02 May 2005


I normally like 'round' electronic music; sounds that come in bubbles and pops, sounds that curl up and die (Hairdresser sounds), sounds that open out into liquids. 'Square' sounds have never really been my thing, it's one of the reasons why I never really got into the glitch / drill n bass end of things: i bought the records but I haven't obsessed about any of them...too many edges.

Most of Orbital is round, though they can streak some corners around. Coil is nearly always round, as is most of Throbbing Gristle (though there are live moments especially that are full of corners). Whitehouse is mostly squarer than hell. Nurse With Wound is often square too, though they can also be rounder than almost anyone. Stuff like Shpongle is always round (BTW interview with these guys coming soon) and even most of Hallucinogen (which is edgier but still round). Goa trance is almost by definition round while anything on Planet Mu is almost by definition 'square'. Didgeridoo is almost round, while Drukqs is almost square. Kraftwerk is full of round corners.

You get the drift.

I don't really like too many corners in my music, nothing too crunchy, nothing that puts pictures of set squares and kitchen units into my head as I listen.

For this reason, I've never really understood things like Venetian Snares, despite having a few of their albums and trying hard to like them; it seemed music made entirely of edges, music hewn from hard cloth with those crinkle-cut scissors kids fight over at school...

But, recently, I've found myself warming to it (or, more likely, it's warming to me*); as if there's been a small evolutionary step onwards, breaking the ever-so-slightly ouroborotic, fungi-obsessed paddling that has characterised the majority of my listening...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't think this period in my life will last too long (last time I just bought a whole load of stuff from Mille Plateux which I've played about once) but, for now, I'm all cornered up:

Venetian Snares - The Children Are All Dead

The Modern day king of edges; if he could match his compositional style to 'round' sounds, he'd be my favourite artist. But I guess that's missing the point.

Atari Teenage Riot - Revolution Action

Plenty of edges from these sweaty fellahs; corners all over the show. Like being beaten with Lenin Mirrors.

Machine Drum - Floss

Machine Drum is not the edgiest music around (the corners here are tiny) but shows that even fading in and out voices (often round) can sometimes be edgy as hell.

*If I have to explain this then you're probably not interested


Anonymous said...

I would like you to explain, and I am interested...don't know how those two got mixed up, but they did.

ken said...

No need to explain, but could you follow with your top roundest tracks? How do you feel about Mouse On Mars - I always thought they had the squelchiest plips and flops in the glitch world. And what about Pole - often lumped in with the glitch but a lot more blurry and organic than most. I like this way of characterising the difference but it makes me wonder where I can find the clearest round sounds rather than the soft edges and blurred kind of indistinctness of, say, A.M.P. Studio.

Loki said...

yeah... top roundest tracks to follow sometime soon...

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