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Re: music

Kim Flint wrote:
>So how about this, what music are you all listening to these days? Which
>artists are inspiring you for looping or otherwise? If I go to the record
>store on Saturday, what should I get?
I've been listening to "As Is", by We, on Asphodel, quite a lot lately.
They're part of the New York "illbient" scene. The first track mixes some
very cool Rhodes piano loops with some extremely bass heavey (I mean
really, the first drum kick made my stereo amp shut down the first time I
played it) heavey drum 'n bass, it's almost like a d 'n b remix of "In A
Silent Way". Also, Funki Porcini's "Love, Pussycats & Car Wrecks" is
another recent fave. I really think that the jazz/drum 'n bass fusion thing
is finally producing some mature works, with this disc and the recent
Squarepusher stuff.

Another very nice CD I've been listening to almost daily is Choying Drolma
and Steve Tibbetts "Cho", on Rykodisc. Drolma is a Tibetan Buddhist nun,
and she was recorded singing traditional songs at her monastery in the
Himalayas. Then Tibbetts added various guitars and processing, with a few
other western musicians on percussion and strings. This disc is not
particularly loop-based, but it's deeply beautiful, Tibbetts displays
remarkable restraint and respect for the source materials.

Also, I've been pulling out my old lps of synthesizer music from the '60's
a lot lately, Morton Subotnick's "Silver Apples of the Moon" and "The Wild
Bull" in particular. I'm amazed at how advanced some of this stuff is,
there's been very little synth music that approaches this, either sonically
or compositionally, in the 30 years since it was recorded.

>Here's another one we haven't delved into for a long time: What is it 
>looping that makes it interesting, fun, musical?  Why do we want to do it?
>Why does it show up in so many types of music? Is it something in human
>nature, learned from culture, what?
Jeez, Kim, why do you have to ask the hard questions, can't we just go back
to talking about 3rd cousin sync?

A few weeks ago, I found in a box of non-working music gear an Ibanez
analog delay pedal I bought in 1979. This was my first "looping" device, I
used it for, among other things, making my monophonic synths play chords by
arpeggiatting them in time with the echos. I replaced a pot and put new
batteries in it and it still works.

I was always fascinated by the sound that remained after I stopped playing,
it seemed to be an entity of it's own, and this led me to experiment with
just about every delay technology, from tape looping to digital delays to
samplers to the JamMan. Every once in a while, I come up with a loop so
complete in itself that it just doesn't need anything else, and I'll leave
it playing in the studio for hours, sometimes for days, checking in with it
every now and again.

Looping acts like a microscope looking into sound events. A loop lets you
hear, through repetition, details of a small piece of sound that would have
been missed when it was first sounded. Not all sounds can take this
scrutiny, but when you find one that does, the effect is almost magical.

Anyway, this is some of what keeps me looping...

Dave Trenkel : improv@peak.org  : www.peak.org/~improv/

"...there will come a day when you won't have to use
gasoline. You'd simply take a cassette and put it in
your car, let it run. You'd have to have the proper
type of music. Like you take two sticks, put 'em
together, make fire. You take some notes and rub 'em
together - dum, dum, dum, dum - fire, cosmic fire."
                                            -Sun Ra