Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ophibre - Drone Works For Differing Digital Audio Formats And Encoding Methods (Sentient Recognition Archive, 2009)

Ophibre - .aiff, 0.63 MB, 4410 Hz, 5 bit, PCM, 44 KBPS

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Ophibre. Is. A genius. With a name for an album like Drone Works For Differing Audio Formats And Encoding Methods, you wouldn't be faulted for assuming this was an average concept album. But what could have been a dull technical exercise or experiment turns out to be one of the most compelling drone pieces I've heard in a long time.

The title of this is essentially self explanatory. Ophibre used a variety of processes to create different sounds with the same song as a foundation. Of course, it helps that the original (if there is one) is as gorgeous as ever but that doesn't take away from the beauty of the album as a whole nor does it ever become too repetitive.

There is plenty of repetition, however instead of annoying it becomes curiously fractilian. The whole album has a sine wave like structure, generally going from the highest fidelity to the lowest and back again. Each song is repeated 24 times and each song itself is a repetition down to the smallest fraction. Everything is looped onto itself ad infinitum. I feel like if you start looking or thinking to hard about it, you're eyes will turn into this.

If you don't know Ophibre, this is as good a place as any to start if only for the supreme techniques and structuring going on. And if you're already a fan of Ophibre (if you read AGB, why wouldn't you be?) then this is pretty much required. Only 100 CD-Rs put out by SAR. There are still some left and I highly encourage that you pick this one up. Totally worth it.

P.S. For extra mind fucklery, try contemplating the fact that the song you're listening to above was ripped from a CD, reformatted into an MP3 at 320KBPS, and now being streamed over the internet. Does listening to it that way change the original intention?


v0rdh0sbn said...

This looks like a great album! I've been really impressed with everything I've gotten from SRA. Nicholas is a great guy and I've traded with him often. I just ordered the Joseph McNulty tape, I really can't wait to hear it. The clip on the site is gorgeous.

Justin Snow said...

This is most certainly an amazing album. Totally worthy of a purchase. I've been eyeballing some stuff from SRA, especially that McNulty tape. I bet I'll end up getting a copy of that too, someday.