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February 2001

2001-02-28 / Today’s Reading. In this installment of the column ‘Posthuman Condition,’ Davis expounds upon wireless technology and the erosion of place.

Remote Control by Erik Davis from Feed

2001-02-14 / Today’s Reading. All about alternatives to the embattled Napster.

Still Plenty of Music Out There by Leander Kahney from Wired

2001-02-13 / Electro-Industrial Zine ‘Reviews’ ‘The Grand Delusion’. We reproduce herebelow a rather indifferent commentary of our work that has recently appeared (unedited, except for correcting typographical errors):

‘THE GRAND DELUSION is a “political” work by the concrète masters Tape-beatles, dealing with the disintegration (dismantling?) of the American Dream, or something like that. Obviously, all the tracks are made of tape clips, so as to rebuild a new history, with its own metaphors, its own statements and its own delusion, obviously. I don’t know what else to say about it for this work didn’t thrill me that much (maybe because I’m not really into the values and the things it evokes). Let’s do it this way: listen to it, and make up your own mind! [fa]’

Visit the Chain D.L.K. site

Fony Records Announces ‘69 Plunderphonic 96’ Box Set

2001-02-12 / Re-worked Tracks Re-issued. Most of you who read Tape-beatle content are no doubt familiar with the work of composer John Oswald and his Plunderphonic œuvre. You probably also know then that it is difficult to find this work in any form other than the various mp3s that can be found on the web. (If you’re not familiar with this work, you can read more at the official Plunderphonic web site.)

fony Like Whitman’s The Leaves of Grass, no given edition of a work labelled ‘plunderphonic’ can fairly be designated definitive; Oswald will forever tinker with them, it seems, as he has always done, creating new versions to bring joy to the plunderphile’s ear and frustration to the completist-collector obsessive among you. Well, perhaps the current recently-announced Plunderphonic Box Set, which will be available in record stores in the coming months, will serve as definitive, in that it will be the first time that whatever works appear thereupon will be available in packaged form, and legally, to boot.

According to Ray Brain, public relations for the Mystery Labs, ‘ … a big part of the past two years has been devoted to pursuing licensing deals for each of the 60 tracks in the new package. Some of these deals are still being negotiated as I write this. A few publishers and record companies have waived any fees. Others are seeking large block fees based on each increment of sales of 100,000, so we have to convince them that this set might not sell one-100th of that amount.’

Part of the art is, no doubt, the implied comment made by having to clear all these samples in the first place. The two years spent doing it must have been a monumental effort. Add to this the fact that the 60 samples cleared are a drop in the bucket for some sample-philic works — many of which might use hundreds in a single release. Mystery Labs is passing on the cost of these royalties on to the eventual purchaser of the box set, noting that ‘ … in some cases the total fees for a single track are several dollars for each unit manufactured.’ Not to worry, however, since the press release notes, too, that ‘ … if you can’t afford it, you will find other ways to hear the music,’ an implicit acknowledgement of the near-certainty that upon its appearance in stores, the collection will immediately be ripped and posted to a server near you.

We can hardly wait.

Visit the Fony site

‘Re: Disk Rot’ Becomes Cultural Attraction

2001-02-10 / We recently reported that the CBC did a story on the phenomenon known as ‘disk rot,’ referring to our own short video on the subject in the process. As a result, angst-ridden discophiles swarmed to our site to glean some of our wisdom on the subject. (Hopefully they did not go away empty-handed.) It delights us to report that we have recently been contacted by that broadcast’s reporter Lee Rosevere, who kindly wrote:

Sorry it took me so long to write, but I’m the guy who did the piece on Diskrot for "Definitely Not the Opera" for CBC Radio. I indeed got the idea from the movie on your site, and although it might not have been serious in nature, the possibilities of what it meant scared me. So I thought it was a perfect piece for DNTO.

I didn’t expect you guys would be swamped with panic-ridden CD users expecting you to be gurus on the issue. I thought maybe a few people would check it out. However, I am glad to know that a lot of people found your site as a result.

If you’d like a copy, I can encode a decent sounding Mp3 version of the Diskrot piece, and upload it for you. Please let me know and I’ll email the URL.

Thanks very much for all the music and interesting stuff I find at your website. Also, I have a sound collage project of my own (that is inspired by and samples the Tape-beatles, among other sources) called the Audio Blender Collective (ABC). If you’re interested, you can hear these at:

Yours, Lee Rosevere

Although the upsurge in traffic has been significant, it is welcome — never let it be said that we at Public Works Productions don’t enjoy providing good services of great value, etc.

Listen to Lee Rosevere’s ‘Definitely Not The Opera’ segment on disk rot [mp3]

Watch Re: Diskrot by The Tape-beatles once again

Read John B. McLemore’s ‘The Disk Rot Papers’

2001-02-09 / Something New to Hear. We got this announcement via several lists: ‘We of,, and humbly announce a weekly series of one and a half minute radio plays for your listening pleasure and political identity validation:

Currently available as RealAudio and MP3 files — soon in the OGG Vorbis format. Yours in ASCII, los tres de radio lucha libre.’

Iannis Xenakis 1922 — 2001

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