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Disc



It's hard not to use the word "perverse" when describing Disc. What other word could appropriately describe an ensemble that collects the sounds of CDs skipping, assembles these sounds into fascinating and hypnotic collages, and then releases the results exclusively on clear vinyl? The digital and analog worlds collide, and Disc is right in the middle, acting as referee, judge, and manager.

Disc is a collaborative project between Jay Lesser (aka LSR and Lesser), Kid606, and Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt of Matmos. Transfer is their fourth full-length release, and the first for Berkeley, California's Deluxe Records. The release includes ten extended songs and 105 locked grooves (circular grooves on a record that repeat infinitely), all of which teem with the raw and processed sounds of scarred, stuttering, skipping CDs. While Disc messes with your mind, you're likely to hear Latin freestyle, Floyd organ doodles, broken hip hop, choral music, over-modulated disco, chirping narration, piercing test-tones, and truckloads of other nasty glitches and bleeps. Avoiding the frigid, overly serious stance that typifies some European noise-practitioners, Disc maintain a humorously loose DIY approach with Transfer, striking a balance between utterly free digital noise and structured, rhythmic composition. While much of Transfer is surprisingly dance floor compatible, other tracks find garbled Motown classics reassembled into a stew pot of sound. At other moments on Transfer, the sounds of CDs skipping are built into extended songs that veer from pounding tech-house to shimmering patterns reminiscent of Steve Reich and labelmates Electric Birds.

As if Disc's extended compositions weren't enough to confuse and amaze every listener, their use of locked grooves demonstrates the collective's pure genius. Each locked groove provides only 1.8 seconds in which to create a single composition. For many of the 105 locked grooves, Disc employs hypnotic 4/4 techno minimalism paced at exactly 133.33 beats-per-minute. Transfer functions as an interactive artifact that requires hands-on maintenance. Disc has chosen to make the casual search for a particular song or locked groove intentionally difficult, as certain riffs, noises, and glitches reappear across both sides of the transparent vinyl. Lastly, Transfer is available in a special bonus DJ pack with two copies of the same record, allowing DJs to mix between the two and create works of their own using Disc as source material.

The tracks presented here are representative of Disc's rhythmic tomfoolery. In addition, Epitonic has assembled a medley of three locked grooves for your listening pleasure. Set your player to repeat and freak out to the sound of Disc.