Atom Eye Blog

Sound. Art. Music = Ramblings

Month: May, 2012

Trilogy 120 – Limited Edition Cassette Boxsets

~ featuring exclusive B-side Track “Otolith”. Available 28.05.12 from:  ~



New Toy…


Dan Sound AV30 Varispeed

Ernie Althoff and Varispeeds…


In the mid-seventies, Marantz brought out the Superscope range of cassette machines – the ultimate Prince of Portables (There may have been better, pro-quality units, but they were totally prohibitive in price). The original, metal-cased C-104 and C-105 machines had exquisite buttons and superb responses. The C-105 had three heads, so simple p.a. functions (and even feedback) were possible. Best of all though was the inbuilt varispeed function which operated in p/b mode. This meant that pitch could be altered 20% each way, and glissandos: just twist the knob! Bounce this new signal around in Nagorcka’s two-machine ‘studio’ and endless potential emerges! The paired works “Accentuate the Positive” and “Eliminate the Negative” (Althoff, 1979) use this set-up with two 20-second loops, voice as the instrument, and a set of shuffled flashcards as the score in each work. Sounds are layered up when one machine in RECORD captures the voice plus the speed- and pitch-altered voice from the other machine. “Positive” ends with a huge babble of voices in many different pitches and drawls. “Negative” takes this process a little further. The performer pretends to load more words onto the loops, but in reality the microphone is switched off (in later models the manual RECORD level is slid to zero), erasing a neat hole in the loop. This happens again and again, leaving just a few stray utterances that struggle persistently on, to finally fade to silence…



Austin Kleon



Who needs Blahniks when you can have…


Daphne Oram recording precise frequencies from oscillators at calculated volumes which will later be incorporated in Radiophonic effects. BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Maida Vale, 1958.

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