issue 17 :: August 2010

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REVIEW: Marcus Maeder

“Subsegmental” CD [Domizil]

The seven similar sounding recordings on “Subsegmental” focus attention upon long stretches of buzzing drones and quiet shards of abstract sound. While the liner notes relate a description of purposeful bit-reduction by computer, the results sound nothing more than an entire record of ring modulator studies. How you feel about the metallic vibe of a ring modulator will be how you feel about this record. It pleases my ears. Bit-reduction or ring-modulation, the results are similar: a near-complete occultation of the original sound source, slight slivers of sounds brushed into existence. And this is the link to the title, “Subsegmental,” a linguistic term referring to the small bits of sound that form words, phonemes. And what about the bits of words left over after the phonemes have been removed? Or reading a text just composed of the serifs?
Marcus Maeder
review by Josh Ronsen, photo of Maeder live at LACE, Los Angeles, September 2009 taken by ?
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