March 13, 2011 Comments Off

Phase 2

Jazari is going electric. At my March 19 show at Tarnish & Gold Nick & Eddie, the bots will compete with vocoders and software synthesizers for sonic real estate. Bob Dylan caught flak for a similar move a few decades ago, but I’m not too worried; people who dig the idea of robots making music probably don’t want to see me adopt Leadbelly records as a technical-stylistic lodestar. Still, there was a purity to producing all sounds on acoustic instruments struck by machines, and I’m losing that. Maybe in a few years, after I’ve extruded millions of precision sinusoids from the phase vocoder, I’ll get nostalgic, retire to a North woods cabin, and record an all acoustic robot album that speaks to love and loss amid gently fluttering solenoids. For the moment, though, I’m excited to explore gnarled spectral freezes and nasty vocoder bass burps.

The introduction of synthesis moves Jazari closer to the stylistic goal I’ve envisioned from the beginning: improvisatory Afro-Baroque electro house with a heavy dose of spectral harmony, played by machines. I’m still missing the Baroque component, and the spectral harmonies are in their infancy; implementing both will require a lot of R & D and coding, so I’m probably a year or more away from having a working prototype of the full style. Until then, I’ll enjoy the genre-splicing that falls out of working towards that prototype, like djembe-driven robo dubstep with six-part vocal harmonies. Should have that one polished by the end of the week.

Filed under: Shows