kim cascone  [anechoic]

- first you can introduce yourself with more info about you

I have been composing electronic music since the 80's when I started releasing records under the name PGR...I started a record label in 1986 called Silent Records and then went on to do some work in film sound and then in audio software in Silicon Valley...I am now performing, lecturing and conducting workshops full-time in music is composed with Max/MSP and this is the environment all my tools are built in.

- how can you describe your sound/music and can you put it in particular genre or style

I don't particularly concern myself with classifying my work, i.e., locate it in any style or genre. I have always been drawn to ideas and have tried to incorporate them into my work. I tend to create my work based on a particular train of thought or batch of ideas I have been playing with and don't work in one style only. I have always liked subverting technology in order to explore new ideas and sounds and in that respect I guess that would place me in the microsound genre.

- when, why and how did u start to run your label anechoic

after I sold Silent Records I wanted to operate a vanity label that was focused on my work but I didn't want to release music on the standard 5 inch CD packaged in a jewel case box. so I decided to use the 'card-disc' format in order to keep the releases short (20 minutes) and forego the design issue of packaging. using the card disc format the actual disc becomes the package, containing the information and graphic design. people who review these always think of them as snap-shots or EP's. but they really stand on their own as full length releases. people always assume that a CD has to be 50+ minutes to be a full-length.

- do you have any particular concept in running your label

not really. although it serves as a window into my creative output, there is no over-arching guiding philosophy. the name was taken from my last release on Silent Records and was a tongue in cheek joke on how John Cage discovered there was no such thing as 'silence' when he went into an anechoic chamber.

- can you explain your process of making music

it varies but it revolves around exploring new ideas and developing a sound library that reflects those ideas. I work in Max/MSP so I build my own tools that implement these ideas.

- what equipment do u use for live acts, and how do they look like

I am now using an iBook running Max/MSP and a Doepfer Pocket Fader box with a MIDI interface. this is the same setup I use in the studio. I render all my audio to hard-disc and I don't use any outboard effects so I have no use for a full recording studio other than good studio monitors and a small mixer.

- what are your direct influences in your music and what bands were influential to you... what do u listen at all...

I was very influenced my 20th century music particularly the music and ideas of Iannis Xenakis and John Cage. currently I am interested in 12-tone music and the ideas of Schoenberg and as a result have been working on ideas concerning time and music. I listen to a lot of different types of music: hip-hop, experimental, classical and down-tempo

- in every particular period of history music gets in some point of crisis, when it is recycling itself, takes old styles and shows them as new, recycling them as revival after which appears new styles. there are many style revivals happening in today's music, so does that means that music is in one of those crossing moments today and can we say that music is in crisis these period

We are in a period of historical amnesia where the tools prompt a blind recycling of history. there is a movement to recuperate or re-assign Modernism to some of the artists working in computer music today but I am not sure that this is an accurate account of what is taking place. I think part of this view is due to watching artists progressing from dance music genres to more 'serious' art circles. so this makes it appear that a strain of Modernism is infecting post-modernism. a re-emergence of authorship, stratification of high art, etc. I think the crisis we are facing now is a territorial turf war between 'serious' electronic musicians and electronica/club DJ's. and this is really a thorny nest of problems/issues that revolve around how pop media absorbs and disassembles art movements.

- if this is happening today and facts are pointing to that, what will happen with music. will be there some kind of new breaking thru and arrival of new styles where do u see future of music

I I don't think that a major breakthrough is possible anymore. it will be a cohabitation of styles and movements that vie for focused identity. styles will tend towards a vertical layering and a generation of hybrid mix of styles. most of the styles that emerge today are technology driven and while they are creative and vital in many ways they remain disposable and short-lived. this serves their intended use-value but the fact is that little of pop music today has a long shelf life due to the mechanisms of consumer capitalist cultures. there is a short, quick burn, maximum profit life cycle for any pop song which is accomplished by music video, radio rotation, internet presence, advertising, usage in movies, etc. after a couple of years the pop song becomes attached to a period of history a part of the cultural fabrics. new pop songs jump-start fashion trends, new language usage, and other manifestations in daily life which get exchanged with others as cultural currency...this currency is not based on anything or contains any real value unless you happen to work at a media job where you need to have accumulated this currency in order to establish worth as an employee...but as far as the future of music is concerned I think it is homogenizing itself into a state of mediocrity and creating a larger divide between mainstream music and the underground...

- what do you think of design in releasing music. is design important to you and are you paying attention in design of your releases

yes although it should always play an equal part to the music. package design tends to become a contest between certain labels and is the reason why I don't release CD's in a jewel case with printing etc. releasing square card-discs forces me to think of the CD itself and nothing but the CD. so the focus of the buyer remains on the object they put into their CD player or computer. but ultimately the titles and the graphics I put on the CD always plays a large part in constructing the world I'm trying to convey. I like trying to work on many levels at once. I like to think of this as a conceptual form of cubism.