Aaron Miller


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Digital audio and video artist Aaron Miller has included an example of his video work on his first album in the form of a Quicktime movie file for the track "Deepfield." It reveals what appears to be his modus operandi. Simple shapes (squares and circles) appear and disappear in various combinations, each visual element always remaining in the same spot but triggered on and off, forming changing landscapes of static objects. The music seems to be constructed in a similar way: a stack of layers, each sample or loop of grainy, crackling digital electronics placed on its own layer and switched on and off without much more integration than that. It makes for a clumsy, jerky patchwork, or more exactly "modular" composition to pick up Miller's album title. The result is actually a bit more elaborate and varied than that, but while referencing the likes of Stephen Vitiello, Tetsu Inoue, and Peter Rehberg (aka Pita), it has little new to offer. "Just/Like an Oval" opens the disc with a sharp barrage of digitalia, but things mellow down afterwards. "Melody (Finally)" hints at the hazy song recollections of Fennesz. Other tracks borrow from micro-sound experiments. You have to give Miller credit for his track titles. He goes the extra length to plant seeds of humor where too many laptop artists are satisfied with dry file naming. Titles like "When My Computer Wakes Up," "Poptastic," and "Euphonious Lapse" provide quirky hints as to the nature of the sound sources -- the latter title seems to indicate that those sinuous, slightly sickening low tones originated from an euphonium! They may be misleading, but they add a little spice to an otherwise bland listen.

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