Archive for the ‘Artist Interviews’ Category

Boyd Rice interview tonight!

February 24, 2012

I’m airing Arvo Zylo’s 2nd interview with Boyd Rice on tonight’s show– apparently, Arvo had some difficulty getting this aired, and has asked for help. Amazingly, Rice still has his vehement detractors. If you need to get up to speed on the man, check Arvo’s first interview here. It’s huge, obsessive, verbose… exactly the sort of thing I enjoy!

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An interview w/ DaveX

December 14, 2010

Episode 42 of the “Ore: Theatre Intangible” podcast features an interview with yours truly, as well as an opportunity to hear my solo set from this year’s “Circuit Benders’ Ball.” I share my unique and spastic methods of music-making, some ideas about sound, and even recommend some cool new albums. You should listen!

Ore: Theatre Intangible, E042

Interview at Chicago Examiner

July 1, 2010

Dan Godston has a nice interview with me at the Chicago Examiner. Some of his questions got me thinking about the role of improvisation in radio– there’s definitely room for more discussion on this topic! Dan’s been doing some really good interviews with other artists lately as well, so you might want to consider subscribing to the series.

Required Reading, vol. 37

March 31, 2010

Carbondale’s wonderful weekly “Nightlife” newspaper has a great little interview and write-up about “Sounds Like Radio,” in the April 1-8 edition. Be sure to clip it out and keep it in your wallet, for easy reference.

Or, read it right now:

Dave Armstrong, sometimes known as DaveX, will begin a new experimental-music program on Saturday nights / Sunday mornings at 3 a.m. on WSIU 91.9 FM. The show, Sounds Like Radio, will debut Sunday, April 4 at 3 a.m. He will continue to host It’s Too Damn Early on WDBX 91.1 FM, though the second program will allow him to send each show in slightly different directions.

“Although it may be difficult for casual listeners to tell, I actually cover a rather wide swath of experimental music on It’s Too Damn Early,” Armstrong tells Nightlife. “Now I can divide it up a bit, and bring some more focus to each broadcast. Besides, they’re both great stations, and I love being able to be part of each….

“Although there may be a bit of crossover at times, the general idea will be to present the more academic wing of experimental music at WSIU,” Armstrong continues. “Although there’s always some crossover, this would cover the more rigorously composed pieces of electroacoustic music, avant-garde works, or simply those that require more unpacking and intellectual effort on the part of the listener. Of course, that just gives me even more room for going further out with the WDBX broadcasts– more noise, dada, outsider works.”

Another difference: Armstrong will prerecord the WSIU show, but broadcast the WDBX program live.

“Pre-recording shows offers me a completely different set of opportunities, which I’m also pretty excited about,” Armstrong says. “Live shows gives me a flexibility that I love, but prerecording might let me go completely baroque in the studio.”

As Armstrong implies, the works he plays on his shows are often challenging for listeners– while they certainly are not noise, they are not always music per se, either, but varieties of audio art. Enjoyment and appreciation often requires a different listening mentality, he says.

“I’m a big advocate of active listening,” Armstrong says. “After nine years worth of late-night phone calls [at WDBX], I know that a lot of listeners still consider experimental music as either unwanted noise or as a sort of sonic wallpaper. It’s understandable, but intellectually lazy. If there’s anything to jettison, it’s the concept that music has to be anything more than those sounds you choose to focus upon as music. Frankly, I just hope some new people check out my broadcasts. I may not want the Little Grand Canyon in my yard, but I’ve gone to see the place– it’s an amazing part of Southern Illinois, and an offbeat treasure– same as my shows.”…

Required reading, vol. 8

March 23, 2010

The Daily Egyptian (the campus newspaper of Southern Illinois University) has an article about “Sounds Like Radio” in today’s edition. Knowing that you’re all enthusiasts of student journalism, I’ve included this handy link so you can go read it right now. Please resist the urge to correct any definitions of noise– this isn’t the Troniks forum. On the other hand, check out the awesome photo! Feel free to leave your lecherous remarks regarding my rugged good looks in the comments section. Or, try to guess which CDs I’ve got in front of me on the board. I’ll mail a CD to whoever manages to guess ONE correct album first.

Mark your calendars!

March 22, 2010

On Friday, April 9th, at 8AM– I’ll be a guest on Jason Sullivan’s “Southern Illinois News Beat” program, at WINI 1420 AM. I’m hoping that some of the folks who haven’t yet realized that he’s replaced Glenn Beck’s crybaby nonsense with good local programming will tune in for a proper kick in the pants. We’re going to be discussing the 2nd Annual Noise Summit, and maybe even playing some noise as well!

An Evening With DaveX

March 19, 2010

…but only if you read the Theatre Intangible interview with me in the evening. Why wait?! It’s a beast, but definitely worth your time.

An interview with DaveX!

March 11, 2010

Here’s an interview that ran on the front page of my local regional newspaper, The Southern, as part of their weekly entertainment section. Clicking the photo below– which I think makes me look a bit like an angry man broadcasting from somewhere in Hell– will take you directly to the article. Clicking on this link will take you directly to a terrifying original snapshot of Hell itself, which is apparently green. Curiously, it’s also in the first page of images for “microphone” found at Google.

Interview with ME about the new show!

March 1, 2010

It’s in the March edition of WSIU’s “Signal” newsletter. Also– my favorite SIU prof Jay Needham will be on “Morning Conversations” to talk about an Antarctica-related sound exhibit. I think he may end up being my first interview subject for the new show. But that’s future talk… go read about ME now!

Did I mention that you’ll not only get to find out the name of the show, but my last name as well? Secret origins, REVEALED!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 2/27/10

February 27, 2010

Today’s phone-in guest is Ironing, back for a second bite at the apple. You’ll have to make sure you’re tuned in– he might take us all out for waffles again! If you’re hungry now, go check out these videos.

Speaking of eating, I gotta thank Chaos Kit for this yummy pizza!

Matt Davignon — Mesonychoteuthis (from “Living Things” on Edgetone)
Matt Davignon — Markhor
Shelf Life — Morning Parlance (from “Courtesy,” on Psychic Oscillator)
Shelf Life — Afternoon Parlance
Shelf Life — Evening Parlance
David Morneau — Salutation (from “a/break machinations”)
David Morneau — Transformation
Ironing — LIVE phone-in performance, WDBX-FM, 2/27/10
Louis Dufort — Materio_*

Now that you’re done listening to “ITDE,” why don’t you go check out Ironing’s radio show “The Sum of Your Life?”

Episode #1– DONE!

February 24, 2010

I got my first episode of the new radio show for WSIU done today! As I mentioned yesterday, the work-flow is a bit different, but the end result is a fine two-hour broadcast– and I’m happy to say that I’ll be starting my listeners off in the deep end of the pool. You’re going to have to wait until it’s broadcast to see the playlist, but if you’ve got a good handle on my taste, you’ll probably be able to guess a handful of my favorite artists and labels that made the cut.

But let’s geek out for a bit, before you leave your guesses in the comments section. Here’s a photo of Production B, where I’ll be assembling my shows:

This is a nice little room, very cozy. I haven’t had an opportunity to check all the equipment out just yet, but I will! Here’s a closer view of the board:

Looks like I’ve got a bit of a learning curve ahead of me– but then again, I remember when the board at WIDB looked expansive, too! I just reminding myself that it’s mostly repetition. Anyhow, here’s a look at the engineering area. Can you spot the Optimod?

Yep, that’s it, mid-way up in the sixth rack from the right. He looks a bit different than Sir Optimod at WDBX, eh? Speaking of fancy gear…

I don’t know WHAT this does, but I’m totally tempted to re-enact Star Wars scenes with it. Okay, </geekingout>.

Did I mention that I was interviewed today? I’ve been told the interview will most likely be in the March 1st issue of WSIU’s “Signal” newsletter. You should probably add this to your news reader, but you can also just read it at the site. Obviously, this is required reading.

Okay, gotta go now. Weasel is calling for his bath– “DaveX? DaveX? Baaaaaaaath!”

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/30/10

January 30, 2010

I nearly had to arrive at the station by sleigh this morning– Southern Illinois is having a bit of a blizzard right now. Naturally, the station was empty when I arrived; I don’t think other people are quite as nuts as I am to drive in this yuck. Fortunately for you, staying at home near the radio is all that I require.

For today’s broadcast, I’ll be playing some of the winning entries from the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s annual Jeu de Temps/Times Play competition for young and emerging Canadian sound artists. This year, a partnership with Germany’s national electroacoustic association DEGEM brings German electroacoustic works into the scope of this program as well. I’ll be speaking with three of the winning composers, so you’ll want to stick around! Here’s the lineup:

Florian Hartlieb, “Im Vorderen Zimmer des hinteren Raums” ~ 5am
Nicolas Wiese, ~ “Vertikalzeit”  5:30am
Yota Kobayashi, “Kakusei” ~ 6am

Nicolas Wiese reminded me of the upcoming “re(((Sound)))” exhibition at the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery in St. Louis, where he will have a piece in the installation. Ghost Ice fans will also want to check this out– an opportunity for a rare sighting in the wild. The opening reception will be held this Friday, from 6-8 p.m.

M/N/M/L — Breath (this, and next four tracks, taken from “Serge Modular Users 2009”)
CRAY (Ross Healy) — STRK
John DuVal — Distress Call
Benge — 1972 Serge Modular, from Twenty Systems
kkonkkrete — Untitled 1
Olivier GirouardSuite_04
Florian HartliebIm Vorderen Zimmer des hinteren Raums
Interview with Florian Hartlieb, WDBX-FM 1/30/10
Nicolas WieseVertikalzeit
Interview with Nicolas Wiese, WDBX-FM 1/30/10
Yota KobayashiKakusei
Yota Kobayashi — Tensho
Steve Lalonde — Quand la nuit se referme

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/23/10

January 23, 2010

I’ve got Peter Martin (of Eddie the Rat) on the phone right now– he’s playing piano in a closet, and sending his efforts via speaker into a phone in another closet– all while trying not to wake the SFPD officer and her 4-year-old sleeping in the residence above.

Try finding that on corporate radio!

Anyhow, I’m pleased as punch about this set. The phone is giving us the usual “dial-a-fidelity” random qualities. In this case, adding a bit of ringing distortion to a handful of notes. Fun!

Peter Martin — LIVE phone-in set, WDBX-FM, 1/23/10
Eddie the Rat — Food For the Moon Too Soon, pt. 1
Eddie the Rat — Cannibal
Eddie the Rat — I Ovulate in Mode
Eddie the Rat — Spiritual Amnesia
Cesar Bolanos — Intensidad y Altura
Cesar Bolanos –Interpolaciones
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 19, opus 467
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 14, opus 459
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 15, opus 460
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 12, opus 457
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 17, opus 462
Frank Rothkamm — Arppegiator
Frank Rothkamm — Rauschmittel
Grundik Kasyansky — 10.9.2005 (from “Light and Roundchair”)
Sous Su Toulouse En Rouge — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Mark McGee — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Vagina Teeth/Jesus Teeth — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Various — Runaway Train (from Ash International release “Runaway Train”)
Skozey Fetisch — Face Rub As Objective Convex Device

Today’s show turned into a bit of a drawing festival (something which I need to do more often, I miss this!) with Karthik, DJ Mo, and The Weasel contributing. I thought I’d share the results:

DJ Mo's pen and ink

A pencil sketch from Karthik

An early, untitled work from The Weasel-- can an electronics enthusiast convert this to a schematic? What would it do?

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/16/10

January 16, 2010

Today’s guests– Chicago sound artist Eric Leonardson will be joining us over the phone, and local drummer Matt Sickest (say it slowly, folks) is here in the Hi-Life Room.

Frank Rothkamm — Ich (from Monochrome Vision release “Moers Works 1982-1984”)
Frank Rothkamm — Relikt
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — The Six-Leggers
Matt Sickest — LIVE at WDBX-FM, 1/16/10
Interview with Eric Leonardson, 1/16/10
Eric Leonardson — Revolving door, CTA bus, walk to CTA Blue Line (from AudioBoo)
Eric Leonardson — Locus Sonus; Chicago, Westside (excerpt)
KRN — Locus Sonus; Zone B, Amitie, Dakar (excerpt)
Auris — Kr-Tkec-Pte
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Near and Distant Relations
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Four-Anna Bit
Anna Friz, Eric Leonardson — Waltz of the Parking Meters
Anna Friz, Eric Leonardson — Switch Yard
Eric Leonardson — White As White
Eric Leonardson — Pittsburgh Electric
Eric Leonardson — Eko
Eric Leonardson — Handwriting
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti –Round Airy Light on Dark
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Middle Neck and Scrag End

Return of the Downloads

December 15, 2009

Here’s a ton of downloads for you– I’ve re-upped them at Mediafire due to the ongoing weirdness in the bit-torrent community, so these are good and solid links. Click on any date to go to the Mediafire download page, or click “playlist” to see the original liveblogged entry for the specific broadcast. Each file is under 200 megabytes, though some are much less. Be sure to share these with your friends!

12/5/09 (part 1) – Interview with Tristan Perich; Craig Colorusso/Joel Westerdale phone-in performance on WDBX-FM (playlist)

12/5/09 (part 2) – Karthik Kakarala, DaveX, LIVE @ WDBX

11/28/09 – This show is dedicated to Acid Mothers’ Temple, Katie Holmes, and Fred Savage. Features Terry Riley, Cluster & Eno, Eyes Like Saucers. (playlist)

11/21/09 – Analog goodness from Resipiscent label, Brian Eno, and the slowest “Yakety Sax” ever. (playlist)

11/14/09 – LIVE @ WDBX-FM; Karthik Kakarala & Tom Vasilj,  Malaria, Oblive, Wilmer Incognito, group improv w/ DaveX (commentary)

11/7/09 – Frank Rothkamm, Wadada Leo Smith, Ironing & Chefkirk, Art Jerks (playlist)

10/24/09 – Jeff Arnal, Edgetone Records goodies, Eddie the Rat, Sabrina Siegel (playlist)

10/10/09 – LIVE @ WDBX-FM, Matt Weston!!! Show also features recordings from Gordon Beeferman, George Korein, Focus Quintet (playlist)

9/26/09 – LIVE phone-in set/interview from Swamp of Pus label owner Novasak, plus an interview with George Korein. Also, lots of previously-unreleased Korein recordings, and an extended selection of Glenn Weyant awesomeness. (playlist)

9/19/09 – Improv saxophonist Randall Hall classes up the Hi-Life Room with THREE live sets, and a hands-on demonstration of extended technique. What does bubble wrap in the bell of a sax sound like? We do the things Mythbusters won’t try. Play along at home, and clap when you hear us say “John Cage.” (playlist)

9/12/09 – Harold Schellinx phones in a sound tour of his home, and Trash Ant provides the most art-damaged cassette tape EVER. (playlist)

9/5/09 – “It’s Too Damn Early” salutes BKPR, and jams to Peter Gordon’s “Life is Boring”. (playlist)

8/29/09 – Black Beast of Arrrghhh, LIVE phone-in performance on WDBX-FM. Also features recordings from Hal McGee’s “Dictaphonia” series. (playlist)

8/22/09 – Ironing, LIVE phone-in performance on WDBX-FM. Also features recordings from Transhumans, Bob Marsh, Rich West, and the “Dictaphonia” series. (playlist)

8/15/09 – Ernesto Diaz-Infante AND Mike Khoury do live phone-in sets for WDBX-FM. You get a car! You get a car! YOU get a car! (playlist)

8/8/09 – Unless you own a Brekekekexkoaxkoax DVD, cool microcassette recordings of Nassau from Ironing, and an alternate version of Alan Licht’s “Remington Khan,” you’d better grab this episode! (playlist)

8/3/09 – DaveX stars as a teen hockey player well-liked and respected among his coaches and teammates. He battles to hide the truth from his elders and peers — that he is actually an enormous lizard. A special daytime broadcast also featuring long-time listener favorite DJ Mo, and a subliminal animal theme! (playlist)

7/25/09 – Not quite the full show, but enough to cover Lonely Procession’s live set, and a lot of weirdness on either side. Well worth your time! (playlist)

6/27/09 – Karthik Kakarala, Tony Youngblood, DaveX, LIVE @ WDBX-FM. Recorded exactly one month before Tony got kicked off WRVU-FM, and setting off a chain reaction of community member shows being cancelled!

6/27/09 – Praey, LIVE @ WDBX-FM

6/20/09 – Marathon, LIVE @ WDBX-FM

6/13/09 – Warm Climate, phone-in performance, on WDBX-FM

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/5/09

December 5, 2009

I’ve got many cool things coming up for today’s broadcast– an interview with Tristan Perich, a live phone-in performance with Craig Colorusso, and an improvisational set featuring Karthik Kakarala. It’s a lot to fit in, so I’m typing quickly!

Update: Today’s show went very well. The Perich interview was fascinating. I could have talked with him a lot longer, so there’s definitely room for a “part two” sometime in the future. Colorusso was joined by Diving Bell collaborator Joel Westerdale, who provided drums for what turned out to be one of the sketchiest phone connections ever. This should be a real trip to hear again; or to catch for the first time if you missed it. Finally, Karthik Kakarala and I got around to the “small sounds” improvisation that I have been after for the past couple weeks. I’m incredibly happy with how it went, and am looking forward to exploring more of these ideas soon. When I have downloads for this show available, you’ll be the first to know!

T.D. Skatchit & Company — Voodoo Skatch
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Aurora Rising
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Carnival of Skatch
T.D. Skatchit & Company — From beyond (for Toyoji)
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Popcorn Skatch
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Gargoyle
Interview with Tristan Perich
Tristan Perich1-bit Symphony (excerpt)
Tristan Perich — Active Field
Craig Colorusso, Joel Westerdale — LIVE phone-in performance for WDBX-FM, 12/5/09
Interview with Craig Colorusso
Juppala Kaapio — Kagami Hebi (Mirror Snake) (this and next two tracks from “Crows of the World, vol.2” on Last Visible Dog Records)
Renato Rinaldi — The Bite
Bosch’s With You — Movements Under Water
DaveX, Karthik Kakarala — LIVE performance at WDBX-FM, 12/5/09
Noertker’s Moxie — Whirligig
Noertker’s Moxie — What the Water Gave Me

New torrents for YOU

October 8, 2009

(Quick note: the torrent files referenced in this post are being replaced with new links. Sorry for any confusion. –DaveX)

There’s five– collect ’em all.

9/5/09 — “It’s Too Damn Early” salutes BKPR, and jams to Peter Gordon’s “Life is Boring”.

9/12/09 — Harold Schellinx phones in a sound tour of his home, and Trash Ant provides the most art-damaged cassette tape EVER.

9/19/09 — Improv saxophonist Randall Hall classes up the Hi-Life Room with THREE live sets, and a hands-on demonstration of extended technique. What does bubble wrap in the bell of a sax sound like? We do the things Mythbusters won’t try. Play along at home, and clap when you hear us say “John Cage.”

9/26/09 — Live phone-in set/interview from Swamp of Pus label owner Novasak, plus an interview with George Korein. Also, lots of previously-unreleased Korein recordings, and an extended selection of Glenn Weyant awesomeness.

10/3/09 — DaveX enjoys a bit of the Nashville SoundCrawl early, and interviews the organizers. Later on, Kim Cascone teaches kids a lesson about time zones, but still gets his interview in under the gun. Will DaveX be convinced to move to Linux? Find out in this exciting episode!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 6/20/09

June 20, 2009

I’ve made it into the station, following an extraordinarily creepy nightmare. Let me just say that any deceased children attempting to contact me via my computer keyboard will not receive the best treatment from me at this time.

Listeners, on the other hand, have got it good today! Hal McGee is due to phone in for an interview soon, and Brandon Beachum is busy setting up for a performance in the next room. He was short one 1/4″ cable, so I found one for him– to call it “vintage” is exceedingly polite.

dictaphonia2

That was Hal McGee, folks. Definitely one of my better interviews– it’s so nice to speak with a person who is as obviously in love with sound as I am myself– I’d like to encourage you to visit the Dictaphonia 1 page; pick yourself up a digital copy of this fascinating compilation!

Right now, Brandon Beachum is warming up his giant amps right here in the Hi-Life Room. He’ll be going live as “Marathon” momentarily, so don’t miss out.

As I mentioned, today is Kurt Schwitters’ birthday– happy 122nd!– so I’m playing some Merzbow in his honor… the connection being the “merz-” see? Masami Akita didn’t dredge that up out of thin air… so it pays to know your history.

At present, Brandon is having some difficulties with his gear. Something may be broken. In such a case, I generally take it as an opportunity to do something completely different and aurally flog the defective equipment within an inch of its existence. Public humiliation for malfunctioning technology! Brandon is being a bit more sensible, systematically attacking the problem one knob and cable at a time. We’ll see how this goes.

It’s a gear crisis, but we’re all working to ease Mr. Brandon’s troubled spirit. Soon, listeners, soon!

David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano — Hyperpituitary Giant
David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano –Pheremones
David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano –Roog
David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano –Fling Away the Shell
David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano — Throttle Body Lifter
David Lee Myers, Marco Oppedisano –An Infinitely Hot and Dense Dot
Merzbow — Run Chicken Run
The Infant Cycle — Trombone
The Infant Cycle — Secret Hidden Message
The Infant Cycle — (and then the dog replied)
BIOS — Forever Dividing and Evolving
Sandor Szabo, Kevin Kastning — Hyperbola
Marathon — LIVE @ WDBX-FM, 6/20/09
Locrian — Barren Temple Obscured by Contaminated Fogs
Dave Wright — Cattle Gas
Richard Orlando — Farrington Street Blues
Mark McGee — Capoeira Blitz Squad
Sonic Disorder — Ugly Chemical Junk
Douglas Burkett — Spin Cycles
Jamison Williams — Francois Boucher (1703-1770)
Zebra Mu — Micro Junk Cassette Slicer

Startling Moniker’s Top 12 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2008!

January 13, 2009

Yes, it’s mid-January 2009. Let’s just say I’m fashionably late, and leave it at that. Or think of this list as your buying guide– if you’re spending this coming Valentine’s Day alone (perhaps tearfully re-organizing your record shelves?) see to it that you order a bunch of these fantastic releases to cheer you up. Just as last year, I will be treating my inability to count as less of a handicap, and more of a endearing eccentricity. And now, in no particular order, here are the Top 12 13 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2008 winners:

amo_2001) Mooey Moobau — “All Murmur of Our Mothers’ Waters” — Earlier this year, I referred to this disc as “dictio-fuckery,” a term which captures the pure glottological delight of rolling words back and forth on your tongue until all meaning is lost save for the sweet sonority. As a child, I once said the word “question” repeatedly until I couldn’t figure out if I was saying it correctly at all. This could have easily been the accompanying soundtrack.

40782) Eddie the Rat — “Out Behind the 8-ball” — Privately, I think of Eddie the Rat‘s Peter Martin as  a more unruly modern-day version of Harry Partch. This may not be totally accurate, but hey, it’s my head. Still, what with the brash polyrhythms coaxed from oddball homemade percussion instruments, I may not be too far off. But where Partch carried elements of the American folk landscape back to a greater listening audience, “Out Behind the 8-ball” mines South Asian influences, resulting in something like a post-trepanation Les Baxter album. Lovely!

40773) Jess Rowland — “The Problem With the Soda Machine” — Here’s a weird one for you. Rowland comes across some intra-corporate vending machine related e-mail drama, and decides to set it to music. In less capable hands, a disaster. For Rowland, one of the most immediately loveable albums right out of the box that I heard all year. Order this, and I’ll tell your future as a free gift: you’ll soon find yourself singing “we are faced with a choice about the future of the machines.” (Psst, this disc and #2 are from Edgetone Records. Order them both, and you’ll save on postage!)

frank-rothkamm-just-3-organs4) Rothkamm — “Just 3 Organs” — I used to think that if I had math skills, I would have made Rothkamm music; that’s how much I enjoy what he’s doing. But lately, I realize that nobody can make Rothkamm music but Rothkamm. It’s really the only similarity this list of albums shares– it’s strange stuff, a unique product of a unique mind. Simultaneously sound-obsessed and math-enabled, “Just 3 Organs” visits a series of hyper-organ works upon us. It’s a post-Second Life music, both virtual and yet displaying the umbilicus of its creator. If my ongoing fascination with Rothkamm hasn’t got you to pick one of his releases up yet, now is the time.

5) GX Jupitter-Larsen’s “Zelphabet” Series — Didn’t I say it best already? “Like the RRRecycled tapes, but done with some class, and considerable more attention to quality.” This 27-CD subscription (or buy ’em individually!) series shows why Jupitter-Larsen is the Bruce Schneier of noise– he’s got deep connections, and even deeper knowledge. Each disc is like sitting at the knee of a master, so you better believe they’re worthwhile.

cc_elementalshifta6) Cristopher Cichocki – “Elemental Shift” — This is the kind of release that only comes around once in a blue moon; a perfect artistic statement in its own right, but also able to vividly enhance one’s perception of many other unrelated works. Undoubtedly, this was my favorite release of the year– I couldn’t shutup about it, either– so there’s more of my gushing here and here.

mangler-redbeard7) Warm Climate — “Mangler Redbeard” — Apparently the locus of many LA experimental projects I’m currently enjoying, Warm Climate’s Seth Kasselman recorded “Mangler Redbeard” in a month as part of an online challenge… true evidence of how hard inspiration can strike! Equal parts glam-rock and bizarro-world influence, this ugly little bit of Xerox-and-CDR should not be missed.

tefasimage8) Glenn Weyant — “SonicAnta D-Construction Series” — If you’re looking to develop an ongoing relationship with something truly unexpected, consider subscribing to this series of CDRs. They from full-length explorations with a Honeywell fan; to sonic smorgasbords of homemade instruments, field recordings, and Weyant’s trademark border-fence-and-violin-bow collage. Wild and heady stuff, crafted by someone with a palpable love of sound.

9) George Korein — “Another Corpse” — I can’t seem to nail down exactly when this disc came out, so I’m going to be bold and claim it for 2008. As always, Korein appears to have dropped in from somewhere out in space, content to mystify Earthling listeners with another art-fractured gem. Describing Korein’s music always reminds me of an old Rolling Stone review for Missy Elliot, “She jumps so far off the heezy, she lands right on another heezy.”

10) LX Rudis — “Audible Method 1.43” — I don’t have a lot of info on this one, but I’m still super-excited to hear a live-studio-CDR hybrid disc such as this. Field recordings, live performance, editing, mastering all get mixed up quite thoroughly here. It’s hard for me to make this sound as amazing as it actually is, the mystery of whether you can actually acquire a copy makes it every more fun. Better check with Rudis at his MySpace profile… and while you’re there, dig his blogged bio for fun bits about trying out for tuxedomoon and the Dead Kennedys.

transe_des_mots11) Frederique Bruyas — “La Transe Des Mots” — This is the album that got me thinking, “gee, I really need to learn French.” It’s a one-two punch of bibliophile elan and Diamanda Galas’s swagger, and well worth your time. Bruyas collaborator Pierrejean Gaucher’s dexterous fretwork surprises at all turns.

51tixbrjyxl_sl500_aa240_12) Annea Lockwood — “A Sound Map of the Danube” — A triumph, which all sound enthusiasts should own. Lockwood not only covers the entirety of the Danube in this three-disc hunt for the river’s voice, but features many inhabitants whose daily lives are shaped along its way. This is fascinating listening, perfectly captured in a sumptuous release from the always-worthwhile Lovely Music Limited label.

bnn21_313) Lee Hangjun, Hong Chulki — “Expanded Celluloid, Extended Phonograph” ( 확장된 셀룰로이드, 연장된 포노그래프 ) — An astounding film demonstrating a concept vital to understanding many of the fine releases from Seoul-based Balloon & Needle label, that of “cracks” or “gaps” in media. For Hangjun, this takes the form of not filming anything, but rather choosing to work directly with the film itself. For Chulki, listeners are confronted with the sound of recordless turntables, or of the “meta-record” created by putting two needles to digital time-code vinyl records. It’s a world where sound influences itself, and raw film finds a place in the spotlight, and is definitely a world worth your visit.

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.

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