Buchla Buchla Boo

If the folks behind My First Sony truly had any interest in holding my attention past age 7, they would have done everything in their power to slap their name on the Buchla Music Easel and maybe I wouldn't be the schlub I am today.

The Music Easel was one of the many brainchildren of Don Buchla. It combines nearly every sound generating element found on a synth: a keyboard, multiple oscillators, cartridges, reverberation, envelope filters, as well as a variety of modular components. In fact, a majority of its charm stems from its interconnectivity. The only way he could have made it more over the top would be to graft on a baboon's heinie.

I stumbled across a great video of Charles Cohen going to town on the music easel. If the video is any indication of the Music Easel in raw form, it's even somehow producing sound in stereo. Here's the blib from the site and then the video:

/ / / / / Viewing with headphones or a stereo source is highly recommended / / / / /

This colorful video features sound artist Charles Cohen improvising on a 1970's Buchla Music Easel. This extremely rare instrument is one of Don Buchla's 200 series. Buchla (a pioneer of audio synthesis) only manufactured 14 of these units. The entire film was edited from an hour-long set of free improvisation, with audio was taken directly from Charles' mixing board.All of the photography and editing was produced by Alex Tyson, a sound and video artist from Pennsylvania. The film was shot in 16:9 720p High Definition format, using a 35mm LensBaby 3GPL


Feedback Fashionistas


Does your closet contain anything you should really just throw away? Are outmoded styles keeping you from getting that promotion at work? Do you just plain need fashion advice?

This week the Feedback Farmers (in their expanded form) welcomed spring with a look at this season's hottest new fashions. Yellow is in, leggings are out. Waists are going higher, pant legs are wider. Strap on your gladiator sandals and click here (28MB MP3) to listen to the latest episode of the Feedback Farm!

Hot Diggity Dog!

Frankly, hot dogs are a pretty curious food. Thusly inspired, the most recent
episode of the Feedback Farm was about all things wiener. By the end of the hour, the Farmers managed to encase their listeners in an array of collage and discussion that can only be described as intestinal and dubiously sourced, albeit protein-rich. New Farmers Steph, Andy, and Bryson joined the posse.

Download the programme here (28MB MP3).

This blog-entry guest written by Feedback Farmer/wanted criminal Kevin Clark.

Recurring Dreams

The Feedback Farmers revisited one of their favorite topics last week: Dreams.

The third installment in the series again featured dreams collected in the Chapel Hill area. The Farmers accosted people on the UNC campus, at the Weaver Street Market, and at a local bike shop.

The maximum-density collage may not have quite worked out the way the Farmers (Kevin, in particular) envisioned, but all in all it was a pretty good show. If you sometimes find the Feedback Farm hard to take, this show was one of the more listenable, actually.

Many thanks to all the dreamers who helped make this show a reality!

Click here to download the March 12, 2008 Feedback Farm Dream programme (44MB MP3).


As a special bonus, click here to read about and download the dream collage that aired on the March 17, 2005 Thursday Night Feature on WXYC (a 40MB MP3 awaits you).

As an extra-special bonus, click here to download the dream collage that started it all, broadcast on WXYC March 29, 2004 (20MB MP3).

Hot Topic

The Feedback Farmers had a heated discussion about all things flammable and inflammable on the programme last week. Fire safety, forest fire suppresion (thanks to special guest via telephone Charles Hill), burning Beatles albums, and the burning of the Reichstag were all at least mentioned.

Lest we forget our ABCS, a big thanks for the contributions to this show made by Andrew, Bryson, Chris, and Steph.

If you have a burning desire to hear the show, click here to download (27MB MP3).

Farm Aid '08

It doesn't happen often on WXYC, but when it does happen, the outpouring of love from our listeners is nearly overwhelming. Yes, last night WXYC held its pledge drive, and, thanks to you our loyal listeners, we reached the mark we needed to stay on the air. Many thanks and a big Valentine's Day kiss to the 30 of you who gave us pledges of your money, souls, cat pelts, exotic birds, and half-eaten sandwiches.

Of course, if you didn't pledge during the on-air drive, it's not to late to show your support for the unique personalities and programming that WXYC offers. It's as easy as sending an email with your pledge to wxycfeedbackfarm at gmail dot com. And remember, we don't want your money, we just want you to pledge your money.

We know how much everyone loves to turn on their favorite public radio station to discover that a pledge drive is in progress. And so we know that if you didn't tune in to the 2008 Pledge Drive on WXYC, you will wish you hadn't missed it. If you did miss the pledge drive, don't despair! You can download the entirety of the programme here (29MB MP3) and listen to it now! And if the show motivates you to pledge, send an email to wxycfeedbackfarm at gmail dot com with your pledge! It may be too late to win the trip to Paris, but it's never too late to support WXYC!

As a special thanks to you our loyal listeners, we also present to you a special Bonus MP3 (2MB MP3) that unfortunately wasn't played on the air but which (as you will hear) should have been the first item in the broadcast.

Better than Panda Bear?

I'm not gonna draw too many comparisons, but for those of you who thought that Person Pitch was the most ear-saturating psychedelic sound experience of the year, you're probably pretty wrong. Sure that infamous bamboo-nourished Animal Collector made it to the top of the charts here at WXYC, but it must be only for the fact that this new nugget I just dug up from Barcelona had yet to be dispersed to the ears of our DJs (that's right, I dug it fresh out of other-wordly, bloggy soil). Okay, but just imagine if Panda Bear were to get together with Tom Ze...I'll leave it to you to judge, but check out his myspace.

El Guincho - Alegranza

K-Rox on the New Science Experience

Hailing from NYC and residing in Durham, K-Rox has been rocking house music in all it's various forms for close to 15 years. K-Rox hosts deep, a night devoted to underground house music at Sirens Lounge in Durham.

Go to the New Science Experience Site for track listing and my mix from the second half of the show.

Download: K-Rox on nse radio 2.3.08

New music at the Station!

Check out these new albums at the station!

Hugh Masekela: The Chisa Years 1965-1976 (rare and unreleased) (Africa Vinyl MA 12/8)
This compilation caught me by surprise with its pure greatness. These tracks were recorded for his Chisa label, and are often way better than his hits. Most sung in a South African language. I expected these to be would-be pop songs that failed, but damn I was wrong. These are hot hot hot African soul songs that are always being awesome, never just trying. (thats right bitches, African vinyl. aww yea)

Oneness of Juju: African Rhythms (Africa Vinyl ON 2/1)
Oneness of Juju: Space Jungle Love (Africa Vinyl ON 2/2)

From 1975 and 1976 respectively.
This group headed by James Plunky Branch was all over the New York loft scene in the early 70s. They took the style and feel of Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders and gave funky R&B; rhythms. Both fine albums, never yet played on our radio station.

Tony Allen - Jealousy Progress (cd Africa AL1/4)
Tony Allen - No Accommodation for Lagos - No Discrimination (cd Africa 1/3)
Tony Allen is the drummer for Fela Kuti through so many years and albums. These albums were recorded directly after Tony's peak years with Fela and are in the same league as Fela's best. The songs are long and heavy on the bass with horns punctuating and soloing into the sunset.

V/A African Disco: Deep Disco from 1970's Africa (Africa cd V/A 153)
This is the only hit or miss in the bunch. Some pretty cheesy stuff here, although that seems to be coming back in style. There are some hot spots though; the best track (in my humble opinion) is Afro Disco by tony allen, which is on one of the above mentioned tony allen records.



Artist: Mudboy
Album: Hungry Ghosts! These Songs Are Doors
Label: Digitalis
Providence's Raphael Lyon, the self-proclaimed "Master of Experimental Noise Organomics," returns with his first release for Digitalis, exhibiting his mystical synthesis of lysergic organ drones and moonlit jams. Originally released as a beautiful LP on Not Not Fun, this is something like his third full-length release overall amid several split 7"s, cassettes, live CD-Rs and other various means of output since the early millennium. He cultivates spooky swirls of war whoops and backwards glances, set to his impressively-designed organ combination - a fusion of a lower acoustic air organ wired to an '80s Yamaha modulation synth, all sent through a bevy of effects processing. It's a neat little creation indeed, and you can check out a detailed explanation with photos on his Web site. He casually incorporates bell tinkles and saturated voices that melt through various pitches, creaking like a wooden ship. The more straightforward organ tracks lack the intensity of his rowdy psychedelic choruses, multi-tracking a variety of sound sources and collapsing them all in a bubbling stew. Taken as a whole though, the juxtapositions of subtle drone and outright weirdness work well together, making for quite an enjoyable record. His live shows involve quadraphonic sound, incense, smoke machines and firecrackers, so if that's not enough to get you interested, then this record probably won't do it for you either, and you're past the point of help.

Artist: Kevin Shields
Album: The Death of Patience
Label: Deathbomb Arc
Don't get too excited, The Death of Patience isn't a new solo record from the My Bloody Valentine dude, but is the cleverly-picked moniker for LA-based Eva Aguila's solo recordings of harsh-as-fuck noise and rampaging walls-of-sound. This is Aguila's first full-length CD, courtesy of Brian Miller's Deathbomb Arc label, and comes after a few 3" CD-Rs and 12"s, including a new split with Thurston Moore, Men Who Can't Love, and Barrabarracuda. She cultivates piercing distortion tirades through a slew of effects and delay manipulations, moving through chopped pedal-hopping and brief moments of relief. She even incorporates a lovely-little keyboard interlude to round out the brutality of "Nothing's Never Ending." An intense ride for sure, but Aguila manages to makes this compelling throughout the lengthy tracks, building up chaos violently and taming the beast down again. Not for the faint of heart, but if you like getting sonically assaulted, then this'll do the trick just fine.

Artist: CunninLynguists
Album: Dirty Acres
Label: APOS/Bad Taste (Sweden)
This is the fourth full-length from Kentucky-based hip hop outfit CunninLynguists, originally formed as a duo in 2000 by producer Kno and emcee/prodcuer Deacon the Villain. Dirty Acres finds the group solidified as a trio, joined by newest emcee and Kentucky native Natt. Kno handles all the production on the record, keeping the beats lush, smooth and mellow - a little heavy on the acoustic guitar samples at times, but he pulls it off surprisingly well. A somber intelligence lurks through the album, not especially aggressive, but not lacking intensity either. Guest emcee spots from Devin the Dude, Witchdoctor and Little Brother's own Phonte all shine, complimenting the group's unmistakably Southern vibe. My main criticism is the lack of diversity with the beats, which sound a bit too similarly easy and breezy throughout. But they do it well, and a name like theirs is bound for glory, so kick back and enjoy.

Artist: Ahleuchatistas
Album: Even In the Midst …
Label: Cuneiform
Asheville trio Ahleuchatistas have been tightening their instrumental jazz-rock since 2003, and this is their fourth full-length release overall, second for Cuneiform records. Consisting of Shane Perlowin (guitar), Sean Dail (drums), and Derek Poteat (bass), the boys weave in and out of intense chops and cascading riffs, drifting through finger flurries and deftly snapping back into rhythm. Their tone is clean as a whistle - Poteat's bass is the only instrument that has any real effects applied to it, fuzzing out with brief touches of distortion to accent the more intense passages. It's a feature that I wish they'd explore more to give their music a little sonic variety, but I guess the unprocessed nature of their playing is what sets them apart from the post-rock legions. They’re all outstanding musicians, but they haven’t really progressed anywhere since their beginnings, and this record pretty much showcases their instrumental prowess in a similar way as their other studio outings. Doesn't mean they can't sling some expertly-timed jams though, and they're definitely no strangers to practice. But over the course of an hour, their approach wears a little thin on these ears. Awesome band to see live, though.

Artist: Times New Viking
Album: Rip It Off
Label: Matador
With two full-lengths for the recently-revived Siltbreeze label already under their belt, Columbus noise rock trio Times New Viking make their Matador debut, slinging overblown pop hooks and gritty punk charges. Don't worry, they haven't upped the recording quality for the label promotion, continuing their style of DIY-demolished indie rock, sounding like early 90s Chapel Hill hopped-up on amphetamines and played through a static-spewing transistor radio. I wanna use the word "fuzz," but the distortion isn't cuddly - its cuts like a rusty tin can with an absence of low-frequency tones, tarnishing the accessibility of their songwriting with teenage abandon. Consisting of drummer/vocalist Adam Elliott, keyboardist/vocalist Beth Murphy and guitarist Jared Phillips, the three are basically the flagship troupe for the newest crew of Ohioan lo-fi rockers like Psychedelic Horseshit and Pink Reason, and their upped exposure through this Matador release should do wonders for the scene and its sound, which I endorse wholeheartedly. At the very least, they seem sincere enough, so shout along happily with fingers in your ears.

Artist: Jjak Hogan
Album: Masters
Label: FrequeNC