Unfortunately I still have no idea what this actually is

こんにちは。ビデオの音楽のように、この画像と曲の音でしょうか?ありがとう、あなたは天才です!

(Hi Shinsuke. Will this image and song sound like the music in the video? Thank you, you are a genius!)

Kris Weston asked me to design some vinyl art for a very interesting record etching process he wanted to use for some fund-raising dub plates, as outlined in these links (1, 2, 3). I some some old, amazing christian eschatological insanity I found while cleaning up my Grandmother’s attic early last year, then Kris sent off some music files and the visual design to Shinsuke and Koji, who then etched some records and sent them to me. So I suppose these are one-of-a-kind “Thrash” demo LPs (milled into some heavy, very thick material that I don’t think is vinyl), one side of which plays music, the other plays intermittent sine wave beeps and glitches, as informed by the etched artwork.

The question remains: does the etching process allow for the music to be encoded in the grooves or not? Because after many, many language translation and email correspondence travails, Shinsuke himself said that the art side will sound like beeps when played, even though the articles made it seem that the etching is a non destructive process, i.e., that the result is playable art. Shinsuke wrote:

絵つまり濃淡が音の強弱です。
強弱がなければ絵は描けません。
複雑な絵であればあるほど音はより変化します。
絵が描かれるための音の変化は音楽としての変化にくらべより大きな変化です。スクラッチの時のフェーダーの激しい動き以 上の音のオンオフが必要です。
それがピーピー音になります。
絵を描くこととあらかじめ作られた音楽を一つの溝で再現することは物理的に矛盾しています。
音楽を音楽として再生させるためには
従来の音楽のトラックをカットする必要があります。
サンプルで作った二枚は
片面に絵をもう片面に音をいれました。
透明のレコードであれば裏側から絵を浮かび上がらせることができます。
このレコードは再生する事もできるがあくまで観賞用の作品です。
もちろん音のトラックはしっかり再生できますが。

 

However! After running the app, I feel like there is still some misunderstanding… there is clearly an option to use an audio file instead of a sine wave, and the app asks to save a file when it has been run… AND the audio file is slightly corrupted from the version that was input, meaning that at least something is happening  (Unfortunately, even if this redeeming fact turned out to be true, any audible corruption is a deal killer for Kris). So which is it… can the artwork side of the vinyl play music or not? We may not ever find out, because Shinsuke has already been so extremely generous with his time and resources, and since we got to be cringing every time we had another untranslatable question for him… we just don’t want to bother him anymore about it.

 

Dale Cooper & Dictaphones LP arrived today!

P10201801 P10201811

Very privileged to have my art used as the cover for a brilliant album by Dale Cooper and the Dictophones.

Mary Tapogna sold the original of this painting years ago to someone she hasn’t seen since; the subject is very long-time close friend ‘Vati. Out of all the pieces I’ve ever painted, only twice have I ever used a source photo that I myself didn’t take… and this happens to be one of them– so I really feel like I can’t take too much credit for it since it’s essentially a dead copy of an amazing photo by Vati’s brother Kris Locke.

Kris Weston, FFWD, 1994

FFWD

(via archive | DEP3.)

FFWD is an eponymous album by FFWD – Robert Fripp, Thomas Fehlmann, Kris Weston, and Alex Duncan Paterson released in 1994. All files are full quality aiff’s.

This is one of my favourite productions. Its mostly Robert Fripp’s guitar work and my production, keyboards and computer tweakery. Fripp said at the time it was the best thing hes ever worked on – which is not true, but still was a great compliment :) Thomas Fehlmann and Alex Patterson were also involved, mostly in a sort of consulting role, however I’ve read things on the internet which say the exact opposite and that I did almost nothing on it – [rolls eyes]. Alex contributed some BBC sound effects records as was his usual modus operandi and Thomas didn’t do much apart from moral support and the occasional production opinion. Andy Hughes, the now deceased engineer who stole my delay unit (karma?) also did a sort of high bleepy sound in one of these tunes. He looked like he was bored so I let him. Should have sacked him there and then, hindsight is a bitch though.

…The rest of the post is very interesting for anyone who has ever wondered why the character of The Orb’s music changed so dramatically not long after this recording (the subject usually makes Kris’ flesh crawl).

The album title is an acronym for the artists, but a self deprecating joke at the ambient approach too– though this album is extremely engaging and far from ambient– as if to say, “Well, as soon as you philistines get a hold of this CD, you should probably just hold down the fast forward button.” I don’t know what the symbol in the upper left means, but it is surely alluding to the e:mit album art glyph.

FFWD has been, for the ten years or so I’ve known of its existence, my absolutely most prized album– I bought a copy of the CD from eBay for $39 immediately after finding out about it and borrowing it from another DJ back when I was doing my late-night ambient and experimental radio broadcast, Gray December, at WEVL FM 89.9 in Memphis. I have it on vinyl too. I dislike talking about music or telling anyone what to think, but I will say that it is essential listening for the genre, and like a lot of what Orb produced during this time… I will go so far as to say a high-point of all early-21st music “Buckwheat & Grits” is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I wore it out playing it on Gray December (and the following piece, “Klangtest”), and it defined for me those strange last few years in Memphis. I completely stole this name to use for my website, but what it exactly meant has always been known only to me.