Music markets in everything

Over the past eight years, Scarlatti (a pseudonym he uses to keep his avant garde hobbies separate from his straight career), his brother (aka Ancient Pine), and a childhood friend who records under the name Pendra Gon, have been countering music’s increasing ease of availability by releasing recordings on formats intentionally designed to be difficult—or even dangerous—to play: Albums with ink screenprinted over the grooves. CD-Rs that have been made into air fresheners by having herbs glued all over them. Cassettes covered in shards of actual broken glass. (Scarlatti says his two partners are largely uninvolved in Auris at this point.)

“It never really started as a record label,” Scarlatti says. “It started kind of as a weird idea about releasing music that you couldn’t listen to or purchase. We never really could manifest a logical way to implement that, which is why it sort of evolved into the label. I guess it was more of an absurdist digital performance art, is what the idea was.”

Absurdity—specifically a kind of surly noise-geek strain of neo-Dadaism—runs through all of Auris’s “anti-releases.” For a recent cassette by LATHER, who constructs noisy arrangements out of piles of broken electronics, they removed the teeth in the tape’s reels, rendering it unplayable. A sold-out tape by Unholy Triforce called Some Assembly Required came in the form of a kit that a listener would have to assemble before playing. Scarlatti released one of his own compositions as a length of unspooled magnetic tape.

Here is the full story, via Ted Gioia.


'they removed the teeth in the tape’s reels, rendering it unplayable'

That is not true, assuming this is a cassette - anyone able to fashion a piece that meshes with the hole with sufficient force can play it back with no problem at all - call it five minutes worth of parts scrounging, possibly ten minutes of actual labor using something like an old Walkman, and maybe fifteen minutes testing and adjusting the output into a digital recording device (notice that this approach remains fundamentally analog up to the point of being recorded - other people just might pretty much skip 3, and adjust the output digitally without attempting to improve the physical playback.

The other way to do it, of course, is simply to replace the spools, and then respool the tape on the replacement - but that is so easy I'm sure they must have thought about that, right? All one needs is a cassette tape hanging around, a bit of Scotch tape, and maybe 10 minutes if that. Notice that you get no maker points for doing something that is a completely routine procedure over decades in any studio that uses tape, in comparison to the first approach, which at least has an authentically artisanal feel to it.

Which could be open to debate, considering this - 'Some Assembly Required came in the form of a kit that a listener would have to assemble before playing.'

Kids these days, right? Especially this - 'Scarlatti released one of his own compositions as a length of unspooled magnetic tape' It would be much more impressive if he simply cut up the tape, leaving the listener to assemble it with clear tape - that would at least be within the proper boundaries of dadaism, and essentially ensure that each listener would be listening to a unique musical composition, particularly as each splice would not be identical, even if the sequence was.

Haha, the idea of cutting up the tape is a good one. It then becomes a puzzle to assemble the song correctly.

And when you play it, it just says "You freakin' nerd, get a freakin' life." over and over again.

A Dadaist masterpiece or not? How would you know? But coming almost a century after Man Ray(I think) made the fur lined teacups, nothing so new. You could drink tea from them--with difficulty.

So, you aren't really a Dadaist, as those questions were answered a century ago - '“I speak only of myself since I do not wish to convince, I have no right to drag others into my river, I oblige no one to follow me and everybody practices his art in his own way." Tristan Tzara "Dada Manifesto 1918”

Don't expect answers from anyone else is the short version.

An excellent Straussian critique of the Presidency, but so obvious that it would get you sent to the gulag in China 30 years ago, or America 5 years hence.

Indeed. Someone might make a movie critical of Trump, and it would take the Supreme Court to rule it legal to make such a thing, and politicians would run on changing the First Amendment so that no one could do that again.

I was thinking about Trump throwing a great big spanner into America's attempt at universal healthcare, and then praising Australia's more complete and functional system as "better."

If that isn't performance art, what is it?

It is pretty much like cassettes covered in shards of broken glass.

You don't get universal health care by putting 1/6th of the largest economy into the hands of a Secretary unless you are profoundly malicious and wish to joyfully watch the suffering of your citizenry.

I know right. Practically as bad as national defense. Does secretarial school even teach those?

Whaaaat? I really don't get these Straussians? What do i need to smoke?

In an earlier era these bozos would be hoeing the baron's turnips and pitching hay to his cows. Now, in the richest period ever for humans, they have the luxury of indulging in irrational absurdity and surviving, perhaps even prospering. This is cultural progress.

I think this sort of cultural degradation is a direct result of the Obama Presidency. When he kept inviting degenerates like Common to the White House and hosting hip-hop BBQs it couldn't have been good for our society's cultural integrity.

Obama wasn't around when Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Adolph Gottlieb, Jean-Michel Baquiat, Jasper Johns and others were doing their best to attract attention. Bad art, in music, film, dance, art, etc. has been a methodology for the insecure for a long time.

Music related: from for May 6

On this day in music, 1891, Conductors on London General Omnibus Company go on strike

This is very funny. I might have even bought the unspooled release, as a curios only though--not as music. Seems like fool-proof first date fodder.
"What is that?"
"It's 8 minutes of white-noise and winds on unspooled magnetic tape. I can't play it. But that insert is hand-typed on a vintage typewriter."
"Oh...ravish me!"

I have a side business in printing invisible t shirts. If they want some to sell to their fans, I am happy to sell them some.

I've been trying to increase my cost of living to change what I listen to: I've been buying CDs. I'm finding CDs selling for prices lower than LPs in 1972 in nominal terms, or about one-quarter the price. And on amazon, they are autorip'd so besides the cd I can hold and read the liner notes, I can get them on my mobile device. Finally, the lower cost of new technology, the CD and online digital, have translated into lower prices.

But what I still miss is the artist effort of CDs. For example, Dave Mason's album was great: it opened up into a wall poster of Dave Mason with hat tower over a rocky formation, and the album was revealed as an explosion of colors. Play the record and the color swirling was hypnotic.

Or the Stones Sticky Fingers was a close up of genes, groin area, complete with a functioning zipper.

From California, album art introduced people worldwide to R Crumb (Cheap Thrills by Big Brother [Janis Joplin]) and other graphic artists.

Music is best when it's it's a physical experience, not just sounds in your head. Apple tries to capture that in its ads for putting music in your head with the obvious motion in the silhouette with earphone cord static graphic artist.

So, LPs with "screen printing" is just 60s retro. I remember many records pressed in colored blanks with various designs and images, those the music wasn't memorable, eg, I only remember Dave Mason's album.

We got to be very wise with these things, as only then we will be able to make money and will be able to achieve greater results. I am trading with OctaFX broker and I always do it all easily and with confidence. This is entirely to do with low spreads here from 0.1 pips, high leverage up to 1.500 while there are over 70 instruments to pick from and then there is even cash back up to 50% on all trades, it’s all amazing.

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