Tag Archives: Curved Light

Acid Test: Wintry Vaporwave, Horror Soundtracks, and a Rapping Pencil

feb_acid_test-1244.jpgBandcamp’s outer limits continue to be a rewarding place for psychedelic music, noise, vaporwave, and uncategorizable strangeness. In this volume of Acid Test, Miles Bowe digs up a snowy vaporwave gem, a music legend’s tribute to a late cult movie actor, an alternate soundtrack to a horror classic, and multiple highlights from Indonesia’s experimental scene. Find all that, and an anthropomorphic rapping pencil, below.

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Four Electronic Artists Reflect on the Influence of Composer Laurie Spiegel

Laurie Spiegel

Laurie Spiegel in 1985, photo by Enrico Ferorelli

Mapping the impact of the work composer Laurie Spiegel produced during the ‘70s and early ‘80s is a fantastical task—about as fantastical as firing a pair of gold-plated records into space. Actually, maybe it was those Voyager Golden Records, which accompanied the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977, that foretold Spiegel’s impact on planet Earth. For those unfamiliar: Spiegel’s electronic interpretation of astronomer Johannes Kepler’s book Harmonices Mundi was included among the songs and bits of recorded sound committed to the Golden Records, which were intended to communicate the human way of life to alien life forms when they were released into the solar system some 40 years ago. But it’s really only been over the last decade that electronic composers here on the ground have begun to grasp the magnitude of Spiegel’s innovative computer-music compositions.

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Hi Bias: Notable Cassette Releases on Bandcamp, October 2017

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Welcome to Hi Bias, a monthly column highlighting recent cassette releases on Bandcamp, and exploring the ideas behind them with the artists who made them. Rather than making sweeping generalizations about the “cassette comeback,” we prefer here simply to cover releases that may escape others’ radar due to their limited, cassette-focused availability.

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Album of the Day: Curved Light, “Channelview”

Much like the early work of Oneohtrix Point Never, Peter Tran’s Curved Light productions slide from peaceful passages to lawless synth lines without warning. The songs are able to lull the listener into a light sleep cycle one second and jostle them awake with jagged noise the next. In the case of Channelview—Curved Light’s first effort for the rising Austin label Holodeck Records—not much time passes between the soothing melodies of “Resincast” and the nightmarish, glassy notes of “Immutable.” The latter could easily score the downward spiral of the lead character in a Dario Argento film; quite fitting, considering the prominent role visuals play in Tran’s shows alongside partner Deirdre Smith.

Left to his own (analog) devices here, Tran treats Channelview as a blank canvas for psychedelic sound art paintings and manic New Age music. Over the course of eight fluid compositions and a little more than 30 lucid minutes, it seems to imagine what might have happened if Jon Hassell and Brian Eno had been tasked with scoring Videodrome, the 1983 David Cronenberg sci-fi film. As the album’s final track (“Super Rare”) ventures into the red side of the spectrum, the song suddenly stops, creating a mood that’s equal parts anxiety and relief. Fitting, since both exist side-by-side throughout Channelview. 

—Andrew Parks