Posts Tagged ‘experimental’

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/23/08

August 30, 2008

Well, tonight is the night– I’ll be playing the world broadcast premiere of John Cage’s “Twenty-six with Twenty-eight & Twenty-nine,” one of the latest Number pieces to be released by OgreOgress. And of course, I have a lot of other great stuff as well, which you can discover as we move along.

I’ve practically been living with the Hazard material this week– for reason, it’s completely floating my boat, and I don’t mind the fact that I’ve listened to this album so many times in a row. I hate to minimize it, but it’s great packing music– sounds good anywhere in the house, and I don’t miss out on too much while busy with something.

On the other hand, I’ve been back into the electroacoustic swing of things as well. Lots more odd combinations of electronics, processing, and live work on my plate than usual. Always a nice thing! I’m quite taken with this Peter Zummo and Tom Hamilton album, “Sylbersonic Trombone.” It’s not much to look at, but the disc has got it where it counts. It’s on Penumbra, maybe you’ll go pick up a copy for yourself…

Matt Weston’s newest, “Not To Be Taken Away,” is pretty good work. The tracks are really free, unabashedly immediate, and full of surprises. I’ll definitely be playing more from this one next week. See you then!

Nils Bultmann, Roscoe Mitchell, Parry Karp, Paddy Cassidy — The Madness
The Lords of Outland — Dark Wanderer
The Lords of Outland — Do-gooders can run but they can’t hide
CJ Borosque, Robert M. — Luggage Lost in the Dissatisfied Machine
Val-Inc — @
Val-Inc — Damba
John Cage — Twenty-six with Twenty-eight & Twenty-nine
Offthesky feat. Florian Ferbacher — Midlight
Harmonia 76 — Vamos Companeros
Hazard — Stream
Hazard — Barrier
Peter Zummo, Tom Hamilton — Raging Ions
James Ross — Bell Meditiation
James Ross — Brick Saw II
Dan Stearns — Day Walks In
Istvan Peter B’Racz — Slide’M2
Matt Weston — “Millions of Yeah”
Matt Weston — “Something Sensational in Every Issue”

Warm Climate – “Mangler Redbeard”

August 13, 2008

Normally, I do all my listening sessions for review purposes with headphones. I’ve got a nice pair that set me back far more than a person of my limited means should be spending, but I get a lot of use out of them. Today, I had to take them off. “Mangler Redbeard,” Warm Climate’s newest release on their oldest Robert Barry Construction Associates label, simply had to be shared with my daughter.

She was drawing pictures of dogs, but seemed game.

Seth Kasselman’s sublime “19th Century Blessings” rebounded off the walls, his voice eeirely filling a space between David Bowie and Roger Waters. Isn’t this guy from Los Angeles? Whatever, it’s perfect. The best thing is that this is one of the more straightforward cuts– check out “Can’t Forget To Know You,” which transitions abruptly from high-speed flayed-drum pounding into something like I’d imagine Steve Ignorant fronting an electronic version of the Lost Poets would sound like. Twin stereo vocals complicate matters before the headlong rush towards the end kicks in. It’s absolute genius, and no doubt will be sitting on my year-end best albums list.

“Snake Procession” is another gem, taking the same sort of amazing musical leaps I loved so much in Warm Climate’s “Forced Spring For Rising Tide,” but in completely different directions. Field recordings, church bells, and a dissonant wind section set the atmosphere for Kasselman’s “lion keeper” character to describe a serpentine parade-and-feast. Weird stuff, but wonderful.

Although Warm Climate’s lineup tends to shift somewhat, “Mangler Redbeard” is essentially a solo Kasselman effort. Sometime-contributer Nick Schultz shows up for drum duty on a couple tracks, which benefit from the live feel, but lose some of the incredible weirdness on Kasselman’s more baroque constructions.

The glam-rock feel positively saturating this album was inevitable, I guess. With what seems like every bearded guitarist alive claiming musical inheritance from Roky Erickson, how long could it take before the fertile (and to my ears, under-explored) territory of glam started looking like just the right place to plant one’s flag? George Korein may have beat Kasselman to it with last year’s “Another Corpse,” but he’s going to have to play Leif Ericson to Kasselman’s Columbus.

“Mangler Redbeard” is available as Robert Barry Constuction Associates release number 14.

Don’t believe DaveX? Here’s another review! (Foxy Digitalis)

Experimental music on video Friday

August 8, 2008

I need a more catchy name for this feature, if it’s going to be a regular Friday thing… got any suggestions?

Here’s a few videos, pre-washed, and ready for consumption. The first is Sabrina Meyer, in a 2007 performance of a John Cage work. Fun use of editing, too.

Here’s the first half of Christian Marclay’s “Guitar Drag,” which I played at least a couple times on my first radio show:

This video should have been longer… the organ had some more to say.

I like Nam June Paik’s work, or what I’ve seen of it, at any rate. It’s sad that I’d never have been able to see many of his videos if it was not for services like YouTube.

Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong – “Hum and Rattle”

August 4, 2008

From the Seoul-based Balloon & Needle label, “Hum and Rattle” features some of label head Hong Chulki and Choi Joonyong’s phenomenal turntable and opened CD player compositions. Advantageous use of noise bursts that could make Merzbow flinch, contrasted with periods of near (or total) silence make this an ideal album for headphone listening– especially in regards to the delicacy of Choi’s contributions, which comprise everything from the the faintest digital seek-sound, to full-blown read error exploding into unlikely patterns of bitrate-lacework.

For his end; Hong’s turntable tends toward the lower frequency (and possibly sans vinyl) approach to noisemaking. It’s DJ Q-Bert’s nightmare– needle drops, empty platters spinning against the tonearm, skipping one groove and proceeding to practically lathe-cut the next.

Fortunately, both Hong and Choi evidence a strong ability to not only play off one another’s sounds, but an enthusiasm for allowing both sounds and each other room to breathe. Openness is what sets “Hum and Rattle” apart from many other discs splashing about in similar waters. This approach is most easily heard on the second track, “u a”, something like an 11-minute act of digital call-and-response where one player is a void.

The album closes with a live recording made during a Relay free improvisation meeting. Although it naturally lacks the stereo dynamic that helps make the previous tracks as compelling, it’s nice to hear evidence that Hong and Choi do not rely on studio tricks for the generation of their sound. Rather, the turntables and CD players are treated as instruments in their own right, a much-mouthed but rarely-heard acclamation.

“Hum and Rattle” is attractively packaged in a simple folded-card sleeve, and is available from Balloon & Needle.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/2/08

August 2, 2008

Today’s show started out strong, and so far, I’m very happy with how it’s going. Playing from the Cichocki/Shields/Rale split DVD-R was difficult without a television available to help select the tracks, but I checked it out ahead of time– hooray for auto-play! BTW, a dedicated TV and DVD player are next on my WDBX wishlist, should anyone feel generous.

Right now, I’m doing the “Rothkamm-centric” portion of the show I promised a couple weeks back. Taking my queue from Rothkamm’s studio multitudes, I too will be harnessing the power of technology to thicken the mix– at present, I am mixing from three Rothkamm albums– I wonder how many instances of the man this has yielded?

I think the Rothkamm mix went very well. I may have mis-labeled a couple of the track names in the playlist, however. It gets a little hard juggling that many discs at once! For the record; I used FB01, FB02, FB03, LAX, Just 3 Organs, and Opus Spongebobicum to create the mix. At present, I’m playing Carl Stone’s “Kreutz” from Nak Won, on the Sonore label. I sent a friend to a video of this played live the other day, so I figured I’d go ahead and play the album version this week.

I’m digging the Warm Climate disc, “Circle Dub/Regrettable Form,” on Phantom Limb. It’s going to take a few more listens to fully get my thoughts worked out on it, though. It just came in with another, which I’ve not yet had time to check out– maybe I’ll have a review for you this coming week!

Say Bok Gwai — Not All Chinese Are Good At Math
Kevin Shields, Cristopher Cichocki — Motorhands
Rale, Cristopher Cichocki — Tattered Syntax
Gen Ken Montgomery — Don’t Bring Those Things, Live Erloserkirche 3/19/86
Gen Ken Montgomery — New Age Machines pt.1
Husht — The Glycolysis of an Insistent Bird
Rothkamm — B and B Plus 33
Rothkamm — Independent Bernoulli Trials
Rothkamm — Half Man, Half Amazing
Rothkamm — Outdoor Heritage of New Jersey
Rothkamm — Reality OR Room in Hollywood
Rothkamm — Opusspongebobicum, Variation 23
Rothkamm — Opusspongebobicum, Variation 10
Rothkamm — Incident Outside Mesquite
Rothkamm — Ancient Meats
Carl Stone — Kreutz
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere in Arizona 1970
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere in Search of Heaven, A.D. 999
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere Inside the Red Circle
Warm Climate — Rehearsal Repulsive
Warm Climate — Terminal City/Warm Winter II/Backstabbing Waitress
Absolut Null Punkt — Absolute Magnitude 1
Amere3 — Hiba
Amere3 — Rauli

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/26/08

July 26, 2008

Sweet Action filched on a promise to play local abstract electronics producer Chaos Kit‘s newest track, so I kicked off the show with it– not my normal thing, but not a bad beginning to this broadcast either. After that, straight into some heavy stuff from Ralf Wehowsky and Anla Courtis, on “Return of the Stone Spirits.” These two do some really good work together, and obviously play off one another’s strengths– RLW’s bizarre streak is a mile wide, and works perfectly alongside Courtis’ shepherding primitive tech back into the light.

Speaking of primitive tech– you should really see the computer we have here at Casa del WDBX. I think it is the world’s last all-wood PC, with the sap-based POS chip. Seriously, manatees get online quicker than this beast. Nevertheless, I’ve pushed on through to do some seriously lovely mixing tonight– more than one person will be quite upset if this broadcast doesn’t survive the recording process. Someday, Southern Illinois will enter the 20th century, and I’ll have a decent net connection… until then, it’s always a craps shoot as to whether there is a recording waiting for me when I return home.

I just noticed that local musician Ryan Oslance will be joining Ahleuchatistas soon. I know full well I was playing their stuff well before anyone in this area– according to my playlists, at least as early as April 2006– I’m thinking I may have to leverage this for a live set here at the station sometime!

Chaos Kit — Primer (Petro Laundry Mix)
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Cristalización espontánea
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Wege zur Besserung der Naturgeister
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Un pequeño hombre gris con cara cuadrada y ojos luminosos
Philip Jeck — Unveiled
Philip Jeck — Chime Again
Philip Jeck — Fanfares
Philip Jeck — Shining
The Gowns — White Like Heaven
Phthalocyanine — Ethiopian Runner
Contagious Orgasm — Heart Station
Philip Glass — Changing Opinion
Philip Glass — Lightning
Joan La Barbara — Shadow Song
Jack Lunetti, Don Brown — Untitled
Grouper — Disengaged
Grouper — Heavy Water
Muslimgauze — Baghdad Mind
John Oswald — Anon
John Oswald — O Hell
John Oswald — 2net
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Moins L’infini
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Instant 0
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Premières Forces – Premières Formes
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 3
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 4
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 5
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 6
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 7
Ahleuchatistas — Brilliant Danderkovs
US Maple — Mountain Top
George Korein — Too Many Days

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/5/08

July 5, 2008

Independence Day ran a little late for me, so I didn’t end up finding time to dig out all my firework-related programming– no biggie, though– I’ve still got a lot of great stuff I want to play. I started the show with something from Glenn Weyant, “Epistemological Grounds,” which makes use of some train recordings to nice effect… it also is holding the “train” theme in mind for me, having made a large portion of my previous week. I’ll have some video evidence to back this up by Monday. While I’m at it, I’ll have more of Weyant later in this broadcast!

Up next was Diamondhead, with their Eh? Records release “Dirty Realism.” Not a lot of flow between these two on an obvious level, but it’s what I wanted to hear, so I imagine listeners can deal. Oh, station break!

Well, I’m back. I’ve sorta been running two shows simultaneously for the past hour and a half– one for everyone out there in listener-land, and the other for some WDBX folks who happened to be in the Hi-Life Room this morning. That’s one of the great things about having a show here, just being able to pick people’s brains about new music, new sounds, etc… and of course, sharing some things I’m excited about as well. Lots of behind-the-scenes today, haha!

Eventually, I’m going to have to do my “stereo show” with two separate broadcasts– one for each channel. I need to look into how I will accomplish this without destroying the studio, though.

Right now, I’m playing from Laminae’s “The Green Kingdom,” (scratch that, reverse it! “Laminae” is the name of the album) which is the brand-new release on The Land Of. This is a label I’m very fond of mentioning to everyone, so if you haven’t managed to visit them online, I suggest you do that ASAP.

Next up, I’m going to play a small set of Aaron Jones’ work– he’s part of semi-local band Maggotapplewonderland. I’ll be playing more of their work this coming week, from their newest release “Shards of Subtle Being.”

I’m going to close the broadcast with the Glenn Weyant, as promised. This is from the latest installment of the Sonic Anta D-Construction Sound Subscription Service, which is a bitch to type, but a joy to hear. I thought I had everything when my double disc set of experimental bagpipe ensemble music arrived, but “Electric Fan Sound Works” put me over the moon. Thanks, Glenn! As per his request in the liner notes, I’m letting listeners live it up with the full 30-minute recording. See you next week!

Glenn Weyant — Epistemological Grounds
Glenn Weyant — Network Memory Resonance
Diamondhead — Ditry Realism (excerpt)
Sin:Ned/Nerve — Ghost Feeding Vessel
Robert Ashley — Concrete; The Old Man Lives in Concrete
Robert Ashley — Concrete; Ideas About Thinking
Robert Ashley — Concrete; O Mesopotamia
E. Doctor Smith, Seth Elgart — Lord Telford’s Ghost
The Green Kingdom — Indigo Afternoon (from the album “Laminae”)
The Green Kingdom — The Scarlet Ibis (from the album “Laminae”)
Aaron Jones — Untitled 1
Aaron Jones — Untitled 2
Aaron Jones — Untitled 3
Glenn Weyant — Electric Fan Sound Works

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 5/24/08

May 24, 2008

I’ve been a bit lazy with the liveblogging lately, but I’m attempting to get back into form. I’m not exactly off to the best start with this one, because I’m already at the Sonderberg tape (a split with Ophibre, I might add) before I started typing these comments. Seems like I’m digging a lot of longer sounds/constructions so far this broadcast, so perhaps you’re in this mood as well? We’ll see how it goes…

I’ve got some Bikelophone recordings up next, live sound assembly from 2001. It’s been a while since I’ve heard this, but I wanted to bring it in for some reason. I’m as curious as anyone where this will lead.

Turns out the Bikelophone disc was a great transitional recording from Sonderberg’s sine tones into those of Satoru Wono– glad I brought it! Now I’m playing from one of Glenn Weyant’s D-Construction Sound Subscription Series of CDRs… a track called “Transition of Matter.” I’m actually really happy to hear this one, as it is very much something I would have liked to record myself. How wonderful to find someone having done it for me!

Oddly enough, I just had someone call in a request for Nicolas Bougaïeff’s “Noise at 6,” a recording from the JTTP Cache 2005 compilation. Not exactly the sort of request I’m used to receiving– it is both specific AND appropriate to my show, go fig! My caller was cut off partway through our conversation, however, so hopefully they’ll hear this.

Crass — Berkertex Bride
Costes — Ils Ont tue Costes
Charlemagne Palestine — Oberlin College Spectral Continuum
Eliane Radigue — Jetsun Mila (extract)
DaveX — Purification
Annea Lockwood — A Sound Map of the Danube (extract)
Adam Sonderberg — Untitled Music for Bell and Sine Tone
Stephen Schweitzer — Bikelophone, 12/12/01
Satoru Wono — Sonata for Sine Wave and White Noise (extract)
Frank Rothkamm — B and B plus 33
Sabrina Siegel — Drop Bow Down Cello
Glenn Weyant — Transitions of Matter
Glenn Weyant — Matters of Transition
Nicolas Bougaïeff — Noise at 6
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario B. Villegas, Oli Mayne — Opiophobia
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario B. Villegas, Oli Mayne — Entrain I
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario B. Villegas, Oli Mayne — Entrain II
Ernesto Tomasini, Fabrizio M. Palumbo — Stoo Kuinnutu
Bearly Queen — Lost in the Snow
Marina Hardy — Mkay
Marina Hardy — Cowgypsy

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 5/17/08

May 17, 2008

CJ Borosque, Robert M. — Blackness Of Dark Space or Spyder Dances With Wisdom
CJ Borosque, Robert M. — Luggage Lost in the Dissatisfied Machine
William C. Harrington — Even Thin Galaxies Can Grow Fat
Samuel Sighicelli — L’intelligence Petrolifere
Samuel Sighicelli — Immensite des Villes
Transvalue Book III — I Have These Tears
The Feral Blood of Swagger Jack — My Good Guts
The Feral Blood of Swagger Jack — No Camping

Beating you over the head with it

May 9, 2008

In case I hadn’t made enough mention of the fact, I’m hosting a screening for Cristopher Cichocki’s film “Elemental Shift,” and it’s THIS SATURDAY MORNING!

If you’re local, or if you’re willing to drive, I encourage you to drop in at WDBX from 4-6:30 AM May 10th. This is a great film, with great noise, and there might even be live music afterwards. Plus, I have stickers with which to reward random people of my choosing!

Cristopher Cichocki – “Elemental Shift”

April 30, 2008

It’s not even May yet; but I’m tempted to call it early– “Elemental Shift,” the opening DVD-R volley from new label Table of Contents, may very well be the best noise release of the year. Unfortunately limited to 250, I’ve begun treating my promo copy with kid gloves, thankful it had somehow arrived safely through the mail with only a thin cardboard shield to protect it.

I’m not usually anywhere near this finicky.

What’s got me so worked up is Cichocki’s seamless blending of video and sound. Although it would be a stretch to define me as a visually-oriented person, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to suggest that “Elemental Shift” is a work that not only would be lessened greatly by the absence of picture or sound, but would be fundamentally transformed through either loss. I can also say that this is certainly not an hour-long music video– in fact, it is exceptionally difficult to determine which sounds or visuals may have preceded, as they inform and shape each other throughout.

I’m not certain I possess the visual vocabulary to describe “Elemental Shift” adequately, but I have to try! For starters, there are a lot of extremely quick cuts fashioned into loops. I don’t know if these have been constructed from individual film frames or photographs, but the results rely heavily on our persistence of vision, creating pulsing layers of eye-blinding activity. Initially, Cichocki seems to go no further than quickly revealing one image after another, but he has a real talent for selecting images that reflect the tone of the accompanying electronic scree and clearly is not operating in a random manner. In this sense, the visuals follow the music, providing a harmonious optical quality, if extraordinarily frenetic.

For me, one highlight was the use of a Wal-Mart shopping cart in a portion of the video. Viewed entirely through the hexagonal mesh of the basket, Cichocki takes us on a hyper-speed tour of the store, enhancing that tunnel vision attention-deficit state so encouraged by the bombardment of corporate messages upon store patrons.

However, where Cichocki really gets going is when the visuals encourage the sound itself. Having always found noise art to be a somewhat “rooted” music, I was thrilled to see how Cichocki’s use of successive frames (and even motive-based iconography such as traffic arrows) could impart a tactile sense of movement to the sounds. Whereas previously something I might have perceived something like “wall sound” as an immobile block, now I could imagine it as having purpose and direction. It’s interesting, to say the least, and will definitely have me re-examining many aspects of noise.

I took dozens of screen captures from the DVD, none of which come close to providing an accurate representation of “Elemental Shift” any more than a drawing of a rose might conjure its scent. If you try looking at all of them at once, you might get close. Those familiar with the accompanying videos for Merzbow performances will be surprised to find Masami Akita’s work a mere jumping-off point for “Elemental Shift,” and far less detail-oriented as well.

Finally, I should add that I don’t recommend this DVD-R to epileptics. Table of Contents seems somewhat aware of this in their press release, but I think it should be mentioned in a serious manner. If you’re prone to this sort of thing, stay far away!

For the rest of you, however, I can’t recommend “Elemental Shift” more highly.

Interview with Karthik Kakarala

April 22, 2008

Karthik Kakarala, currently a Carbondale-based student and musician, will be this week’s live guest on “It’s Too Damn Early.” Naturally, I’m encouraging everyone to tune in. In the meantime, here’s a short e-mail interview in which Kakarala spills the beans about the habits of underground artists, the relationship of noise to Peking opera, and future recordings.

STARTLING MONIKER: How do you approach explaining noise to an interested (but otherwise uninvolved) party?

KARTHIK KAKARALA: This is the ongoing trick, isn’t it? Well, I’m not going to trivialize it by suggesting I’ve solved how to do so, nor insist that it’s impossible due to how many different ways there need to be in order to fit with the types of listeners that exist. Of course, these explanations depend entirely upon the listening experiences of the individual(s) in the conversation, and that must be determined first.

Rock ‘n roll: I’d say this is perhaps easiest, in terms of an inherent thirst for excitement that is obviously there, even in the oldest fossil who’s still into rock music. Old-school rock music (the popular edge of which is actually far less controlled in sheer percentages due to the advent of sophisticated compressors that can, with a couple of clicks, successfully steal all heart out of a track now) flagrantly is reachable via blues, and in any case blatantly points to Hendrix. Anyone worth their salt knows that it’s more than the basic “note” sounds that make him so damned interesting in his time, and focusing the person’s attention on the compositional possibilities of those non-note sounds for expressing fuzzier, more abstract concepts. I go back that far because not everyone gets into Radiohead (as a band that has almost always required multiple listens to form an opinion of, whether or not the particular album was up to snuff), not everyone ends up listening to the ambitious steps of The Who or Pink Floyd, and most people don’t hear Sonic Youth’s “Confusion is Sex” when they’re eleven years old, even though the latter’s not the end-all reason as to why I’m here typing this.

(more…)

Gold Record Studio – “Live at Laney Flea Market”

April 18, 2008

Up until now, I thought Negativland had the market cornered on bizarre covers of “My Favorite Things.” That was true until I heard Mary, Jon, Jonathan, Priya, Elembe, and Lisa do their version. Alongside a plodding waltz beat; the sextet calls out global warming, noses, and schnitzel-covered space geese. Are they poised at the brink of fame? Probably not– they just happened to be down at the Laney Flea Market last year, when some fun-loving folks decided to set up the Gold Record Studio.

The studio, in reality a record cutting machine plopped in the midst of an otherwise-mundane flea market, offered free recording to anyone who wanted it, and the instruments to make it happen. From the presence of the “sales pitch” opening the first disc (it’s a double set!), it is clear that most market attendants were in capitalism mode. “What’s the catch?” was surely heard many times over by all involved.

Enough about that– there’s a lot of fun music here. I can’t pick out all the names, but there’s more than one track sporting a known musician or two. Rent Romus, Eddie the Rat, Inca Ore, and a former DJ for the Ghetto Boyz all make appearances. Completists take note!

Now I don’t know about you, but if something like this happened in Southern Illinois, you’d have one disc of people singing “Jesus Take the Wheel,” and another split between wannabee rappers and some guy trying repeatedly to pick out the opening bars to “Sweet Child of Mine.” This doesn’t seem to be the case in Oakland. Aside from a handful of American Idol castoffs who go for the “big finish,” and the tone-deaf guy absolutely butchering “Let It Be,” the 83 tracks of “Gold Record Studio” are filled with nothing but originality.

Naturally, there are numerous sub-audiophile moments– bass guitar peaking, a dog barking at one bit of electronic improvisation, and at least one stubborn youngster who will only sing when the art moves her– but that’s all part of the fun. This is a weird ride through eight weeks of Sundays, surely one of the more entertaining compilations you can get your hands on.

It’s Too Damn Startling #4!

December 16, 2007

I’ve uploaded the 4th edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my continuing to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show, which airs live from 2-4 AM, this December 16 on WRVU-FM.

This week, Tony has no pre-conceptualized theme, so I thought I’d play with the idea of going into things blindly– which also perpetuates my approach to this morning’s “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast.

For this short mix, I utilized extracts from some of the tracks I broadcast this morning, with the exception of Neil Rolnick’s “Breathing Machine,” which I had not used earlier. Selecting my extracts purely from the appearance of each track’s waveform, I began assembling the mix without the benefit of any sound output– using only the “look” of the waveform as my guide. It was not until after uploading the finished product that I allowed myself to listen to it– so what you hear is the first result, just as I heard it.

You may download the 4’15″ long mix by clicking this awkwardly-rendered link, or simply content yourself with the list of sound sources below:

Neil Rolnick — Breathing Machine
Leo — Cute Drops
David Watson — Dexter no.1
Tom Nunn — Skatchmat
Judy Dunaway, Tom Chiu — Etude no. 1 for Balloon and Violin

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/15/07

December 15, 2007

Update pt.2: The full playlist is now posted. Net trouble at the station did not permit liveblogging, but at least you can see what I played. Overall, I enjoyed this show, and the few enthusiastic callers as well.

Update (from home) : The station computer was running very poorly this week, so I couldn’t maintain any sort of decent connection for liveblogging. Naturally, the recording failed– but I’ll post the remaining playlist later on today. This was a very good show, and another example of why you should always try to catch radio live!

So far, I’m not too sure where I’m taking this week’s show– or more likely, where this show is taking me. I’ve got a mix of old and new in my bag, so I’m just going to hold on and enjoy the surprise.

US Maple — Songs That Have No Making Out
US Maple — La Click
Flies Inside the Sun — White Walls
Kim Cascone – Statistically Improbable Phrases
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Loops and Spirals
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Stoppages
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Turbulence
Thanos Chrysakis — Immanent Distance
Thanos Chrysakis — Isabelle
Thanos Chrysakis — Nekyomanteion
Judy Dunaway — Etude no.1 for Balloon and Violin
Tom Nunn — Loose Change
Tom Nunn — Skatchmat
Danielle Palardy Roger — Nnaaaooon
Neil Rolnick, Joan La Barbara — Body Work
Leo — Multiple
Leo — Cute Drops
Leo — B. Bill Bell
Mudboy — Lost
Mudboy — Running
David Watson — Dexter pt.1
The Free Players — All Time Sunrise
The North Sea — Albino Deer Transmission

Darren McClure — ST Fence
Darren McClure — Pink River
Darren McClure — KG Court
Naing Naing — Le Coq Megalo
Naing Naing — Brosse a Danse
Naing Naing — La Grenouille qui Veut Se Daire Aussi Brosse Que la Boeuf
Naing Naing — Webbed

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/8/07

December 8, 2007

Update: The download for this broadcast is now available. As always, I implore you to turn from your churlish ways– please visit the linked musicians and labels in the playlist below– and most importantly, support those you enjoy by purchasing their albums. Feel free to name-drop your favorite DJ when placing your order. I can’t guarantee you a 75% discount on your bill, but philosophers assure me that things can’t be proven not to exist, either.

I don’t have a lot to say this week, so I’m leaving the commentary rather sparse. Earlier, I answered the phone: “Yes, your radio is broken, whaddya want?” so you can see how it’s going around here. On the upside, I might have turned someone on to the Last Visible Dog label with the Vapaa disc– and that’s always a good thing.

Had to play a little Stockhausen on today’s show, obviously… gets me thinking about the media term “gatekeepers,” and how difficult it must have been to hear someone like Stockhausen when he was younger. I imagine if you weren’t in a major city, you probably couldn’t even order one of his recordings, could you? It’s a wonderful world in some ways now– it’s going to be very interesting to see how the simple availability of materials such as these affect our collective appreciation and understanding of the greater “whole” of art.

Some new stuff arrived from Lona Records yesterday. I had to check out the Maurizio Bianchi album “Zyklusters” first. I’m really digging it, but I’m not certain the description on the back isn’t a put-on, at least not without a dictionary. If anyone is “seeking the tumorigenic antithesis of the embryonal context in the dissonant framework,” please stand up.

I keep promising to write reviews, and I keep being a chump about following through. Can I call a truce? I’m tired out! My next review will definitely be Charlie J. Moneybags’ “An Evening With…” disc, even though it may not be a proper release. I don’t care. I have things to say about it, but I also have a lot of dishes to do. Surely, you can see the problem: Dishwater + Keyboard = Electrical hazard

Hot damn. George Korein/Naked Mall Rats is so much fun to listen to. Gotta love the track “I Just Wanna Pwn You,” with all the variations on how to pronounce “pwn,” lol. Speaking of things I can’t pronounce– “Phon°noir,” anyone? Seriously, folks… why do you do this to me? Between the Finnish, the pseudo-electronic IDM track titles, and the ASCII symbols; you’re killing me.

You can type degree symbols at home, though, and be just like your favorite experimental music blogger: activate your number lock button, hold down ALT, and type “167″ on your number pad. º, easy!

Garth Kunkle — Shake it Like Jello and Make it Say Hello
Metis Yeti — Verdun Massacre
Hong Chulki — Without Cartridge 1
Mike Hallenbeck — Eventualities 01.1: Voice
Mike Hallenbeck — Shuffletronics #1: A Beginning, A Middle, And an End
MurmurDiscovery of Mother Voidness
Vapaa — Varjoista
Muck — On Any Given Day The Inspection From Within
Karlheinz Stockhausen — Kontra-Punkte Op. 1, For 10 Instruments
Maurizio Bianchi — Zyklusters
Charlie J. Moneybags — Hope
Naked Mall Rats — There Must Be Somewhere
Naked Mall Rats — I Just Wanna Pwn You
Naked Mall Rats — Moved By Your Emoticon
Naked Mall Rats — Stop Trolling My Life
Phon°noir — Embryo
Phon°noir — From Time to Time We Change Our Minds
Phon°noir — Airplane Traces in the Sky
Phon°noir — No More Sad Dreams
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:04
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — from Henry who just wrote
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — :57
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 3:08 Cranking up it’s pathos
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05

RIP Karlheinz Stockhausen

December 7, 2007

I just heard that Karlheinz Stockhausen died today. For a proper obit, you can read the Guardian Unlimited article. I just figured that since I was playing Stockhausen’s work last week, I’d write a little bit about why Stockhausen matters to me– this is, after all, a blog.

I first heard one of Stockhausen’s works just over ten years ago, having been “introduced” to the master by Tony’s older brother Wess, who has long had a serious passion for modern and avant-garde composition. Tony and I could enjoy groups like Negativland, but on a deeper level, I guess I always wanted something more personally meaningful. When his brother started telling me about a German composer who would work months intricately splicing tape shards together, only to discard the resulting few moments as unacceptable… well, I knew I had better find out more about the mysterious Stockhausen.That first day, Wess let me make a copy of his “Elektronische Musik 1952-1960,” which he had ordered from Stockhausen’s own label. With the earliest of his electronic and tape pieces, including the amazing “Gesang der Junglinge,” it was a great place to start. Every track was exciting, full of new sounds, and very much what I wanted to hear.

It wasn’t long after that I found copies of “Mantra,” “Hymnen,” and “Mikrophonie,” all of which took numerous listens. I didn’t even like Mantra for quite a while, being unable to understand the ideas behind the music.

Of course, doing some reading helped. Hearing more of Stockhausen’s contemporaries helped. Even John Cage helped, as odd as that may seem.
It would be foolish to try to enumerate the many ways in which his work has influenced music, but it is amusing to see the unexpected ways he manages to pop up– it was only a few years back that I was remixing Harold Schellinx’s “Vicki’s Mosquitos,” a computer-read story set during one of the yearly Stockhausen summer courses.

There’s a lot more to hear, and a lot more to learn… and that’s the way I’m choosing to look at this. I’m still on my journey with Stockhausen, and perhaps you are as well. Good luck,

–DaveX

Update: A memorial booklet from the Stockhausen Foundation can be found here.

It’s Too Damn Startling #3!

December 2, 2007

I’ve uploaded the third edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my small contribution to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show. This week, the theme is “Degenerates,” which can be read as a noun or a verb– and will surely be used both ways in the broadcast. As always, I recommend you catch it live from 2-4 AM, this December 2nd on WRVU-FM.

If it does happen that you find yourself unable to operate a mouse until tomorrow afternoon, though, feel free to download the mix here.

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This edition is exactly 6 minutes long, and features portions of the following:

Billy Murray — Save It For Me
Ross Bolleter — Piano Dreaming
Rune Lindblad — Party
Scott Smallwood — Debris
Mike Hallenbeck — Silent Night (Shepherds Quake)

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/1/07

December 1, 2007

So far, today’s broadcast has been a lot of fun. I was surprised to learn that yet another DJ has been given the killer timeslot just before “It’s Too Damn Early,” this being “Sweet Action Radio Hour,” with Nick. Of course, I say “killer” because this timeslot seems to feed on the blood of DJs– between being trainwrecks of one show following another (remember when I came on after hip-hop and before vintage cowboy songs?) and the late hour, a lot of otherwise-fine shows have gasped their last in the early hours before ‘ITDE.”

I’ll admit, I hope “Sweet Action Radio Hour” makes it. I had a nice drive in to the station while listening to David Bowie, and got turned on to a new solo track from Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood, who was apparently turned on by Penderecki.

Listening to this track, I knew I had to follow with Stockhausen’s “Helicopter Quartet,” having recently heard an excerpt of this at the master’s site. Just for kicks, I let the Greenwood track come back in afterward, and play to a close. Nice!

What was most interesting was how open Nick and company (he had a couple guests) were to experimental music and methods. As I’ve noted before, circuit bending seems to be reaching more and more people now, and Southern Illinois is apparently no different. We discussed noise a little bit, and Stockhausen, and netlabels

It’s nice to find new people willing to check these sorts of things out, so naturally, I’m inspired to continue bringing these sounds into the area– and yes, for you too. (link to more below pic)

(more…)

Degradation, decay, and a download

November 27, 2007

I’ve been preparing a small recording for Tony’s upcoming broadcast, which he informs me will have a theme of “degeneration.” I decided to send him a copy of my February 25, 2006 “It’s Too Damn Early,” which dealt with decay in ways both obvious and oblique.

This has always been one of my favorite broadcasts, but I have never shared it outside Soulseek– mostly because I recorded it nearly nine months before starting this blog. Now is the chance to get your copy!

If there seems to be some interest in these older episodes of “It’s Too Damn Early,” I may have to start going through my personal archives for some of the better old shows. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments!


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