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Mike Quigley // Strange Gain Tape

Mike Quigley // Strange Gain Tape

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The latest release of the ambient label Oxtail Recordings in Sydney, Australia in September 2021 has arrived.

This work is a cassette released by Mike Quigley, a new ambient folk writer in Philadelphia, USA, limited to 50 pieces.Includes 4 guitar ambient and ambient folk songs. DL code included.

Labels and other worksClick here for the guidelines. ///Click here to see more Oxtail Recordings releases available at Tobira. 

------------------------

Edition of 50.

Text by Ben SeretanMore :

"You have probably had this particular moment of existential crisis: staring blankly at the flattened image of yourself, gridded among other flattened humans. Why am I here, talking to these other webcam feeds? And where does that digital version of myself go when I close the laptop? Does it ever get to dream?

STRANGE GAIN by Philadelphia illustrator, musician, and coder Mike Quigley might have its origins in this moment of disassociation. Those familiar with Quigley's joyous, shambling, and beloved two-person rock band Washer might be taken aback by this hushed and buzzing release, entirely appropriate for Australia's premiere experimental tape label Oxtail. But the guitars are still here, buried under a thin layer of computer chip dust, and what's more the record is mastered by Amar Lal, himself an ambient music-maker and member of Big Ups, a fellow Exploding in Sound band (when asked about his influence on the record, Quigley says simply and profoundly: "I love friendship.")

Imagine that Quigley got zapped * into * his computer kids-cartoon-style and this record is what resulted during his arduous journey back out of the machine. There's a deep and refreshing well of digitally mediated sounds --beeps and bloops, cables coming unplugged, cheap toy keyboards, GarageBand presets, feedback-ravaged delay pedals, even that distinctive spacebar sound of someone hitting "record." There are layers upon layers of audio culled from the years of Quigley's hard drive archives collaged, repurposed, and overwritten with new guitar improvisations --a digital palimpsest.

But the central node of this collection of zones is code: a computer program --designed by Quigley himself in Max / MSP --that analyzes incoming video feed and, blessedly, alchemically translates it into music. He's made the thing sing.

It would be far easier to take these online audio ghosts and digital artifacts and smash them into something hideous (remember the harsh dubstep of the AOL modem dialing sequence --isn't that, unfiltered, what the Internet actually sounds like?). On STRANGE GAIN, Quigley does something far more complex and admirable --he gives our online specters something like grace. Their moans in the mansion coalesce into meditative zones and near-harmonies and when a chord progression, delicate harmonics, and a mumbling vocal line emerge in the final track it feels something like the deliverance of an exorcism.

Then --suddenly --we're at the end of the voyage, out of the machine. The music has faded. There is only a 60 cycle hum, that hymn of electricity running through every room in America --the walls are a choir, we close the laptop. "

Artist: Mike Quigley

Label: Oxtail Recordings

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The latest release of the ambient label Oxtail Recordings in Sydney, Australia in September 2021 has arrived.

This work is a cassette released by Mike Quigley, a new ambient folk writer in Philadelphia, USA, limited to 50 pieces.Includes 4 guitar ambient and ambient folk songs. DL code included.

Labels and other worksClick here for the guidelines. ///Click here to see more Oxtail Recordings releases available at Tobira. 

------------------------

Edition of 50.

Text by Ben SeretanMore :

"You have probably had this particular moment of existential crisis: staring blankly at the flattened image of yourself, gridded among other flattened humans. Why am I here, talking to these other webcam feeds? And where does that digital version of myself go when I close the laptop? Does it ever get to dream?

STRANGE GAIN by Philadelphia illustrator, musician, and coder Mike Quigley might have its origins in this moment of disassociation. Those familiar with Quigley's joyous, shambling, and beloved two-person rock band Washer might be taken aback by this hushed and buzzing release, entirely appropriate for Australia's premiere experimental tape label Oxtail. But the guitars are still here, buried under a thin layer of computer chip dust, and what's more the record is mastered by Amar Lal, himself an ambient music-maker and member of Big Ups, a fellow Exploding in Sound band (when asked about his influence on the record, Quigley says simply and profoundly: "I love friendship.")

Imagine that Quigley got zapped * into * his computer kids-cartoon-style and this record is what resulted during his arduous journey back out of the machine. There's a deep and refreshing well of digitally mediated sounds --beeps and bloops, cables coming unplugged, cheap toy keyboards, GarageBand presets, feedback-ravaged delay pedals, even that distinctive spacebar sound of someone hitting "record." There are layers upon layers of audio culled from the years of Quigley's hard drive archives collaged, repurposed, and overwritten with new guitar improvisations --a digital palimpsest.

But the central node of this collection of zones is code: a computer program --designed by Quigley himself in Max / MSP --that analyzes incoming video feed and, blessedly, alchemically translates it into music. He's made the thing sing.

It would be far easier to take these online audio ghosts and digital artifacts and smash them into something hideous (remember the harsh dubstep of the AOL modem dialing sequence --isn't that, unfiltered, what the Internet actually sounds like?). On STRANGE GAIN, Quigley does something far more complex and admirable --he gives our online specters something like grace. Their moans in the mansion coalesce into meditative zones and near-harmonies and when a chord progression, delicate harmonics, and a mumbling vocal line emerge in the final track it feels something like the deliverance of an exorcism.

Then --suddenly --we're at the end of the voyage, out of the machine. The music has faded. There is only a 60 cycle hum, that hymn of electricity running through every room in America --the walls are a choir, we close the laptop. "

Artist: Mike Quigley

Label: Oxtail Recordings