It’s International Record Store Day, and we’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the things we see and hear, and the people we share it all with, profoundly shape our experience. We’re familiar with the pictorial record of the things that get our hearts pounding, the neighborhoods and buildings and people we fall in love with. But what of the everyday music, the ambient temporal and temporary audioscapes, the ephemeral pings and silences that punctuate every day? In celebration of the ineffable particulates that make up our love of place – the roots of our spots in Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs, New York and now LA, London and Panama – we’re tuning our antennae and putting our ear to the ground…
We enlisted the help of our friends Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons to document the audible life of Downtown Los Angeles, and Aino Tytti to capture the uncageable energy of Shoreditch. Lucky Dragons create some of the most interesting sound experiences out there – engaging their physical surroundings, their audience and handmade electronic thingamajigs to create aural snapshots of time and place. Aino Tytti deconstructs and stitches back together the unique harmonies of the shared communal life of sidewalks and cities. In your hands, you hold the fruits of their labors. We also asked artists in every city where we hang our hat to create soundscapes that embody the spirit of each place (or a moment in the space-time continuum). You can read about these noise elves below.
So for now, take a listen. And then if you can, share what you hear when you walk out the door. Send us the early morning sounds of your walk to the train station or the bus stop, or your bike, or to the mailbox at the end of the driveway. Capture the high or the ebb tides of a city alive when you open your windows or walk down an out-of-way lane or stairway into the deep. Also, no one here will protest if you just send a 9 minute recording of your cat purring. We’ll put it all together at our little branch of the Sound Library and share alike.
Using the SoundCloud app on your phone, or any other app for that matter, record audio and then share it on any hashtag-friendly social platform using #acebroadcast and be sure to tag us as well: @acehotel on Twitter and Ace Hotel on Facebook. We’re listening, and it’s never too late to share. We’ll pick a few favorites and be in touch.
LUCKY DRAGONS : DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Lucky Dragons is an ongoing collaboration between Los Angeles-based artists Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck. Active as a band since 2000, they are known for their participatory approach to making music, radically inclusive live shows, and playful, humanistic use of digital tools.
Fischbeck and Rara have presented collaborative work in a wide variety of contexts, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (as part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial), the Centre Georges Pompidou, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, London’s Institute for Contemporary Art, The Kitchen in New York, REDCAT and LACMA in Los Angeles, MOCA Los Angeles, the 54th Venice Biennale, and the Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others. The name “lucky dragons” is borrowed from a fishing vessel that was caught in the fallout from h-bomb tests in the mid-1950′s, an incident which sparked international outcry and gave birth to the worldwide anti-nuclear movement.
AINO TYTTI : SHOREDITCH
Drawing from a palette of processed field recordings, home made synthesizers and distant vocals, Aino Tytti creates shimmering, ethereal drones; fusing interlocking spirals of static and warm distortion into widescreen harmonic backdrops and intricately layered micro structures.
Abandoning conventional tuning scales, sounds are recorded and deconstructed to reveal hidden accents and textures. The results are then layered and expanded using uniquely defined harmonic ratios, realised through custom made synthesizers and digital processing. Part decaying and arresting, part hypnotic yet cerebral, influences from experimentalists such as Popul Vuh, Arvo Part and Throbbing Gristle are smeared alongside contemporary futurists such as Alva Noto and William Basinski.
FARMER DAVE : PALM SPRINGS
Farmer Dave Scher is an artist from Southern California whose work encompasses music, sound design, DJing and visual art. In addition to his involvement with Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio and his self-titled work, Scher has worked as a producer and touring/session musician with Animal Collective, Elvis Costello, Interpol, Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Kurt Vile, Will Oldham, Vetiver and many others.
A multi-instrumentalist, Scher is known for his textural steel guitar playing and creative use of waveform editing, deriving themes and inspiration from forms and patterns existing in Nature. He has a particular love for the ocean and its creatures, and often emulates the sound and feel of the Sea with his music. In 2010, Scher launched his multipurpose sound design and composing enterprise Scher Sound, which offers a wide variety of audio-related creative services.
Scher is also the man behind Farmer Dave’s Hot Nuts, a habanero-roasted almond snack based on a family recipe. Mr. Scher lives and works in Venice, CA.
DIAMOND TERRIFIER : NOMAD DISTRICT, NYC
Diamond Terrifier is musician, DJ, artist, curator Sam Hillmer. Diamond Terrifier is Sam’s saxophone and electronics solo incarnation which sits at the intersection of ambient drone, world bass and sound system music, and the many great non-western saxophone traditions.
Sam Hillmer is the mind behind seminal Brooklyn noise band/chamber ensemble ZS, the You Are Here Festival (aka The Maze) which he conceives and produces with his visual art duo Trouble, and Representing NYC, the youth hip hop moniker that has released records for The Fly Girlz and Nine 11 Thesaurus on True Panther Sounds and The Social Registry respectively.
WORLD GANG : PDX + SEA
World Gang is a sound collaborative showcasing the work of Jeremiah Green and Darrin Wiener, two of the most enduring threads in the fabric of the Pacific Northwest’s music scene. Producer Darrin Wiener’s amalgam of synths and field recordings have shaped the sound of the Northwest’s IDM community since the turn of the century — the wizard behind the elegant curtains of Plastiq Phantom, DJs On Strike!, and the imputor? label, Wiener’s textural, humane approach to synthetic sounds has left an indelible stamp on the region’s overcast expanse. And the syncopated pulse of collaborator Jeremiah Green, best known as the unfaltering beat behind Modest Mouse, has been upsetting Cascadia’s rhythm for over 20 years.
With an enviable résumé in film music, sound installation, and commercial work, World Gang has applied their nimble synthesis of organic sound and roiling electronics to a wide range of collaborative projects since 2006.
INGMAR HERRERA : PANAMA
Panamanian sound artist Ingmar Herrera presents an evocative street collage from busy avenues of Casco Viejo, near our latest portfolio project, American Trade Hotel.