Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Astral Squeaks - the new outer zones of alien rap vocals

And here's another fascinating Kieran Press-Reynolds piece: How Hyperspeed Squeals & Alien Whispers Became Rap's Final Frontier.  It's a deep-dive into the online realm of bedroom rappers who boldly go way out there, - beyond Playboi Carti's baby-voice, beyond even his fetus-voice - into      outermost zones of "rap-sing insanity" that sound more like "experimental ASMR or the national anthems of an alien civilization" than MC-ing as hitherto known. Artists like 645AR, lungskull, meat computer, Axxturel, sellasouls, islurwhenitalk, Jewelxxet et al are leaving behind words and even decipherable emotions for pure texture-play, breath-braiding and vocal-goo extrusion.

Here is Kieran's YouTube playlist for the artists and tracks mentioned in the piece.  

Saturday, May 22, 2021

from rapture to rupt: the journey of Seefeel

It was a really really nice to chat with Seefeel's Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock - for the first time in, fuck me, decades - about the just-out-now reissues of their Warp era music: Starethrough, Succour, and the (okay technically on Rephlex, same difference!) maxi-EP / mini-LP Ch-Vox, which are available separately as vinyl but handsomely conjoined as the 4-CD Rupt & Flex, and in all formats come bulging with unreleased or barely-released goodies. 

 Here at the Warp site is my Q + A with Mark & Sarah covering the whole history of Seefeel from the Too Pure phase through Warp to the dispersal. 

Some of the absolute greatest music of the 1990s, but u kno dat. 

Strangely although the group featured in two of my back-in-the-day pieces (Ambient as 1993 Buzzword, and the first post-rock feature, in '94), this is the first really in-depth interview with Seefeel I've done - and I learned a lot. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Chip off the old Roblox

When I got my first piece in The New York Times - even though I'd done a bunch of things for UK newspapers by that point - it felt like an impossibly august place. Apart from anything else,  it was the first time I'd ever been edited (as opposed to having bits amputated from the piece without being consulted). And then there was the sight of it in the Arts & Leisure section, with that newsprint....  I was 27. 

Kieran Press-Reynolds, our son, just got his debut piece in The New York Times, aged 21. It went online today - the day before his graduation - and is in the paper edition Tuesday.   And we're in New York, our old home, for the ceremony, so able to pick up a physical copy. Where it bears the deliciously none-more-Times-y headline "Young Sonic Scofflaws Create Chaotic New Genre". Scofflaws!

I am proud, and impressed, and a little consternated, frankly. 21!

The piece is about a new music subculture that has sprung up around Roblox, a sandbox game. If you don't know what either of those things refers to, Kieran explains it very clearly.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

splice of life

Here's a fun piece I did for Tidal on musique concrète that starts circa 1948 with tape-music and follows the windy-windy thread through its sample-collaging descendants (plunderphonics et al) to hip hop and more.