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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Extravagantly opaque, willfully vaporous Aphex Twin s Selected Ambient Works Volume II, released by the estimable British label Warp Records in 1994, rejuvenated ambient music for the Internet Age that was just dawning. In the United States, it was his first full length on Sire Records (home to Madonna and Depeche Mode), which helped usher in Richard D. James, for whom Aphex Twin is but one of numerous monikers, as a major force in music, electronic or otherwise.

Faithful to Brian Eno s definition of ambient music, Selected Ambient Works Volume II was intentionally functional: it furnished chill out rooms, the sanctuaries amid intense raves. Choreographers and film directors began to employ it to their own ends, and in the intervening decades this background music came to the fore, adapted by classical composers who reverse-engineer its fragile textures for performance on acoustic instruments. Simultaneously, 'ambient' has moved from esoteric sound art to central tenet of online culture. This book contends that despite a reputation for being beat-less, the album exudes percussive curiosity, providing a sonic metaphor for our technologically mediated era of countless synchronized nanosecond metronomes.

Biographie de l'auteur

Marc Weidenbaum founded, which is focused on the intersection of sound, art, and technology, in 1996. A former editor of Tower Records Pulse! magazine, he's written for Nature, Boing Boing, and the website of The Atlantic. He s commissioned compositions from such musicians as Scanner, Steve Roden, and Stephen Vitiello, and lectures on the role of sound in the media landscape. He lives in San Francisco.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x88324090) étoiles sur 5 15 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8832ed50) étoiles sur 5 A brief but dense essay on an impenetrable album 9 avril 2014
Par M. Austin - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
Marc Weidenbaum had an uphill battle with writing about an almost entirely instrumental record, where only 1 track had an official title, and the artist has been notoriously reticent to interviews recently. Weidenbaum tackles the record from every conceivable direction, finding fertile ground in the "beatless" tag applied to the record early on, its influence on (and how it was influenced by) ambient music, the myriad ways the record has been dissected, adapted, and performed, and the very concept of untitled music has on both how it's perceived and how modern technology handles the nomenclature of metadata.

To his credit, the author bases very little of the book on a phone interview he conducted with Aphex Twin the late '90s. A lazier writer would base the entire book on that conversation, but Weidenbaum is smart enough to know that it's the listener's interpretation of the record, divorced from the aritst's intent, is much more interesting to delve into. SAW2 is therefore treated like the text that ideas spring from, not a concrete piece with a singular interpretation.

Readers should be aware that Richard D. James figures very little in this book; unlike many 33 1/3 books, SAW2 is not a mini biography. Perhaps that's the way the artist, who's alternately obscured and disseminated his identity and working methods, would like it.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8832eda4) étoiles sur 5 Time capsule of the ambient early '90s 2 mars 2014
Par Quiet Wyatt - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
These 33 1/3 books are always a mixed bag since you don't know what angle(s) the author will choose to take. I consider this volume on Aphex Twin's SAWII one of the better ones because of how Weidenbaum positions the album in the context in which it was released. The early- to mid-1990s were a time of strange popularity for all kinds of electronic music (even though electronic music has been composed since the 1960s and continues to be composed now) and SAWII is one of the strangest albums within the period because it bucks so many of the trends of the time: it's not dance music, it doesn't "rock", it's not showy in terms of composition or performing skills, yet it's also unlike the happy/dubby/bubbly ambient music of The Orb, FSOL and other '90s contemporaries.

If I am disappointed in one thing about Weidenbaum's book, it is that he spends so much time talking about what this album is *not*, at the expense of spending more time talking about what it *is*. I would have liked to read more of a track-by-track breakdown/commentary, but as it is, the author only discusses 7 or 8 of the album's 25 pieces at length. (There is also no discussion of how the music was made, but to be fair, I did not expect that since Richard D. James is famously secretive about his methods.) I still enjoyed the book, however, as a snapshot of a period in the history of electronic music, as well as a welcome prompt to revisit a favorite album with fresh ears.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89c1569c) étoiles sur 5 I'd give 4 and a half star if I could... 22 février 2014
Par Trond Berger - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I'm impressed by this book, as it comes close to embody what I want the 33 1/3 series to be like: an insightful, written documentary that shines through as a labour of love without losing its journalistic cool. Weidenbaum nails all this with an album I thought was very unlikely to appear in this series in the first place. I think I laughed when I first saw the announcement for it. Yes, I'm impressed. I hope he writtes about an Autechre album next, or Stereolab's Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements. Please!
HASH(0x8832ef78) étoiles sur 5 No big revelations on this one-still fun to read. 3 mai 2015
Par Rich L. - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
It's not full of revelations on the album from Richard himself, but it's a good easy read about the circumstances surrounding him signing to WEA, why the album is so different from the rest of his catalogue, the impact it's had, etc. The writing can be a little dry sometimes, but still a good analysis overall.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89c15780) étoiles sur 5 A fun conversation about this great album 8 avril 2014
Par Joseph Michael Guisti - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I was hoping for a bit of inside dirt on Aphex Twin's composition practices or explanations in what went into creating particular songs. While this is more of a discussion of the discourse surrounding the album as well as a snapshot of the industry and scene that provided its context, it's still a fun read. Would recommend to SAW II / Aphex diehards, but not sure if it has broader appeal.
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