William Basinski - 92982 [CD]

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Something from a long time ago...in Brooklyn, 351 jay street...A fruitful evening in the studio... Home at last after a day of work at the answering service...answering phones for calvin klein, bianca jagger, steve rubell, and all the other somebody people...in our space station: home in my studio experimenting live. James is in the adjacent studio painting masterpieces. Roger is in the front, gluing old shoes on canvas and painting them orange... I'm clicking the old norelcos back and forth between channels...all the windows are open. The sound is spreading all over downtown brooklyn mixing with the helicopters, sirens, pot smoke and fireworks... The 2062 label collects the creative musical output of now-legendary experimental media artist William Basinski. Best known for 2004's critically-beloved masterwork, ,The Disintegration Loops" (reissued by Temporary Residence in lavish LP and CD box set editions), Basinski has been a fixture in electronic, art, and film circles for over three decades. He employs obsolete technology and analog tape loops, deconstructing and reconstructing media and exploiting machines beyond their intended uses, in order to shape his haunting and melancholic soundscapes. Basinski, classically trained in composition, cites Steve Reich, Brian Eno, and John Cage as inspirations, but his creations are just as clearly drawn from the sounds of machines and the music/muzak streaming from all corners of everyday life. This account of how he used radio broadcasts and four-tracks for early pieces provides a telling glimpse into the creative process informing his unparalleled creative work: "The idea came from wanting to make a Mellotron - a string synthesizer. They were gorgeous, like a big, white spinet piano, with full keyboards and everything. I never got to see the inside of one, but apparently they had tape loops of sampled strings in there, and I loved string sounds. At that time, living in New York, this radio station at the top of the Empire State Building had the strongest signal in the Northeast, and they played these 1,001 string versions of popular American standards - with all the syncopation taken out, and no vocals except maybe some oohs and ahhs here and there. And since it was pretty much cutting into everything I was doing, just because of how strong the signal was - if you ran a wire across the floor, you'd pick it up - I thought, "Well, let me just cut up some loops and record some of these strings." A measure from the beginning, or an interlude, the outro - taking that and using a tape deck that has four speeds on it and made it possible to slow the strings down a couple times. It was very encouraging to me, so I just went crazy."

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