Friday, December 22, 2017

Activity Universal and Cosmonox

My car album of choice for the last week or so has been Activity Universal's Flee, the last album Eric and I recorded as a duo before Jason brought his scintillating rhythms on board.*  What a crazy album, totally maddening. Really a terrible choice for driving around, especially with a baby in the back, but also a pretty great choice for driving around, particularly with a baby in the back. There is something great about turning three seconds of audio samples into eight minutes of mesmerizing repetition. Anyway, I'm very proud of it. There are moments where it goes so far into the weeds that they start to look like a garden. Free for download from the Internet Archive at the link above (and give the I.A. a few bucks while you're there).

It's interesting to compare this album to the Cosmonox stuff that Jason and I have been doing lately (and please note that Cosmonox is playing on Jan. 12 at the Firkin Tavern). Cosmonox's 4-track tape-based approach allows for more dramatic changes - choruses, bridges, sudden dropouts, etc. - and Jason has a strong sense of pop songcraft in how he makes the tapes. So it feels worlds apart in some ways from Activity Universal, even though it's basically the same idea -  bookish hermit takes educational audio device and abuses three seconds of audio until the song is done eight minutes later.

*See next post for comments on listening to one's own music.