13 December 2014

Crooning on Venus: Sidenotes

On the "mouth music" thread: Some cross-chatter between me and Simon as to whether some things are too obvious and ubiquitous to include. Such as beatboxing. And polyphonic singing. Or Balinese Ramayana "monkey chanting."

So, as a type of supplement, a few examples of a couple of the above above. The first being a video from about 6-7 years ago, filmed in a parking lot behind some L.A. art gallery. The video saw a lot of circulation hip-hop forums. Ironic timing, I thought, because at the time Dave Tompkins was finishing his book How To Wreck a Nice Beach, which was his chronicling of the history of the Vocoder -- the Bell Labs-created voice augmentation device which produced, as Tompkins has often called it, "frog speech."

And of course there's forms of traditional polyphonic to be in many places around the globe, beginning with the more renowned varieties hailing from Mongolia and Bulgaria. The Sardinian version is one that's received a little bit of attention over the years. I can remember being highly amused when, back in the 1990s, Richard Dorfmeister sampled some of it on a couple of early tracks for his Tosca project. For example:

Intermixed with, among other things, some field-recorded scat singing by a street busker.

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