Flocking 19: Shedding

Flocking 19: Shedding

Flocking 19 by Shedding (Bandcamp Link)

I’ve recently been interested in building layers of intentional chaos and exploring perceptions of order and the natural human tendency to seek and find patterns within that sound.  There is a deliberate contrast between the controlled chaos simulating the natural world and the synthetic sounds I’m working with.

Two longer pieces and 4 shorter pieces.

Names of the pieces use words in combination with three primary words, Flock, Flap, and Chirp.

Sounds seem primarily programmatically generated or manipulated. While it says below that these were recorded during a “sampler performance”, the sounds themselves seldom sound as if they were drawn from the natural world, except in the most abstract sense.

With the quote from their website which opens this writeup, it is hard to know how many of the event streams are simply set in motion and how many of them might be manipulated during their progress.

In general, what order which is expressed in the pieces is more like the order of nature sounds than the order of music. I.e., in general, there is no apparent tempo in most pieces relating the divergent sounds to the other sounds. When tempo does develop in events, as in track 4, “FLOCK1_MILCHI”, the tempos of the different event streams converge, but don’t affect the tempo of other event streams.

As if, in an algorithmic forest, we are listening to the sounds of algorithmic wind ticking through algorithmic branches as algorithmic creatures frolicking in that artificial world, all to the tempo or progress along the events of their algorithmic day.

On the other hand, while synthetic, it is not particularly harsh or dissonant, and somehow a pleasant feeling of lightness or almost whimsy is present in most pieces.

As an exercise, I recommend you listen to “Chirps” by Steve Lacy and Evan Parker, before, during, or after listening to Flocking 19 by Shedding.

“Assembled from July 2019 sampler performances in Milwaukee (Jazz Gallery) and Chicago (Elastic Arts)”

Shedding is Connor Bell

#Shedding #ConnorBell #SuperPang #SP21 #NowPlaying

μ: 3.14…

μ by 3.14… (Bandcamp Link)

Another recording I have gotten stuck on for a while, however, given the name of the artist, I set a deadline of March 14th to write it up.

Sound Sources: There are things that sound like pressurized gas escaping from a pipes or orifices flowing across a close mic. There are also things that sound slightly like toy organ drones. There are purely electronic squiggles.

Any of these are often manipulated or hacked with processing/editing or panned across the sound field.

There really isn’t much here that approaches the traditional melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic content associated with Western Musical traditions, even Electronic Dance Music or Drone. Rather, these compositions are closer to the spirit of Musique concrète, despite the fact that the sound sources seem to be produced rather than recorded.

Or closer to the way sounds sounds are repetitive without being melodic in nature or manufacturing/technology.

There is variety of volume and types sounds/processing used across the different pieces.

Though, I wouldn’t say there are aspects of drama or tension.

Or, if there is tension, it is more a curiousity about what will happen next than any sort of tension/release. And, then surprise about what does suddenly happen in the course of any given piece.

On the bandcamp page, it says “Japan”, which might indicate the artist lives in Japan or is Japanese. All of the artist’s albums are named with letters from the Greek alphabet, this one is “μ” or lowercase “mu”, the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet. All the albums on their bandcamp page were released between Spring of 2020 and Fall of 2022.

The song titles are fairly cryptic, ranging from long series of numbers to characters to random letters to single words.

I’ve been listening to it, off and on, in the car for a month or so and even though it isn’t that long, in total, it is never boring.

“All objects by 3.14. Mastered by Roc Jiménez de Cisneros”

#3Point14 #SuperPang #Mu #SP17

Guy Birkin: SARS-CoV-2_LR757995_2b

Guy Birkin: SARS-CoV-2_LR757995_2b

Guy Birkin: SARS-CoV-2_LR757995_2b

“Data sonification of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome sequence (Hunter & Wei, 2020)…The genome data was converted to MIDI files using a program written in Mathematica. The MIDI files were split into separate tracks for each of the 4 amino acid bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine). These were edited in Reaper and played with Razor synth. Effects include SoftTube Saturation Knob, TDR VOS SlickEQ and Valhalla Super Massive.”

Seriously, this is maybe the single most nerdy album description I’ve ever read.

Definitely the only album I’ve ever seen which uses citations in the album description.

It’s not horrible to listen to, but it is a tad repetitious. I guess, what you would expect from reading out a gene sequence. And whether or not you enjoy Birkin’s chosen voicings for the “amino acid bases” is going to depend on your tolerance for fast “bleep bloops”.

I feel it is more of an interesting idea, than an interesting album.

An album that was more of an interesting project for Birkin to design and execute than for the audience to listen to.

“released September 4, 2020”

#SuperPang #SP15 #GuyBirkin

Norbert Möslang: piano_boccia

Norbert Möslang: piano_boccia

Of the various albums on Superpang, this was one which caught my eye very early on due to the name “Norbert Möslang”.

Norbert Möslang is a Swiss musician who I first ran across on an album called “Asbestos Shake”, which his band Voice Crack did in collaboration with noise jazz group Borbetomagus.

In Voice Crack, Norbert Möslang, (and his partner in the band Andy Guhl,) played what they called, “cracked everyday electronics,” an expression which caught my imagination at the time. I hoped they played toys, toasters, microwaves, or home made who knows what.

But the sounds that came out of my speakers when I played the album “Asbestos Shake” were so otherworldly that I had no idea what sounds were coming from “cracked everyday electronics” and what sounds were coming from the overdriven instruments of Borbetomagus.

Similarly, on this album, I have no real idea what the sources for the sounds contained herein.

Some sources seem synthesized, some seem vaguely acoustic.

Overall, the feel of the album is quasi-cinematic, taking full advantage of the sound stage. Each track builds a unique sonic world that you travel through and observe in your minds eye. Some are a bit menacing, clanking metal and church bell like sounds tolling at midnight. Some are peaceful and drone-ish, floating through space, perhaps above Kirby-esque giant robots or worlds. There are never really any melodies or traditional musical elements, but at the same time some pieces build considerable beauty out of their unconventional parts.

“Sourcematerial recorded 2013 at Zackstudio St.Gallen. Processed and mastered 2020 at Dampfküche by Norbert Möslang”

#SuperPang #SP14 #NorbertMoslang #NorbertMöslang #Music #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

New Tendencies: Force Reset

Force Reset Album Cover
Force Reset Album Cover

New Tendencies: Force Reset

The first 4 songs of this album are named A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. The next 4 are named B, BB, BBB, and BBBB.

All 8 songs are exactly 3 minutes and 42 seconds long.

New Tendencies is the nom de guerre for Matt Nish-Lapidus, often “emenel” on various social medias.

Nish-Lapidus describes themselves as, “an artist and musician based in Toronto/Tkaronto. I work in and around computation, thinking about its histories, politics, culture, and computation-as-material. My main efforts right now are around computational poetics, expanded sculpture, and net art. I believe computers could be something different in the world, and try to embody that in my work and life…I make music mainly as New Tendencies, but sometimes under other names and used to play in a number of punk/post-punk bands in addition to my more experimental/electronic/computer music and sound art.”

The music is primarily rhythmic. For the pieces, in general, there are two similar but independent rhythmic motifs going on in the far right and left channels. There is a pulse in the middle. The various “A” and “B” iterations with the same number of letters seem to start with similar parameters, i.e. “A” is similar to “B” and “AA” is similar to “BB”. The AAA and BBB pieces have the most some panning pitch variation action along with the rhythmic pulsations. The sound sources, if they are other than algorithmic, sound a bit like typewriters or dragging a guitar pick across guitar strings.

Really, I can’t describe it any better than he does, “Decomposing rhythm skitters across time.”

In any case, somehow it does manage to sustain interest, despite the fact that each piece seems to be the musical equivalent of several wind up toys released simultaneously.

If I had to pick a favorite track, it would be “BBB”.

Recorded in Toronto by Matt Nish-Lapidus, June 2020″

#SuperPang #SP13 #ForceReset

Joachim Nordwall: New Music For Inner Peace & Outer Disturbance

Joachim Nordwall: New Music For Inner Peace & Outer Disturbance

I didn’t find this one particularly compelling. Repetitive and not particularly interesting voice loops playing over repetitive and not particularly interesting music loops.

For being recorded in 2020, it sounds like something from the 1980s.

“Recorded at Brännö Sound Experiment, July 2020.
1 & 3 contains voice samples from Carl Abrahamsson’s ‘Radio Mega Golem, Episode 1’.”

#SuperPang #SP12 #JoachimNordwall

Parsa: Musique Grossière

Parsa: Musique Grossière

According to google translate, “Musique Grossière,” translates to, “Coarse Music”.

I wouldn’t disagree with that, but more than “coarse” this is a disorienting recording.

Seemingly unconnected electronic sounds, noises, and manipulated recordings roll back and forth across the audio stage. Sequential noises seldom settle into any groove or steady tempo.

If there is an organizing principle, it is along the lines of sound and reaction, as in speech, than some more “musical” principle, like theme and variation or harmony. The track “PhysMod Silverware” almost settles into a groove over the course of its brief 3:32 run time.

I guess I would describe it primarily as a percussion recording, albeit percussive sounds made with an extremely diverse sample palette.

The song titles are pretty amusing and, if disorienting, the recording is certainly not boring.

“Recorded by Parsa in Tehran, July 2020”

#SuperPang #SP10 #Parsa

Ben Vida: The Untitled

Ben Vida: The Untitled

In general, I listen to SuperPang albums on the way home from band practice. But, I’ve been stuck on The Untitled for about a month now. The first time I listened, I got so absorbed, I took a wrong turn and almost ended up in Berkeley.

It’s an unusual record, Vida calls it “Musique concrète”, but it sounds like there are some instruments and computers involved. I would call it spooky, haunting, atmospheric, and far more compelling than it’s relative brevity would lead you to believe possible.

“Musique concrète recorded in Shady, New York, Summer 2020.
Computer, Hardware, Mixing Console.”

#SuperPang #SP09 #BenVida

giovanni di domenico: Gelotophilia / Katagelasticism

giovanni di domenico: Gelotophilia / Katagelasticism

Gelotophilia is joy in being laughed at. Katagelasticism is joy at laughing at others, often at their own expense. (I had to look them up.)

Gelotophilia is piano with electronics, with the piano dominating and the electronics fading in and out in the background. Katagelasticism is electronics with piano, with the electronics more to the fore.

The piano playing is vaguely “classical” in style, rolling sheets of consonant chords. The electronics are more drone-ey. I can’t tell from listening if the electronics in either piece are processing the piano or independent, though the two seem to share some tonal centers. Overall an entirely pleasant recording to listen to, engaging yet not demanding.

“Recorded in Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm and Studio W, Brussels, 2015/2020”

#SuperPang #SP08 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

William Fields: Bewilderment

William Fields: Bewilderment

Allegedly algorithmic music, but really pretty cool and organic feeling. I would describe it as “nonchalantly menacing”. Reminded me a bit of some Cluster related music. Maybe my fave Superpang release so far.

“All tracks are performed, mixed, and mastered by William Fields using Bohlen–Pierce tuning.”

#SuperPang #SP07 #WilliamFields