mvuent

Void Dweller
It's a form of disruption, that thing plenty of people have referenced of driving into London and getting multiple stations bleeding into one another.

"When I switch to more off-radar radio stations, it's for a different thing — it's like a sort of resistance to listening to the music that's not on a stay-able frequency, so you have to align with the frequency but also engage somehow with the music. I like that sort of level of interference, and this is why I like artists who go into that area of static and subtle noise, spectral noise, ambience and whatever. It’s just funny at times, because you'll try and tune it and this classical radio station will start to emerge into that whole thing, and this bashment with like flippin' Chopin’s whatever symphony playing in the background or something like that. That gives me inspiration more than anything else."
reminds me of this (the whole thing is really good but this part specifically is related):

The point was vividly brought home to me on a visit to Cologne some years ago when I stepped out of the train late at night and into a cab, an old Mercedes bristling with aerials and reeking inside of diesel and cigarettes. It was just after midnight and miserably cold. The taxi dashboard glowed with the miniature landscape of lights of an airplane cockpit display, and the intercom speaker emitted a continuous stream of overlapping transmissions as if monitoring every available radio channel simultaneously, some voice, some music. The idea of navigating through this communications maze added an extra dimension of excitement to an otherwise routine journey. What else could the driver be listening to? Was he a radio ham expecting distress calls? What could be happening at this normally dead time of night to generate all of this electronic activity? It was like stepping into the opening short-wave chaos of Hymnen, and I realised that the composer was not simply making it up: this was a chaos he must have experienced many times in real life.

so come to think of it, "hymnen" is a good EARLY example of embracing this stuff in a futuristic, non-nostalgiac way. although of course when it was created maybe radios, etc. still seemed futuristic themselves. someone much later asked stockhausen why he liked radio waves so much and he said "instant electronic music".
 
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mvuent

Void Dweller
At a certain point in the degradation of sound you start asking how much little information you can gwt away with having and still transmit some basic excitation or energy.

I remember listening to one of those soviet things where they use an x-ray to make a smuggled rock record.... just the ghost of a song but very affecting and still contains, in some way, the essence of the music.
i think that would tie in with the idea of "signifying distance" (i.e. removal) i mentioned. there's a sense in which the interference makes what you can make out of the "real" audio more affecting.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
the quote's from actress right version? he'd be another example i've never really listened to.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
Would you class using this stuff to project an imagined past as forward or backward looking?
definitely forward thinking and exciting imo, although as I mentioned there seems to be less interest in the last few years.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Something I like about crackles, snatches and fragments of radio and so on is the idea of an intrusion of another world into this one. It feels like a point where several paths converge for a few minutes, seeing a ghost. That Deleuze quote about a musician being someone who appropriates something from a continuous acoustic flow is something I think about a fair bit.

»One can conceive of a continuous acoustic flow that traverses the world and that even encompasses silence. A musician is someone who appropriates something from this flow: notes? Aggregates of notes? No? What will we call the new sound from a musician?«

Like catching and surfing a wave, the turtles in Finding Nemo riding the East Australian Current.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3RZ5zuLl48
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
definitely forward thinking and exciting imo, although as I mentioned there seems to be less interest in the last few years.
this stuff seems to be mostly cancelled now, apart from the very light "mousse" approach you mentioned version. so given that i (and probably most people on this site) have some archivist nerd tendencies and have come to like "fog of war" a lot, i want to figure out how to sneak it back into music in interesting ways.
 
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Leo

Active member
I got sick of Portishead pretty quickly with their using the old-crackly vinyl thing on every track. was really cool at first but doesn't really last when overused. burial took it to a new level with the addition of sampled etherial divas weaving in and out, wasn't really "past" sound, more "lost" sounding. but I eventually got a kinda tried of his persistent use if it as well.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
vinyl crackle is the nadir of this approach artistically imo. always hated it in burial.
 
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version

Who loves ya, baby?
He didn't sample vinyl though, did he? He always said it was samples of fire, rain etc. There's definitely a Burial 'sample pack' at this point though: crackle, lighter flicks, shells hitting the floor, a car alarm, what sounds like shopping trolleys when they're pushed together, the sound of a cassette being ejected.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
oh that's better then. i always tried to imagine it as those things but couldn't shake the vinyl association.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
3. as diegetic sound. i.e. hearing these qualities as musical, as part of the recording's internal world. this is probably the view that's most creative and likely to be fruitful in the future. it suggests that the aforementioned magic of "fog of war" is completely separable from its associations with the past, and can be harnessed to make something new.
And at the same time, I get nostalgic for things that didn't really exist. I might have a cassette from the first time a Melle Mel track, say, got played on radio in Manchester. And it might be a copy of a copy of a copy of a tape and there's all these weird nuances and distortions that have affected what I know as the truth, if you like, of that track. And I'll go and download or buy that original 12 and get it home and go, "Whoa, it sounds flatter than my version, the one that I've had for 15 years in my head is actually more exotic than had originally been intended in the studio at the time of making it."

So I know that there's a lot of room to maneuver in those kind of ghostly musical spheres, you know what I mean? And we try and lean on those elements and try and blur the lines between certain sounds. I think that's the way some of the magic of music can be, even if it is a little bit from nowhere. Even if it doesn't really have any bearing on reality or grounding as a real piece of music. It might be an homage to a track that just sounds like my memory of a track, an homage to that memory as opposed to trying to recreate exactly how the song is.
 

other_life

bioconfused
"cancelled" really is the word for it.
it was forward looking, the skaters/emeralds/opn/sky limousine school builds on sonic referents of synth-prog, new age and video game soundtracks but doesn't at all feel like that music. it's not a re-creation, those kinds of morphogenetic/drug spaces and emotional territories are just not explored in your heldons and tangerine dreams. i know because i took a deep dive to compare one to the other, to see if the former being accused of being derivative of the latter held water. it doesn't, really.
if anything, the frictionless, well-promoted, "nice-sounding"/"impeccably engineered" stuff feels more backward looking of the two. my reasoning is that its sonic reference to the past is more recognisable because this fog is not present. it doesn't have to be struggled past to be heard, the reverbed slide guitars, the 808 drums, the 'smooth' 'rnb' keys and voices.
 

other_life

bioconfused
a very forward looking way to achieve 'fog of war' without being able to be pigeonholed as 'retro' is not necessarily or exclusively to put things to tape -

'wrong'/'brickwalled' compression in contexts outside of pop music is the thing, using digital effects 'wrong' in general.
this is where 'vaporwave' both departs from and is continuous with 'hypnagogic pop', in that something like 'redefining the workplace' relies as much on Every Ableton Effect At The Stupidest Settings At Once as something like 'jarvid 9' relies on natural cassette tape compression.
the comparison could even be seen as 1:1.

putting things through amps and recording them as such rather than having everything be in-box/direct inject is key, also. capturing how the sound pushes the air on record rather than having the record be this abstract digital space. this sets what you do apart from things having the sort of audio-watermark of their workstation/line of equipment.
 

other_life

bioconfused
in fact, wakesleep/datavis as a longer arc over the 2010s, as robin burnett's documented self-actualisation in music, really goes deep on new ways to achieve the fog of war without falling back on "put it through tape or (worse) tape-like plugins". even the way samples are edited/juxtaposed on their stuff which is in-box/direct-inject is about fog - things click, it's uncomfortable, there are audible seams.
 
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