click here to go back to the latest episode

archive | field notes

CAMP.Radio | episode 034 | field notes | 19.04.2023

You can tell that spring has arrived when you find insects in your cocktail glass.
Cue the lawnmower intro.

Let's do this.

01. Drust Jive (2017)
A classic summer night groove from SARN, joined by a cast of brilliant San Francisco area musians (Rob Shelton and Jason Slota) and mixed by John Vanderslice. This song is listed as 94 Villager on the 2018 release, HELLATRIPPIN.

02. 032923_guitar (2023)
Lo-fi minimal guitar always wins my heart. In this piece I ramble on about painting the barn- which is a work in progress. That's how I meditate. Painting shit that has worn out a long time ago.

03. Video Cassette Recorder (2023)
It is really hard not to admire the work of John Vanderslice. As a writer, performer, engineer, and producer- he skips across genres like a poor-person's version of David Bowie, because he can. Video Cassette Recorder is from a brand new release of glitched guitars, electronica, and short form ambient works titled, Crystals 3.0.

UPDATE:: This week Vanderslice's studio Tiny Telephone was robbed and irreplaceable equipment was lost. Go to his bandcamp page and help raise funds to get them back up and running- or click on this embedded tweet and donate through the gofundme page.

04. Under No Enchantment (2022)
Debbie Armour and Gayle Brogan can do something that most musicians have tried to do, but failed. This pair of artists have bridged traditional folk music and something close to 21st-century psychedlia or electronica. The result is amazing on several levels. This song is just one example.

05. #daytripping (2015)
This was recorded in a rented house on Nantucket. It was one of the best summers ever. The optimal season for exploration is once again upon us.

06. Lost Lake Field Recording 1 (2023)
This composition, rendered from a set of field recordings, by the photographer/artist Marion Belanger was recently used in a group art exhibit called [un]Certain Futures.

07. Half Dollar in F Major (2023)
John Calvin Abney is sort of like John Vanderslice, in that he has played across genres in either a backing, or solo, role. This piece, from Departure Nocturnes, is played on a prepared piano with other ambient sounds. Brilliant.

08. Kaleidoscope (2021?)
Summer is the perfect season for lo-fi slowcore punk. And summer is coming. This is Sweet Benfica. I heard they're from Spain but they sound more like Wales. [Note to self: schedule an interview with Stefan for the next episode.] Click here to review their catalogue. Trust me.

09. 041723_piano (2023)
A #WIP drone. Early April was a little weird. Getting better. Painting the barn.

CAMP.Radio | episode 033 | field notes | 22.03.2023

Better days are coming. That's a rumor that I have recently heard. No talking during this episode. March was busy and passed quickly. When I compiled the final version of this mix at 01:30 I really did not feel like talking to anyone. This might be your lucky day.

01. If I Could Close My Eyes and Pretend (2023)
A new spacey Spacemoth single is always a pleasant surprise. Stylistically similar to No past No future- but moving to a higher level of understated complexity. It gets trippy towards the end.

02. 031923_drone_2 (2023)
A lo-fi #WIP for bass and minimal guitar.

03. DMT/JMZ (2023)
Chad Matheny is a fierce advocate for access to public transportation and improving infrastructure. As part of his current tour, Emperor X has released a collection of live recordings about infrastructure challenges facing each of the cities he is performing in called- Suggested Improvements to Transportation Infrastructure in the Northeast Corridor. Matheny's lyrics are always humorous and deadly serious. Please do not fuck with Emperor X.

For more information on the Emperor X tour and listen to this thematic work hit the bandcamp page.

04. 032123_delay (2023)
A rainy day spent with a delay pedal #WIP. There is a lot of noise in the signal chain. I played a chord on the guitar- then went to do something else. When I came back 30 minutes later the chord was still cycling- so I hit the record button. As I always say- you have to start before anything else happens.

05. work in progress (2023)
This is a layered set of field recordings by the New York based artist Ann Burke Daly.

06. 031623_F1 (2023)
A cello drone with minimal guitar and MIDI-rendered clarinet. The Kanzler leaned hard into the F note. Patiently.

07. Country of Singing Hills (2023)
In 2021 a catastrophic winter storm brought most of Texas to a standstill. This piece is from a larger worked called, The Storm Variations. John Calvin Abney captures the stillness and the gravity of weather, rendered as music, through sparse writing and some very brilliant engineering and mixing. The notes in this piece sound quite natural- but there is a lot of very subtle play going on that demonstrates Abney's masterful and creative manipulations of sound.

08. 031723_piano (2023)
I am getting whimsical in my old age. Two piano chords, three guitar notes, a bicycle for hi-hat (I use this sample A LOT), and an AWAY suitcase as a kick drum. Starting and stopping. And starting again. That is how it works. #WIP

09. Bicinium (2023)
A cello and double bass drone. Great writing and performance of neo-classical drone ambient music by Marco Baldini. Top notch.

10. a thin veil (2019)
A broke-ass keyboard and two guitar notes. I was playing with textures- painting the background for something else. And then painting over it again.

11. untitled improvisation for flotsam and jetsam (2023)
On 25 February, the artist Peter Liversidge invited a group of artists to play at the closing of his exhibition, Either / OR at Kate MacGarry, a gallery in London. I am still trying to get the details on this performance. I was intrigued by a couple of short video clips showing cello, guitar, and clarinet players staked out in the corners of the gallery space where the installation/sculpture Flotsam and Jetsam was displayed. Jack Cooper, Heather Roche, and Dominic Lash provided the perfect soundtrack for a flotilla of boats and ships made from Liversidge's found pieces of wood, branches, and string.

Using the source material from the video, I did three things: 1. looped the 1-minute 40-second audio several times and 2. reversed and looped the source audio as a secondary track. Then, 3. mixed the two together.

Closing credits. Thank you for listening. I love you.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 032 | field notes | 22.02.2023

It is snowing in the lower Connecticut River valley today.

01. beaver dam 1 (2023)
Welcome back. The program opens with an alt-mix of a #WIP by the Noank Guitar Ensemble, featuring Dr. Carini. This piece pops up a few more times over the hour.

02. screen grab audio 01 (2023)
Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) occasionally posts short videos on twitter that I find very instructional. How often do you get to watch a genius drummer work out a new (or old) beat? Presented here as a loop of one thin section of audio in the twitter vid. I thought about adding some angular piano chords from our out-of-tune Yamaha piano, but then thought better. This piece stands on its own.

Here is the original:

03. Geography. (2023)
This is another piece that I found on twitter in February. Tarotplane posted a video of a guitar session using the classic Fripp/Eno tape delay. Two reel-to-reel decks chained together. The tape hits the record head of the first deck, then travels to the play head on the second deck, then loops back around. This technique has been in use for over 50 years- but I always stop and listen when I see/hear someone doing it again. You should follow @tarotplane_ on twitter to see/hear more ambient works in progress, and hit the bandcamp page for the finished pieces.

04. 020723_bass_drone (2023)
At the beginning of February I was working on a pretty basic guitar, bass, drum, drone thing. It is a very quiet piece. Not a lot of action or variation. But the overall vibe was pleasing, so I sat and thought about it one day. Then I realized: it needed an element of chaos. So I sent a text to my long-time collaborator, Dr Carini, and said, "Turn on one of your old amps and record a few minutes of feedback in D for me. But you have to do it today." Later in the day I received the file, that he recorded on his phone- and it worked as intended. Parts of the feedback file appear later in the program.

05. The Dream's Dream (1978)
The second Television album, Adventure is not as good as Marquee Moon because. I really dislike that premise. There are great moments across the entire Television catalogue. There are also flaws. That is how it works. The Dream's Dream ticks all of the right boxes- literate lyrics and a very dynamic tension between two guitars that decorate brilliantly understated bass and drum work. That is my hot take.

06. 020623_piano (2023)
A #WIP piano and bass drone. Nothing more. Suggestions encouraged.

07. 011523_noise (2023)
I made a chunga-chunga drum track, with the intention of adding a harsh noise drone over the top. A one-chord deal. And I had a few minutes of feedback from Dr Carini. That is what this is. A fast D chord. So, I'm fishing trout now. Mercy.

08. Glass at 86 (2023)
On his birthday, 31 January, Philip Glass posted a short video on twitter of a short piano phrase. I do not recognize it by name. I looped the piece for several minutes. He is a treasure.

09. 021723_guitar (2023)
I have been trying to expand my palette- in audio and painting/craftwork. This is a #WIP exercise in pursuit of that goal. I also used this exercise to improve dexterity and discipline in performance.

10. Celestial Transgression (2023)
If you have listened to the entire experimental trash series, you have already heard several of Robyn Hitchcock's instrumental pieces. I was delighted to learn that he recently released an entire album of instrumentals called Life After Infinity. This piece reminds me of the I Often Dream of Trains era. I am ok with that.

11. 021523_piano_1 (2023)
A #WIP for piano, muted bass, and ambient reverb. Why not?

12. beaver dam 2 (2023)
another #WIP edit of acoustic guitar played by Dr Carini.

13. noise inter (2023)
Excerpt loop of a noisy work in progress.

14. Miles Away (2023)
Yo La Tengo has always been a revolutionary band because they have been an evolutionary band. Dig it. Notes for their 2023 release, This Stupid World, plainly state that album is their first true #DIY album. They wrote, performed, engineered, recorded, and mixed the album. The result is one of the best albums in their VERY deep catalogue. I will stop here before I embarrass myself.

15. beaver dam 3 (2023)
Closing credits. I love you.

an old fish stand on the side of the road

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 031 | field notes | 25.01.2023

Let's have a drink and I will tell you a few stories about Emperor X.

01. Roland concept piano demo (2023)
Some one sent me audio and video of a demo for the Roland 50th Anniversary Concept Piano. An electric piano housed in a sculptured wooden case. Drones can hover nearby with 360-degree speakers. Crafted by hand and machine by the Japanese furniture maker, Karimoku, this is a beautiful piece of art and engineering. High-end art meets high-end tech. At the demo, there was a very competant hired pianist playing the demo. As presented here: One track raw audio, with crowd sounds. One track reversed. One track time stretched. One track reverbed. You can read about it here.

NOTE: The interstitial music used throughout episode 031 is audio that I captured from Chad Matheny's YouTube channel. This channel is a great resource that drills down into his writing and recording processes.

02. 010523_guitar (2023)
A #WIP. Because you have to start somewhere. What happens next is anyone's guess.

03. The Anthem of the Greater McMurdo Station Chamber of Commerce. (2022)
The Lakes of Zones B and C has taken a while to grow on me. During our conversation, I said to Chad- "Man, where is the weird shit?" Because every Emperor X album has been, by design, WAY off kilter. This album is different. And I am ok with that.

a photo of some twigs fell down during a storm

04. Chad Matheny (Emperor X) conversation (2023)
Chad is many things: songwriter, composer, performer, mixing engineer, Florida refugee, co-owner of a bar in Berlin, graduate student in Philosopy, and Emperor X. I have not spoken with him since before the pandemic. I am not going to transcribe the conversation- you will have to listen to it. Also- he has invited anyone reading this to play at an open mic at DONAU115.

A few years ago, Chad picked up and relocated to Germany. First Berlin, now out near the border with Poland. We collide on a random basis and pick up the conversation where it left off. While we were talking in this segment, I looped segments of pieces from Chad Matheny's extensive catalogue- and almost all of it is available here- on his bandcamp page. The pieces included here:

1. Pieces sampled from the Chad Matheny / Emperor X YouTube channel.
2. Kafka Goes to Primark.
3. Exterminata Beat.
4. A loop from Defiance.
5. I Will Always Hear from Joytaker's Rake.
6. A loop from the intro to Hummingbird.
7. Do not claim you honor them, You do not know how to honor them from The Lakes of Zones B and C.
8. Loops of the title track to the album Oversleepers International.
9. Fragments of Wasted on the Senate floor (pairs with the conversation).

You really need to listen to this one.

05. 30000 Euros (2017)
Google it.

06. Loose Ends (2023)
During our conversation, Chad Matheny turned me on to The Notwist- a band I had never heard of. They have a very interesting catalogue of music. This track is from their soon-to-be released album, Vertigo Days: Live from the Alien Research Center. Nice stuff. Click here to hit their bandcamp page.

Roll the ending credits.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 030 | field notes | 12.28.2022

Cloudy skies, short days, holidays, tend to slow everything down. Anticipation/anxiety and lack of focus set in. It is called seasonal affective disorder. I am celebrating the new year by cleaning my desk and starting a new notebook to keep this song and dance show organized. Good times.

a polished desk and a new notebook

01. Secular Winter Song (2017)
This is my interpretation of a holiday classic. Very cheerful. Have a drink. This is not a year end retrospective.

02. Carbide Fizz (2022)
The duo, known as, Kinbrae, collaborated with Clare Archibald to produce one of my favorite albums of the year- The Birl of Unmap. Ambient electronic drones mixed with field recordings and spoken word are the perfect soundtrack to accompany the winter quiet.

03. Fuchsia Dreamers (2020)
I stumbled upon the music of Haved Jabib and Comets in Cardigans on twitter. This 2020 release contains three pieces that combine field recordings, ambient/environmental sounds, and analogue/digital drones. Edgy ambient music.

04. Nothing short of something (2022)
During 2022, Throat and Chest produced a series of weekly recordings. Sounds from daily life, looped, modulated, and distorted. After listening to these pieces over the last few months it documents the pace of life. Also, the titles are often very clever. Nothing short of something is the 52nd chapter of their series- and it looks like the project will continue. At some point I really want to cut some samples from these pieces to create something new.

05. 122622_guitar (2022)
A lot of #WIP is pretty cringe- and this piece is a good example. The other thing about any work in progress is that it is just a start- and subject to change or dismissal. This is what a first draft sounds like. I'm not digging the EQ and texture/attack of the acoustic guitar. Those definitly need to change. I will revisit this piece and get back to you in a month. I might use some Throat and Chest samples for percussive elements.

a metal goat decorated with lights

06. Song VII (2008)
Wendy Sutter plays Philip Glass on the beautiful collection, Songs and Poems for Solo Cello. I took the introduction phrase and looped it- overlaying other parts (trills and drones) from other parts of Song VII.

07. Some of them are old (1974)
Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno is one of my favorite albums. It is very whimsical AND very heavy. Some of them are old is one of the songs that has both humor and instensity.

08. Clouds Flowers Sky Water (2022)
Like Brian Eno, Euros Childs also combines humor with intensity, with very similar skill and precision. The career of Childs is long and well documented- and the latest album, Curries continues his minimalist phase. Most of the tracks are stripped down to the basics. Percussion sounds like some one thumping on a cardboard box. There might be a piano, or an organ, or a melodica. The arrangements are perfect because they are simple. The lyrics are poetic and not prosaic. The thing is- it all comes together, like a magic trick.

09. Seneca Cliff (2022)
A new album of next-gen electronic music by Beau Sorenson- Indifference Will Devour You demonstrates engineering as an artform. Using a collection of new and vintage synthesizers, Sorenson literally weaves imagined scenes using creative mixes and motifs. These are pieces of music that stand on their own- but could also be used to soundscape many different settings and situations. Seneca Cliff is very thoughtfully composed and flawlessly performed work. I dig this.

10. retrospect (2015)
Good night and good luck. Roll the credits.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 029 | field notes | 11.30.22

The cold days are here for a while. We're scurrying around indoors like mice in fancy outfits. A program of many loops, hopefully pleasing in nature.

01. Annalisa (1978)
Public Image Ltd made a mark when First Issue was released. One of the most striking elements of the band (and there were many) was Keith Levene's ability to melodically render thrashing guitar lines. For this piece I looped Levene's guitar intro. He will be missed.

02. product demo loop (2022)
Teenage Engineering is an innovative electronic instrument company based in Sweden. Their latest release is a set of eight Bauhaus inspired wooden figurines, which each have distinct voicings. All eight choir members completely sold out in nine days.

Here is the product demo for Choir. I cut and pasted and looped different sections. There were no credits listed in the product video- if anyone recognizes the piece or the artist- please let me know and I will update this entry. Brilliant stuff.

03. 111722_drone (2022)
A work in progress. One looped guitar and bass line. I then stretched and sampled part of a piece by Throat and Chest to add a scratchy, almost vinyl, texture. Very subtle.

04. Return the Gift (1979)
There are similarities and differences in the guitar techniques of Andy Gill and Keith Levene. This piece samples the first two guitar notes from the start of Return the Gift from the first Gang of Four album- Entertainment!.

05. Gathering Darkness - excerpt (2022)
Jonathan Deasy explores guitar tonality and texture in a new long-form piece. Using a variety of effects and processing, Deasy is creating dream-state drones. I discovered his work, quite randomly, in my twitter feed. Deasy posts video vignettes of works-in-progress. I captured the audio from two video-clips and overlapped/looped them.

06. More (2022)
We all want more. Life requires reciprocity. Low has historically always made more from less. Minimal arrangements, artfully done, create the illusion of something much bigger. More is no exception. It's basically a blistering and overdriven guitar riff with tape effects. Blurry starts. Blurry finishes. The voice of Mimi Parker is now a thing of legend. Where will they go next?

07. off the point (2022)
A slow-core drone with few words. The trashy sounding hi-hats are two metal dog bowls. The vocals were recorded on my phone while walking down a country road with my canine companion. The fuzzy guitar melody goes backwards and forwards. Cue the reverse snare.

metal dog bowl hi hat

08. Poptones (1979)
Another Keith Levene tribute loop. Originally released as part of an art project called Metal Box in 1979 and then the vinyl version Second Edition in 1980. Poptones has an instantly recognizable guitar melody- so why not loop the best part?

09. Marion in Chicago (2022)
A piece of flash fiction attached to some minimal piano music. I received a field recording with a story, and this is how I interacted with the material.

10. Glass Hotel (1990)
So far, this episode seems to have been very guitar focused. Glass Hotel by Robyn Hitchcock is one of my favorite pieces of guitar work. Ever. The intro to this song is delicate. It is a very meditative piece. It has grace.

11. Who loves the sun? (1970)
Who loves the sun is pure Velvet Underground: Two-minutes of pure, groovy, 1970 folk pop. Perfect for radio. There is a bridge section (WHY?) towards the end that brings you back into the final chorus round. I edited it out- and made a loop that I played on repeat one day, while I was painting some doors in the kitchen. The repetition finally pushed SHR over the edge, and there was a very loud protest. How can you not love this song?

12. song 11 (2015)
Good night and good luck. Roll the credits.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 028 | field notes | 11.02.22

One of the pulleys gave out on the mower deck while I was mulching leaves. Cleaned myself up and sat down to write the field notes and found a tick trying to bite into my arm. The joys of pastoral life. For some reason I talked A LOT more than usual in this episode.

01. 102922_drone (2022)
This #WIP describes a recent writing and arranging process. In the first section I identify the tones- where they came from and their role in the piece. There is narration for your convenience. The second half of the piece is an arrangement of the tones generated. Another variation of this might appear on the next episode. If you have any suggestions- please let me know. I will try to post the stem files here soon.

02. Sun Drift (2022)
Sweet Benfica is the new sound of NEATH. Stefan James is a master lo-fi guitarist. He can take a very dirty sound and turn it into a melody. Or a meditative drone. Or both. This is a sample of the first 45 seconds of a new track Stefan is working on- which I chopped up and looped. Sweet Benfica bandcamp page

03. Morgan painting (2022)
I am thinking about writing a book about an American abstract-expressionist painter.

04. Imaginary Friend (2022)
Kukan Effect is a Japanese solo ambient musician and photographer. That is what the bio says. The textures in this piece stand on their own. Great slow arrangements of processed guitar. There is a pretty nice catalogue of work on the Kukan Effect bandcamp page (click here)- and most of it is free. Dig it.

05. Absent (2020)
Back in the day- the Connecticut River valley had an interesting semi-underground outsider music scene. Hearing Absent by All Feels reminded me of those days. This is one of the best examples of how to combine drone with slow-pop. In this presentation I extended the intro drone- but then when the "song" starts- the drone continues for the next three minutes. When it drops out- you know it. Because the tone is absent. All Feels bandcamp page

06. Best Laid Plans (2022)
Ash Cooke has been extremely busy this year. A new Derrero album was recently released and he has put out some very interesting improvised solo guitar recordings- and also a Pulco-ish album. How does he do it?

Actions of Strength, Protest & Truth is the fourth release of solo improvised guitar that Ash has released THIS YEAR. This track, Best Laid plans is my favorite from the new album. I listened too it on repeat the other day while I was walking with Charlie. When you're walking on a country road there are a lot of random sounds. Ash contributed additional guitar tones which blended pretty nicely with what was going on at the moment. Along the way, I pointed out significant geological, environmental, and historical features. Then I took the recording and re-arranged the parts in several variations. Ash Cooke bandcamp page

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 027 | field notes | 10.05.22

The autumn days are getting shorter- so like the common grey squirrel I scurry around during the daylight hours to get as much done as possible before dark. episode 027 features guitar-based drone music, field recordings, and a very long remix of solo cello. START THE TRACTOR.

01. For plastic accordion and guitar (2022)
This #WIP was constructed for the annual Dark Outside festival- a 24 hour-long broadcast of music that has never been publicly presented. This year it ran to 25 hours. At the end- all of the music from the program is deleted. NOTE TO SELF: Try to get an interview with Stuart for a future epsisode.

02. Digital Tsunami (2002 original / 2022 cover)
Recently, Helena Celle posted a short clip of this cover of a Drexciya track. I looped this piece many times- because the very short clip had a very nice flow. Celle is a technically brilliant electronic musician that randomly posts works in progress and recording knowledge on twitter as free_musick. Definitely worth following.

03. Yard sounds and sourdough (2022)
a collage of #fieldrecordings by SHR. Sounds from inside and outside the house while making bread on an end of summer evening. A Boston Terrier occasionally barks.

04. My wish for you (2022)
A piece for two guitars by the Noank Guitar Ensemble- inspired by @plunkett. He played a somewhat delicate and repeated phrase on an acoustic guitar- but due to seasonal allergies the microphone was picking up A LOT of his breathing. Running the track back through a distortion pedal blended his rhythmic breath with the Guild D-40 guitar. A second clean guitar phrase, bass guitar, minimal vocals, and percussion were added later.

05. The Price You Pay (2021)
The closing track from the album Hey What by Low is a sprawling psych-metal journey. Alan Sparhawk treats guitar effect pedals like separate and distinct instruments. Not anyone can do this so effectively and artfully. Killer track. No further notes.

06. I bet you knew that was going to happen (2022)
Another piece from the Throat and Chest collective. Each week they post a new recording on their bandcamp page. The pieces in their catalogue are primarily derived from field recordings, which may, or may not be, subject to further manipulation. I am still trying to track them down so I can ask more detailed questions on their methods and techniques. This 6-minute track sound industrial- but who knows, it might be a purring cat.

07. Tears are in your eyes (2000)
Yo la Tengo has a song for every day/month/season/emotion. This is one of my favorite October songs.

08. Sonata for unaccompanied cello (1950)
The Janos Starker recording of Kodaly's sonata is beautiful. Sections of both droning and lyrical play. That final 15 minutes of episode 027 are a remix of this piece- looping sections that I like, modulating other sections. Pitch shifting and time stretching. It is a fun exercise to experiment with some great source material.

09. good night and good luck (2022)
Closing credits over the SHR field recording.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 026 | field notes | 09.07.22

The #drone genre appeals to me. I find it calming. Just a few repeating notes, or a couple of thoughtfully played chords, make a great soundtrack for daily listening. episode 026 features guitar-based drone music, field recordings, and spoken word.

Usually, after each experimental trash broadcast, I spend a week away from music. I don't play, I don't write, I don't practice, I don't listen. This week I have a landscaping project that I've committed to- and my ears need to rest. The point is- the field notes for episode 026 are a work in progress, because I wanted to get it out and share it in a timely manner. Some of the music in this episode really requires a lot more words for context and appreciation, and I will try to add them over the next few days.

01. Duck and Person (2022)
i warned you. The first track uses two pieces audio that I found on twitter: 1. A duck playing a drum, and 2. David Lynch offer good wishes for a new day- no matter what the weather is. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

here is the David Lynch source material.

and here is the drumming duck source material.

I put the two parts together, did some editing. Added a low-end kick drum, and I think just a distorted A chord.

02. Waiting at Newark International (2022)
SHR recently went to Newark International Airport to drop off a friend on a return trip to Germany. As usual, there was a lot of waiting around. #fieldrecording

03. Tate Riding the Escalators (2022)
a brilliant #fieldrecording-based work by @throatandchest. This piece is part of an impressive, and ever-growing, set of recordings that you can access via their Bandcamp page (click it)

04. Gatekeeping (2022)
#spokenword by @dezmo - and the negative influence of gatekeepers in the independent music scene. This is a raw and very honest take.

05. Grass Airfield (2022)
This is a #noise #drone from the the Noank Guitar Ensemble, featuring Dr. Carini. Nicely imagined source material. I dig repetition.

06. untitled, live (2022)
Recently, peterliversidge attended a performance by Pan American. Peter recorded a few short clips from this solo show and posted them to twitter. Very minimal, yet very textural. Of the three clips I saw on twitter, I cut two different chords from one of the pieces. Then I put them together in opposite order, then I looped it for a while. Just two chords, played with a delicacy that renders them poignant. Mark K. Nelson is a brilliant composer and performer.

This is the source material recorded by @peterliversidge. I used about 2 seconds from this clip. Snipped one chord. Snipped another chord. Loop. Repeat.

07. 082222_guitar (2022)
This is a work in progress that been rattling around recently. #drone #ambient

Click here if you would like to download the stem files for 082222_guitar.

08. Outskirts, Dreamlit (2022)
Another piece from Pan American, this one from The Patience Fader album. Truly beautiful minimalism and great engineering. To hear more of Mark K. Nelson's work - check the Bandcamp.

09. sunday session (2022)
This is another piece from the Noank Guitar Ensemble series, this time featuring @plunkett. This is a very simple acoustic guitar loop/drone. @plunkett is a very comfortable collaborator. Sometimes we play together- and sometimes I just leave the room and he plays. There is more material from this session that will probably appear on episode 027.

10. of the ancient world (2022)
This is another brilliant piece of music that uses #fieldrecordings as an instrument by @throatandchest. When you go through their catalogue- there are a lot of different names mentioned. This series of recordings is very much an evolving work in progress and it is definitely worth my time to follow their progress.

11. untitled, live (2022)
If you really liked the loop from the recent Pan American concert that was played earlier in this episode- here it is again. yes- because i found it pleasing. Have I mentioned that I really like simple repetition?

12. good night and good luck (no date)
Closing credits over then/when. Thank you for listening.

#ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 025 | field notes | 08.10.22

The August moon is cruel. Too hot to sleep and too hot to work outside. The dogs have all shifted to energy conservation mode. Me too.

01. Wildfire Suite 2 (2021)
In 2021, John Calvin Abney released an album of beautiful ambient music titled, Wildfire Suite. This track is Wildfire Suite 2. John is best known as a musician that works in the Americana genre- but this album demonstrates that he has a talent that allows him to jump genres. Check out John's catalogue on @bandcamp. I think you will agree.

02. Hautacam (2022)
Stage 18 of the 2022 Tour de France was epic. In 2014 I was writing music while watching the Tour, and that year Stage 18 also went over Hautacam. In this piece, I took some parts from the 2014 race and combined them with new material from 2022. I love Phil Liggett. WELCOME BACK!

03. Reborn (2022)
Fur Trader is a very gifted and talented musician. Like the Abney piece that started this program- Reborn is very much outside the expected norm for this artist.

This short clip is noisy as fuck- so of course I had to loop it a few times.

04. Thaw (2021)
As I said in the podcast, Kate, I love the simple crunching loop of winter and i want it to be winter. Thank you! For all you groovers- this is how you make great music. Take a simple idea, use what you have, loop it. You do not need a modular synth to make awesome music. The Flood the engine EP is brilliant. Click here to check it out.

05. Arrival (2021)
Another track from John Calvin Abney's beautiful ambient album. This one is relatively short- but I find the tones quite pleasing.

06. asynchronous writing exercise (2022)
My writing "process" is really a mixed bag. There are times when I find simple clusters of notes and record them. Then I listen to them and think about what might come next. Then I record some new notes. Put them in front of the first cluster. Then put them behind the first cluster. My audio workstation is like a chalk board. I just walk by it and make a couple of marks. Then come back later.

It goes:
C and E
C and F
C and A
C and F
most of it is just C E and F.

Then in the second part, I tried to impose a structure by disentangling randomly recorded notes.

07. Panoramic V and VI (2022)
Buchlaworks, Module 3 is the latest release from Beaunoise. Spledid droning. Super textures. This is environmental music- and we need more of this.

I you would like to hear a recent interview with Beau Sorenson check the expiermental trash archive.

08. untitled (2022)
Body War identifies as an improvisational punk noise band. To date, they have not recorded any of their work. They don't have a Bandcamp page. They play live shows in dirt lots around Las Vegas. I found this piece on twitter. It was a short video clip. I thought it was compelling. I looped it a few times. There is something in this. Here's the clip:

09. Peer (2022)
I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: I would describe the album, Birl of Unmap, as a work of environmental ambience. The sounds, tempo, and sonic arrangement is a musical soundtrack to the life/ecology/geology of the region where the brothers Truscott, aka Kinbrae and Clare Archibald live. I hope that we see a lot more environmental/geological-derived music in the future. Great drone, brillaint arrangement. Great vocals at the end. This piece, Peer, has a lot of frayed edges, but each one was carefully worn and formed.

10. Phoenixville 2 (2022)
Every year, since 2004, I write a ceremonial song to commemorate the death of one of my relatives, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. This track is the 2022 variation which is just G and C. No words this year. Banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, piano, and minimal drums.

11. Hey Charlie, Hey Chuck (2006?)
First they were Bearsuit then they were Mega Emotion and/or Lady Di. Jan, Lisa, and Iaian are very smart people and great song writers. This is a varaiation on one of their early songs, Hey Charlie, Hey Chuck- only the lyrics were transcribed to Finnnish. I love this recording.

12. #daytripping (2015)
In 2014, we went on a fantastic vacation to Nantucket. We wondered what it would be like to live 20 miles out in the Atlantic. We definitely should have bought the house.

Thank you for listening. I love you. #ambient #noise #drone #fieldrecording

CAMP.Radio | episode 024 | field notes | 07.13.22

The weather in July is usually hot, humid, and thoroughly unpleasant, where I live. The one bright spot each year is the Tour de France. For several years I use the three week race as an intensive practice, writing, and recording exercise. I record fragments of audio by race announcer Phil Liggett that pop up in some of the recorded pieces. Improvisations on guitar and/or piano just kind of drip and dissolve into semi-worked out pieces of "music." Several of these events are featured in episode 024. This program also marks our two-year anniversary on CAMP Radio.

01. stage 01, time trial (2022)
Stage 1 of the Tour de France was an individual time trial that took place in the city of Copenhagen. Because the time trial is a solo event- all of the drama takes place in the head of each cyclist. The guitar line was intended to reflect a controlled candence- both physically and emotionally/intellectually as the riders made their way, one by one, over the route of the course. Phil Liggett provided the commentary.

02. Connecticut forest series (2022)
Marion Belanger is a photographer and professor of art. She provided me with a recent dump of forest sounds from her Zoom portable recorder. This set of field recordings were made during the month of June in a mixed deciduous forest near Long Island Sound. If you slow down a recording of a chirping bird- it can sound like an owl. Is it daytime or night? The sounds of a distant interstate highway and the Amtrak railroad are, sadly, part of the soundscape of this region.

03. stage 02 - SHR (2022)
SHR was playing a piano melody while the Tour de France was playing on the television, so I set up a microphone. We realized that the piano was WAY out of tune, but went forward without caution. Later on, distortion was applied and some relatively thick reverb. Against this VERY lo-fi sound, Phil Liggett's commentary was clear and randomly poignant.

04. Heartbeat, extended edit (1978)
Chairs Missing is one of my favorite Wire albums. Heartbeat is a slow drone- two chords as far as I can tell. There is a LOT of tension in this song. I looped and extended the introduction and the ending.

cover image of the Iechyd Da album

05. Happiness (2016)
In 2016, the Recordiau Prin label asked 30 fans of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci to record a cover of their favorite song. The result of this project was the album, Iechyd Da - A Tribute to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. One of my favorites is Happiness, recorded by my friend Stefan James, aka, Sweet Benfica. The vocals are very well inflected. The ensemble is minimal, steady, and marked with Stefan's use of noise and distortion in the background. This is a great song for a hot summer evening.

06. stage 9, into the mountains (2022)
This is another page from my Tour de France notebook. Up-tempo. Chaotic. Nervous. An open A string droning longer than it should with harmonics from F and C chords hard panned in opposite directions. The bass goes thump-thump and there's a full drum kit. Then it goes to half tempo and the hi-hat is replaced by the sound of a bicycle tire freewheeling. click. click. click.

cover image for Birl of Unmap album

07. Warm Water Burn (2022)
If you have not heard Birl of Unmap, click here and listen while you read the rest of this post. I'll wait. This album is a collaboration between Andy and Mike Truscott and Clare Archibald. Clare is a visual/performance/writer/artist that I've been following on twitter for a few years. She posts great photos of Fife, Scotland. One recent conversation I had with Clare was included in episode 015. You should listen to that too.

The Truscott brothers are musically gifted. Clare is not shabby as a musician either.

I would describe Birl of Unmap as a work of environmental ambience. The sounds, tempo, and sonic arrangement is their shared musical soundtrack to the life/ecology/geology of the area where they live. I think we are going to see a lot more environmental/geological music in the future- and Birl of Unmap is a roadmap.

cover image of the album, The Brittle Year

08. metamorphic (2021)
The scenes from the Tour de France, Belanger's field recordings, and the Birl of Unmap are all rooted, in some form or other, in geology. This is another piece of music about geology.

-- episode 024 endnote
Wowzers. This episode marks 2-years of CAMP Radio broadcasts. How did I do it? Intellectual curiousity, gin, great conversations with artists, and legal cannabis. I truly hope that you enjoy these broadcasts. Comments always welcome at or on twitter at @experimenttrash.

Thank you for listening. | episode 023 | field notes | 06.15.22

The spring season lasts approximately one week in this region- then it's on to monsoon season. This is the time of year for catching up on house painting, landscaping, and keeping weeds out of the garden. episode 023 provided a much needed distraction, mostly because I had the opportunity to have a great conversation with Maryam Qudus, musician, engineer, and producer based in the San Francisco bay area. Much more on that later.

01. improvisation 1 (2022)
Plunkett was at the farmhouse recently, and brought his very nice Les Paul guitar- along with a Chase Bliss Audio MOOD pedal. I set put a couple of microphones on a couple of different amplifiers and left the room. Samples from this session appear throught episode 023.

a collection of guitar peddles

02. Maryam Qudus interview, part 1 (2022)
Maryam is a legend. Musician, recording engineer, and producer with an extensive AND impressive resume (click here if you don't believe me).

I recently had the chance to speak with Maryam- and we talked about a range of subjects touching on her multiple roles in the creation and production of music. She works across genres and brings a fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, approach to each one.

Throughout this conversation, the backing soundtrack is a sample of both ambient work, under the banner of Doe Eye. Also included in this part of the interview is a piece she recently recorded for the dream/psych band La Luz.

03. SARN vs Emperor X (2011, 2018, 2022)
SARN and Emperor X are two of my favorite musicians. One is on the west coast and the other is based in Germany. I decided to loop a few complementary sections of their work (Drust Jive, Western Teleport, and Sincerely, HG Pregerson) to create an audio interlude for this program. I find it soothing.

04. dog sequence (2022)
This is another piece by Plunkett, accompanied by the Noank Guitar Ensemble. dog sequence is a layered series of guitar loops with a seasonal tone.

05. Maryam Qudus interview, part 2 (2022)
Part 2 of the interview is bookended by a pair of tracks from Maryam's new spacemoth album, No Past No Future. At the beginning, This shit and at the conclusion Pipe and Pistol. These are both banging songs- marked by meticulous production. I will say it one more time, spacemoth sounds like the 21st-century version of Young Marble Giants- in the best possible way.

Maryam Qudus from the video Pipe and Pistol

In the second part of our conversation, Maryam goes into detail on her process of adapting and responding to creative and technical challenges- whether in writing and recording her own music or engineering the work of other artists. In part 2, there is a loop of material by Sad13 and more ambient pieces from the b-room album.

06. improvisation 2 (2022)
The program concludes with an extended edit guitar improvisation by Plunkett. Solo electric guitar, a couple of pedals, and two microphones on a guitar amp (front and back). I tried to weave the mix together using sections from a 48-minute long recording- but he did all of the work.

Program note: This episode is dedicated to our canine companion, Emma Merriwether, who left us on 7 June. No words. Just love.

Emma Merriwether | episode 022 | field notes | 05.18.22

The spring season has been short here. Trees are getting green and I'm continuing my experiment in microgardening. episode 022 includes a number field recordings from different settings: sounds from the Connecticut forest, people visiting the home of a Supreme Court Justice, and an audio tour diary from Closet Organ (more on that later). There is also some music.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. I say this every month and actually type the words, because I mean it. Almost all of the music in this program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And, as always, special thanks to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Cherry Blossom Symphonette (2016)
Every year, in late April, the cherry trees blossom in Washington, D.C. I have seen this once. It is beautiful. Beauty Pill captured the environment and atmosphere beautifully in Cherry Blossom Symphonette.

To start, I reversed this piece. The string section sounds fantastic. The harpsicord is barely recognizable. Then the full piece fades in. There is a lot going on here. Most of the elements seem relatively simple- probably because they are well performed, but the arrangement and production make it all work.

You can read more and hear Cherry Blossom Symphonette here.

02. Back at Kavanaugh's House (2022)
On 7 May, a twitter user (@LiteraryMouse) posted a short video of pro-choice advocates gathered outside the home a member of the US Supreme Court. The message was simple: We will not go back. I added just a tiny bit of reverb and looped the audio for two-minutes. Thank you, @LiteraryMouse!

03. #workinprogress (2022)
042122_guitar is a drone in C#. One track is pretty clean. The other track uses different levels of reverb. Oh, and the cool part is that the booming kick drum is a sample from the soundcheck before a recent Low concert in the UK.

04. Closet Organ tour diary, part 1 (2022)
Closet Organ is a nice punk band from Glasgow. They recently went on a short tour of northern England. This is mostly a series of field recordings, with very little music. Just four middle aged men driving around in a van. If you would like to hear more Closet Organ music- go to their bandcamp page. The audio in this segment was drawn from the videos they made documenting the first three days of the tour. Here is Day 1. The full series is definitely worth a watch.

05. Ring 2B: AI (2014)
The music of Emperor X is usually on high rotation here. This is a nice ambient/drone. I loop it when I'm out working in the microgarden.

06. Wasted on the Senate Floor (2017)
When Emperor X released Oversleepers International in 2017, the opening track, Wasted on the Senate Floor seemed like a nice piece of lyrical satire. Fast-forward to 2022 and it's more science than fiction. And it is a banging tune.

07.Pipe and Pistol (2022)
Maryam Qudus is a gifted musician and recording engineer. Google it- and prepare to have your mind blown. This track is from her spacemoth project, and most recent release, No Past No Future. Pistol and Pipe (and please forgive me for repeating this) reminds me of Young Marble Giants- or rather, what YMG might have become if they had new technology. The vocals are detatched, but unforced. It's almost like a gentle monologue or rap, with a VERY, VERY, deep low end punch. The mix and the arrangement are fucking brilliant. We're in the process of setting up an interview with Qudus for episode 023. The album is available for pre-order now. Go here. Click this. This track slays.

08. Closet Organ tour diary, Part 2 (2022)
And the program concludes with excerpts from days 4-6 of the Closet Organ tour. This section features some fine dining, bad driving, and a medical incident. Check the entire series on YouTube.

BONUS: At one point in the video series, they sampled the tones from a parking ticket machine. For your pleasure- you can now click the following link to download the: Closet Organ Sample Pack. Play around with it. Have fun. | episode 021 | field notes | 04.20.22

episode 021 includes a barking dog introduction, loops, drones, empty swimming pools, a cutup of Jah Wobble's words and music, and an antique portative organ. Most of the source material for this epsidode was derived entirely from twitter. #plundercore.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And, as always, special thanks to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Vinyl runout loop (2022)
Mark Weidenbaum posted a video via twitter showing a spinning copy of The Catherine Wheel by David Byrne at the end of January. It was last the two seconds of the last song on Side A, Big Business. I asked Mark if I could loop it for the program, and he replied "yes" (that's my version), but only if I promised to preserve the context/glitch/integrity of the track.

Here is the original video and the audio. When looped, the sound creates a very pleasing drone. I have let this loop play in the background for an hour, or more, during daytime work/tasks.

02. Trout fishing in Connecticut (2022)
My oldest friend, Dr Carini, sent me a piece of improvised classical guitar. I stripped it down to the simplest elements and overlapped several loops of the most sonically interesting parts. This is a new project: The Noank Guitar Ensemble. All of the sounds in this piece are derived from a 60-second long recording. I added fragments from a recent phone conversation we had.

03. #workinprogress (2022)
This is a newly evolving piece. A repeating measure of guitar, bass, and minimal percussion.

04. Out of tune. Upstaged by Dog. (2022)
Sarah Angliss played a Portative Organ and posted a short, but brilliant, video on twitter. This is an antique organ, powered by a hand bellow. This means, one hand plays the keys and the other hand rhythmically pumps the bellow. The originally audio had a great atmospheric reverb. I added a very slight stereo delay. This is another piece that I looped for about 5-minutes- and I've been playing it as background music when I'm writing.

05. Trombone in an empty swimming pool (2022)
A tweet that included video of Michael Owers performing solo trombone in an empty swimming pool went viral on twitter a few weeks ago. Owers wrote this piece, 3ft Deep and Descending, as a commissioned work for the Aberdeen Jazz Festival. There is not a full recording of the piece- which sounds fantastic. I looped the audio with slight EQ correction. Check it:

06. The Wisdom of Wobble (2022)
Jah Wobble is an active twitter user, and uses the platform to provide an entertaining glimpse into parts of his life. He offers lessons on how to properly use wheeled luggage, football commentary, photos from shows with his band, and scenes of his talented family members playing traditional Chinese instruments.

I took audio from four of Wobble's twitter videos and looped them for almost 10-minutes. Here is the source material:
1. A short example of beatboxing.
2. A short piece of his son Charlie playing a traditional Chinese violin at the dining room table.
3. An instructional video on how to use an elevator.
4. Wobble in a library, singing "the library."

The beatbox loop in this video provides the foundation. It goes on for over 9-minutes.

I used three samples from this video. One bar of the the piece straight. Then the same bar distorted. Then the same bar time-stretched to a measure.

Wobble did an interesting video on how to check an elevator for supernatural alteration before entering. The creaking of the gate was sampled.

Wobble in a library, singing, "Is this the library?" How could I not sample this?

The beatboxing loop was hypnotic. If you listen to it long enough you start to hear different words- even though it's just a 12-second loop. Wild. You should follow @realjahwobble on twitter. He's very clever, smart, and very sweet.

07.Some Kinda Fatigue (1992)
In my universe, Yo la Tengo is summer music. Everything speeds up in the spring, reaches a dream/fever state in summer, slows down in fall, and slumbers through winter. Some Kinda Fatigue is an edgy space/psych jam. Like watching a fish swimming in shallow water.

08. Invisible Forest (2020)
This piece was created as part of a giveaway album for subscribers of TQ zine. A descending progression of guitar chords looped and augmented by harmonics and other sounds, with minimal percussion.

09. Symphony No 12, Lodger, VII. Red Sails (2019/2022)
Philip Glass premiered the final chapter his Bowie trilogy in 2019- and the recorded version was released in 2022. Red Sails is the last track of the album. Dreamy, slightly ominous, with short outbursts. Very Bowie. Very Glass. | episode 020 | field notes | 03.23.22

episode 020 includes loops, drones, cat-piano riffs, and some truly heartbreaking music recorded during the current war in Ukraine.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. Also, please consider donating to one of the global relief agencies providing much needed services to the people of Ukraine. And, as always, special thanks to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Exit Without Saving (2017)
From the brilliant album, Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are, Chad Clark recently went back into the archive and posted some stem files and words describing the layered approach to recording and arranging to this song.

This version of Exit Without Saving is without the vocals, guitars, or drums.

As Chad Clark described the process:

I sampled the sound of the National Carousel and pitched it to the song. It's the little sparkly sound 50 seconds in. It's a detail that gets buried on the record. The guitar-like textures come from a filtered and chopped up boombox cassette of a band practice session. The "orchestra" is the usual blend of Etta James and Shostakovich samples, plus one live violin.

You find interesting things like this when you visit the Beauty Pill SoundCloud page. Clark semi-regularly uploads alternative mixes and deep cuts from the catalogue- and some of the tracks are only online for brief periods.

02. #workinprogress (1982-2022)
Interior is the working title to this piece for guitar and electric piano. Originially written with a guy named Ken when we played as The Decadent Poets. This version is mostly just bass, drums, and vocals.

03. The Cycle of Days (2022)
This is a very introverted piece, but one that we can all relate to. Cities and Memory combines field recordings with synthetic drones into very organic/environmental pieces. The Cycle of Days is a sonic diary. Each loop marks another pandemic day. Thunder recorded in Oxford is a punctuation- an event. I found it on twitter:

04. #workinprogress (2022)
For some reason, I pulled out a copy of Brian Eno's 1975 release, Discreet Music. There is a nice diagram of a closed loop recording setup and a short description of ambient music. I had always viewed the diagram as rather cartoonish and the description simplistic. So, I listened to the album again- but did not listen to the music. I listened to the timing of the loops and tried to count the number of layers accumulating on the loop as the first track progressed.

My best guess is that each loop was 5-seconds long. A note is struck (and audible) and then 5-seconds later, when it hits the playhead on next tape deck, the signal is heard and routed back to the first tape deck. Every note is heard every 5-seconds.

So, I tried to replicate that exact process as closely as possible- using my own set of tones.

05. field recording, Washington, D.C. (2022)
My very good friend @nycslade was in D.C. during the confirmation hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. She sent me some video of a band that showed up outside of Congress. It sounds like it was a very festive day- which is probably why there was no press coverage. There was no protest. It was a celebration. I took one section and looped it.

06. Yakuka (2022)
I found a video on twitter of a fellow playing electric guitar on the street and using a portable keyboard as an amp. I am unsure whether yakuka is a type of guitar- or a traditional style of guitar playing. It looks like a 4-string guitar, but I cannot determine the tuning. Here's the video- you figure it out. I call him Yakuka Man. And he is a total badass.

07. RING 2A: Proving the Politburo Right (2014)
RING 2A: Proving the Politburo Right is the first song that has gotten a repeat play on this program. Not enough people know about Emperor X. And they should. This song was recorded in a former Politburo administrative building in Berlin. The 12th floor had been turned into a disco. While the DJ was blasting Bizarre Love Triangle he ran around the room with a portable recorder and spit out the lyrics to this song. Fucking. Brilliant.

I really like this song because:
1. The location/context
2. It is "technically" a field recording

08.solo violin (2022)
Video and audio of artists playing music in Ukraine has been both inspiring and depressing. I stumbled across this video on twitter. A solo violin, playing in a subway station that had been converted to a bomb shelter. I cannot begin to imagine what was going through the mind of the person playing. I know that when life is hard- I find comfort in playing an instrument. It means that you have control of your life for the entire length of time that you play. This hase been described as the traditional folk song, Moonlight in the night. I was only able to capture 2-minutes of audio- so I looped it. One phrase is time stretched. Gongs and chimes. I think this piece is best described by the person that made the original twitter post: What we do in the bomb shelters when they bomb us from the sky.

09. Irina does Chopin (2022)
Irina comes home to a bombed out apartment in Ukraine. The only thing still standing is a grand piano. She brushes off the artifacts of war, sits down, and bangs out Chopin. A beautiful act of defiance.

Or as Emperor X said:


10. Slava Ukraini meditation loop (2022)
Chris Barron could not sleep. He sat on his sofa and played a meditative drone on an acoustic guitar in the middle of the night. It was a short piece, maybe 20 seconds. I asked him if I could loop it for 5-minutes. He was cool with that. Thank you, Chris.

11. cat 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (2022)
A five-part series of looped pieces. I said that it was based on samples that I mined of cats playing piano in YouTube and Twitter videos. I was joking. Looped piano and bass. Minimal guitar. Minimal percussion. Some field recording. Go to sleep now. | episode 019 | 02.23.22

episode 019 is a mix of the old and the new. And by new, I mean some of this material was completed 10 hours before broadcast. No sleep.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Totally Wired (1981)
Cold War angst, anyone? A classic, and timeless, track from The Fall. Seemed fitting.

02. #workinprogress (2022)
Solo electric guitar and heavily redacted thoughts regarding the recent passing of my Uncle David.

03. Pissing [cover of a song by Low] (2022)
The artist Sweet Freeze recently sent me a link to a great cover of this Low track. Nice dynamic/tension in this version. The bass, guitar, and vocals are very well mixed. Very well. This is how you DIY. If you like Low- you will certainly like this one.

04. #workinprogress (2022)
Plow (or plough), is a new piece that I've been working on. The lyrics are from a song that was originally written almost 30 years ago. Carbon dated.

05. Drones against fascism 2 (2018)
Doug Kallmeyer (@dubpixel)- has a video pinned to his twitter feed of a very nice synth-drone. It is called, Drones agains fascism 2: these machines sedate fascists. Here is the original (which I looped for this program).

06. #workinprogress loop (2022)
This piece was going to go some where. Might need a compass to finish it. This is also an unsolicited endorsement for the suite of great virtual instruments that are available free from the very kind folks at LABS/Spitfire Audio. This piece will likely reappear in a future episode with added and/or subtracted elements. For now it is just a two chord drone of lo-fi sampled strings.

07. #workinprogress 020522 (2022)
Solo electric guitar melody and feedback. It was very late at night.

08.Waiting [demo] (2022)
Slothrust is working on a new album- which is always cool. They posted a video on twitter, so I looped it. Why not? Toy piano fucking rules- especially when it's not a plug-in.

09. #workinprogress 020722_1 (2022)
Solo electric guitar melody fragment. Notes to future self.

10. Attract money in under 8-minutes (2021)
Dezmo is a master/scholar of #plundercore and #vaporwave and is a very serious writer/composer. If you do not know what that means- check the Dezmo catalogue at bandcamp.

11. #workinprogress 020722_2 (2022)
Solo electric guitar feedback. Minimal percussion, just a kick drum. Some reversed stuff. Textures. More work required. Nothing is ever finished.

And then I looked at the clock and it was 04:00- and I was short 7:00 minutes for this episode. Sorry about that. It happens.

01.26.22 / episode 018 / field notes

Field recordings, works in progress, loops, improvised guitar, and an interview with Beau Sorenson. This was fun to put together.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. #workinprogress (2022)
A time stretched wind chime, garage door, navigating an icy walkway, droning guitar. Typical end of January sketchbook. I will probably continue working on some of the parts.

02. The Beau Sorenson Interview, Part 1 (2022)
Recording engineer, mixing engineer, producer, and musician- just a few of the hats the Beau Sorenson wears. He takes each role seriously and approaches of each with a distinctively different approach. Sorenson has an extremely impressive resume and is very quick witted- and you should click here to visit his web site.

photo of the installation

We spoke on January 19 and touched on a broad range of topics related to recording and creating music. During the conversation a sample of Sorenson's music catalogue provides a nice audio background. Some of the sampled pieces include: Mt Yamantau, Bush of Creeps, Tilden Loop, Nagra Loop 12/10/18, and 175 micrograms. You can quickly sense the quality of craftwork in both his own recordings and the work he has done on albums by other artists.

03. Quiet Voices (2021)
The Dodos have a unique sound. And I mean that with great respect. Part of the sound comes from the idiosyncratic and precise guitar work of Meric Long. Because most of the arrangements are minimal in structure, the mix by Beau Sorenson gives the guitar, minimal percussion, and vocals a very subtle, but impactful, density. You listen and figure it out.

04. Rhosyn Mynydd (2022)
The latest release by Ash Cooke is a collection of improvised solo guitar pieces, titled, Ash Cooke. While he is best known for his quirky post-punk-pop and folk-centric material, Cooke's first release on the Wormhole World label is probably better understood as the current page of a new chapter- this is where he is now. Tomorrow might be something different. Presented here is an edited and looped version of Rhosyn Mynydd. While I appreciate Cooke's improvised approach- there were a few passages in this piece that I thought could stand alone in a semi-structured format. Just my opinion. Google it.

05. The Beau Sorenson Interview, Part 2 (2022)
The second half of the interview was pretty entertaining (for me). More discussion of the nature of the different studio roles during the recording process- and managing expectations. In the background, Interfered, Piano III, Piano IX, and a reprise of the time stretched Mt Yamantau. Browse Sorenson's catalogue and scroll down his very long client list- you will probably find something you are familiar with- or should be.

06. The Ocean (2020)
Classic edgy Bob Mould rocker. Comfortably thrashing guitars and strained vocals that could have come from a lost Hüsker Dü session. But this is a track from his latest, Blue Hearts, back in the format of a 3-piece unit with Jason Narducy on bass and John Wurster on drums. Engineered by Beau Sorenson (see a pattern here?). During the interview we talked about managing recording levels and working with loud bands. This is a great example of how to do that.

07. #workinprogress (2022)
Snow on the ground, solo electric guitar and Strymon El Capistan echo unit. Closing credits.


12.29.21 / episode 017 / field notes

Field recordings, works in progress, loops, improvised guitar, and wrecking nice songs written by other people this month. I really like the introductions to many songs more than the song. Let's check that out.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. #workinprogress (2021)
I made some field recordings many years ago in Upper Bavaria with a Bird Warden. Then recently recorded some solo guitar and cut/pasted the Bird Warden. He is a wise man. The title is, "Song for the Bird Warden of Upper Bavaria."

02. Gin, if ye kiss my wife I'll tell the minister (1997)
Abby Newton is a treasure on the cello. I took one section from her solo cello section of this piece, reversed it, strecthed it to half-speed, then put a blanket of reverb over the top.

03. #workinprogress (2021)
A piece for solo acoustic guitar. That's the tweet.

04. Heart Full of Leaves (1984)
Robyn Hitchcock is a fantastic song writer. But he is also a very, very good guitarist. I think his technique has been under-rated for a very long time. There are at least three (by my count) versions of this piece. I like the original one the best. This is a piece of music worthy of study.

05. #workinprogress (2021)
Untitled feedback 2 Self explanitory and obvious.

06. Fame and Fortune (1981)
In 1980, Mission of Burma was the Boston version of Pere Ubu. Only this band consisted of three people and one genius mixing engineer. As mentioned above, I really like a good intro. I cut and pasted and looped it.

07. untitled feedback 1 (2021)
The reverb plugins from Valhalla DSP are pretty fucking great.

08. Don Aman (1991)
Slint rules. Full stop. Another intro loop. Step outside.

09. #workinprogress (2021)
A piece for solo acoustic guitar.

10. The Price You Pay (2021)
True story: I've known that Low was a cool band for years. But honestly, I never listened to their music. I've followed Alan on twitter for over a year, because he is pretty open and honest about his music/writing process. Then HEY WHAT got mega-buzz and I tweeted- "hey, can I fuck this up?" and the reply was, "yeah (or something like that). This is The Price You Pay, but I randomly punched in the intro sections of all of the other songs from the album at random intervals. This is truly a brilliant album.

11. untitled feedback 2.1 (2021)
There was more- so I let it roll.


12.01.21 / episode 016 / field notes

Field recordings, works in progress, loops, and improvised guitar are much easier to capture when you have house guests. The material literally writes itself.

01. work in progress (2021)
Tom and Beth came back for a visit with an interesting selection of cheeses and conversation topics. Part field recording, part looped guitar line.
"Throw a bunch of shit on it and throw it in the oven."

02. Beggar Moon (2021)
Sweet Benfica has been one of my favorite bands for years. Part garage, part punk, mostly thoughtful. The 2021 release, Sweet Benfica Presents a Compendium of Melted Punk is a collection of re-recorded/re-mixed old and new songs. This is an extended edit of the song Beggar Moon. A stripped down arrangement that burns away the shadows.

03. Interlude 1 (2021)
I handed @plunkett a 1963 Guild X-50, hit record, then left the room for a while. A week later I went back and revisited 45-minutes of audio and sampled selected bits. There was no plan.

04. Sonata for unaccompanied cello, Op. 7. (1958)
Source material by Janos Starker.
Cut, pasted, looped, time-stretched music for cello.
If that's your bag.

05. love and the cob oven (2021)
Part field recording with a looped guitar and piano drone. The scraping sound is SHR, at the cob oven, working a batch of bread with a metal baker's peel. She approaches baking the same way that I approach music. I love that about her.

the cob oven

06. Nitebike (2013)
From the brilliant album, Monomania- Nitebike stands out because it is largely a solo accoustic piece. Bradford Cox has an incredible range in his voice, and the guitar work pairs with it perfectly in this piece.

07. Interlude 2 (2021)
Another series of loops sampled from @plunkett's improvised guitar.

08. work in progress (2021)
A looped progression of three piano chords and synth-vox inspired by seasonal affective disorder.

09. The Minaret (heavy edit loop) (2007)
The Minaret is one track from the dystopian classic, Emerald City by John Vanderslice. The piano chords in the intro section are as heavy as a punch in the face. The drums, provided by Jason Slota are downbeat, but only add to the intensity. The intro is my favorite part of this track- so I looped it to try and understand the structure better. Simulated deep listening.

10. Interlude 1 (2021)
A two-position drone by @plunkett for solo guitar.

11. Dinner Party (2021)
Dinner and drinks with five of my favorite people in the world usually goes like this. Current events, ancient history, bicycles, and wine etiquette- with an ocassional reference to goats. The conversation wanders between the threads of a looped three chord progression.

12. Interlude 1 (2021)
The program concludes with another looped mix of solo guitar by @plunkett. Music for an early winter. Looking out the window thinking about family and friends.


11.03.21 / episode 015 / field notes

The intro sound was a garage door.

01. work in progress (2021)
A few weeks ago I tweeted that I was going to set up a microphone next to our old upright piano and record single random notes when I walked by it. Then I took the mess, deleted a bunch of it, and tried to impose some sort of structure over the few remaining notes. Added some fragments from a German-language video conference call and applied simulated tape delays at random points. It is still very much a work in progress. Working title, piano room c. #OCD

02. work in progress (2021)
This is an iteration of a looped guitar piece that I started on 21 August, as the remnants of Hurrican Henri came ashore in the Connecticut River Valley.

03. Clare Archibald (2021)
On 25 September Clare Archibald presented an audio installation as part of the Sanctuary Lab event in the Galloway Forest. This installation, If trees were lone women- what would they sound like? addred social and environmental issues related to gender and geography. But that is probably an over simplification. I think Archibald's narration, and the work of her 140 collaborators tell the real story.

The installation was created using 17 MP3 players that were attached to trees in roughly a star-shaped pattern. Using social media and her contacts, Archibald collected 7 hours and 40 minutes of audio from 140 artists. The content spanned field recordings, spoken word, poetry, music, and noise. Five of the MP3 players looped single pieces. Twelve of the players asychronously looped the entire 7:40 program. As visitors to the installation walked through the forest they encountered sounds coming from multiple directions and the volume of each player changed as people wandered.

photo of the installation

Photo by Clare Archibald, 2021

When I contacted Clare about trying to recreate the installation online, she generously provided a sample from 24 of the artists, representative of the project. We spoke by phone on 20 October, and her thoughts regarding the project provide perfect context for this "radio" version of If trees were lone women- what would they sound like?

For more detailed information on the installation, with photos and videos, visit the Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness site.

This was a brilliant concept that was implemented at a modest cost. Hats off to all of the artists that collaborated, and to Clare for the vision and persistence to make it a reality.

photo of the installation

Photo by Clare Archibald, 2021

Track list:

00. Introduction to the installation: Clare Archibald
01. Forest Shutters - Morag Perkins
02. Dream - Aline Flor
03. Breton Song - Sophia Crossman
04. Erthe Night - Layla Legard
05. Dark Woods - Katy Ewing
06. If A Tree Falls in a Forest - Museleon
07. Forest Memories - Cristín Leach (please note accent)
08. Dawn Chorus Above the City - Sheila de Courcy
09. Kurdish Walden - Leila Lois
10. Lus Moileas Poem 2 - Jess McKinney
11. In the Arms of Tree - Annis Catchpole
12. Mother of the Woods - Sinéad Gleeson (with Stephen Shannon) please note accent
13. Forest Manifesto - Pheobe Riley Walker (please note unusual eo spelling)
14. Quantum Nightingale - Amy Cunningham
15. My Fairy Wood - Suzy Angus
16. Poster - Elee Kraljii Gardiner
17. Breaking Ice - Synda Sova
18. Rural Safety - Lisa Jones
19. Shairi - Sadia Mohammed
20. Solo Camping - Sally Baxter
21. Teenage Girls Screaming - Gaynor Jones
22. Thaw - Sweet Freeze
23. Birthing - Burd Ellen
24. Ti kouka - the Doll

04. The Landseers (2015)
Saint David's is a piece of lo-fi psyche-rock from the Wasted EP. Music for three musicians working remotely.

05. the Kanzler (2017-2021)
The time stamp on the file became the title: 110121. the Kanzler is a performing classical musician. A few years ago I recorded a short demo reel for her. Recently, I've gone back and sampled some of the tones and notes from this session for other uses. I thought this was a good time to take some of the samples and make them into a stand-alone piece. Added some field recordings from a grocery shopping run to the nearby village of Deep River.

She recently fractured her upper humerus, which makes cello playing difficult. This is an audio get well card.


10.06.21 / episode 014 / field notes

I do not know why- but this little one hour music thing became overly complicated. As a result, I did not sleep for 24 hours before it was broadcast. Editing a field recording of volcanic steam at 03:00 was interesting.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

The intro music is the count-in to Mr Suit by Wire.

01. Seazoo (2013)
I cannot believe that it was eight years ago I wrote a review of Ken and Uncle Ken, a post-punk dub-like EP of remixes by a (then) new band called Seazoo, from Wrexham, UK. You can read the full review here. Their songs are usually crisp, smart, and twitchy. This collection of remixes is slow, smart, and glitchy. When I tweeted that Little Boy Seazoo was playing, Mr Seazoo, Ben Trow replied, "Wow- that's an oldie." To which I replied, "Some of your best work!"

02. work in progress (2021)
This is a recent iteration of a looped guitar piece in progress.

03. Emperor X (2004)
Bashling is a wonderfully lo-fi slow jam. That's it. That's the tweet.

04. MJ (2021) Martin went to a football match. He sent me some additional meta-data (date, location, teams, score) - but I do not have it on hand. I blended several tracks of crowd sounds from the match. There was one person who shouted, Get off the gate! Get off the gate, Fuckers"- so I looped that a few times. Maybe more than a few times.

05. John Vanderslice (2013)
In previous episodes, I have included loops and/or cutups of a couple of pieces written, performed, and recorded by John Vanderslice. I have often found his music instructive- from a technical perspective. This piece, Song for the Landlords of Tiny Telephone, from the album Dagger Beach is a sparse, guitar-based, composition. Vanderslice often does interesting things with small sounds. That's his thing. This is a beautiful piece. It sounds like a post-punk chamber orchestra.

06. Glenn Gould (1955)
The Bach Goldberg Variations was first released in 1955. Solo piano. Short chapters. A deeply personalized approach to Bach. Some people like it. Some people don't. This piece, Variation 21, varies in tempo. For some reason I time-stretched one track way out (right channel) and added a heavy tape echo on the other (left) channel. It sounds a little more atmospheric at 02:00. And it was 02:00.

07. William S. Burroughs (1981)
This piece is based on a collection of samples of Burroughs reading from his novel, The Place of Dead Roads. It's a western.

08. SARN (2013)
SARN's music draws influences from folk, punk, noise, and hip-hop (and feel free to include your own favorite genre/influence). The result of the SARN equation is a very distinctive form of experimental pop. The 2017 release, Postmodern Trash covers some pretty heavy contemporary issues. The music is extremely well designed and perfectly fits the emotional lyrics. You will have to listen this album and make up your own mind. And you should. This song, No Shade, is one of the stand-out tracks from Postmodern Trash. Dig it.

09. Marion Belanger (2015?)
This is a field recording made in Iceland, while Belanger was photographing geolgical formations. She emailed me several recordings of volcanic steam. The original was very monophonic, just a steady A#. I pitched shifted the first half of the sample up two ocataves, then pitched the second half the the sample two octaves down. I think this maneuver happened around 03:30.

10. MJ (2021)
Recently, Martin took a short holiday to the Lakes Region of Cumbria. On at least one day it rained. And occasionally a crow turned up. What more can you say about that? I call it, Martin goes to Cumbria.

11. John Vanderslice (2005)
The album Pixel Revolt is just one brilliant piece of the John Vanderslice catalogue. On this song, New Zealand Pines, a simple line on an electric piano and the vocals carry the melody. There is a soft synth drone. As the song progresses, a very fluid elecric guitar and organ enter the picture. Very simple parts. Very simple arrrangement. The whole of the song is greater than any single part.

12. work in progress (2021)
Another guitar loop ambient piece. Trying to figure out where to put this.

13. Emperor X (2011)
Western Teleport was sort of a breakthrough album for Emperor X. A collection of songs from an early stage dystopia. Erica Western Teleport, the title track of the album is very much in the Burroughs vein- near future punks, near future rebels, near future romanticism. THIS version, Erica Western Teleport Geiger Counter is the closing track. It has a lo-fi vibe. Drum machine. Droning acoustic guitar sounds. Same lyrics. Great track to close an album.

14. Roxy Music (1973)
Stranded was the first post-Eno Roxy Music album. That being said- the influence and techniques are still evident. Ok- it was 04:00, and I still had some time to fill. Mother of Pearl is a nearly 7-minute long track- but it's the final line, delivered a cappella that grabs me. So, I wanted to study it a little more. The line, "mother of pearl, I wouldn't change you for another girl," sounds simple. But as I listened to it about 50 times in a row, I start to hear some of the psycho-acoustics. I'm thinking that perhaps a copy of the track was run through some heavy reverb, and mixed at a low, almost imperceptible, level. There is some very delicate tape delay as well. I found this interesting and just wanted to share it.

And then I went to sleep.


#podcast / episode 013 / field notes

I am typing quickly to get some notes about this episode online in the next 40 minutes- so I hope you enjoy the typos. Episode 013 is a little different from previous programs. There are only two chapters this week.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

Chapter 01. Huw Williams (2021)
Huw went to the Green Man Festival a few weeks ago. I texted him and asked that he record some "non-music" sounds from the festival. He sent me some files and I played around with them a little. This is a collection of manipulated field recordings:

File 1. I think Huw was wandering somewhere near a stage. You really could not make out the details. Just a dull roar and thud, thud, thud. I clipped a two second segment and looped it. One of the audio clips had the voice of a woman saying, "Sorry, sorry, sorry." I added the guitar feedback.

File 2. A short clip of crowd sounds. Some one in the distance yelled, "JIMBO!"- so I looped that a few times. And added more feedback.

File 3. This is my favorite. As Huw described it, there was a small wooded area. He walked in and there was a box. He said the poetry was coming out of the box. The poem is beautiful and the voice is perfect. He only sent me 20 seconds, so I looped it. IF ANYONE KNOWS THE NAME OF THIS ARTIST- PLEASE LET ME KNOW SO I CAN PROVIDE APPROPRIATE CREDIT.

File 4. More crowd sounds, but I distorted one track, reversed another, and added a flanger to the third. I think I hear a frog chirping.

File 5. More crowd sounds. I hear the damn frog again? One track straight and one track reversed. A piano drones in the distance. A woman says, "Yes, Yes, Yes." @HuwWilliams470

Interlude: rift|fault (2017)

Chapter 02. Chad Clark / Beauty Pill (2021)
I do not have the time or skill to accurately summarize the catlogue of Chad Clark's work. I would suggest that you start here:

The Beauty Pill web site.

And their Bandcamp page.

Then google them.

When we spoke by phone a couple of weeks ago, Chad was with his pal Stanley at the dog park and I was in a forest in Connecticut. Fair warning- the audio quality of our conversation is not great. Because: cellular service is always glitchy.

Technically, this is a conversation and not an interview. It's a little non-linear and I made some liberal editing decisions.

I wanted to tease out aspects of Chad's process in recording. All of the Beauty Pill albums are brilliantly engineered that required a level of attention to detail that only Chad could do.

During this 42-minute conversation, I edited in looped fragments of songs from several of the albums. Warning: At some points the music overwhelms Chad's voice. If you're having trouble hearing him- his voice is on the left side and the music is on the right side. Adjust your headphones appropriately. It was a fun talk.

Here is a basic list of the music playing in the background during our conversation:

Dog with rabbit in mouth unharmed - a beautiful pastoral piece. I looped the primary guitar line that repeats through the entire song. This is playing over the top of Tattoed Love Boys (Goldbaby remix).

So dark blinking makes no difference, from the haunting album Sorry You're Here.

Pardon our dust- an unapoligic post-punk slow burn with some extremely spatial textures and masterful performances. This fades back into So dark blinking minimal.

Here and there the intro to Drapetomania comes and goes as a punctuation mark.

Extended loop of Africaner Barista.

A loop from Ann the word.

Back to another loop of So dark blinking makes no difference.

And then back to a loop from Ann the word again.

And back and forth a few more times.

There are two versions of Ann the word on the album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are. The closing track to this program is the final movement of the second version. It has one of the most beautifully sad lines that I've ever heard:

...and the world vanished in a gentle breeze...

Thoughtful writing, precise arrangements, and intense performance. If you would like to see art and artistry in action- here is the video for Pardon Our Dust from the album Please Advise. Put on your headphones. @beautypill


08.11.21 / episode 012 / field notes

In episode 012 we revisit some of the usual suspects. Drones, noise, ambient, and new field recordings from San Francisco and France. The intro and interstitial music are from #daytripping.

And there are a couple of "regular" old-timey songs.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Ash Cooke (2021)
Shortly after my interview with Ash Cooke broadcast in episode 10 and episode 011- he sent me a collection of unreleased solo electric guitar tracks, with the following note:

Hi Nat.
Here are some tunes for you to play on the show.
They're not the ones I put out this week.
I'm sending you something more brutal.
Use all or none dear boy.
Just thought I'd send them over.

The collection of music Ash sent me was labeled Sounds of Blaina. I have been a long-time fan of Cooke's music. But I have to admit- his more recent improvisational works are very challenging for me to listen to. Maybe I'm too old and/or set in my ways. I have tried to re-wire my listening. Instead of trying to find a linear sequential pattern- I try to listen for tones. With improvisational music, it's not about the song - it's about the sounds. I took the liberty of sampling my favorite tones from the five tracks of Blaina and re-assembled them with a more ambient vibe. The results include this opening track, Blaina Files 1, the closing track, Blaina Files 2, and the fifth track on this episode, Bread School.

Blaina Files 1 was derived from samples culled from sections of all five of the tracks sent to me. Remember- this person often does not tune his guitar. The tones are slightly distorted and beautifully played. @AshCookeMusic

02. Plunkett (2021)
As they often do, Plunkett and Slade spent a couple of weeks riding along with the Tour de France. This year they ended up in the Pyrenees, riding bikes, eating well, and drinking well. Two weeks ago they landed at the farm and handed me some field recordings from the base of the Col du Tourmalet. Then I had Plunkett sit in front of a microphone with an acoustic guitar. The result combines the dull roar of the crowd, a man saying, "la familia," and the woosh of a speeding pack of cyclists. Here is one of the videos that provided some of the source material for this piece. Feel free to rip the audio from this clip and have fun with it- make something new.

As always, Plunkett dialed in a deep, yet simple, tone. He's very reliable in that way. This piece is titled, Lanterne Rouge. @plunkett

03. XTC (1979)
What can one say? Since the theme of episode 12 is about tone- XTC are masters of the craft. This is a deep-edit/loop/slow-jam of Day In Day Out from Drums and Wires. I have always loved Colin Moulding's understated bass lines. And as a guitarist, Andy Partridge never disappoints- in the right channel he's playing some basic chords- and in the left channel his famous skritchy, skritchy, skritchy sound is infectious. Loop the intro, cut and paste the spin-up sound, loop disembodied vocals. Day In Day Out song has a great groove.

04. work in progress (2021)
A composition for field recording (courtesy of Plunkett), TV sounds, a bicycle chain, and electric guitar.

05. SHR and Ash Cooke (2021)
Bread School was created from a series of field recordings that SHR made in a commercial bakery in San Francisco a few weeks ago. This is paired with a sample from Ash Cooke's Sounds of Blaina.

06. work in progress (2015-2021)
This is a remix of #daytripping, a song that I recorded in a rented house on Nantucket. Basic loop maneuver. A shorter loop from this piece is used to fill the gap between chapters. @natlyon

07. Dezmo (2021)
Thank fucking Christ for this. Dezmo just dropped a collection of four pieces, titled Manifestations. Reportedly the entire project took seven hours. Synth-drones, found sounds, plundered sounds. This is an atmospheric piece, with a fantastic title: Self Healing 528 Hz + 396 Hz for DNA Repair and Fear Removal. @psybrarian

08. Yo La Tengo (2003)
Today is the Day is a great song. There are two basic versions: the droning, feedback drenched version and the downtempo slow burn version. On these intensely hot summer evenings I am drawn to the latter. This is a summer song. And brutally so. @TheRealYLT

09. Ash Cooke (2021)
Blaina File 2 consists of samples from two of the improvised electric guitar tracks Ash Cooke sent me. There was a throbbing drone that I quite liked, so I looped that to infinity. Then there is a short staccato harmonic riff. Then there is a short chord progression. I was trying to make patterns from out of context tones. @AshCookeMusic


07.14.21 / episode 011 / field notes

episode 011 is the epsisode that ALMOST DID NOT HAPPEN. As I was putting the program together the external hard drive attached to my computer tweaked, then crashed, in a very unspectacular fashion. At first, I was like- "everything is cool- i back all of my stuff to the cloud." Unfortunately, it was 6 years worth of audio material. Original pieces, favorite bands, randome stuff I've scraped from the interweb. ALL GONE. When I realized that I would never be able to recover everything in time to finish cutting this episode- I had to start from scratch- without any of my archive to work with.

and for some reason, episode 010 hit #3 on the @mixcloud noise chart- so the bar was pretty high.

So, it was time to get creative. It's all in the field notes below.

i was fucked. basically.

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Clare Archibald (2021)
Clare consistently posts the most curious and beautiful photos and videos on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. So, naturally, in my panic, I was really happy to see her post a very short video of a train shooting by, passing into frame, and out of frame in less than two seconds. And it had AUDIO. First thing I saw had to be the first piece on the show. Clare was, as always, very gracious and generous in letting me lift the piece of audio and play with it. This is called train video clip. @Archieislander

02. work in progress (2016-2021)
As you might imagine- putting episode 011 together was a bit of a cathartic process. I found a drive that had recordings I made between 2002 and 2016. 99% pure crap. So it was time for a crap-fueled treasure hunt. This piece is just one track from Marshland, a piece that I recorded in 2015, the day after my cat died in bed next to me. Throughout the entire song there is a track that is just pure guitar feedback. It fades in and out of the mix. I grabbed on section of the feedback track, reversed and looped it. Very long attack and very long release. @natlyon

03. Robyn Hitchcock (1999)
Jewels for Sophia is one of my favorite Robyn Hitchcock albums. Mostly because of the title track that closes the album. The Jewels for Sophia track is a work in three movements that spans over 11 minutes. Each movement is unique in its production and subject matter. The first section, which I refer to as Jewels for Sophia is a very highly produced track. Full band sound. Psychedelic. Heartfelt. Pure Hitchcock.

The second movment takes a twist. A solo acoustic piano provides the rhythm. The vocals (straight and processed) carry the melody. I refer to this section Mr Tongs. The second movement is less technical and more lo-fi. The line that kills me is, You've got to find your way around me. Brilliant lyrics. I looped the intro piano to give the piece more time to breathe. The hammering piano is a groove. The lyrics are a head piece. This is the part that you're listening to.

The third movement of Jewels for Sophia was recorded live, with just a solo acoustic guitar and vocals, that I refer to as Gene Hackman. I do not know the context of the recording. It drips in classic Hitchcock humor. He strums along on the guitar and presents a stream of consciousness imagining of the life of the actor, Gene Hackman. This is a funny and endearing song. It is also the most underproduced track on the album. A fitting bookend to a brilliant album-and a foreshadowing of Hitchcock's later, and less flashy, work.

Taken as a whole, Jewels for Sophia is a sprawling piece that transitions from lush production to the most basic form of minimalism. Fucking genius. @RobynHitchcock

04. The Kanzler (2021)
I found an old track that the Kanzler recorded in her practice room at home. Recorded using a FocusRite USB interface and GarageBand . Practice Room is a manipulated rendering of just some random riffs. I found it calming- as the potential collapse of this episode loomed in the back of my mind.

05. Buzzcocks (1979)
The album, Singles Going Steady came out in 1979. That's when I bought it. This album will always be in my Top 20. Always. Every song on the album is a gem. The one thing that sets Why Can't I Touch It? apart from the rest of the songs is the drum and bass groove that carries the entire track. And then the guitars. Diggle and Shelley, and their engineers, always had the crispiest of all guitar tones on their songs. That's the best word, crisp. I wanted to highlight those two elements in this #plundercore remix of the song. No words- just groove and tone. @buzzcocks @stephen_diggle

06. work in progress (2016-2021)
the sound of never coming back became the interstitial soundtrack for episode 011. See #2 (above) for notes and context. It was handy. And I was desperate. @natlyon

07. SHR (2015)
The Suffering Silence was inspired by the Disquiet Junto project number 0142. A sound collage of 2015 telephony. We stil sound like robots. @disquiet

08. Unexpected Bowtie (2011)
In 2011, Stephen McLeod Blythe released his first album under the alias Unexpected Bowtie. I found Stephen via his connection to Ash Cooke. The album, 26 hour days is a low-fi work and for some reason I latched on to one song, Sleeping Solves Nothing. I have always loved this song and have recorded three cover versions of it over the years. Simple concept, simple arrangement, simple engineering. At some point, Stephen sent me the banjo track, which really gives the melody a unique sound. This is a loop of one phrase of the banjo track. It resolves on the G note- so I added an organ drone in G. @stephenemm

09. work in progress (2016-2021)
Please refer to #06 and #02 above. interstitial. @natlyon

10. Ash Cooke (2021)
Part 2 of the Ash Cooke interview. This was originally going to be edited down to 15 minutes, but after the hard drive catastrophe I gave the interview audio another listen. Magically- there was over an hour of material to draw from. Cooke is fucking brilliant. If anything, the crashed hard drive allowed for the interview to be expanded to 30 minutes. In this segment, Cooke talks in great detail about his improvisational guitar techniques. Fucking. Genius. In the background of the interview are select tracks from his albums Nunavik and ArZoo. @ashcookemusic

11. Ash Cooke / Pulco (2019)
The album ArtZoo was the last Pulco album (for now). Elements of this song, Legal Highs, provide a roadmap for the direction Ash Cooke was moving. Shit gets weird. Life is weird. This is just one of his many sonic autobiographical pieces. This is an off kilter rocker. @ashcookemusic


06.16.21 / episode 010 / field notes

episode 010 marks the beginning to a new summer in a new world. This episode features ambient, drone, works in progress, and an interview with Ash Cooke. The program is evolving to feature more of my own work, and a group of artists that I truly respect- moving away from the "playlist" concept of interweb radio, and into a direction closer to the CAMP RADIO mission. I'm trying very hard to improve my "radio voice." Because it's nearly summer, episode 010 starts with the introductory riff to Celebrated Summer by Bob Mould / Husker Du. This will always be my favorite summer song. Even though the first time I saw him play it live I had to drive home in a snow storm...

As always if you like the music- please support the artists featured on each program. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support.

01. Plunkett (2021)
The Plunketts came up to the farm a few weeks ago. The goal was to record some new music and bake artisan bread. Unfortunately, the length of the recording sessions were determined by the length of time between each stage of the bread baking process. In this piece, Bread and 12, intervals were created using a 12 string acoustic guitar, followed by a reversed version of the phrase. Field recordings of the baking sections were overdubbed in the mix. The odd rumbling sound in the left channel is our KitchenAid mixer, pitch shifted two octaves down.

02. Emperor X (2004)
I have long admired the work of Chad Matheny (aka, Emperor X). He is the consummate DIY artist. This piece, A Hole in the Earth's Spin Tone starts as gauzy folk song- just a voice and an acoustic guitar. He sings about simple desires. The song builds to a plodding proto-shoegaze beat. Simple concept, simple composition, powerful performance. For a masterclass in DIY production, and for more context, check the source album, Tectonic Membrane / Thin Strip on and Edgeless Platform- and the rest of his catalogue. Fucking. Brilliant. @emperorx

03. SARN (2018)
Triggered is true folktronica generated at the hi-lo-fi hit factory Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, and produced by legend John Vanderslice. But the genius of this piece, is all in SARN's composition and deadpan delivery. I am going to pester him for an interview for a future program. Just listen to this song and fight me if you think that I am wrong. @sarnmusic

04. The Kanzler (2021)
Car 850 is a manipulated field recording of a 1922 trolley, that originally went into service in New Orleans. Here is the trolley:

Car 850

Reverb and time stretching are definitely in play on this beautful field recording. Word is that the odd "screeching" sound happened when some one on the trolley accidentally stepped on a dog's paw (the dog is fine).

05. Ash Cooke (2021)
I have been a fan of Ash Cooke's music for years. I have reviewed his albums for music blogs, and I have collaborated with him on several projects. Much like Emperor X, Cooke is a DIY master. In this, the first interview on Experimental Trash, Cooke describes his musical evolution. From a post-rock band member to a solo musician, now focused on improvisational solo guitar, he has a deep and complex catalogue of work that merits further exploration. The interview is accompanied by his new album, Ogwen Diaries, Volume 1. We discussed the relationship between Cooke's improvised guitar compositions and his visual art.

Part II of the interview will run on the July program- and we're trying to bake a new, unreleased, soundtrack for it.

Here is a recent piece by @ashcookemusic, I fucking love his visual work:
whitagram 1 by Ash Cooke

06. Ian Thistlethwaite (2013)
In Search of Brian Eno's Car Keys is an homage to the early pop dreamworks of Brian Eno. This lo-fi wonder includes meandering guitar and ambient room sounds. It is a lovely piece of music performed by a very talented musician and one of the gems from his album Posset. @ianthistlethwai

07. work in progress (2021)
The Tour de France is coming up and it is one of the highlights of my year. I absolutely love the poetry that Phil Liggett spins as the cyclists endure unimaginable pain and fever dreams. Every year I write while daily while watching each stage. This piece, Stage 08, is from a couple of years ago. @natlyon

08. Dezmo (2021)
A master of #plundercore - Dezmo totally crushes a new set of radio recordings on her most recent album, Corporate Model. Don't sleep on this one. @psybrarian

09. SARN (2017)
SARN is a wonder- that's why there are two tracks in this episode. Interlude is a very short, and very simple, piece from his 2017 album Postmodern Trash. This song is so compelling I had to do a cutup version for the closing credits. @sarnmusic

10. work in progress (2017-2021)
I wrote this piece for a video installation entitled Ranch House by the photographer Marion Belanger in 2017. I keep returning to the score and tweaking it. In this version (River, House, Marsh, Highway) I took a subtractive approach to the piano. Here is the video with the original composition.

11. SARN (2017)
A cutup reprise of Interlude by SARN as the closing credits roll. Huge thanks to CAMP RADIO. @sarnmusic


05.19.21 / episode 009 / field notes

episode 009 is a mixed bag of field recordings, spoken word, ambient, and works in progress. Surprisingly, a number of these recordings started as short clips people had posted to twitter- so I've included twitter handles where possible. Click on them.

As always please support these artists. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support of this project.

01. work in progress (2021)
This work in progress contains found/upcycled vocals from a Tour de France broadcast combined with a collection of virtual instruments, piano, live drums, and bass. @natlyon

02. Ivy Nostrum (2021)
Ivy Nostrum is a table-top electronic genius. This piece, I know what it means to work hard on the machines is an atmospheric soundscape that pairs well with any rainy day. @PaulMargree

03. JWo (2021)
This is the second piece that JWo has emailed me for the program. A field recording from FDR Drive in Manhattan and the title Jwo on FDR. Based on his description of the day, I constructed an imagined narrative to accompany the gauzy traffic tones.

04. Spacemoth (2021)
Spacemoth posted a short video on twitter a few weeks ago. The audio was a fragment of a song, or possibly a drone, that sounded like a scratchy locked groove at the end of a vinyl album. A single note plucked on a guitar with a bass or synth pad note. I kept playing this 10-second piece, Strange wobbles on the horizon, and asked the artist if I could loop it and include it in the program. This a very lovely ambient drone that I sometimes play in the background while sitting at the desk. @spacemoth__

05. Robert Fripp (undated/no provenance)
It is sort of odd that several pieces in episode 009 were discovered as clips on twitter. This undated piece (likely mid-1980s) is from a video of Robert Fripp performing solo guitar Frippertonics. Because it was just a 45 second video, I digitally lopped Fripp's analogue tape loop. This piece is wonderfully performed. The layered guitar textures are only interrupted at regular intervals by a "click" where Fripp (or a technician) physically spliced the tape. This slight imperfection works quite well.

06. work in progress (2021)
Third of May is a guitar drone consisting of three notes played in slightly different configurations. A bass guitar and small drum kit provided some structure to the minor shifts in melody. The hi hat sound is a recording of a bicycle sprocket spinning. The "vocal" is just an Alchemy plugin applied to a midi keyboard. @natlyon

07. Clay Pipe Music (2021)
This is an untitled track that I found in another twitter post. The video is a beautiful shot of a long tape loop spinning around empty reels. I looped the audio from the clip for 8-minutes. @ClayPipeMusic

08. the Kanzler (2021)
episode 008 included a solo cello piece by the Kanzler. This piece is reprised here, in reverse form. The dense cello textures take on a slightly different form in this rendering.

09. the Kanzler (2021)
As usual, I was pestering the Kanzler for some new cello music- so, probably out of spite, she sent me an audio file recorded while refilling the bird feeders in her yard. I isolated some the the individual bird calls and spatially repositioned them in the mix, and rambled on for a bit about the magic of field recordings. Enjoy The Birds of Kanzler.

10. Ash Cooke (2021)
The most recent release from Ash Cooke is a collection of five solo guitar pieces entitled, Ogwen Diaries, Volume 1. The titles of each track are simply the dates on which they were recorded. If you scan Cooke's catalogue, it is very clear that his innovations in improvisational work have a broad range in approach. I took samples from each of the five songs and arranged them into a longer semi-ambient piece. @AshCookeMusic


04.21.21 / episode 008 / field notes

episode 008 is a mix of, ambient, edited loops, neo-classical and a few post-rock songs. Headphones are recommended for optimal listening.

As always please support these artists. Almost all of the music in the program is available via bandcamp, some of it at no cost. And thanks again to CAMP Radio for their continued support of this project.

01. John Vanderslice (2002)
The program starts with a slightly chopped version of the beautiful introduction to Underneath the Leaves by John Vanderslice, from the 2002 classic, Life and Death of an American Fourtracker. Heavy drums and a delicate guitar line.

02. Bearsuit (2005)
Bearsuit was best known for their quirky combination of soft flutes, ragged harmonies, and thrashing guitars. On Your Special Day is the closing track to their first release, Team Ping Pong- and it showcases their songwriting and performance skills that would continue to evolve into their current form as Mega Emotion.

03. Picturebox (2013)
Modular Pursuits is a compilation of artists covering songs by the genius Pulco. On this track, Personnes à Palette, Picturebox lays down a very 60's-70's groove, while the lyrics are sung in French. An already great song on another level.

04. Spacemoth (2021)
Spacemoth (aka Maryam Qudus) is a San Francisco based musician, engineer, producer, that has not met a genre she doesn't like. This piece, Distorting Time, was a limited release track of drone, noise, and modulated feedback that demonstrates her writing and production abilities. We were very fortunate to capture this track and present it in episode 008.

05. Laurence Made Me Cry (2014)
Jo Whitby is an extremely gifted songwriter and Laurence Made Me Cry is just one of her musical projects. In 2014 she released an album of experimental remixes of songs from the album The Diary of Me. This track, Between Destinations (Underpass Remix) takes a very sentinmental song and puts it on a slow boil.

06. Lower Dens (2010)
Chapter 2: I Get Nervous is a post-punk classic. This a brilliantly performed and recorded drone and one of the high points from their album Twin-Hand Movement. This song has not only stood the test of time, it continues to be a standard for the current generation of drone-istas.

07. the Kanzler (2021)
I have been hounding the Kanzler to send me a solo cello track for weeks. I received a 45 second long figure that I looped into a five-minute long piece. The cello has fantastic dark tones.

08. Sweet Benfica (2016)
This song, Happiness, is from Iechyd Da - A Tribute to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. On this release from RecordiauPrin, 32 artists each picked they're favorite Gorky's song and re-recorded it. Many gems on this tribute compilation. The contribution from Sweet Benfica is simple and haunting, providing a perfect contradiction to the song's title.

09. Young Marble Giants (1980)
Chapter 3: The music of the post-punk pioneers, Young Marble Giants, continues to inspire lo-fi / DIY artists. This is a classic example of not being intimidated by limitations. On Brand New Life they took what they had and did the best the could with it. The result is a stunning song. The title reminds me of spring- when new life starts.

10. Kaki King (2004)
Kaki King is a rare guitarist. She approaches the instrument through a lens that most solo musicians simply do not have access to. The resulting compositions range from percussive to dream-state ambient. Can the Gwot Save Us? is an instrumental piece that is quiet, precise, and highly emotive. The title and tone of the song are ambiguously hopeful and cynical. This is a complex work, recorded during a complex time.

11. rift|fault (2019)
The Swamp Yankee Ethnographic Series is the soundtrack to a written work in progress. It consists of variations of three core themes. Variation 11 features percusive piano drones, minimal percussion, with a cello line that stitches the rest of the parts together.

12. SHR (2015)
For several years I've had a piece of music and a set of lyrics that were written in parallel, yet never fit together in a workable fashion. So, I added new words to describe why some times it is hard to let go of bad ideas. Then tossed the original music tracks and made it something unlike the original. SHR gives the finishing touch by reciting half the words in German. One recurring word, "clusterfuck," summarizes things nicely.

13. Patti Smith (1976)
Chapter 4: Poppies is based on one guitar riff, but performed as a series of multiple interlocking guitar lines, with a watery electric piano, solid bass, and a glacially slow, yet brilliant, funk drum beat. The result is a dreamscape, punctated by muted rage, in the vocals and the music. Best part- listen closely to the two widely panned guitars.

14. Ruth Crawford Seeger (1929)
That is not a typo. Diaphonic Suite, No. 4 was composed in 1929. Seeger is an interesting figure in American music and a pioneer in "new" music. Newness, in this sense, is not a radical departure from existing traditions, just a new perspective. Utilizing the standard classical motifs of waltz, sonata, lullaby, string quartet, and woodwinds, Seeger used halting phrasing and introduced voice to some of the works.

15. Gabe is a Unit (2021)
The latest project of Ben Mason, Gabe is a Unit seemed the based way to end the program with a bit of much needed humor. This track, I’ve Had an Absolutely Marvelous Evening, Babes is a drunken stumble through a list of beverages at a small gathering of friends. The vocals are thick, and dripping with punk cynicism. Where is the menu for the dessert wines? is a line that totally cracks me up. Hissing programmed drums and wobbly synth lines create the perfect atmosphere for a night on the town.


03.24.21 / episode 007 / field notes

episode 007 includes field recordings, spoken word, ambient, edited loops, and a four "normal" musics. Headphones are highly recommended. The emphasis in this episode is on looped song fragments. You will probably recognize the source material. Why? Because some times I like just one part of a song and the rest drags it down.

01. Mega Emotion (2017)
Reasons to love Mega Emotion - Ian, Lisa, and Jan are an extremely tight, and highly intelligent, three piece. Wall of guitar noise, stuttering vocals, angst. You might break out in a nervous sweat while listening to OK Maybe OK.

02. William S. Burroughs (1978)
This recording, from The Nova Convention album - sounded cynical at the time of release, but now is a disturbing analogue to the corruption found in most modern political entities. Above all, Burroughs gives a classic reading, midwestern drawl and sheer delight in the absurdity of the carnage he describes. Check the archive at UbuWeb to hear more.

03. Toshiro Mayuzumi (1953)
Speaking of UbuWeb - there is a section listed as Early Japanese Tape Music. Mayuzumi's piece, Works for Musique Concrete X. Y. Z. is a series of classical and field recordings that are edited/chopped/spliced together. I took the liberty of looping the cello section from the Z movement. Great stuff.

04. Brian Eno (1974)
Here Come the Warm Jets is one of my favorite Eno albums. This is a loop/edit of the intro to Dead Finks Don't Talk. It's a nice groove.

05. NASA / Perserverance (2021)
A field recording from Mars. Actually, this is a loop of three recordings from Perserverance, which is currently skittering, in slow motion, on another planet. Slight EQ enhancements and Dear Reality reverb.

06. The Feelies (1980)
Crazy Rhythms is a post-punk classic. This is a loop of the intro to Loveless Love- which is a great song, it grows organically. But I always get stuck on the harmonics in the introduction. Our Newfoundlands provide the barking at the end.

07. Talking Heads (1978)
Another heavy edit of a great song. There original version of Warning Sign combines the twitchy angular guitar and vocals of David Byrne with a solid groove put down by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. This edited loop focuses on the intro to the song, where the guitar comes in with a whisper. The groove of the bass and drums on this song totally make it. I saw them perform this in 1978 and it was a "transformative" experience.

08. Hand Habits (2014)
In 2014, Eschatone Records released a split album of Peg (Peg songs will be in the next epsisode) and Hand Habits. It is a brilliant and beautiful album- one side is psych-folk and the other side is psych-pop. This song, Bloom starts out as a very nicely reverb drenched folk/western ballad and over 12:00 minutes, descends into a psych/noise jam- which is not an easy thing to do well. This album is in my file of important music. Bloom is a trippy song. The best kind. Approved.

09. Clare Archibald & TVO (2020)
Slow Notes For Voegelin is field recording ambient music. The second track of the album, Whorls, is a very pretty piece of work. Heavy modulation of organic sounds- cool. Dark. Deep. Immersive. Archibald is a writer and visual artist- and her sensibilities translate perfectly into ambient music on this piece.

Note: Intro and Interstitial
SHR provided the field recordings for the spaces between chapters. Recorded in March 2021 in the lower Connecticut River valley (LCRV).


02.26.21 / episode 006 / field notes

episode 006 includes some live music, spoken word, ambient, field recordings, and edited loops. And a couple of "normal" musics. Headphones are highly recommended. Approximately 90% DIY recordings. Strap it on. All the typos are mine.

01. Elf Power (no provenience)
This is an undated live recording of Elf Power doing a cover of Brian Eno's Needle in the Camel's Eye. This has been kicking around on my hard drive for a while and I love this recording. Great thrashing energy. A reminder of another time with hot nights and loud music.

02. Sweet Benfica (2021)
Kaleidoscope is from a soon to be released album by Sweet Benfica. They're the new sound of Neath! In this song, Stefan James drops layers of guitar tones and synth textures. It is hazy, in a warm psychedelic sort of way. The beat is strong. The multi-tracked vocals put you in the middle of a dream in progress.

03. Martin Johnson / Stephen McLeod Blythe (2021)
Unexpected Martin is an unplanned collaboration. In preparing for this broadcast, I separately asked Martin and Stephen to send me any random sounds/words they had on hand or wanted to make. I heavily edited Martin Johnson's reading of the Turner chapter from the book Portraits: John Berger on Artists was woven with sounds Stephen McLeod Blythe recorded from his bank of electronic text equipment. They paired nicely. The swelling sea sounds fit the nautical theme of many of Turner's paintings.

04. Robyn Hitchcock (1990)
Satellite is a short but intense song. The arrangement is simple: voice, guitar, piano, and a carboard box drum kit. The writing and performance are classic Hitchcock: impeccable.

05. Emperor X (2004)
Florencia Tropicana was included in episode 006 because it is a master-class for DIY musicians. This is just one, very impactful, track from the sprawling album Tectonic Membrane / Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform. Florencia is a great mix of electronic beats and tones with bass, guitar, and drums. This is a song and album not just for listening, but for studying.

06. SARN (2017)
Drust Jive is more of a groove than a song. That is why it's a brilliant piece of music. It has that classic northern California vibe. Sonically adventurous through the engineering and mix by John Vanderslice but completely uniquely guided by SARN's words, composition, and performance. This song is like a long, lazy, summer evening. The synths twinkle around the edges. The beat is relaxed. The guitar riff is stoner solid- pushed to the back, played with no sense of urgency- but still there. Drust Jive has the perfect blend of sparse elements that come together and take you some where.

07. John Vanderslice (2002)
Much like Robyn Hitchcock, John Vanderslice knows how to write a song that is short, simple, and strong. Greyound is from a brilliant album Life and Death of an American Fourtracker. This is another DIY instructional piece that has been on the experimental trash syllabus since it was released. One guitar, one voice, that are engineered into a mix that hits you like a rock. Minimal is good.

08. Atlas Sound (2010)
The Bedroom Databank series by Atlas Sound / Bradford Cox is a sketchbook of songs- some of which were later re-recorded, and others- not. This is an archive of the early and personal work of Bradford Cox. Moonlight on Verlaine is a misty and slowly wandering piece. The entire collection is genius level writing.

09. Tremolo Ghosts (2016)
The Tremolo Ghosts entire catoluge has some very unique gems. This recording, 40-degrees North, 73-degrees West combines field recordings, found sounds, and drone organ. It's a seascape collage of sounds. Harsh ambient in the best possible way. And this piece is the perfect segue to:

10. Abby Newton (2001)
The Myrtle, as presented here, is an edited and looped version of a piece by Abby Newton. Newton is a performer and teacher of cello-folk music. Her pieces space the 16th-19th century and roam from Scotland, to Ireland, to Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. The visceral sound of the bow scraping across the string is both harmonic and textural. This piece is just a looped version of the introduction to The Myrtle. I used the DearVR Pro software to add reflections to this solo recording. Occasionally the phrase is pitch shifted. Basically, I tried to take a fragment of a traditional folk piece and make it a more ambient space.

11. Wrightoid (2013)
Kid Kipling is one track from the brilliant album Modular Pursuits - where a number of very talented artists re-recorded songs written by Ash Cooke. This track by Wrightoid is one of the standouts and is the album closer. This song is like a quiet walk through a meadow. Field recordings of birds, a nylon string guitar, a soft voice, and comforting words. This is what I need to hear at the moment.

12. Clara Engel (2016)
Once a White Owl is a remix from Engel's 2016 album Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss. This song is long and hypnotic. Drone, psychedelic, folk, nearly ambient, and noise (yes, the ending is pretty awesome.) Another amazing DIY artist with a deep catalogue. Google it.

13. Nat Lyon (2021)
This is a work-in-progress for my next release. Field recordings from hospital visits as my mother slipped away. Bass and drums as a funeral march. What it is. What it was. The piano-like sounds are actually elevator gongs.

14. rift|fault (2019)
Cello, electric piano, drums with too much reverb, and ambient floorboards. That is what one does in the lower Connecticut River valley during winter madness. From the album The Swamp Yankee Ethnographic Series, Volume 1.


01.27.21 / episode 005 / field notes

episode 005. Jesus fucking Christ on a crispy cracker I am behind schedule and I'm going to type quickly. This program starts with a track that came over the transom (more below) and curves through piano loops, noise loops, bluegrass (yes), narration, and some neo-classical shit. January has not been kind. Standby.

01.unsolicited submission / And Then Coda (Wire)
This track came from my email inbox. It seems to be a combination of And Then Coda by Wire, from the 1981 album Document and Eyewitness- mixed with snippets of audio from a recorded conversation between Donald Trump and the Secretary of State for Georgia, Brad Raffensperger. Gloomy tones. YaY.

02. Amulets (2020)
Quarantine is exactly what it is. A noise loop, bass, a twinkle of an emulated elecric piano. An internal soundtrack for the current time. That is the beauty of Amulets- simplist beauty with depth. Then go to the Amulets web site to see the very instructive and hypnotic video for Quarantine and read and listen to more from this very gifted artist. Lo-fi tech genius with an extensive catalogue on bandcamp.

03. Yo La Tengo (2000)
Danelectro is an interesting EP. Five variations of a single track. Some re-interpreted by the band- and others handed over to some very creative hands. This track, Danelectro 3 is the Kit Clayton mix.

04. Yonder Mountain String Band (2015)
This month, Domino reissued a lot of Buzzcocks material. And then I stumbled on to this bluegrass version of a classic.

05. Terry Riley (1960)
This track is the introduction of the Terry Riley piece, Concerto for Two Pianists and Five Tape Reorders. This is an interesting document, given the time, to hear a classical musician attempt to describe "new" music. Nothing ever seems to change.

06. All Feels (2021)
All Feels is the latest incarnation of western Massuchessetts underground legend Candance Clement. This song, Absent has a long and lovely drone-guitar intro that stumbles into a great pop song. There is a video of another song (We love this for you) from the EP Why Are You Like This? on YouTube. This is good stuff. Pay attention.

07. SHR (2021)
SHR is a pianist that I know and love. Sometimes I stand in the doorway and record piano fragments on my phone. I asked, "What do you call this?" And she replied, "Why do I have to call it anything?" Working title, 122920. Piano loops.

08. David Byrne (1993)
This is one of my favorite "songs" by David Byrne. Field recordings, a basic beat, and squirrely guitar riffs. Cage and the Long Island Expressway is just one of many great tracks on the John Cage tribute album, Caged/Uncaged - A Rock/Experimental Homage To John Cage (1993). Go to UBUWEB and listen to the entire album.

09. Glenn Branca (1982)
Excerpt from Symphony 2 is a classic example of Glenn Branca's arrangements for a guitar orchestra. This piece includes Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo.

10. The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra (1993)
The Low Symphony is a brilliant work. Philip Glass e-imagined and scored an orchestral version of Low. Both Bowie and Eno are credited as collaborators. This is a beautifuly performance and recording of Warzawa.


12.30.20 / episode 004 / field notes

episode 004 starts with a field recording and meanders through noise, feedback, drone, some post-pop, and punk. It's within the theme of how the year 2020 has gone for most of us. This episode only consists of only 10 long tracks. Long and painful. Cheers!

01. field recording, "the pink dog," and firewood (2020)
I recently received some great software from DearReality. The spatial plugins from the DearVR Pro pack were used on this track to spread the environmental sounds- and provide them with a more natural, or immersive placement. A cold night in Connecticut, a fire needed to be built, and then pitch shifted a mechanical dog. It's my postcard to Year 2020. That's what we do here.

02. Dezmo (2020)
Jaded is a new track from Dezmo, master of beautifully wrecking previously recorded songs by shredding the pitch, tempo, and harmonics. This piece defies classification. It is a beautiful collage of sounds.

03. #TheKanzler (2020)
sk8ters is a field recording of an "unofficial" skateboad race that recently took place down a very steep hill. In the middle of winter. This is a short recording- because the skateboarders were very fast. I have been informed that no one was injured.

04. Sharon Van Ettten (2010)
Peace Signs is one of my favorite tracks from Van Etten's 2010 release, Epic. The simmering rage of this song has been part of my personal soundtrack lately.

05. Euros Childs (2020)
Kitty Dear, Part 1 is the first side of the new Euros Childs album, Kitty Dear. I read somewhere that Euros used every keyboard in his house on this album. The resulting sessions, recorded by Stephen Black, aka Sweet Baboo are a series of audio vignettes that are stitched together in a very artful way. Childs is doing something very interesting on this album- it is very minimal- but the writing is, as always, brilliant.

06. Spacemoth (2020)
This untitled feedback loop came about in a very odd way. Spacemoth (Maryam Quodus) is a muscian, engineer, and producer. The Spacemoth music project combines the nicest elements of psychedelia and rock- in a very modern, precise, and technical way, thanks to the engineering of her collaborator and husband, Beau Sorenson. Influences include Kraftwerk, Eno, and Daft Punk. But there is no mistaking the originality of the Spacemoth sound.

Regaring this piece, I saw a 20-second long video clip Spacemoth posted of a guitar, leaning against an amplifier, and feeding back. I assumed this was part of a new project. So, being the random idiot that I am, I drunkenly sent a tweet, something like, "This is awesome! Would it be ok if I looped this and put it on the Experimental Trash podcast???" And surprisingly, Spacemoth replied, "Yes!!" Hope I didn't wreck it. I also used the DearReality software on this one.

07. Ian Thistlethwaite (2016)
In 2015-2016, Ian Thistlethwaite asked a number of artists to re-record songs that he had written, but never released. He sent out "sketches" of songs which consisted of one track of vocals and one track of piano. I contributed a version of his song, I'll please you- which came out on the [sic] various artists album in 2016.

In this version of I'll please you- I restored all of Ian's piano and vocals, along with the tracks I had done. Then I looped several of my favorite measures of his piano melody and voice. It starts out a little ragged and then settles into a loop/drone kind of thing. Another application of the DearVR kit.

08. Content deleted.

09. Mission of Burma (1985)
Recorded in 1985, during their "farewell" tour, Heart of Darkness is one of the high points of The Horrible Truth About Burma. Brilliant cover of the Pere Ubu song. A long acid drone jam- from three pioneering musicians and the fourth behind the console making tape loops in real time.

10. Deerhunter (2013)
The album Monomania, was described by Bradford Cox as, "...a very hateful record...I was in a lot of pain and very lonely." The imagery in Nitebike rides true to that vibe. A song about being physically and emotionally stuck, on some road, out in the dark. This was 2020. Looped the last measure for the closing credits.

stay safe
stay well
be kind
see you next year


12.02.20 / episode 003 / playlist

episode 003 includes a number of field recordings, some re-constructed pieces from found stem files, loops from the "good" parts of songs, and regular, untampered, post-rock songs.

01. XMTR Derailleur (2013)
No sleep ever is like a puzzle. This experimental group, from the Washington, DC area only has one album in its catalogue- and very worth multiple listens. No sleep ever consists of a few simple elements, a looping guitar riff, a looping keyboard line, that I have deconstructed for this transmission. When the drums come in, the piece quickly moves to an uptempo level and the half-spoken vocals deliver all of the anxiety of a Slint song. For a 2-minute long song there is a lot going on, with very few instruments.

Some tinkering on my part at the end. There's a two note riff at the very end of the song, which I found quite pleasing, and looped it for two additional minutes.

02. Field recording (2020)
This #fieldrecording is part of my audio journal from the month of November. Vignettes recorded on a mobile phone while walking the dogs, watching television, and wandering the yard. We live just over the hill from a small airport- and for some curious reason our house is directly on the landing approach.

03. John Autry (2014)
Olive Branch is the closing song from Autry's 2014 release, Beautifully Broken, which a very dreamy and solid piece of work. Almost entirely self performed and recorded- Olive Branch is the perfect song to withdraw and hibernate. The reverb is rich, but not overworked- which makes this song perfect for headphones and isolation.

noise drone interlude begins here.

04. Andrew Howie (2019)
Foreshadowing is the introductory track on Howie's second album of solo guitar loops, Solo Guitar Loops 2. Clocking in at only 55-seconds, this track is does not waste any time. It is a prelude to a well designed sonic tapestry. I like a good drone- if it has texture. This one does.

05. Sinnen (2020)
Wraec MMXX is from the 2020 self-titled album, Sinnen. I took the liberty of looping this piece twice, because I really liked where it was going. A feedback drone done properly. If you like noise and ambient music- you will really like the work of Sinnen and Andrew Howie.

noise drone interlude ends here.

06. SARN (2020)
This #fieldrecording was kindly sent to me by SARN after I pestered him for a few weeks. In talking to him about his previous work, he said that he often uses evening dog walks as an important part of his writing process. He sees what he says, and then writes songs about the experience.

07. Yo La Tengo (2003)
Winter A Go-Go brings a much needed sunny breeze through this grim season. And we all need that right now. Vibraphone, a slightly salsa/Carribean beat, a rolling Hammond organ, and Georgia Hubley's lovely voice, are a tonic.

08. Ash Cooke / Pulco (2016)
A great poem and #spokenword piece by the Pulco incarnation of Ash Cooke, from his album Innovation in the Trade. A curious and disturbing short story, here framed by a field recording that he also recorded called Motorbike. Cooke has a sharp mind and a gentle voice.

09. Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps (2008)
The album Backyard Tent Set is one of those haunting folk albums. A mixture of fun and tragedy with an upper-midwestern perspective. People come and go, just like the seasons. Grizzly Bear is one of my favorite tracks from Smith's first album- but I am sure that you will discover your own favorite.

10. Euros Childs (2013)
Trick of the mind is a long and textured piano composition that closes the brilliant album Situation Comedy. The album is a roller coaster of characters, emotions, and musical styles- and this track ties all of the pieces together, after they have come crashing down, with Childs's masterful writing and performance for piano.

11. Seazoo (2013)
When they first started out, Seazoo was just two smart people recording in their spare room. The band has changed a lot in the last few years. In 2013 they released two EPs, Ken and Uncle Ken. At the time, I described their sound as a cross between Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr- and that still rings true. But on Uncle Ken- they did something different, letting five different people remix the songs from the Ken album. Little Boy Seazoo, in original form, was already an odd piece for them. A looping electric guitar with fragments of found sounds and voices. The Mr Dupret Factory Remix adds a little more grit.

12. of Montreal (2006)
This version of Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider was recorded live in a Daytrotter session- and is very unique. Just a voice and an acoustic guitar. The lyrics are sly and smart and the tune is like early Bowie jangle.

13. Bearsuit (2005)
Bearsuit is part of the DNA of the bands Lady Di and Mega Emotion. This track, Minerals Made Me almost seems like something from a different era. Off kilter strumming, heartfelt vocals, and a small horn section. This song is now an artifact of artists that have evolved and moved on. But it is still a very precious piece of music.

14. rift|fault (2017)
Plate 12 sounds as creaky as the old house where it was recorded. A simple and slow piano line that wanders and wobbles, downtempo bass, occasional guitar harmonics, and found sounds. Like something you might hear as you're falling asleep.


#stayhome #stayhome #stayhome

11.04.20 / episode 002 / playlist

episode 002 is a little scattershot. As my dear friend, Dr Carini, says- I've been in a dour mood. And I'm still trying to find my groove. Hit the play button.

So, here we are...

intro. Yo La Tengo (1995).
The first four notes of Blue Line Swinger.

01. Mission of Burma (1982)
Mica is a beautiful song. While Mission of Burma is often slotted as a heavy 3-piece- their early years included tape loops and engineering witchcraft by Martin Swope. Mica combines brilliant lyrics and gear grinding riffs, that are tempered by Swope's looping of guitars and vocals- giving this song, like many others, a sonic texture that had no real contemporaries.

02. Beauty Pill (2020)
In Episode 001 I played a track from the new Beauty Pill album, Pardon Our Dust. Then two weeks later they dropped a new single from an upcoming album, Instant Night. Another high-fidelity mind-fuck, that starts with that vampiric voice of Stephen Miller, and from there becomes an intricate web of electronics, a chamber group, and heavily filtered lyrics. Chad Clark is one of the most creative people making music these days.

03. Robyn Hitchcock (2020)
In anticipation of the 2020 election, Robyn Hitchcok released a single called, The President. As usual, Hitchcock takes us on a twisting and winding poem- with the imagery that makes him such a genius-level writer. Best line: When I hear the word democracy- I reach for my headphones....

04. Dream Syndicate (1982)
Too little, too late... is one of my all-time favorite songs. The song is a total downer- Kendra Smith sings with a flat affect- a slide guitar drones in the right channel, a heavy chord rings in the left channel for emphasis. This song is about the end, walking away, and not looking back.

05. Seazoo (2013) I fell in love with Seazoo when I heard their first single, Royal Tattoos. Smart, crisp, well written, well played. They have a new album out called, Joy. This band from north Wales deserves more attention.

06. Pulco / Ash Cooke (2013)
I must have stumbled across Seazoo about the same time that I found Pulco. Ash Cooke is a great songwriter- simple words, basic thoughts, backed by a minimal soundtrack that creates an immense level of tension. Maybe you just vibrate is a great introduction to the music of Ash Cooke, formerly known as Pulco. A field recording from a crowded indoor space, paired with a nylon-stringed guitar, and words dripping with sadness- that is my jam.

07. John Vanderslice (2013)
Wow- there was a lot of good music in 2013. This is a deep cut from the extensive and very intense catalogue of John Vanderslice. In 2013 he did a below the radar release, covering of the entire Bowie classic, Diamond Dogs. A brilliant engineer, Vanderslice created a gritty version of This ain't rock and roll, this is suicide. His discography is a rabbit hole, lined with many different and curious artifacts- and new stuff is coming all the time. Keep an eye out.

08. Wire (1981)
12XZU (fragment) counts as a field recording. Doesn't it? Colin Newman taunts the crowd at Montraux, that apparently JUST WANTS TO HEAR ONE SONG. He makes sarcistic apologies, but can't seem to shake the drunk punks. Some people are never satisfied. From the brilliantly overlooked album, Document and Eyewitness.

09. Emma Swift (2020)
Do not be fooled by the slick Nashville-esque production of Soft Apocalypes. A piano-driven ballad. A well measured and known tempo. But here's the trick: the lyrics to Soft Apocalypse are completely incongruent to the music. We're riding a very slow spiral down the drain. This is a pandemic ballad. The anxiety and the fear in Swift's lyrics would have paired well with a noise drone, or a fiddle, or anything- because she's writing and singing in the moment- and this is a document of 2020. There is a reason why this had to follow 12ZU (fragment). Disappointment. Wanting to move on when all forces say otherwise.

10. Nicole Lizée (2014)
Lizée is probably best known as the first composer to combine symphonic works with hip-hop turntablism. On her 2014 release, Bookburners, Lizée presents compositions that I like to call "aggressive ambient." The tones are pleasing, playful, and unpredictable. The mix on this piece, Ouijist is impeccable as the arrangement shifts between micro-movements of percussion, woodwinds, and strings- with an occasional sprinkle of xylophone, noise, tape hiss, and vinyl static.

11. Emperor X (2016)
There are many, many, very good songs on the 2016 album, Oversleepers International by Emperor X. But, Chad Matheny always has a way of slamming the door on the closing track of his albums. This one, 5-Hour Energy, Poland bookends an intense album that runs the full range of energy and emotion- which you should discover on your own.

12. Slint (1989)
Spiderland, released in 1991) is generally recognized as a lo-fi, post-punk, classic. The remastered version from 2014 included alternate takes and several live recordings. The live recording of Cortez the Killer is one of the highlights of the re-release. Timely and timeless.

As Cortez the Killer ends, we return to the final drone of 5 hour energy, Poland by Emperor X to close the program.



News reports this morning suggest that @guitarcenter might be heading into bankruptcy. There will probably be some bargains in the near future. Stay tuned.



please STOP time stretching your tracks. it's embarrassing.



This is not the review that i expected to write:

Remain in Love
Chris Frantz
St. Martin's Press

My earliest memory of Talking Heads...

...was on a hot August night in 1978, when I found myself in an old stone mill, turned music club, with my childhood friend, "Tuna." We were quite stoned. There were a lot of out of town hipsters in the club that I did not recognize. We were sitting at a table at the edge of the stage- and when the band started everyone began surging forward. I climbed on top of the table and steadied myself by hanging onto one of the old ceiling rafters. After the first song, Thank You for Sending Me an Angel, ended- "Tuna" screamed in my ear, "WHO ARE THESE GUYS?" and I screamed back, "I DON'T KNOW, I THINK THEY'RE FROM CANADA- BUT THEY'RE QUITE GOOD!" The music was not something that I just passively enjoyed hearing- I enjoyed studying HOW they were doing it and the beautifully awkward sounds that rang in my ears.

I have been waiting for a very long time for THE book about Talking Heads. When Remain in Love was published in July 2020, I thought- FINALLY. I always found the band to be a mystery. The art-school pedigree was intriguing. The person/caricature of David Byrne always seemed vague and inaccessible (much like his own writing). The collaborations with Eno were both brillant and disappointing. The early music was minimal, yet painterly. Given this combination of art and intellect Talking Heads has been on my personal list of top 10 favorite bands of all time since I saw them in a sweaty old mill, at the ass end of the universe, in 1978.

I really, really, really wanted this to be my new favorite book.

A four hundred page book promised to be packed with information. I was hoping for geeky stuff about gear, the writing process, and I was less interested in reading gossip. But there are many unanswered questions in Remain in Love. And many missed opportunities to tell an epic tale.

I know that Chris Frantz knows how to tell a good story. He does a semi-regular radio program on a local station, WPKN, and he knows how to banter. I think that might be the reason for my level of disappointment with the book. Frantz has a good voice and a sharp wit when you hear him speak. But it just did not translate to the printed page. I did not hear the voice that I've heard on the radio. Do not get me wrong, this is one of the better memoirs of a musician that I have read- but I expected something different and smarter.

Remain in Love was short on details and substance. On paper, it reads like a bare-bones chronology of his life- with not enough color. There is a lot of name-dropping. The bands, the places, the dates- all just get strung along to form a linear narrative of a life and career. The affect is flat, other than his references to Tina Weymouth- and the story, at times, is a sleep walk through the life of a very influential group of musicians. Maybe it would have read been better presented as a cut-up, non-linear, and more expressionistic piece- similar to the way Talking Heads wrote their songs.

I have many questions.

SPOILER: The best part of Remain in Love is in the last 30 pages, and consists of just a couple of paragraphs where Frantz breezes over a period when his marriage almost ended due to substance abuse. After rambling on for about 300 pages that are punctuated by references to smoking weed and drinking, Frantz kind of drops a bomb about a serious drug habit. Yeah, the one episode where he accidentally snorted herion and "felt kind of funny" was amusing. But when you get to the point in life where your wife says she's taking the kids and going away until you get your shit together- well, that's sort of a big deal. And it is not the kind of thing that just sort of happens overnight. There was a history to his drug use that largely goes untold. That should have been the beginning of a book that focuses on a very long, and very intense romantic relationship. Perhaps Frantz found this subject too tawdry to dwell on in more detail.

Remain in Love provides mid-level details on the musical evolution of Frantz and Weymouth, but again- the details are slim. Frantz goes into more detail about his hand-built sailboat than about his drum kit. The lack of technical/artistic knowledge I was hoping for never materialized in this book.

I really was not reading Remain in Love to find juicy bits of gossip. I imagined that a 400 page book might have some tall tales or dispell some common rumors. It really did not do either. I was disappointed by the lack of anecdotes and quotes, from people that he had worked with for decades. Frantz has been married to another Talking Head for over 40 years- and while there are many fond memories of life with Tina Weymouth recounted in the book- there are very few quotes or specifics. A few offhand comments about how they tried to "manage" working with David Byrne, but almost nothing about Jerry Harrison- who probably made some of the biggest sonic contributions to the first three Talking Heads albums. Surprisingly, one of the rare Harrison quotes is one of the best in the entire book. When Talking Heads tried to recruit Harrison, his response was something like, "Yeah, I'll join your band if you can get a record contract." One might think this quip might generate an emotional response. Nope.

David Byrne, David Byrne, David Byrne. I really do not care where he is on the autism spectrum, but by Frantz's account, this fellow was always a pain in the ass, very high maintenance, and singularly made decisions that impacted the rest of the band that had carried him along for years. QUESTION: Why did the rest of the group put up with his shit for so long? One can only imagine that every member of Talking Heads had a difficult relationship with Byrne- yet there are no clues as to why his behavior was tolerated.

Just a few other questions:

Remain in Love is a guidebook to every Talking Heads tour- and on that front provides a brief chronology of punk and post-punk. All the names, dates, and places get neatly checked off. Yeah, the Ramones were idiots. Everyone knows that. But, by my count, there were ZERO references to XTC and Andy Partridge. In my opinion, Talking Heads and XTC were cut from very similar cloth- and they remain two of my favorite bands. There is a rumor/anecdote that Partridge suggested that Talking Heads title their second release, "More Songs About Buildings and Food." This seems like a very Partridge thing to say, since the Talking Heads '77 album had songs about buildings and food. A second XTC intersection/rumor was that Partridge was on a plane with Frantz, flying over Australia, when he found out that Byrne announced that the band was breaking up. I don't think Partidge even received a single mention in the book. Instead we get Johnny Ramone complaining about having to stop the tour bus to visit Stonehenge. Christ on a bike.

As mentioned, Chris Frantz knows how to tell a story. One part of the book that actually made me laugh out loud was when he ran into Patti Smith on a remote beach in Greece- and when Frantz greeted her- she ran away. This was a brief, but vividly rendered passage- and I was hoping the book would contain many more encounters like this.

In the late 70s, Talking Heads provided me with a template and a manifesto. They were the weird kids that studied art and made music. When I saw them in that sweaty mill in '78, I was studying art- and when the show ended, I knew that I had to start a band. They broke rules in writing and recording. The songs were about the mundane, abstract, and absurd parts of daily life. And I don't think I am alone in that sentiment.

For a book written by a trained artist, art is one topic sadly missing from Remain in Love. Yes, there is a gloss about painting in school, and there is a cute story about the band having boxed sandwiches with Andy Warhol. But there is maybe only a sentance about the involvement of Robert Rauschenberg in designing the limited edition cover for the Speaking in Tongues album. A couple of pages about eating sandwiches with Warhol- yet nothing about an actual artistic collaboration with one of Warhol's peers. I found this odd because I thought the collaboration would have an impact on the artist-turned-musician. I have a copy of Rauschenberg's Speaking in Tongues in my archive, and it is one of my most prized possessions.


Is Remain in Love a bad book? No.

Could it have been better? Yes.

Could we all be better? Yes.

Are there typos in this review? Highly likely.



today there are 102,336 microphones for sale on ebay. 99% of them are trash.


10.07.20 / episode 001 / playlist

01. Cellista
Look Homeward, Angel. Mix chamber music, electronica, looping, hiphop, and opera. Well crafted. Beautiful.

02. The Kanzler
Trolley 47, Trolley 48 Looped field recordings from an antique train yard. Sprinkle in ambient sounds and a cello note.

03. Lady Di
Peaunut Cup. The happy evil twins of Mega Emotion from Norwich have just dropped another fuzz drenched punk pop song. This is one of those rare groups that just keeps getting better. And you cannot beat a three-piece band. Ever.

04. Stefan James (Sweet Benfica)
Stub (in D). Lovely dark and pulsing ambient guitar tones from South Wales.

05. JRW
Beach Ecleta. Modulated field recordings. A human voice and a middle-aged BMW are the primary instruments used in a new private release from this outsider artist.

06. SARN
March. Modern protest music from the 2020 release Real Shit.

07. SARN
TYTYTY. A common refrain for these troubled times. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

08. ATCO Corporation
DR_0055 and DR_0051 - Industrial and field recordings sent by a representative of the ATCO Corporation.

09. Slothrust
Beowulf. Heavy sludge post-rock. Best line, "Beowulf was one sick puppy."

10. Stefan James
Possessor. Another piece of dark ambient, with a beautifully rendered spoken word introduction.

11. Stephen Steinbrink
It's All Uphill. A dream-pop song about the apocalypse from the lushly crafted 2012 release, I Drew a Picture.

12. Kronos Quartet / Laurie Anderson
CNN Predicts a Monster Storm. A deeply emotive piece about an impending hurricane that flooded an artist's archives.

13. John Vanderslice
Penthouse Windows (isolated clarinet track). A rare look at the genius of Vanderslice by focusing on only the clarinet on this piece from Green Grow the Rushes.

14. Beauty Pill
Pardon Our Dust. Beyond classification- a brilliantly structured piece that is a sonic experience and a literary treat. I LIVE INSIDE MY OWN HEART, MATT DAMON!

15. Young Marble Giants
Wind in the Rigging. An instrumental piece from a too short catalogue. This song never got a lot of attention, but set the bar for minimalist post-punk works 40 years later.

16. Dezmo
Heartache. Follow Dezmo on twitter. Ask Dezmo how the track was made. It is a great story. The spoken word introduction only scratches the surface in describing the sadness of this great song.









home | about | archive | twitter | contact