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William Basinski’s 1998 debut Shortwavemusic reissued on reel-to-reel tape; stream here

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  • published
    7 Jan 2013
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    William Basinski
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William Basinski's 1998 debut <em>Shortwavemusic</em> reissued on reel-to-reel tape; stream here

Three decades after its original conception, William Basinski’s Shortwavemusic has been granted a lavish new reissue. 

Originally recorded in New York in 1982, Shortwavemusic was left to gather dust for 16 years until Raster-Noton issued the album on clear vinyl in 1998. The album, cobbled together from loops cribbed from Basinski’s radio, remains a touchstone for tape music enthusiasts and fans of treated sound, and paves the way for his 2002 masterpiece The Disintegration Loops.

To celebrate the album’s 30th birthday, quirky label Auris Apothecary have produced a very special reel-to-reel tape version of the album. In a nod to Basinski’s own compositional practice, the label have transferred the album onto 1/4 tape on recycled reel. The tape stock has been deliberately selected at random; as the label note, “dropouts, warble, pitch-bending, static, crackle, hiss & extreme frequency shifting are to be expected”.

The special edition, released on New Year’s Day, comes bundled with specially commissioned artwork from Basinksi, and features a silkscreened art booklet inspired by the waveforms for each track. The set is strictly limited to 101 copies.

The label have also made the album available to stream in full; click below to hear Shortwavemusic in all its static-flecked glory. Auris Apothecary’s website is here, and is well worth a peek: previous releases include a Pendra Gon LP bundled with actual “pieces of trees from a German black forest”, and a cassette album in a jar with supplementary “potion bottle”. [via The Wire]

Tracklisting:
A1 – 23:40 – On A Frontier of Wires
A2 – 08:35 – Evening Scars
B1 – 05:30 – Cobalt Pools
B2 – 07:15 – Fringe Area
B3 – 14:15 – Particle Showers

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