation seems to change from track to track, always in pairs, so I’m presume there are two performers doing all this. Dunno, I really like it.


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Otra Carpeta – Tranparente
Audiotalaia – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://www.audiotalaia.net/catalogue/at059-otra-carpeta/

A couple of piano based compositions and a couple of voice pieces. Really lovely. That first song seals the deal.


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Owl Brain Atlas – Snow Eater
suRRism-Phonoethics – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://surrism.phonoethics.com/release/owl-brain-atlas-snow-eater/

Frantic sound collages. I love this kind of stuff and it doesn’t seem like many people are doing it anymore. I know OBA is or was based in Boulder, and I think I read somewhere that she/he(?) is a poet primarily.


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Caroline Park – Field
Absence of Wax – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/CarolineParkfield

It’s a piano with one hell of a sustain pedal.


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Phirnis – Feeding Lions
Fwonk – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://fwonk.bandcamp.com/album/fw108-feeding-lions

Gobsmacking noise-ambient composition. I’ve only just started to listen to this one very recently, but it’s damned good.


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The Phreezound Orchestra
Happy Puppy Records – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Phreezound_Orchestra/The_Phreezound_Orchestra/

A collage of sounds derived from liberally licensed CC files taken from freesound.org. It coheres stupendously well.


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David Prescott-Steed – Soap
Impulsive Habitat – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab067.htm

A field recording of some mysterious machinery taken by mic’ing under a big iron door. Later on he found out that the place was a soap factory. From the liner notes: “Only later did a friend explain that what I’d found so aesthetically pleasing had likely been the sounds of grinding animal bones and bits. At this point, the alluring became the abject and I started to think about the ethics of listening.” For some reason these sounds are really alluring and hypnotizing, as ugly and grinding as they are. Now that I’m thinking about it, it kind of reminds me of that incredible noise piece “Das Schaben” on Einstürzende Neubauten’s “Halber Mensch” album that fucking re-aligned my head when I was sixteen.


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Red Fog – Zone of Avoidance
DNA Production – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/dna_146_red_fog_zone_of_avoidance

This guy just makes the most lush, vaporous drones.


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Oriol Rosell – [live]bcn260311
Republica Iberia Ruidista – no license listed No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/OriolRosellLivebcn260311

A couple of things I’ve been into lately is tones that are on the edge of perception… very high frequencies and very low ones. I am quite interested in how we listen to these tones, and the strange effect they have on the physical structures of the ear. I worked with these frequencies in my own “Edge and Artifact” from this year. This live performance (I’m guessing laptop) uses the same kinds of tones. Very little information that’s not at the edges of our hearing range.


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Richard Sanderson – Air Buttons
Linear Obsessional – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/air-buttons

This album only released this month, but I have no problem recommending it as one of the best of the year. The sound source is melodeon, and Sanderson takes us through many different techniques of either electronically mangling the sounds or leaving them raw.


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Schemawound – Haiku
Subterranean Tide – CC BY NC Derivs allowed!
http://www.subterraneantide.com/hk07-schemawound.html

Schemawound – Terraform Mars
Xylem – CC BY Derivs allowed!
http://xylemrecords.bandcamp.com/album/terraform-mars

Since I found out about him last year, Schemawound has put out a string of consistently good work. Subterranean Tide’s admirable Haiku project (wherein artists choose a haiku and make three tracks, one for each of the verses) has him contribute a calm, creepy set paired with a haiku about a gnawing larva. Terraform Mars is a set of rhythmic tracks with an industrial tinge. Schemawound has a painterly approach, taking the “soundscape” term literally by evoking landscapes with sound. Makes me curious if I’d think differently about these two pieces if they had different song titles.


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Sonologist – Ipotesi del Continuo
Petroglyph – CC BY NC ND No derivs!
https://archive.org/details/petroglyph_054_SONOLOGYST_Ipotesi_del_continuo

Studies in gesture and resonance.


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Piotr Tkacz & Alice Hui-Sheng Chang – micro
IdealState No Number Series – CC BY NC SA Derivs allowed!
http://idealstatenonumberseries.bandcamp.com/album/micro

A very tiny collection of improvisations with Tkacz using scraping, squeeking materials and Chang vocalizing primarily with extended techniques and using a looper to double her voice with a slight delay. I really liked this… and it’s so brief that I kind of wish there were more.


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Andrew Weathers, Erik Schoster & Jason Nanna – Translation
Basic Sounds – no license listed No derivs!
http://basicsounds.ca/2013/12/02/bsc_040/

From a very, very quiet, long fade in (it’s over five minutes before I can hear anything at all at a low-medium volume) these three improvisors build a thematically centered ambient moodscape. Instrumentation is guitar, laptop(s), microtonal modular synth and there may be sundry other soundmakers. Events seem to drift around each other while still hanging suspended, like a gently oscillating mobile. “In a Silent Way” is a possible touchstone, but what this more explicitly reminds me of is the ambient work of David Sylvian such as “Approaching Silence” and his collaboration with Holger Czukay “Plight and Premonition”. Like Sylvian’s work, this one veers dangerously close to feeling just slightly too precious, (sans the high-polish, there’s enough roughness in the mix here for me, (and after all, I do like those Sylvian things)).


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Caroline Park – RIM

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Now available on Vuzh Music:
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Caroline Park’s “RIM” is a free download.
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http://vuzhmusic.com/releases/rim.html


Review of MUME Selections

Sunday, 1 December 2013

There was a review of Miquel Parera’s “MUME Selections” posted at the Albert Trapezoid blog:
http://albertetrapezoid.com/netlabel_fishing/
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Here’s what they had to say:


I find both the sound of and concept behind this release to be pretty intriguing. Also described as “Automatic Music for Musical Metacreation Weekend,” Miquel created these four pieces as part of the 2nd International Workshop on Musical Metacreation (or MUME2013).
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Let’s start with discussing “musical metacreation.” A simple description is that it’s a creative activity where people develop software that autonomously generates compositions. The machine, if you will, is endowed with creative behaviors and produces original sound. As you can likely gather, this whole endeavor involves the overlap of many fields including art, science, technology and philosophy. (You can find out more about this world at the metacreation.net website.)
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I’ve heard of musical metacreation being done in different contexts and with various styles of music; some attempt to adapt the style of certain artists, while others attempt to strip away the ego of the creator. In this case, Miquel worked on the software and “MUME Selections” is the result. In comments on the Vuzh site, he says: “Contrary to what we had expected, stylistic coherence has emerged (or so I think). When I try to reach the ultimate motivation to make noise, I realize that this is a sort of challenge: to what extent I am able to eliminate me myself. It may seem simple, but it is very difficult…”
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So what of the end result presented in “MUME Selections?” Overall let’s say it’s ideal for fans of more abstract electronic music. You’ll hear lots of buzzes, glitches, drones and pops – electricity! I’d recommend listening with headphones. The titles for each piece are somewhat generic and functional (“nxMUME01,” “nxMUME02,” etc.) and provide no clues. As Miquel did, perhaps it’s best for the listener to try to put aside his or her own self and accept the sound on its own terms.
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Vuzh Music was started in 1990 by C. Reider to distribute his own music to the underground home-taping network. It has evolved to its present manifestation where it continues as a distribution point for projects by C. Reider, but it also re-releases select work from the cassette underground and new music by other artists. Click around the site; there is lots of compelling stuff to be found.
- See more at: http://albertetrapezoid.com/netlabel_fishing/#sthash.Oc4vVzEO.dpuf


The Sound of Melting Pewter

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I have a new recording out on the Impulsive Habitat netlabel. It’s titled “Oído con plomo”, and is a collage of site recordings made at the pewter casting shop where I have worked for a very long time.
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It can be streamed or downloaded here:
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab081.htm
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EVEN COOLER:
A short essay written by Marc Weidenbaum about my new recording “Oído con plomo” was published at the Disquiet website.
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Read it here:
http://disquiet.com/2013/11/29/the-sound-of-melting-pewter/


Occupy Dreamland

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A new release at Vuzh Music from Schemawound.
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A noisy, bracing set of improvisations with a looper.
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Get it for free here:
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/occupy.html


Graham Wafercast

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The newest episode of Robert Nunnally’s Graham Wafercast, a podcast about music and sharing culture, features a long monologue by me. The format of the show is that Robert gives the artist questions which serve as prompts and the interviewee responds without interruption. I delivered a somewhat long and rambling history of my early years with music and networking… perhaps you will find it interesting.
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Listen here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/gurdonark/graham-wafercast-episode-7-c-reider-interview-hosted-by-robert-nunnally-gurdonark/
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Graham Wafercast Episode 7, C. Reider Interview, hosted by Robert Nunnally (gurdonark)


Failing CD Player

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I have a new release out on the Ideal State Label’s No Number Series. This series presents brief recordings of improv and composed music, all available as CC licensed, pay-what-you-want downloadable releases on BandCamp with extremely minimal cover art.
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With this release I am exploring my idea of sound improvisation… exploring the boundary between documentation (a la field recording) and improv.
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“failing CD player” is a hybrid improvisation / documentary recording of a malfunctioning CD player during the very final fourteen minutes of its malfunctioning. Once this recording was completed, it ceased operating on any level, whatsoever.
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The recording features a four channel live-mix comprised of the 2 audio outs from the CD player, a contact mic taped just above where the CD spins on the player, and an induction coil held in my hand.
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During this recording, I discovered that there was some effect on the spasming of the CD player caused by the position of my hands near the machine; once I discovered this, my hand motions were more dynamic and eccentric, and the output seemed more “expressive”, or perhaps at least “interactive”.
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Listen and/or download at this link:
http://idealstatenonumberseries.bandcamp.com/album/failing-cd-player
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Also check out the rest of the releases on this fine label. I’ve chosen the No Number Series because I like the releases here, and I like the aesthetic and focus of the label.
http://isr-no-number-series.tumblr.com/releases


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