Sunday, January 29, 2012

SAMPLE & HOLD : playlist

*Russell Haswell / Acid Noise Synthesis
* Dead Machines / Futures
*Farmers Manual / Exploreres_We
*John Wall & Alex Rodgers / Works 2006-2011
* Hecker / Sun Pandamonium
*Keith Fullerton Whitman / Multiples
*Cut Hands / Cut Hands
* Sistol / On The Bright Side
*Autechre / 3 EPS 1991-2002
*Marcus Schmickler / Palace of Marvels
*Coil / Musik To Play In The Dark 2
*Severed Heads / Viva! Heads!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SAMPLE & HOLD : john wall & alex rodgers / WORK 2006-2011

Housed in a plastic vacuum bag that thwarts easy access to the disc it contains, WORK 2006-2011(entre'acte) presents the untidy results of 5 years of improvisation by John Wall. At one point Rodgers, who supplies the text, references the Claude Levi-Strauss tome THE RAW AND THE COOKED that makes plain the shifting grounds they walk upon, the civilized and the savage, the structured and the assaulting dystopian.

The frequency range is huge with speakers menaced by low frequencies that swallow the room, and high ones that shatter like digital glass. In this sonic environ Rodgers' surreal texts are delivered dry, surrounded by a bitter silence at times, and punctuated by Wall's improvised drones and glitches. It makes for a an uneasy listen, but one that is rewarding, opening up the flood-gates of personal associations tinged with Beckettian hopelessness, mysterious emptiness, and the episodic un-nerving babble-flux that is the 21th century.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012


The practice of electronic music is by all accounts a curious, sometimes frustrating aesthetic game utilizing "instruments" that produce sound rather than reproducing the timbres made by traditional acoustic instruments. Varese called for sound -producing machines, music without instruments. We make music with ALL the technological tools available to us...tweaking and patching, open to surprize...the happy accident...the fortuitous parametric arrangement of banana cables. But in the end...

"Man makes plans, God laughs. The composer makes plans, music laughs."
(Alan Licht, Sound Art, 2007)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

SAMPLE & HOLD : hecker / sun pandamonium

Released originally in 2003 and last year on limited edition vinyl, Florian Hecker's Sun Pandamonium is a masterpiece of computer digital synthesis. In spite of being touted as being an example of sonic "unpleasantness," this listener finds it profoundly beautiful and, even with its layers of dense sonic detrius and warped psychoacoustic mayhem, very listenable. Challenging?...yes, but with the advantage of an abstract formalism that is both food for the intellect AND our fractured human need for expression.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 WAS...

* deKooning retrospective at Moma...viseral virtuoso paint handling!

* Release of Throbbing Gristle remasters...thanks to Chris Carter these releases sound as they were meant to.

* Modular madness continues with the aquisition of MORE Buchla and Serge modules promising a sound world of infinitely evolving dystopia! Thanks Don & Rex!

* Some new great tracks from the shamefully under-appreciated Don Hassler on Souncloud.

* This Second Sleep releases a cd-r of sound art and "happy electronic accidents."

* Viewing Andrzei Zulawski's SZAMANKA(1996) leaves me shaken...hysterical sexuality,
violence, and religion make for a brutal, hallucinatory, retinal jab in the face!

* Richard H. Kirk's JOHNNY YESNO remixes are compelling AND hallucinatory.

* Sale of much unused gear(Folktek, Oberheim, Nord...) helps make room in the ether^ra
studio and helps finance MORE modular dementia!

* SLOWLY producing small paintings filled with my love of Goya and Robert Ryman.

* Read FUG YOU by Ed Sanders and was transported back to the late 60's when the Lower
East Side was a walk on the wild side you might not survive!

* Finally got my hands on an over-priced copy of Allen Strange's seminal work on modular
synthesis, ELECTRONIC MUSIC(1972).

* Used up all my free time on Soundcloud producing 1:30 pieces of "music."

* Rarely touched my trusty Klein electric guitar!