Sound artist Tristan Perich has long been interested in stripping art down to an elemental level to explore randomness and order (catch his drawing machine in this 2006 Cool Hunting video). To listen to his 2004-2005 album1-Bit Music, one plugged headphones into a translucent CD case as a microchip played 40 minutes in low-fi 1-bit audio tones—electronic music’s most simple, raw form. Only a single tone can be played at once, and the results are surprisingly moving and even danceable (one of the tracks is a Fischerspooner cover). Perich continues to create expressive music through this “uber-reductionist” structure in his latest album, Noise Patterns.
The six-track album is not a CD or vinyl record. In the vein of Perich’s previous projects, it’s a black circuitboard made up of an on/off switch, microchip, watch battery, volume knob, fast-forward button and headphone jack. The raw material he’s working with this time is digital 1-bit noise. Unaltered, the random oscillations could sound like a broken TV channel, but Perich—through his programming and arranging—shapes it into captivating rhythmic beats and textures that are as relentless as ocean waves. It’s definitely not dinner party music but the blunt directness and simplicity of this experimental music project makes it one that we can actually appreciate.
Images courtesy of Tristan Perich