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Tag Archives: Sound Effect

This is the music that vagrants hear as they sit on the sidewalk barking wildly at some unseen specter. It’s not that they’re crazy. We’re all a little crazy–there’s no difference there between them and us on that front. It’s that they’ve had their circuits fried. Their motherboard, their cpu, their neuronet processor. Somewhere along the line some sort of liquid or cheeky solid passed through their epidermis, through the subcutaneous membrane, beyond the skull, and on into the grey maze. The result is that they constantly hear the purely synthesized whisperings of Matmos.

See, we’re all just a bunch of electrodes, diodes, and Didos. Any of us could wind up sitting on a city street wearing a large, fur-lined parka on a hot summer day eating a hot dog out of an Asics crosstrainer. We really could. All it would take is a faulty fire suppression system and the correct head tilt and poof, you’re trying to sell one-way subway tickets to men in Armani suits under direction from the Supreme Balloon.

Just look at these people. They were once law-abiding, God-fearing citizens that paid taxes on fairly nice houses. And they didn’t eat out of garbage cans while receiving auditory transmissions of over 17,000hz.

Take a look at Frank here.

Hey there, Frank.

He was once a respected firemen for Baltimore Engine #9. That is until he responded to a kitchen fire on Fleet Street shortly after lunch time on a clear summer day. The fire turned out to be nothing really, just a small grease deal he and the boys quickly subdued. Afterward, Frank and his crew took the time to unwind in the air-conditioned kitchen and hit on the sexy raven-haired mama who phoned in the emergency.

In the apartment next door two 9-year-olds, whose mothers were both out working minimum wage as baggers at Safeway, popped a can of WD-40 in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. They just wanted to see it dance, just like their previously tested compact disc of Drake’s “Thank Me Later” had, but their hypothesized effect couldn’t have been more wrong.

The resulting explosion vaporized the microwave, pulverized the wall separating the two apartments, and shot the WD-40’s red applicator straw, along with a good amount of the industrial lubricant itself, right down a tear duct on Frank’s unshielded face. It settled nicely between his two lumpy hemispheres without leaving a single outward indication of  injury.

He was never the same after that day but no one, especially Frank, could explain why. That little straw didn’t show up on any of the CATS, MRIs, or what-have-yous at John Hopkins. Everyone figured Frank just lost his nerve at the explosion, it rattled his cage, sent a screw loose.

But that WD-40, along with the applicator straw, went to work at crossing all sorts of wires through Franks brain, literally.  Now he spends his day wearing a Halloween fireman costume while spraying his hose into the orifices of any unlucky soul who happens to cross underneath the deadly 242-volt light post at the corner of W. Fayette & N. Hanover.

Despite the loss of family and friends, Frank still feels blessed thanks to the continuous loop of “Mister Mouth” that guides his conscience.


Meet Muriel, former curator of French Culture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Oh hi Muriel.

One night Muriel stayed particularly late reviewing and cataloging the new additions from the Fisher Collection. She’d spent all day on the phone with Jean-Paul Sartre regarding the works of Alexander Calder and had completely forgotten to take in lunch and dinner. A diabetic since early childhood, Muriel needed to get a quick snack to boost her blood sugar.

Unfortunately for Muriel, the café at the MOMA was closed and she found herself without any bills or change for the vending machine. She quickly locked up her office, grabbed her things, and disembarked at 11:13 with a very light head on a snack-finding mission.

However, at every corner store she came to the story was always the same—cash only and no ATM. At the fourth shop she, beginning to see dancing silver snowflakes on her periphery, even resorted to begging. The cashier took no pity on this Yves Saint Laurent-drenched bourgeoisie and sent her hiking.

Wandering without aim, Muriel eventually stumbled upon the Carl’s Jr. at Civic Center Plaza. She had barely teetered through the doorway when a large Oreo shake struck her upon the right temple, demolishing any balance left in her system. She took one good gallop to the left, countered hard to the right, and collapsed miserably like the Maginot line.  There she rested in a diabetic coma as the result of blunt sugar trauma.

The fast food brawl that produced the ballistic Oreo shake quickly subsided–it’s rumored that cashier Crystal Ruiz was messin’ around with Carl’s Jr. patron La-a Johnson’s baby daddy right out in the open. But Muriel remained on the floor for a good hour while hungry San Franciscans inelegantly clomped over her body to fetch Frisco Melts. During that time the runny Oreo slurry, packed with all types of supposedly manmade fillers, slowly filtered into Muriel’s ear. This unnatural goo ate through the drum, devoured the brain stem, and continued to engorge itself on the entirety of her cultured brain.

Now Muriel is known as Madam Tenderloin: Meat Pleaser of Knob Hill. She does her darnedest for man or beast in beat with the neverending intracranial soundtrack of “Les Folies Françaises.”




"Be-In" "Central Park" New Hope, Pennsylvania 1969 Hippies LSD Marijuana Marihuana

The awesome album cover copy on the Environments discs never ceases to amaze me. It’s always unintentionally serious and hilarious at the same time. You can check out another one posted on Rebuilt Tranny here and here.

The following copy is from the back of the album cover for volume three.

Side 1

Be-In (A Psychoacoustic Experience)

Sheep Meadow, Central Park, New York City

April 6, 1969

34 minutes, 17 seconds

Before the terrible fire. Details below.

The 1969 Easter Be-In in New York’s Central Park has come to be regarded as a sort of high-water mark for the new almost vanished Love Generation.

The tremendously diverse crowd kept growing and gathering momentum until almost everyone marveled at this spontaneous “thing” that had taken place in the park.

This Be-In was certainly not the biggest gathering of young people to take place in 1969. However, there are many things that happened during this recording that make it a rare, magical moment.

The recording captures with honesty and total realism this particular instant in time which in retrospect seems more than a bit unreal.

Be-In  is the real experience of running barefoot in the grass on a beautiful spring day, surrounded by thousands of half-innocents exhibiting little, if any, trace of paranoia or guilt.

If you were ever at a massive, totally spontaneous gathering in 1969, we think you know the feeling we mean.

This particular disc is unlike anything you’ve heard before; we call it a “psychoacoustic” experience”. It recreates an event with such realism that it actually seems to be happening again. We think that once you experience the total immersion of this encounter, you’ll agree with us that Be-In is something special.

The following video is an example of a rare, magical moment at Central Park in 1969.

Side Two

Dusk at New Hope, Pennsylvania

August, 1970

36 minutes, 51 seconds


Imagine a warm summer night deep in the verdant backwoods in Eastern Pennsylvania.

An infinity of sound stretching out before you. The steady, yet constantly changing drone of countless tiny insects, reminding you of the serenity and timelessness of nature. For in the distance, a hound occasionally barks.

You feel as if you are a thousand miles from the annoyances of city life.

If you can imagine such a night, you pretty much know what our recording of Dusk at New Hope is like.

This highly realistic stereo sound took almost a year of location work and patient testing to perfect. In its present form, it is a perfect compliment [sic] to other natural sound recordings in this series.

In an urban setting, we think you’ll be amazed by the profound changes that take place when you play the disc as a background sound. Many people find that the sounds of night in the country are second to none in creating a setting for increased interpersonal relationships.

Dusk at New Hope can be left on for very long periods of time without inducing fatigue or boredom. Once you become familiar with the sound, we are certain that you will find many new uses for the effect.

How do you make more crickets?

Bonus copy excerpts from the album gatefold.


Later in the day, there would be rock throwing and confrontations with the small contingent of policemen nearby, and a terrible moment when a nude dancer leaped into a roaring bonfire, but for this moment in time, frozen on a real of magnetic tape, everyone seems together and happy.

Dusk at New Hope

A little known fact about field crickets is that it is possible to determine the ambient temperature of their surroundings to a fairly accurate degree by simply counting the number of chirps in a fifteen-second period and adding forty. Thus, we have deduced that the temperature at the time of the recording was approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This formula works quite well for field crickets between the temperature range of 55 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Above and below these temperatures the cricket no longer sings.


>>>Click here to download Environments Vol. 3 at 320kbps




There are endless record stores in San Francisco. On just about every corner you’ll find a tiny little shop that slings vinyl, along with colorful books that are fun to look at after smoking a righteous J. Some of the places are super tiny–and I don’t think a lot of them can honestly be called record stores. Selling three large crates of records doesn’t make you a record store but a small general store that happens to have a few records on hand.

Then there’s the monster stores like Amoeba Records with stacks and stacks of wax upon wax. It’s actually a bit intimidating to sort through all of their warez. It would probably take a full day to look through everything…but they’re continually putting new stuff out so it’s just impossible to keep up. It’s like if you’ve ever tried to dig a really big hole below high tide–sooner or later shit’s gonna get inundated.

Most of the time at the record stores here I see stuff that’s completely foreign to me.  All sorts of Japanese imports, way too many local bands, and just odd ball LPs all over the place. This would all be fine and dandy if I had unlimited funds. So, it always comes down to a stack of about 10 records that must be whittled down to 2, maybe 3 at the most. And when it comes to the finalists I really wish I had a smart phone to find out exactly who these mystery musicians are I’m about to drop 30 bucks on.

But the fanciest thing my phone does is text, and since Cha Cha isn’t free anymore I just have to make tough decisions. This, more often than not, means picking the album with the most interesting cover.

There’s no album that’s a better example of this than Steel Pole Bath Tub’s The Miracle of Sound In Motion. See, I’m a real sucker for weird sound effects albums, as evidenced by the Environments and Automotive Recordings posted on this site. (I actually picked up another Environments album at Amoeba Records during the same trip. I simply couldn’t pass this one up. Two words: Love In. You’re going to love it.) From the front and rear covers of this album it appears, on first glance, that this is a really exciting sound journey. Something that really butters the ear drums and throw em on a skillet. However, when I put this bad boy on this wasn’t the case at all.

This album is a noisecore affair, meaning hardcore music mixed with sound effects and samples. There’s no crazy stereophonic ping pong paddling. No simulated surround sound. No cheezy trumpets battling for stereophonic superiority. None of that hokey stuff I so desperately crave.

Initially I was kind of pissed. “FALSE ADVERTISING,” I screamed with rage-clenched fists. There were probably tears shed, but don’t tell anyone. However, this feeling of being cheated quickly changed to intrigue.

Who was this album designer that totally tricked me into purchasing this disc on a stylistic whim. The credits listed Sam Suliman so I looked him up. What I found was really quite stunning:

See more awesome Sam Suliman record labels here and here.

Sam Suliman kind of reminds me of a Charley Harper of album art. Simple shapes and colors that really pop when arranged in just the right way. Oh yeah, I also found this one:

Looks familiar...

I really wonder how Steel Pole Bath Tub got Sam Suliman to let them use an old design on their album cover. It’s really a great design–hell, it got me to buy the damn thing. If anything, even if I absolutely hated the music inside, it was worth $12 just for visual appeal.

But it turns out that I really dig this album. Hardcore, let alone noisecore, albums rarely find their way into my collection. This brings me back to the whole smart phone debate. If I’d had a smart phone the day I picked this bad boy up I would have searched Steel Pole Bath Tub online and probably decided against the purchase. Instead of this work of art and sound in my collection there’d be a disc of interviews with Indy 500 racers. Thank God that didn’t happen.

Record collecting should be all about your intuition. If you’re a record scavenger you should visit a store planning to spend $30 bucks at the absolute max during each hunt, and hunt often rather than clearing out one store’s collection once a month. Many times the way an album looks, feels, or even smells will tell you everything about it. Other times, like with Steel Pole Bath Tub, its appearance will tell you nothing. But never consider any purchase a bad purchase. Take the damn thing home, crank it up, and enjoy it while you can. The best thing about collecting is taking new paths and experiencing new music.

Plus, you can always find some sucker for a profitable resell.

>>>Click here to download The Miracle at 320 kbps

I also have to include the script from the back of this album. It’s really a marketing masterpiece of lies and deceit, although I kind of think the copy up until a certain point may have been on The Sound of Sounds and the rest was written for The Miracle of Sound In Motion. I figure this because once it gets into the description of particular songs on The Miracle of Sound In Motion a bunch of typos rear their ugly heads.

Why are you interested in this album? Perhaps your eye was caught by the unique cover design and you decided to discover what the whole thing is all about. Fine! Keep reading!

Maybe you’re some sort of HI-FI stereo “bug” who thinks of his “rig” with the same degree of affection and devotion a Ferrari owner has for his car. Swell! We’re still batting a thousand!

It could be that you always check out the new SOUNDS and your local record merchant told you this was a “must listen”. We think so too!

Then again you could be such an extreme individualist that no description or category an account for you. PAX VOBISCUM!

Whether whimsical daydream or disciplined professional we all agree SOUNDS have the ability to take us to the heights of euphoria or the depths of despair. Second only to the sensations of sight, taste and touch, hearing is our most intense form of perception. This was our inspiration for recording the SOUNDS that we have here. Each SOUND will strike a chord of remembrance or of mystery. One of nostalgia or of fantasy.

The sentimentalist in you will want to relive the futility of love, in all it’s *sic* nuances, with Exhale.

The more adventurous sort might prefer the roguish, high-level espionage flavor of Thumbnail.

The listener with a more repressed streek *sic* of of homicidal vengeance will appreciate being behind the trigger of the kill-spree that is 594.

For those in need of some relaxation, simply take the Train to Miami where the world is warm and happy, peopled by loving souls dressed in colorful fun-wear.

These SOUNDS and more await your pleasure with open, welcoming arms. But enough said! The moment ou join needle to record is the moment your journey into the strange and wondrous world of SOUND begins.


This sound recording is engineered to perfection and is the final product of decades of research and development into dynamic directional stereophonic recording techniques. Initial recordings are originally recorded onto Sears Velocity Response Hard-drive (77 LFO’s) which affords the tympanic membrane complete voice allocation priority. (In this way we are able to bypass intigrated *sic* MIDI entirely, decreasing the overlap amount.) Limitless “tracks” are then dumped directly to a binary Matrix Modulator by means of our Special Electronic Process (SEP).

SEP, in addition to incorporating all “live” instruments into multi-tymbral instrument banks of sample cell hierarchy, allows for new velocity zones to be heard, heretofore undiscernable *sic* to the human or even canine ear. With the addition of the Waveform Sound Accelerator in the final “mixdown” stage, SEP enables perfect octave priority with equal detune. The inception and utilization of SEP, given its longitudinal and vertical parameters of dialogue, marks a significant advance in the art of dynamic directional stereo reproduction.

This recording is sequence-generated in accordance with the specifications adopted by the Recording Industry of America (RIA). For best results set the controls on your equipment to equalize with the RIA playback amplitude curve.


Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride 5:26
Train To Miami 4:46
Exhale 4:09
Thumbnail 4:48
Down All The Days 3:43
Carbon 3:59
Bozeman 2:57
Borstal 4:42
594 4:06
Waxl 2:58


There’s a big bucket of everything going on in this record. Carlos uses up to 48 “Dolbyized” tracks (including electronic/quasi-classical/ambient music composed and performed by Carlos along with environmental recordings including surf, birds, frogs, lightning, wind, rain, and anything else Mother Nature can cook up) at any given point in this monstrous psychoacoustic experiment. The whole effect simultaneously soothes and challenges the old noggin’ in the most curious way.

Here’s a simple way to describe it. Take one of Walter Carlos’ traditional early-electronic Moog pieces and mix it with one or two discs from the Environments series. Make sure they’re smooshed together nicely then board ’em on Willy Wonka’s Psychedelic Boat Trip.

Only attempt in the company of a responsible adult. Or a frog bong.

Sonic Seasonings is a Double LP with four different “songs”, which are as follows:

Side 1: Spring (22:09 Minutes)

Side 2: Summer (21:31 Minutes)

Side 3: Fall (20:56 Minutes)

Side 4: Winter (20:31 Minutes)


Click here to download Sonic Seasonings from vinyl at 320 kbps


This album makes my saddle squishy. Luckily, the included stickers quickly dried my sweet, viscous tears!


>>>Click here to download The Books’ The Way Out to MP3