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Artist and Bodenstandig 2000 musician drx (Dragan Espenschied) has stepped up to the plate and showed us his gnomes.
I think if the uptown Abstract Expressionist who was hiding his gnomes had done ones this good his dealer wouldn't be screaming but thinking of ways to reinvent him as an artist in the Peter Saul/Basil Wolverton school.
Beautiful-sounding, twisted logic from the antiwar sister of an American in Iraq:
Victory being out of the question at this point, the only democracy my brother is fighting for in Iraq is our democracy. The only constitution he is in Iraq fighting to defend is our Constitution. If my brother dies, it will not be for a mistake but rather because of his deeply held belief that the time it takes us as a people to figure out through democratic processes that we are wrong is more important than his own life.Great, lovely, but what about all the Iraqis he's helping to kill while we democratic idiots figure out what we did wrong? The essay in the Washington Post where this paragraph comes from is just comforting sophistry from someone stuck between the rock of her convictions and the hard place of her brother's participation in a war that has needlessly slaughtered people who never threatened the US. She's ultimately enabling his bad choices (or our leaders') with this desperate argument.
"Massively Huge" [mp3 removed]
Happy and e-piano-y tune for the holidays. The back story is I found this bunch of samples buried inside a Reaktor "groovebox" called Massive. (Not to be confused with Massive the synth, also from Native Instruments--but of course they will be.) The samples are supposed to be raw material for further slicing and granular weirdness in the beatbox context. I find that kind of music to be mushy, arty and same-y but I really liked the samples by themselves. So I moved them into a sampler and gave them pitches and wrote simple tunes for them. The piece has a kind of kitchen sink feel, with house music piano chords rubbing up against mangled electronic percussion stabs, but it moves along. The drum tracks are 3 different machines playing at once, two hardware and one soft.
(Similarities to London Elektricity are happily acknowledged, although breakbeats are hardly used.)
Headphones 2, a ceramic piece from my student days.
The New York police department now has a cable-car-like boxes for elevated surveillance, raised and lowered on extensible arms like fireman's ladders. They make appearances whereever crimes might occur--most recently that danger zone Times Square. Officially they're called Sky Watch; Curbed calls them the Towers of Fun. Portable prison camp turrets gets my vote. In a pinch they could probably be outfitted with those new microwave "crowd control" weapons, to complete the degradation of the citizenry. Police state, we're on it.
"Two Note Lead" [mp3 removed]
An exercise in musical minimalism using the Electribe RmkII, an instrument I've been neglecting as I learned my way around the Vermona analog drum machine. The Electribe, being an analog-modeling digital synth, has a more brittle, metallic sound, but that's not without its pleasures. I only used the machine's onboard sequencer for the "break" or second theme in the middle--everything else was performed in my computer's host sequencer, which plays the Electribe via MIDI. The played and internally sequenced parts were then sampled and overlayed inside the host; you can hear some phasing and detuning when two like parts are played simultaneously and crossfaded. The most time was spent on changing the settings of the Electribe's rhythm synthesizer voices, away from some fairly awful presets. The resulting piece has an "Assault on Precinct 13" feel--if I can be so presumptuous--but clangy and jangly (and more upbeat than the Carpenter).
Update: snipped out four bars in the middle.
"Entropic Funk" [mp3 removed]
A sequence I wrote is played with four Sidstation patches--Sharp Interval Lead, PWM1, Subloop, and Moonmachine (the last is the crunchy, high pitched one)--all run through the Mutator filter using a gate setting to shorten the envelope. These segments are recorded into the sequencer one at a time and overlapped with each other to create a kind of round and/or counterpoint. Also in the musical staff is a marimba sequence using the same notes phased and "fattened" in a sampler, and a drum pattern that comes and goes. As the title suggests, the piece starts off energetic and urban and gets more Subotnick-abstract but without losing the spine of a perky melody.
Headphone drawing by Marisa Olson - my remix.