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  • Christopher Murphy
    %Array | F.0015.0007 ... NEWS Turbulence Regular subscribers will have noticed that %Array, not to mention Fallt, has been silent since late 2001. We d like to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2002
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      %Array | F.0015.0007




      Regular subscribers will have noticed that %Array, not to mention Fallt,
      has been silent since late 2001. We'd like to stress that this is due to
      exceptional circumstances and the relative silence and seeming lack of
      progress at Fallt in recent months is, we hope, at an end.

      We've been struggling with ongoing hardware problems for some six months
      now which have, needless to say, impacted badly on our schedules. Since
      October, we've lost five computers - a G4 Desktop (once) and a G4 PowerBook
      (four times) - and have, on several occasions, lost significant amounts of
      data accumulated between archives.

      Schedules are thankfully settling though and we're pleased to announce
      that we'll be releasing several new projects over the coming months,
      in addition to contributing to this year's Mutek 2002 Festival in Montreal.

      Further details are available at:



      Various Artists | invalidObject Series

      "A remarkable document of a vibrant artistic community and a critical moment
      in the evolution of digital music." (Philip Sherburne, The Wire/Grooves)

      We're pleased to announce that the invalidObject Series was included in The
      Wire's 2001 Rewind list. Feedback to the Series has been overwhelmingly
      positive with over 250,000 downloads made in the four months the Series was
      available in 2000/2001. The Series received full page reviews in, among
      others, The Wire, Fader and Grooves magazine.

      "Impressive!" (Rob Young, Editor, The Wire)

      Limited copies of several of the CDs remain and we will be offering a free
      CD with every three CDs purchased throughout May. Orders via Fallt from the
      following location:




      Fallt designers Fehler have recently completed the initial beta [2.1 C7] of
      the new Bremsstrahlung Recordings website. Based on Apple's early Macintosh
      Operating System it features low system load: raw .html and 100% black and
      white .gifs, all < 8 K

      The site features a 'Pixel Gallery' curated by Fehler with one-bit works by,
      among others, Alorenz [Ritornell, Staalplaat], Fehler [Fallt, BiP-HOp],
      Qubo Gas [DAT Politics] and Taylor Deupree [12k/L-NE]. Future galleries by
      Otaku Yakuza and others will be uploaded soon.

      The site will be featured in Leander Kahney's forthcoming book 'Cult of
      Macintosh' and will be covered in HOTWIRED in the coming fortnight.

      For further details, check out:




      Nosei Sakata (*0) | 0.000 [Mu Label, CD]

      Mu sum up this CD in a few concise words: "you can't hear anything".
      You can't, except for the two 'test' tracks which bracket the CD's silent
      majority. Both use basic 1kHz tones, gradually warbling out of phase
      ('test1') and blending left-right pulses back into one ('test2'). That's it;
      simple confirmation that your equipment and your ears are working. The rest
      is all infra- and ultra- inaudible.

      What's the point? Sakata's intention appears to be to draw our attention
      to the idea of Nothing or the appearance of nothing when there is, in fact,
      Something. Fifteen of the seventeen tracks are out of reach to our
      senses - perhaps even to our audio equipment (almost certainly true of
      mine). This unhearing listener was drawn to these 'sensible' limitations and
      perhaps made more aware of his own stimuli-needy impatience. You might
      ponder something deeper, meditate, pray or simply read a book undisturbed.
      At the very least '0.000' offers an opportunity to be still.

      Apparently a remix CD is in the pipeline with contributions by the likes of
      Bernhard Gunter, Richard Chartier and Stephan Mathieu. Whether they choose
      to multiply, add, subtract or even divide by zero the results are likely to
      be no less challenging.



      Massimo | Hey babe, let me see your USB... [Mego, 3" CD]

      A child of the digital revolution, Massimo is without question one of
      Italy's finest proponents of glitch-noise-comedy. 'Hey babe, let me see your
      USB... and I'll show you my FireWire' (to give it its full title) consists
      of twenty-plus minutes of utterly compelling melody-distortion allegedly
      created "with just one trumpet".

      Picking up where his previous invalidObject Series contribution left
      off, Massimo assaults the senses with the relentless sounds of impending
      information collapse. With track titles like 'Fierce Sailor' and 'She male
      808' packaged within some fairly graphic graphic design, nothing is left to
      the imagination.

      The music is no less obscene. 'Bukkake' features wave after wave after wave
      of full throttle DSP, mercilessly saturating the listener, while
      'Waffenbend' (track locations are arbitrary) settles into a pulverising
      groove as discrete sheets of digital hiss cascade over damaged pulses,
      clicks and tones.

      The closing track 'Microsound and Glitch and Cuts Can Only Lick my Mafia
      Ass!' (18.30 - 20.30) is pure information warfare of the
      tongue-firmly-in-cheek variety. A digital soundclash between two of the best
      musicians working within .microsound's rapidly imploding genre - Massimo
      vs. Pimmon - it comprises two-plus minutes of crowd-dispersing +20 db audio
      overload. Looping a fragment from Pimmon's 'Assembler' under a barrage
      of DSP abuse, the marriage is perfect, leaving you wishing there was more
      than this 3" CD can hold.



      Various Artists | Ringtones [Touch, CD]

      As our attention spans shorten and our ability to focus for any
      significant length of time collapses in on itself with every fragmentary
      advert, the opportunities to explore shortform increase. Touch take
      things to logical extremes with 99 contemporary ringtones; the perfect
      accompaniment to our hyperdistilled digital lifestyles.

      If you've ever suffered synthesised versions of S Club 7 within the tight
      confines of claustrophobic commuter spaces, now is the opportunity to savour
      the sweetness of revenge by inflicting a Pita ringtone on your fellow
      travellers. Clocking in at four seconds, 'ichiban' is typical, albeit short,
      Pita material: mangled, melodic, certainly attention grabbing.

      Gilbert & George, Ryoji Ikeda and Fennesz also contribute, sitting
      comfortably alongside less established names in what amounts to a refreshing
      snapshot of contemporary sound (art) with the added benefit of possible
      future functionality. Disappointingly, Thomas Brinkmann is the only musician
      to contribute an actual ringtone (the rest being ultrashort compositions or
      ringtone 'possibilities').

      Brinkmann's 'score' - 18 lines of code with, I suspect, one typesetting
      error - renders a minimal loop which, when keyed into your mobile,
      veers from 40 BPM funk to 225 BPM jungle depending on your choice of tempo.
      As the only composition to truly explore the narrow dynamic range of the
      mobile phone its interactive approach suggests the possibility of doing
      away with the CD altogether, an avenue that would be interesting to see
      explored further via the Touch website...

      With so much on offer, it's difficult to pick personal favourites, but
      one contribution stands out: DJ Guacamole's 'A Concise History of
      Californian Rock Music in Under 5 Seconds' - the essence of music for the
      easily distracted 21st Century mind.



      Various Artists | Nanoloop [Disco Bruit, CD]

      While still a student at art school in Hamburg artist/musician/developer
      Oliver Wittchow created Nanoloop - a software synthesizer and sequencer for
      Nintendo's ubiquitous GameBoy. Drawn by the GameBoy's widespread
      availability - over 100 million have been sold worldwide - and the special
      quality of its integrated soundchip, Wittchow developed a software/hardware
      interface to coax 'music' from the GameBoy.

      What started as an interesting exercise has now been repurposed by Hamburg's
      Disco Bruit to create Nanoloop 1.0, a fascinating compiliation which
      showcases the results of a variety of artistic approaches to the challenges
      and constraints of the GameBoy's inevitably limited musical palette.

      Wittchow opens with 'Nanoloop', 02.44 of reduced-format shudders and
      stutters which rapidly collapse into the typically humorous, organised chaos
      of DAT Politics' 'Richoux'. Pita's 'Nloopcbn' follows, characterised as ever
      by the piercing sounds of corrupted data flows and modem-failure maximalism,
      underpinned by an ultra-condensed rhythmic workout.

      It's a testament to the calibre of the artists involved that each imposes
      their own style and distinctive musical flavour onto the GameBoy despite its
      limitations, and it's this that makes the compilation so appealing. In a
      landscape increasingly characterised by musical similarities, Nanoloop 1.0
      confounds expectations and offers some refreshing musical perspectives.
      NanoLoop 2.0 is eagerly awaited.

      [Cf. Electric Family | MarioPaint]



      Frans de Waard, Steve Roden, Howard Stelzer, Alejandra Salinas and Lutz
      Bauer | aenviron:one [Aesova, 3" CDR]

      Aesova spoil us with this little collection of strung-together field
      recordings. We know who the artists are but nothing more; no locations,
      times of day, artist's brief nor, indeed, knowledge of who did what.
      Thus the sounds stand alone, divorced from visual and other contextual

      The recordings are plain (closer to lo- than to hi-fidelity) but are,
      nonetheless, rich and complex and full of the unexpected. Each is given
      ample space. The transitions are gradual rather than jarring and serve
      to generate a gentle forward propulsion and a shifting point of focus.

      I hesitate to catalogue every sound (such as I can identify it) but I
      do think it is worth singling out one recording toward the end in which the
      natural rhythms of some highly idiomatic speech and the sudden
      intervention of a ringing mobile phone puncture the hubbub of a busy street.
      A moment of real beauty - perhaps not that dissimilar to the many we filter
      out every day. File under Surround Sound.



      AGF | Head Slash Bauch [Orthlorng Musork, CD]

      23 shortform files by Antje Greie-Fuchs, 'Head Slash Bauch' is a shadow
      of 'Filesharing' the latest multi-format (online/offline) release by German
      duo Laub, of which Greie-Fuchs is one half. Both releases develop and
      explore similar themes and their common basis is evident, yet 'Head Slash
      Bauch' extends into somewhat darker territories.

      AGF's lyrics - if they can be called lyrics - are a seamless amalgamation
      of texts and code, spoken gently over an incessant chatter of machine noise
      and ever-present hiss. A peculiarly post-twentieth century polyglot,
      Greie-Fuchs puts the idiosyncratic lyrics down to a recent period of near
      constant immersion in computer manuals and code.

      The results certainly reflect this - a stream-of-artificial-intelligence
      sentences unravelling - unusual, but never sounding forced: "BODY... BGCOLOR

      Throughout, AGF's breathy vocals reverberate under static and the
      ever-present flow of data. 'Implus' buzzes to a simple looped refrain before
      cascading into the distended loops of 'Suba +++' and 'Shumine'. Tracks
      collide seamlessly, the sounds of compiler errors and buffer underruns,
      skips and pauses... with the CD reaching a momentary crescendo at 'Mandeln',
      whose precise phrases slip over each other falling in and out of phase
      before crashing again into digital imperfection.

      And perhaps this is the point - that so-called hard data, black and white is
      inescapably imprecise, grey - and that hidden amongst the thousands
      and thousands of lines of code that surround us are inevitable flaws in
      which lie a certain, undeniable appeal.




      This month's ASCII Art is excerpted from 'Sinclair ZX Spectrum BASIC
      Programming' by Steven Vickers (First Edition 1982, Copyright Sinclair
      Research) and features a simple program designed to play the funeral march
      from Mahler's first symphony. [Added distortion by Otaku Yakuza]

      10 PRINT "Mahler | First Symphony"
      20 BEEP 1,0: BEEP 1,2: BEEP 5,3: BEEP .5,2: BEEP 1,0
      30 BEEP 1,0: BEEP 1,2: BEEP 5,3: BEEP .5,2: BEEP 1,0
      40 BEEP 1,3: BEEP 1,5: BEEP 2,7
      50 BEEP 1,3: BEEP 1,5: BEEP 2,7
      60 BEEP 1,7: BEEP 1,8: BEEP 5,7: BEEP .5,5: BEEP .5,3: BEEP .5,2: BEEP 1,0
      70 BEEP 1,7: BEEP 1,8: BEEP 5,7: BEEP .5,5: BEEP .5,3: BEEP .5,2: BEEP 1,0
      80 BEEP 1,0: BEEP 1,5: BEEP 2,0
      90 BEEP 1,0: BEEP 1,5: BEEP 2,0



      PLAYLIST [Delayed 2001 Rewind]

      Each issue we ask one of our contributors to share their current playlist
      with us. This issue we're pleased to feature two best of 2001 selections by
      %Array contibutors CM and GM.

      CM @ %Array

      AGF | Head Slash Bauch [Orthlorng Musork]
      Alejandra and Aeron | The Tale of Pip [Lucky Kitchen]
      ¥ | . [1,024]
      Bjork | Vespertine [One Little Indian]
      Asmus Tietchens & David Lee Myers | Flussdichte [Disco Bruit]
      Wobbly | Regards [Alku]
      Herbert | Bodily Functions [Studio !K7/Soundslike]
      Stephan Mathieu | frequencyLib. [Ritornell]
      Stephan Mathieu & Ekkehard Ehlers | Heroin [Brombron]
      Fennesz | Endless Summer [Mego]


      GM @ %Array

      Fennesz | Endless Summer [Mego]
      Rafael Toral | Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance [Touch]
      Robert Lippok | Open Close Open [Raster-Noton]
      rsundin, Steve Roden & Ekkehard Ehlers | invalidObject Series (default),
      (for) & (this) [Fallt]
      Oren Ambarchi | Suspension [Touch]
      Stars of the Lid | The Tired Sounds of... [Kranky]
      Marcus Schmickler | Param [A-Musik]
      Mouse on Mars | Idiology [Domino]
      To Rococo Rot | Kolner Brett [Staubgold]
      DAT Politics | Sous Hit [Digital Narcis]




      All the 256 combinations of two 8-bit bytes
      All the 65,536 16-bit words



      Thanks to all those who contributed to this issue of %Array, in
      particular: Gordon McEwen, P & R @ Mego, Ed Benndorf, Michael @ Aesova,
      Otaku Yakuza, Angela Lorenz and Fehler.



      %Array is published periodically by Fallt and emailed to registered
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