Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Putting together a CV is hilarious

March 22, 2018

So I’ve decided to move forward with applying to graduate school– as a result, I have to assemble a CV as part of that process. For someone like me, who has paid far less attention over the years to properly documenting his artistic activities, this has been a process not unlike rediscovering my own catalog! Here is a short list of stuff I had forgotten entirely:

Vicky’s Mosquitos– yeah, I know you’re probably drawing a blank. So was I! Here is the very helpful project page about it, though. For this radio/online performance, I used pre-prepared sounds, and inserted them into a video game, which I played live on air to generate the sound field. I can’t believe I forgot this!

It’s Too Damn Startling! This was a short series of “show within a show” curated mixes I created back in 2007 and 2008 for a friend’s radio show on WRVU-FM. These were less a presentation of songs than an ongoing attempt to create something like “sonic jewels,” short, heavily-mixed, highly-produced nuggets of weirdness.

Microcassettor, Vol. 2— another rando outing for yours truly– as near as I can tell, it was released in May of 2002. I still have my copy (Sounds From The Pocket, respect!) but I remember SO LITTLE about this project.

And finally… Golden Roses! This one isn’t me at all, but involves Mo– her first “side project” after the Style City debut album, she appeared on Hal McGee’s Dictaphonia Vol. 6… and what a title! “Monkeypiechairbrainbananaorangeteethtoiletscreaming,” which I feel truly awful to have forgotten. I ran into it while reading an interview I did– how sad is it that I was reading the interview to piece together dates in my own discography and ALSO managed to find something in my daughter’s? That’s got to lose me some dad points!


DaveX, back again?

March 11, 2018

20180310_233603It seems like I have written a lot of these “I’m back!” posts, haven’t I? (Here’s my last one, from 2015, ha.) But oh– I can’t quit you. This week, I had to quit my job as Station Manager at WDBX. That has been a rough experience, and a story I have told seemingly without end in the days following. Perhaps I will write about it later. For now– an article in The Southern Illinoisan will have to suffice. Since then, I have been thinking about how best to move forward. My recent return to performing and making music has certainly been on my mind, and for now, I think it is safe to say that “moving forward” might look a lot like focusing on my future in sound. I guess it would be smart to admit that I don’t know exactly what that will look like, but I’m pleased to be rediscovering my enthusiasm and excitement about everything around it– noise, performance, recording, listening, sound in literature, found sounds, hidden sounds, soundwalks, collage– you name it! I’m going to resist putting too much of a fine point on this just yet, and for now, I will just try to enjoy the process.

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 12/11/17

December 12, 2017

This is my second-to-last show this year– weird. Tonight, I am going full out on Phage Tapes and vaporwave stuff. Yes, kind of a weird mix, but I think I can make it work. I’m hearing stuff in all this that you may not be hearing. With any luck, you will pick up on it!

I started off with stuff from Stress Orphan. This one definitely made a strong first impression on me. It has an old school sound that I love, but doesn’t seem to be treading in overly-familiar places. Bonus points for lyrics– I love a well-mastered noise album, it’s crazy how much I have to pull this down on the board so it isn’t just blowing the needles out the side of the meter, ha.

The Mania album is subtle stuff, which I did not expect. Kind of reminds me of Aidan Baker in parts– probably the scraping metal noises. There is a lot of openness to this disc, a lot of sounds that are relatively uncontrolled. Even the electronics, or what I assume is electronics, feel fairly loose. Good stuff, and good use of samples. There is sometimes a tendency to be too cutesy with samples, or to give them too much center-stage. This stuff is definitely more restrained in how those are used, and they end up being way more effective.

I’m excited lately to hear a lot more beat-driven/beat-inclusive noise albums in the last several years. Not to say that it hasn’t always been around in some fashion, but the proliferation of beat-making (and probably, more people listening to hip-hop, etc) has definitely changed what is probable in a solid noise release. Seems like there is definitely a bit more nuance and understanding on the part of musicians with these machines as well. So while this Prostate disc, “RIP VIP,” is by no means hip-hop, it does definitely have some of that beatmaking on full display. Happily, it works. Rather than pushing things forward totally into new territory, it almost feels like a callback to older industrial material– Einsturzende Neubauten, or early Swans looping stuff definitely comes to mind.

Bonemagic continues the older industrial feel across “Sinew City.” This is muscular stuff, maybe a little too much for my taste– more of a brute force sort of album than I would ordinarily enjoy, but that’s more of a matter of taste– this is well-done. Reminds me a little of raw trash noise stuff like Rubbish; and for all I know, that is just the general sound of the midwest. Bonemagic brains Matt Hex says he’s the only noise artist in Oklahoma– what the hell even is a Sooner, and why don’t they want to make noise?!

I liked the Fire In The Head disc quite a bit– I do enjoy experimental releases that tell a story, or inhabit a character. World-building, or maybe destroying, but any rate: dramatic. Vocals on this one are rough, challenging, aggressive; but they also have a lot of heavy lifting that has been done by the setting– all bones and angles and harsh tone. Good stuff for fans of Mammal, Peter J. Woods, Z’ev.

I’m going to stop reviewing there. I don’t feel like I know the Deadbeat Debauchery disc well enough yet to really say anything, though I have been enjoying it so far. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU, dear reader! Anyways, hope you dug tonight’s show. Remember, if you missed it, check out the WDBX archive, and listen in for up to two weeks following the show.

Stress Orphan — There Are Many Knives (from “Mass Casualty Event,” on Phage Tapes)
Mania — Untitled 7 (from “Little Pieces of Violence,” on Phage Tapes)
Mania — Untitled 8
Prostate — Chanson De Gest (from “RIP VIP,” on Phage Tapes)
Prostate — The Church Or The World
Prostate — Merdre
Bonemagic — Cascaded In Light (from “Sinew City,” on Phage Tapes)
Bonemagic — Behold This Shallow Head
Fire In The Head — Resurrection (from “History of Obsession,” on Phage Tapes)
Fire In The Head — I Am Vengeance
Fire In The Head — The Hypocrite’s Manifesto
Deadbeat Debauchery – Filth & Gold (from “Deadbeat Debauchery,” on Phage Tapes)
Ocean Shores — Perceptive (from “No Hope For The Damned,” on Vice ’98)
Ocean Shores — Retrieval
Ocean Shores — Red
死夢VANITY — Moonlight (from “Evening Bliss,” on Vice ’98)
死夢VANITY — 美しさ
死夢VANITY — バーによる
I Am Adam, Of Eternia — Super Cassette Vision (from “Dream Vision,” on Vice ’98)
I Am Adam, Of Eternia — Eternal Elevator
I Am Adam, Of Eternia — Luxury Deluxe

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 11/27/17

November 28, 2017

I am working on being healthy! This is probably not super-meaningful to you– but it does go toward establishing motive, so *funky mystery music plays* I’ll allow it. Counsel, you may proceed. R-5476808-1394361412-9219.jpegSo anyways, I’m working on being healthy. I ate right today, freaking exercised, drank water, and did a lot of generally positive good things. So I’m going to try to bring that energy to tonight’s episode of “Music For Swimmers” as well. I’ve got my copy of “Los Tropicanos Volume 9” queued up for tinkly background music, and I kicked off with this era’s theme song– “Scum With Boundaries,” by the I.L.Y’s. So far, so good! A few days ago, I started trying to bring some order to my CD collection– which is really quite overgrown– so that put me in contact, so to speak, with a lot of CDs I haven’t thought about in a while. Some of those are going to make an appearance on tonight’s broadcast!

The I.L.Y’s — Scum With Boundaries (from “Scum With Boundaries,” on Third Worlds)
Merzbow, John Wiese — Luxor Skyship (from “Multiplication,” on Misanthropic Agenda)
Toshimaru Nakamura, Many Arms — III (from self-titled, on Public Eyesore)
Voicehandler — A Meager Labyrinth (from “Song Cycle,” on Humbler)
Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland – Dedication to Lake Kraken of Titan Off The Shores of Saturn (from “Thee Unhip,” on Edgetone Records)
If, Bwana – Cicada #1: EHG Version (from “Assemble Age!” on Mutable Music)
Yannick Dauby, John Grzinich — Raud 07.06.12 Podra (from “Lind, Raud, Aastaajad,” on Invisible Birds)
The Pat Sajak Assassins — Orgasmation Station (from “Lunch?!?,” self-release)
Christian Marclay, Erik M, DJ Olive — Paris, 2/11/2000 (from “DJ Trio,” on Asphodel)
Thee Annoying — Movement I-III (from “Composition I,” on Edgetone Records)
Merzbow — Hachigata 4 (from “Hatobana,” on Rustblade Records)
Jack Wright, Evan Lipson, Zach Darrup — Roughhousing (from “You Haven’t Heard This,” on Spring Garden Music)

I had a great time with tonight’s set– it was nice to stretch out into some material I might not ordinarily include, like the Pat Sajack Assassins and Thee Annoying cuts… not because I don’t like them, but usually because I end up feeling somewhat serious on air, and the rock-ishness of those takes me out of that feeling. Should be a good lesson to remember how flexible this show can be. Thanks for reading! Remember, you can check out the streaming archive of the show at the WDBX Archive (look for Music For Swimmers in the pulldown menu) for the next two weeks.

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 10/30/17

October 30, 2017

Tonight, we repeat an episode of “It’s Too Damn Early,” from May 8, 2010– with commentary and additional sound– in a time-shifted radio experiment joining past and present! The playlist and liveblog will be here, see the WDBX Archive if you missed the show live.

So far, I am digging this Hong Chulki. I had forgotten how truly wild and raw this album feels. It’s nice to get back into this. I still own the discs, of course, but haven’t played them in quite some time.

You know what’s unsettling? Being in the bathroom, and hearing your own voice pop on the monitor to announce the next song. That is truly weird. And yeah, Leif Elggren is pretty weird, too. “Two Thin Eating One Fat” has to be one of the more unsettling things ever recorded:

Two Thin Eating One Fat appears to be much more personal documentation of their dream communication – it features recordings of themselves quietly mumbling through a number of meandering narratives marked by a strange political rhetoric and the repeated phrase, ”let me in”. Thick metallic drones, distant pounding drums and rhythmic exercises with a Piezo buzzer accompany and at times interrupt the ongoing murmur.”


I decided to add some of “Soya Bean” into the mix of The Animist, just for fun. It also uses that odd vocal processing– speed-altered recordings, etc.

Seems like we are into the James Wyness now, though I will admit that I didn’t remember it being this noisy. I wonder if I skipped something in the original playlist? This definitely seems to be an odd detour. Regardless, I am enjoying it– bursts of static, occasional percussion, squealing and wildness. Fun!

I’d like to wait through this cut, and then bring in some new material– I have an EP from the Jorge Arana Trio, “Oso,” which is pretty good proggy jazz fusion. I was in Kansas City at Vinyl Underground/7th Heaven record shop, and asked for good local stuff– ended up with several cassettes and this lovely purple vinyl limited edition.

Listening to Sabrina Siegel now. At one point, we were somewhat in touch– I had greatly enjoyed several of her releases, particularly “Grace/Precarious,” a simultaneously clever and in-depth listen. It seems like between depression, returning to school, and working at WDBX, the demands on my time and energy caused me to inadvertently drop a lot of those sort of contacts. Although I think my skill presenting experimental music (and listening) has improved with time, I have lost a lot of ground toward being as connected as I once was. I can’t help but feel sad about this.

The I.L.Y’s – Scum With Boundaries (from “Scum With Boundaries,” on Third Worlds)
Hong Chulki — Without Cartridge 1 (from “With/Without Cartridge” on Balloon & Needle)
Hong Chulki — Without Cartridge 2
Merzbow — Graft #1 (excerpt) (on Cold Spring Records)
Leif Elggren, Thomas Liljenberg — The Animist (from “Two Thin Eating One Fat” on Fireworks Edition)
Leif Elggren — Soya Bean
Coin Gutter — Asthamtics fo Faliure (from “Asthmatics of Failure” on Panospria)
James Wyness — Temper Temper (from “Jelly Leg” self release)
Style City — The Happening (from “The Happening” self-release)
Jorge Arana Trio — Foredoom (from “Oso EP,” on Haymaker Records)
Jorge Arana Trio — Kallisto
Jorge Arana Trio — Crime of Passion Fruit
Sabrina Siegel — A Silent Forest 2 (from “A Silent Forest” on Clinical Archives)
Ryonkt — Day 1 (from “Window to the Room” on Under the Spire)

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 10/23/17

October 23, 2017

Hey, hey two weeks of liveblogging in a row?! Hard to believe, yet here we are. So tonight’s show is a little bit of a reaction to Mo’s last broadcast of “Style City” this past Sunday, combined with this grey, slow day leaking into my subconscious. 51d+tOoI0vL._SX355_

So the Oldfield stuff is definitely an odd choice for my show, but it makes sense, given the soundtrack of my week– Mo has been working up some new material, which is heavily reliant on similar long-form, futuristic sounds– I’d love to see a resurgence of albums like this! Plus, you’ve got to hand it to anyone who puts the following in their liner notes:

“This stereo record cannot be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with. If you are in possession of such equipment, please hand it into the nearest police station.”

Damn! At any rate, in keeping with Mo’s show, I’ve also decided on some rather May/December pairings– so Death Grips is pulling us out of Oldfield– equally futuristic, but with a different outlook, no doubt.

Philip Glass’s Powaqqatsi soundtrack started our second set off with the beautiful and bouncy “Serra Pelada,” a great cut that is just full of energy… which we siphoned right off with the Washed Out cut! I just found out about that album, “Mister Mellow,” the other day, and am really excited about it. Seems like good stuff so far, and the video is terrific. I have a tremendous respect for Mr. Rogers, so there is no hipster irony present in playing that cut– it is one of my favorites. If you heard it with a smirk on your face, go back and relisten, reflect on your choices, and do better moving forward.

The I.L.Y’s – Scum With Boundaries (from “Scum With Boundaries” on Third Worlds)
Luella & the Sun – Fly So Free (from “Fly So Free/We Got To Meet Death” 7″)
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells, Side 1 (from “Tubular Bells,” on Virgin Records)
Death Grips – Interview A (from “Interview 2016,” on Third Worlds)
Philip Glass – Serra Pelada (from “Powaqqatsi,” on Elektra Nonesuch)
Washed Out – Instant Calm (from “Mister Mellow,” on Stones Throw)
Mr. Rogers – Let’s Be Together Today (from same LP, on Small World Records)
Philip Glass – Anthem, pt.1
Philip Glass – That Place
Death Grips – Interview B
Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Part 1 (from “Equinoxe,” on Polydor)

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 10/16/17

October 16, 2017

Wow! Back to liveblogging! Who would have guessed? I felt weird tonight, and wanted to play something familiar AND unfamiliar, all at the same time. An old show sounded like just the right thing– plus, I have a scratchy throat… it’s THAT time of year, argh.

Here is a link to the original liveblog for the “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast I am airing tonight: HERE DANG JEEZ which I plan to not only liveblog about, but perhaps do some commentary for on-air as well. Currently, we are listening to this Chaos Kit cut. I’m sure this would not have ordinarily made it onto my show back in the day; it’s way too straight-forward and techno-ish, but it seems I had some situation where Sweet Action Radio had promised to play it, and then didn’t… I’m too nice!

I have reproduced the original playlist below. Because “It’s Too Damn Early” was a half hour longer than my current show, I will not have time to play everything in this list. I’ll do my best to figure out where it actually stops, and make a note of it.

Damn– Courtis and RLW still hold up. This stuff is nuts. I am definitely going to have to follow up on both. I’m a little sad that I haven’t– I wonder how much of a theme “dissatisfaction with my effort” will be in today’s liveblog, oh.

Not sure where we are in the mix right now. My suspicion is that this crazy duo is still at it– I’m detecting some hint of strings in the mix, and the crackle makes me think of Courtis and some lo-fi element worming its way about. So far, I like the dynamic of this show, although some of the breaks between cuts have been wonky. I wonder what was happening then?

I spoke on-air just now a little bit about this portion of the show– how, back when I was doing “ITDE,” the show’s shape was always about traveling through the nighttime into the dawn. Every show carried with it some sort of rebirth, even if into dim winter mornings or darkened rainy days where the sun never arrived. I always thought of this section of the show as something like a marathon– the area where it would be unwise to sprint– circadian rhythms would hit hardest here; between 4 and 5am is a no-man’s land for the waking dreamer. Now that I am listening fully, I can feel how tired I must have been while I played these cuts.

This Philip Jeck is fucking gorgeous. Goddamn.

Anyways, what is this? I am trying to pick up old threads, it seems. Maybe I lost something useful somewhere along the way? I have been watching a lot of old family VHS tapes lately, and it has definitely produced more nostalgia than expected. The more surprising effect has been realizing how many things it is possible to simply forget. Often, I feel like I am watching someone else when I see myself on-screen– I can’t recognize my motives, my perception, my voice. It is unnerving to see this David unmoored in the past, floating just beyond my reach. Listening to this show feels like swimming out to see if I can reach him. I don’t suppose these waters will get me all the way there, regardless.

It is almost cruel that tonight’s broadcast cannot end in dawn– this music is carrying me to a promise of dawn, I can feel it. But when I leave, it will be midnight. Philip Glass brought us back from the halfway point in style with Joan La Barbara riding side-saddle– an interesting choice. Was this from North Star? I don’t think so… I didn’t yet have that recording when this originally aired. Now here is Muslimgauze– almost surely the last of the nighttime riders.

Oh! Tim Buckley makes a surprise appearance! Now everything is revealed– Glass, La Barbara, and Jones were merely his heralds.

Parmegiani still holds up, but that’s not really a surprise. I only have 25 minutes left. Today’s show has really gone quickly! It’s going to feel a little weird to have this one undone– by the time we move into the next program (“Onslaught of Steel”) there will be about 25 minutes of time remaining in the original broadcast.

Just got a caller– he was a little confused about what we are hearing. Probably just confused about the music in general. I’d like to say he was intrigued about today’s show-within-a-show format, but that might be too hopeful. The call definitely reminded me of calls I used to get when I first got into radio– reactionary, upset, frustrated, angry– and although those elements were present in small amounts, I can’t say today’s caller was altogether unpleasant– a mix of mild bewilderment and skepticism, as if to say “you know this can’t possibly work, right?” Sorry, but if you’ve been touched unexpectedly, I’m putting it down as a win. YOU don’t just get to walk away from this.

It’s a strong possibility that I will be returning to liveblogging shows in the future. I have to admit that I had enjoyed doing this, and I like the feeling of “putting it out there” for readers to see what happens behind the curtain. I am thrilled to be able to point you directly to the WDBX Archive in case you missed this broadcast– it is available to stream for the next two weeks, just select “Music For Swimmers” from the drop-down list of programs.

Chaos Kit — Primer (Petro Laundry Mix)
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Cristalización espontánea
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Wege zur Besserung der Naturgeister
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Un pequeño hombre gris con cara cuadrada y ojos luminosos
Philip Jeck — Unveiled
Philip Jeck — Chime Again
Philip Jeck — Fanfares
Philip Jeck — Shining
The Gowns — White Like Heaven
Phthalocyanine — Ethiopian Runner
Contagious Orgasm — Heart Station
Philip Glass — Changing Opinion
Philip Glass — Lightning
Joan La Barbara — Shadow Song
Jack Lunetti, Don Brown — Untitled
Grouper — Disengaged
Grouper — Heavy Water
Muslimgauze — Baghdad Mind
John Oswald — Anon
John Oswald — O Hell
John Oswald — 2net
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Moins L’infini
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Instant 0
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Premières Forces – Premières Formes
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 3
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 4
———–today’s show cuts off here——-
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 5
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 6
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 7
Ahleuchatistas — Brilliant Danderkovs
US Maple — Mountain Top
George Korein — Too Many Days


Electric Kitten Vomit is dead.

April 10, 2017

In the spirit of moving onward, I’ve finally ended my long-running Electric Kitten Vomit project. Last week, the last EKV performance occurred on WDBX-FM, during my “Music For Swimmers” show, acting as something of a reunion, an explanation, a wrapup, and a Viking funeral. Frankly, I couldn’t be happier it all ended this way. Here is a recording of the final set, which hopefully gives you all some closure to this absurd chapter of my life.

I do plan to continue recording and performing– and resurrecting STARTLING MONIKER in a serious way as well– so please stick with me. It’s not always been the easiest road.

Mystified – “Sovereign”

November 18, 2015

So here’s a release that needs a little unpacking– in 2001, Robin Storey released an album under his Rapoon solo project called “Cold War: Drum ‘N’ Bass,” which set Storey’s ambient looping against drum and bass figures. Although I wouldn’t have guessed at the theme in a million years without the help of thematic titles and imagery, the music largely functions as a means for Storey to re-examine the beauty of his own remembered places from childhood against the omnipresent apparatus of the military and state. Although I enjoy Rapoon, (and perhaps to a greater extent, Storey’s involvement in Zoviet France) there is a definite English sensibility to the music that, as it draws heavily on memory and shared experience, I will freely admit I am not able to entirely share. Works from The Advisory Circle or Belbury Poly are similar in this regard.

Still, some of these nostalgic elements are shared– and unfortunately, so is the experience of growing up and realizing that some of these fond memories contain more menacing elements. Perhaps this is the experience that Mystified draws upon for his self-described “tribute” to “Cold War: Drum ‘N’ Bass,” a freely-released collection called “Sovereign.”

For Mystified’s part, the unpacking is likely in two parts. On the one hand, a colleague and fan’s personal history with the original album itself. Mystified has always been up-front with his admiration of Storey, and of the Rapoon project in particular. Although Mystified releases happily carry their own weight (or I would not deal with them at all) there is doubtless a certain artistic push or inspiration that must be acknowledged. On the other hand, there is Mystified’s own experience of re-examining memory– of course, it is complicated by the prior concerns. It’s a conundrum, a loop, formed from another’s memories and experiences; impossible for an outside party to fully discern.

So where does that leave the listener? Perhaps, right where Mystified intends us to be– suspended in an uneasy repetition of shadowy motives and retreating understanding. Like “Sovereign” itself, the simplicity is only skin-deep, and the complexity is entirely dependent on how far you’ll continue into the rabbit hole.

Mystified – “Sovereign” on Treetrunk

Jack Hertz & Mystified – “Inuksuk” ( An overnight review)

November 17, 2015

I enjoy listening to music while I’m going to sleep, letting it play throughout the night. Some long-time favorites include Brian Eno’s “Thursday Afternoon,” as well as “Neroli;” many of Lou Harrison’s orchestral works, and several recordings by Z’ev. Lately, I’ve enjoyed “If I Was,” by The Staves. It’s a difficult thing, to guess up-front whether an album will work for an overnight listen, and occasionally I find myself dreadfully wrong– though I enjoy his work tremendously while awake, I found a Phill Niblock album to be a nearly suffocating experience when trying to sleep. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t picturing a sleeper at rest, so your experience may vary. It seems to me that the best works for sleep-listening act as a tether of sorts, allowing for the sleeper to travel outward, while occasionally providing a reassuring tug from the waking world.


At any rate, I’ve been enjoying Jack Hertz & Mystified’s “Inuksuk” album for the Aural Films netlabel– I’m not always the biggest fan of Mystified’s collaborations, but this one seems to work well, with a good blend between both artists. I’ve largely given up on figuring out who did what, despite some early theories. At it’s best, “Inuksuk” delivers on what I’ve come to expect from a Mystified outing– thoughtful ambient works bathed in somewhat uneasy semi-rhythmic looping patterns. That sounds clinical, but Mystified does this very, very well time and again, with a knack for catching your attention just enough here and there to keep even the simplest figures remarkably fresh throughout. As far as I’m concerned, these moments are the titual “inuksuk,” dotting the sonic landscape to give the listener a sense of place, perhaps even in one’s dreams.

Jack Hertz & Mystified – “Inuksuk” on Aural Films


BBS. –DaveX

July 15, 2015



May 6, 2014

Ylayali Liner

The work that I’ve been tentatively referring to as “paradox/edges” is finally complete– and brings with it a new title: “Ylayali”. For the really, really, long-time readers of STARTLING MONIKER, you’ll know that I’ve released stuff under a variety of names in the past. Although I think I’m more DaveX now than anything, I’ve never been super-thrilled with releasing anything major under the name– and I just couldn’t sell myself on going the academic route, with middle initials blazing, etc., ha! One initial is fine, thank you. But the picking of a band/artist name is high voodoo. Lots to consider, especially for obsessive-minded, music junkie, record-hoarding crate-sniffers like myself. It’s the sort of thing you want to do right, one of the little rituals that add up to the overall fun of making music and being involved in music culture.

I took a little walk yesterday, just to get some distance on the problem of what to title the audio piece. Although a lot of direction ultimately ended up coming from Knut Hamsun’s 1890 novel HUNGER, it didn’t seem at all appropriate to appropriate the title– the work is not, after all, a reworking of the material. Rather, it encounters HUNGER, and comes away shaped by the experience. So I needed something different. I’ll let this selection from a note to my professor explain somewhat:

“…the unnamed protagonist sees (and becomes somewhat obsessed with) a young woman with whom he has a chance encounter. Although she is a stranger, the protagonist’s fragile and suggestible state cause him to provide her with a fanciful name he repeats to himself—“Ylayali”. As he says it for the first time, he hears his own heartbeat. Although the characters’ relationship is too complex to relate in this paper, a final point is worth mentioning— upon hearing of her moniker, she remarks unconvincingly that “it isn’t ugly.”
                As with Hamsun’s unnamed character, I have been similarly influenced by chance events, having decided early on in the process of creating this set of audio pieces to allow for and honor mistakes, outside influence, and what I think of as “the intent of the Universe” to play their part. To begin this process, I invited my daughter to read from randomly-selected portions of various texts. These included the TAO TE CHING, Sinclair Lewis’ novel BABBIT, and Hamsun’s HUNGER. My direction was that she randomly open the texts, and read from any single paragraph. During this process, the text of HUNGER revealed itself as a clear frontrunner, so the other texts were discarded. Portions of “Ylayali” are taken directly from these first, single-take readings, and form a skeletal theme that informs the work.”

In the novel, the protagonist encounters Ylayali, but does not retain her in any sense but, perhaps, a spiritual one. I like this idea. It seems more adaptable to what I’m interested in doing now– not so much making a statement or creating a message, as much as creating work that yields a significant encounter, like heat or gravity.

Although the project only called for a single physical copy to satisfy course requirements, I have made a numbered, limited-edition run of 10. At present, there are seven remaining– for $10 (well-concealed cash), I will mail your copy anywhere in the world. Contact me via e-mail for details. Some additional photos of “Ylayali” are below the fold, if you’re interested to see more. (more…)

Paradox/edges, update pt.4

May 2, 2014

The mixing and editing process for the piece has been going well, aside from some hiccups with a USB controller and University gear being pock-marked and haphazard. I listened to a rough cut last night in my car, and was totally impressed with about 75% of the overall work. The rest… looks like I’ll be going back to the editor.

June 13, 2008– an update

April 30, 2014

So I’ve been doing this sort of thing much too long! It seems I didn’t quit blogging or the show– I’m actually paid to manage the place now– yet the general feeling remains. In the “conclusions” section of your thesis, please note that circumstance did not affect the subject. 

paradox/edges update, pt.3

April 29, 2014


Work continued on the audio project today. Going well– I’ve got the basic structure complete, and have been working on making everything mix into something I’m happy with. So far, so good. I had an opportunity to revisit some of the Free Air drone sounds, so a remixed version of a portion of them is in use, as are some lovely froggy noises I captured. When it’s done, I’ll share! 

Generative Text Poem

April 28, 2014

I had still wanted to include some generative text and sounds in my final project audio, so I used the voice recognition function on my phone to capture and interpret low-volume talk radio, dialing through various crackly channels and letting it run. Here’s what I ended up with:

“10 when does the 20 and then duh well what so what up he knows what hes later 66 well its girl stuff from the beach someone is not something that we do so what something in 2007 turn music bigger group of sucks backyard what up and start firing I will fax it it was very scary is ending ever sanitize of a change and what about the bar Sirius International in the partners lots of the present that case viewer Arnel allies as a result what you believe the later what you’re selling it Baldwin double twist your jewels your facial potions with everything and clothing and he going to talk show on the couch right let’s see where is the Chris Martin to get the pants on anyways what does that exactly how ironic that it’s like that look at me look at me now I thought we need a ID peace and joy is 552 governor pressure on her moms now to recognize the legitimate see the State of Israel a condition it is necessary and began talking again yes absolutely that would be like this for long why what’s up so what would that work involved 1 about a month ago during the summer 2010 wasn’t talking about the music without it look Mormon equal every hundred thousand dollars this is Larry keep in mind that the best form of the day didn’t they just have fun people it’s probably safe what is 500 people on hundreds of people should still be at the same cost 70 th prestige the individual Trials foundation number along to get ringing of matches his response to this tweet to just coming to some and the other has it did this and it wasn’t meant like if he has had it off and gives a shit what you want to do, this is the day be 4 we still on the books in and the door I’ll let you know on the weekend and a good to eat like a tentative at it to the relationship was Israel is for $215,000 in April know that number does change in the coming days but the previous month was at 190 2012 here is not allowed to go after missable person Carl’s Jr Omar you still your house is so big yes it is it just hey”

A classmate kindly let me tag on his session to record this as a spoken poem of sorts, so I’ll be working it into the piece in the next few days. Tomorrow is editing part one, wish me luck!


“New” vinyl detritus

April 27, 2014

Record Store Day came and went– took the Weasel down to the local, and let him pull records for me from the cheap bin. He ended up finding me some fun stuff. I recommend this! Kids won’t try to hipster you into (or out of) an LP, so you end up with all sorts of random picks! Here’s a few:

Speaking of “miserable”

April 26, 2014

University is getting its last kicks in. Today’s recording session did NOT go well– great sounds all around, reasonably simple setup… I should have been looking more diligently for the stick! Anyhow, the Mac running ProTools died partway during the session, taking all the recording with it, and freezing in the process. Frustrating! So I’m thinking– I’m going to honor that particular request from the universe, and just work with what I have. Too bad, because I had a great, really super low-key improv with a punch balloon that I was very happy with… you can’t replicate that sort of stuff, though, so off it goes into the ether. 




April 26, 2014

Don’t forget to listen to MUSIC FOR SWIMMERS on WDBX-FM, from 5-6pm CST. Experimental, noise, drone, avant-grade… Cool stuff!

Recording update, Paradox/edges

April 25, 2014

Things went well in the studio last night! Although it started off rocky, with some ProTools related setup nonsense slowing the start down– and seriously, I’m really disliking the Mac environment– the recording session was solid. I had to chat up some of my older gear into functioning again, but that’s hardly my first go-around with the iffy lifespan of circuit-bent instruments. Everything was much more controlled than I would have guessed, so some of my plans to allow for the unintentional (there’s paradox for you) did not quite come off. On the other hand, some chance readings from various novels did prove interesting, especially a bit from Knut Hamsen’s novel Hunger– 

“I was fearfully confused. I absolutely did not know if I were on my head or my heels. This creature upset all my chain of reasoning; turned it topsy-turvy. I was bewitched and extraordinarily happy. It seemed to me as if I were being dragged enchantingly to destruction. She had expressly willed to go back; it wasn’t my notion, it was her own desire. I walk on and look at her, and get more and more bold. She encourages me, draws me to her by each word she speaks. I forget for a moment my poverty, my humble position, my whole miserable condition. I feel my blood course madly through my whole body, as in the days before I caved in, and resolved to feel my way by a little ruse.”

My recording uses a slightly different text, but it’s still a good place to start!