“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!

Paradox, edges

April 24, 2014

Going into campus studio tonight with pretty much my full-on noise setup. Recording for a final audio project– and of course, I’ve got the awful case of “senior-itus” and just want to get things knocked out, out of the way, etc. However, I partly came back to college for these sorts of opportunities– looking in from the outside at all that cool gear, interesting connections… That wasn’t much fun. So, I’m also trying to honor the experience. Half of me wants to step back, let unintentional connections and “happenings” occur– the sort of micro-minutiae that create the greatest detail, letting the universe speak, as it were. The rest of me is “grand statement” and “don’t disappear.” I’m hoping to find a way to let both of these impulses breathe. For now, I’ve settled on splitting things down the middle. In the recording process, I’ll step out of the way. Let the tape run. Create situations and see what happens. I’m toying with the idea of recording with extremely high volumes and ridiculous amounts of gain, so that I have no ability to disregard even the smallest movement. I’m also returning to the setup I used at the last Noise Summit– an unwieldy mess of interconnected cables, mixers, and amplification. It’s impossible to control, given its condition and ongoing abuse. I’m looking forward to hearing it belch forth from the bowels of campus!

The editing and mastering process will be an entirely different matter. I do intend to come forward at this stage, and show my hand. I’d prefer to be working in a different set of software, but I’m confident that the campus setup will allow me to get precise with things. I’d like to stay away from processing for the most part, but I am very interested in placement. But more on that later– I’ll update your tomorrow with how recording goes tonight!

Welcome back– for me and you

April 23, 2014

So, I’m back. Another birthday today. As always, not sure how I feel about that, but I’m getting the idea that it’s alright to let it go. After a second go of it, I’ll be graduating in a couple weeks– definitely pleased with this. And I’ve gotten to do so many neat things lately! I recorded a 78 lathe cut with the Free Air anthem I mentioned a couple years back, I’m running a radio station full of cool folks and neat music, and I’ve even gotten a new cassette player. Stuff is shaping up. I think depression is running out of steam, maybe. I don’t want to be too optimistic on that– but stuff feels different. So I’m back. And you’re back too! I thought I’d formally say it– let’s be in touch. I don’t want to slip off again. If you’re making music, tell me about it. Label has a new release? Share it with me. A mix? I want to hear it too! In return, I’m going to open things up a bit– more writing about running the station, more about sound and noise and music, and more of my own music coming your way as well. I’m a year older today. Here’s to not disappearing. Best, –DaveX


Liveblogging! 6/23/13

June 23, 2013

So we’re trying something new at the station– using Spinitron to help us keep our playlists. This is a really nice service that lets us input and track playlists, as well as make reports to all the fun fun fun performing rights organizations. What does this mean for you? Well, it means you can click around my past playlists a bit easier as I type them in. Here on STARTLING MONIKER, it might mean that I simply am able to copy-paste or provide a link from Spinitron, depending on whatever works best.

At any rate, enough shop talk. I’m covering for Style City today, in exchange for allowing her to cover my show next week so she can have an extra-long birthday broadcast. So I’ve brought in a bunch of great stuff to work with today, even though I’ve been mostly speanding my time on longer cuts– the Francis Dhomant and Phillip Schulze are notable examples. Good stuff from both by the way, but I’m especially impressed with Schulze’s addition to the Quartet Solo Series on this disc from the Striking Mechanism label. Lots of unusual sounds here, and the compositions is also very nice– a good blend of “musical” and “non-musical” elements, without getting into the precious feel-go0d ambient territory, or passing completely into noise. I’m also digging the feel of this label. The packaging for the releases is fairly simple, but with solid design elements. A bit difficult for me to figure out which track came first, though– some numbers would have been nice.

CRAY (Ross Healy) “STRK” from “Serge Modular Users 2009” on Resipiscent
Loachfillet “Origins of the Two Headed Spitting Cobra” from “Electric Pond: Solar Solution” on Resipiscent
Carlos Giffoni “All The Mistakes I Made During the Caribbean Winter” from “Serge Modular Users 2009” on Resipiscent
Morceaux de Machines “Lo-Fi Soundscape” from “Liberum Arbitrium” on No Type
Francis Dhomont “Frankenstein Symphony: Andante” from “Frankenstein Symphony” on Asphodel
Phillip Schulze “Cause Unfold Proceed II” from “Quartet Solo Series, Volume 1” on Striking Mechanism
Jonathan Chen “Drummer” from “Quartet Solo Series, Volume 1” on Striking Mechanism
Kine “Meditations in April Green” from “Meditation 1” on Alrealon Musique
Yannick Dauby, John Grzinich, Murmer “Sugis” from “Lind, Raud, Aastaajad” on Invisible Birds
Yannick Dauby, John Grzinich, Murmer “Talv” from “Lind, Raud, Aastaajad” on Invisible Birds

Alright, so pasting from Spinitron still leaves me with a bit of formatting, but this WAS pretty easy. I’ll make these into links a bit later on for you. In the meantime, here is a link to all of my Spinitron playlists. I’m going to have to see if there is a way to automatically export this data to STARTLING MONIKER. If you happen to know how, share it with me in the comments!

Wrapup for 5/12/13

May 12, 2013

It’s nearing the end of the day, so I thought I’d make a quick appearance on Startling Moniker, and type to those few remaining readers with stalwart hearts and barren calendars. I suppose I hadn’t mentioned it, but I did make it through the transformation between “interim manager” and “station manager” proper. For what it’s worth, WDBX-FM is now under my care. It’s a big job, with lots and lots of small moving parts. I’m pleased to have a job that has positive and concrete effects on the world– it’s a good mix of activism, organizing, art, and thinking off the top of your head– it’s a wonder I’d have never guessed I’d be doing this someday.

As I mentioned in another entry, I’ve also gone back to college. I started last summer, and have one semester remaining. Everything went well this semester, including my independent study, which was a re-boot of “Sounds Like Radio.” For the “pilot” I interviewed Frank Rothkamm, whose work I perceive as fascinating, but near-inexplicable. After our talk, I can’t claim to fully “get it,” but I think I am finally getting some footholds on the material, and definitely a better sense of how to approach things. Although I’ve liked the space that two hours of “Sounds Like Radio” affords, I’ve re-envisioned it as an hour-long program– two hours is a lot to produce on a weekly basis, so I’ve unfortunately ended up with some weak broadcasts. The music is always good, but I feel like I haven’t been able to tie things together well enough. Between working and being a student, there’s just not enough time to do it properly. That being said, I’m quite excited about the hour-long format. I’ll definitely let you all know when the pilot airs– this probably won’t be for a couple months, though. In a college town, there’s not much use in bringing out new programming in summer.

I turned 35 this past month. No adventure was had this year, which was unfortunate. I’m not certain I really even did much to celebrate– I did buy a few new records. In truth, depression continues to take a heavy toll on me. I have good days and bad, and while I’ve gotten better at anticipating and working around it, the self-loathing and doubt have similarly stepped up their efforts. It’s hard to imagine needing to deal with this for the rest of my life, but that certainly seems to be the case. In the meantime, I’ve decided to use this summer as a convenient chronological excuse for getting in better shape. I’ve noticed that exercise seems to help even things out, so what the hell– even though I’d rather read a book, it seems I’m going to be taking a lot of walks, drinking water, etc. I say this with a Coca-Cola in front of me– there’s still 56 minutes left in this day, right? Anyways, yes, this is a total momblog post. Sorry about that. Random stuff, needs to be said, blah blah blah. Since you were all so kind to read it, here’s something awesome to dig on:

Liveblogging! Music For Swimmers, 4/28/13

April 28, 2013

Fat Worm of Error — Mashed Potentate (from “Ambivalence & The Beaker,” on Resipiscent)
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Blue Door Openings (this, and next, from “Blaue Blooded Turen,” on Resipiscent)
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Blaue Blooded Turen
Morceaux de Machines — Omlegging (from “Estrapade,” on NoType)
Auris — Kr-Tkec-Pte (from “Auris,” on Artco)
Frank Rothkamm — Opus Spongebobicum, Veranderungen nos. 1-20 (from “Opus Spongebobicum,” on Flux Records)
Jurica — Broken Bells (this, and next, from “Distant Memories,” on Alrealon)
Jurica — Scene 21
Tom Hamilton, Peter Zummo — Today’s Beat Thing Tomorrow (from “Slybersonic Tromosome,” on Penumbra)
Tom Hamilton, Peter Zummo — Trance for the Bopanon Set
Henry Kaiser — Devil In the Drain (from “Devil In the Drain,” on SST)
Provocative Operations — II (from “Montreal Free!” on NoType)
Provocative Operations — III
Provocative Operations — IV
Ken Montgomery — New Age Machines, pt. 1 (from “Drilling Holes In the Wall,” on Monochrome Vision)
Kotra & Zavolonka — Out of Nowhere (from “Wag the Swing,” on Kvitnu)
Kotra & Zavolonka — Uneven Walk
Kotra & Zavolonka –A Taste of Live Life
Kotra & Zavolonka — Spacy Drift
Kotra & Zavolonka — Mountain River

“Music For Swimmers” liveblogged playlist, 3/31/13

March 31, 2013

I’ll take the format from my last liveblog, and keep my thoughts interspersed throughout the playlist. It’s fun!

I started off with something a little off-kilter– Mo had a caller who was being rude about “just play some music already,” and being completely put-off about the whole ordeal of listening to radio…

Leif Elggren — Soya (from “Bananafish 16: Paradoxes of Enlargement”)
Big City Orchestra — Advise Pilot of Fire (from “Is Dead Long Live,” on Ubuibi)
My Fun — Fireworks (from “The Quality of Something Audible,” on The Land Of)
My Fun — Phonopostal (from “Sonorine,” on The Land Of)
The Lesser Birds of Paradise — Untitled Track 11 (from “A Suitable Frame,” on Loose Threads)
Peter Wright — 5 Minutes + 24 Seconds (from “Pariahs Sing Om,” on Last Visible Dog)
Insect Ark — Lift Off (from “Long Arms,” on Geweih Ritual Documents)
Merzbow — Bamboo Honey (from “Deprogramming Music Vol. 1,” on Sacred Noise)
Brent Fariss — Three Spirit Recordings (from “Four Environments Collapsing,” on Kendra Steiner Editions)
Christian Bouchard — Trois Miniatures En Suite (from “Fractures,” on Empreintes Digitales)

Liveblogging while I cover a show…

March 26, 2013

I’m covering for another DJ today, so I quickly packed a bag and heading in to the station. I’ve got a fairly large amount of music with me, so this should be a fun time! Just for formatting kicks, I’ll insert the playlist between thoughts…

Coin Gutter — Timewise (from “All Your Dreams Are Meaningless,” on NoType)
My Fun — Black Sky (from “Idyll EP” on Test Tube

I figured out an interesting little “jog” technique using our CD players, quite by accident. I was not aware that you could trick it into staying put in active mode on a single frame of the disc– so I opened the Insect Ark cut with a little jog improv, which sounded great.

Insect Ark — Lift Off
Pierre-Andre Arcand — Paradoxal (from “Atlas Epileptic,” on Ambiances Magnetiques)

I noticed that the “Dj Trios” disc featured a track recorded at Bard College, whose “Office of Student Life Programming” assisted with putting on the original concert. Seems fun that we are now the unintended beneficiaries of their effort– thanks Bard College!

Christian Marclay, Toshio Kajiwara, Marina Rosenfeld — Annandale-on-Hudson, November 19, 2003 (from “DJ Trios,” on Asphodel)
Felix Lachance — Manege I (from “Cache 2009,” on CEC)

Jeez. Only when dealing with experimental music will a DJ find himself describing the Greek root words for “behind” and “anus” in relation to a family of fish. Luckily, the music is worth it. Hope you’re enjoying this!

Christoph Erb, Jim Baker, Michael Zerang — Opisthoproctidae (from “Erb, Baker, Zerang” on Veto Records)
Psychotic Quartet — We Are All 11 or 26 Dimensions (from “Sphaleron,” on Eh?)

Whew! Feeling tired tonight. As much as I enjoy filling in, I’m definitely going to enjoy getting back home. Plus, I won’t have Tom Selleck staring at me. I was using a pirate flag here at the station as a curtain between the master studio and my office, which has a big window (it used to be a studio as well). As near as I can tell, someone mistook the Jolly Roger for Old Scratch, prompting a quick switch on my part. In a pinch, Tom Selleck– via his “Mr. Baseball” days– made a decent substitution in movie poster form; his ample arm hair, twinkling eyes and thick mustache surely no match for anything cloven-hoofed. But now he stares at me, happily brandishing his ball bat. I’m not sure if we’re any better off.

Ministry of Rites — Embers (from “Grid,” on Edgetone)
CJ Borosque, Robert M. — Beautiful (from “Beautiful,” on Edgetone)

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers” 3/24/13

March 24, 2013

Kallabris — Consideration dur cafe (from “Genesungswerk,” on Genesungswerk
Kenji Siratori, Torturing Nurse — Mutant Hell (from “Mad Blockhead’s Tale,” on Roil Noise)
Grkzgl — Untlat (from “Esque,” on Angle Rec)
Erik M, DJ Olive, Christian Marclay — New York, September 17, 2000 (from “DJ Trios,” on Asphodel)
Climax Golden Twins — Untitled (from an untitled EP on Testing Ground)
Jin Sangtae — Extention (from “Extensity of Hard Disk Drive,” on Balloon & Needle)
O, Moon — Untitled #1 (from “Moonophonique Part One,” on Burning Emptiness)
Anla Courtis, Seichi Yamamoto, Yoshimi — Untitled (from “Live at Kanadian,” on Public Eyesore)
Richard Trosper — The Ocean (from “The Ocean,” on Public Eyesore)
Lateral Agriculture Order (as Figlia Villana) — First Memorial Gangrene (from “Bananafish 16: Paradoxes of Enlightenment”)
Wether — Selective Reasoning (from “Skin Atonement,” on Hymns)
A_Dontigny, Dianne Labrosse — TSF (from “Telepathie,” on NoType)
Jennifer Walshe — Nature Data (from “Nature Data,” on Interval)
Mammal — Repulsion (from “Lonesome Drifter”)

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers,” 2/17/13

February 17, 2013

I’m playing from vinyl acquired during my local university’s library cleanout a couple weeks back. I’ve been quite happy with many of my finds, which include vintage works from Cage, Pousseur, Stockhausen, Brown, Antheil, Xenakis, and many others. I feel incredibly lucky to not only have an opportunity to get my hands on these albums, but to save them from what was otherwise going to become a trip to the dump. Hard to believe, isn’t it? If you’re excited about what you’re hearing on “Music For Swimmers,” be sure to tune in to “Sounds Like Radio” tonight as well– I’ll have even more cuts from these records, each better than the last. If you’re not sure how to tune in, just look in the sidebar for “Sounds Like Radio,” and be sure to leave me a comment!

Ton Bruynel — Arc (from “Visual Series 7072/1,” on Donemus)
Iannis Xenakis — Polla Ta Dhina (this, and next, from “Album 2,” on Angel)
Iannis Xenakis — ST/10 = 1-080262
Gordon Mumma, David Tudor — Mesa, For Cybersonic Bandoneon (from “A Second Wind For Organ,” on Odyssey)
Toru Takemitsu — Asterism
Toru Takemitsu — Requiem

Hot damn, it’s been a while. Let me explain…

December 30, 2012

So I haven’t been talking much on here lately. It’s not a thing– I’ve just been busy. I’ve returned to school, as you might have noticed from some of the “recent” posts, so there’s that…. and then I’ve been in the process of syndicating “Sounds Like Radio,” which is time-consuming… and hey, I also became the interim station manager here at WDBX-FM!
I’m in/on/around radio pretty much all day now, it seems! I’ve had to re-learn some of what goes into attending school– notes, exams, homework– and now I’m in the process of trying to integrate my pre-chaotic life into my post-chaotic life, then calm the whole thing down into some sort of manageable, sweet-smelling gelatinous substance.

Of course, this means there’s never been a better time to send me your noise album, your sound art, or your experimental opus. I’ve got shows to feed!

Here’s my playlist for today’s episode of “Music For Swimmers,” followed by the best address to send me your sonic offerings.

John Coltrane – The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
John Coltrane — Compassion
Gaybomb – Untitled split LP with Zach Kouns
Jeff Rehnlund — Gangnam Basement (side A)
Blue Sausage Infant – Subferal
Charles Ives — Chromatimelodtune
Paul Metzger — Bright Red Stone
Philip Glass — Etoile Polaire
Philip Glass — Victor’s Lament
Philip Glass — River Run
Philip Glass — Mon Pere, Mon Pere
Malcolm Goldstein — Soundings (side A)

WDBX c/o DaveX
224 N. Washington St.
Carbondale IL 62901 USA

Two new reviews– Pelt “Effigy,” and Marc Behrens “20 Zonen”

October 26, 2012

My Musique Machine reviews are adding up– be sure to check them out! Here’s one for the new double by acoustic-droners Pelt; and here’s my take on “20 Zonen” a bit of radio sound-art by Marc Behrens. Cool stuff all around, dig it.

New review posted at Musique Machine

October 18, 2012

Check out my review for Russell Haswell’s “Scandinavian Parts (Immersive Live Salvage Supplement)” at Musique Machine!

“Sounds Like Radio” Fall Campus Soundwalk, Oct. 23rd

October 17, 2012

WSIU Public Radio, a public media station of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology invite the general public to a Fall Soundwalk on the SIU campus on Tuesday, October 23 beginning at 12pm. The soundwalk will start at the rock wall located at the north entrance of the SIU Student Center and should last approximately one hour. A rain date for the event has been set for Tuesday, October 30 at noon.

Dave Armstrong, host of the WSIU Radio program Sounds Like Radio, will lead the soundwalk, which is being presented in association with the SIU College of Mass Communication & Media Arts’ Imagined Geographies Initiative.

“Soundwalks celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us,” says Armstrong. “I plan to introduce listening exercises to deepen the soundwalk experience for participants and to acclimate them to different ways of hearing their surroundings.”
Sounds Like Radio is a two-hour program on WSIU Radio that brings a unique perspective to everyday sounds. It features experimental music, avant-garde works, sound art, and field recordings. Sounds Like Radio airs Sundays from 3-5am and again from 10pm-12am. Comments, suggestions, and questions should be directed to soundslikeradio@wsiu.org.

About the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE)
The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE), founded in 2009, is a regional chapter of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE), a membership organization dedicated to exploring the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies, while promoting public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration
of natural and cultural sound environments. ASAE is the United States affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE).

About WSIU
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU
stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at www.wsiu.org and on WSIU’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU’s programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the IIllinois Arts Council, a state agency.

“Music For Swimmers” liveblog/playlist for 9/30/12

September 30, 2012

I’m having some fun with old Contrastate material today– mixing stuff from the “English Embers” album with the “I” cassette, just because I like how it works together. Mo’s “Style City” broadcast was a good mood-setting today, blending some fairly off-kilter chiptunes stuff into a nice, workable mix. Maybe DJing isn’t the most amazing talent, but I’m still awfully proud; she’s definitely gotten the hang of things in the last couple years. I’ve got some nice recordings to share today as well– the “Hot Choice” album by Breakaway that I reviewed the other day, as well as a really nifty compilation album on Barge that I picked up for a Loren Connors cut, and ended up really digging across the album.

As a sidenote, if anyone from Nuun Records or Metamkine is reading this, thanks for sending the Pauline Oliveros/Jesse Stewart “Dunrobin Session” album. I found it lodged in the station’s currently-hoarder-worthy library room, where it had obviously been opened for me, and discarded. Not sure how long this one has been AWOL– but trust me, I don’t make a habit of ignoring Oliveros material, or any promos sent my way for that matter.

Contrastate — Invocation to the Rite of Birth (from “I,” on Direction Music)
Contrastate — The Rite of Birth
Contrastate — Northern Twilight (from “English Embers,” on Dirter)
The Fun Years — Electricity Is A Scarce Commodity (this, and next six, from “Innature,” on Barge Recordings)
The Kallikak Family — Purity Music, Purity Sound
Bird Show — Stay High
Polmo Polpo — Farewell to the Flyer
Loren Connors — Outside My Window
Animal Hospital — Late Summertime

New review posted– “Hot Choice” by Breakaway

September 28, 2012

You can check out my latest review at Musique Machine— this time, of a trio on the Peira label, out of Chicago.

“Music For Swimmers” playlist, 9/23/12

September 23, 2012

Philip Gayle — Agnes Unknown (from “Babanço Total,” on Public Eyesore)
Matt Davignon — Snowshoe Hare (from “Living Things,” on Edgetone Records)
Thanos Chrysakis — Subterranean Sky, pt.2 (from “Subterranean Sky,” on Aural Terrains)
Bob Marsh, Bryan Eubanks — Wanna Wanna (from “Eight,” on Setola di Maiale)
Sashash Ulz — Maenads, Pt. I & II (from “Maenads,” on SicSic)
Ron Anderson, Robert L. Pepper, David Tamura, Phillippe Petit — Closed Encounters of the 4 Minds (pts. 1 & 2) (from album of the same name, on Public Eyesore)
Persistence In Mourning — The Feral Children (from Persistence In Mourning/Koufar split cassette on Phage Tapes)
Tim Reed — The Point (from “Selected Electroacoustic Works,” on Lonely Whistle Music)