WEBSHOP MP3s MISC

Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza is a live, improvised experiment with sound, attempting to collage and transform the immediate aural environment.

Broadcasting from ever-changing locations, with 290 shows since 1994, K.L.E.R.E. recently moved from NYC and has its current home as a live radio program in Austin, TX, Tuesdays 6-7 CT on KOOP.

A growing library of past shows is available for download at
counterfolk.com/lastever, and CD's are released regularly. Contact K.L.E.R.E.

february mp3 compilation


....[curated by Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza]

Soon after the introduction of the DVD format, its "unbreakable" copy-protection was cracked, and a decrypter ("DeCSS") was widely published, enabling users of alternative OS's to watch their legitimate DVD's on their computers. The movie industry sued under the terrible "DMCA" law, and a court barred further publication. Barrier to free expression? Artistic representations of the scheme proliferated, including a haiku, a necktie depicting the code, a dramatic reading, and a square dance version, all of which were now illegal.

For one musical example, Mike Castleman converted the DVD-decrypting code directly into a MIDI file (a format for controlling electronic musical instruments), with each character becoming a musical note. Hear the melodic results in CSS_descramble.mid. (Other interesting interpretations are at the Gallery of CSS Descramblers.)

For creative uses of peer-to-peer file sharing, consider Jason Freeman's "Network Auralization for Gnutella" (software and samples). It searches the network for the MP3's you specify, but plays you the audio pieces from the songs while the data reaches your computer. The result is "a chaotic musical collage." Here's an excerpt of the collage I got searching for The Beatles and Radiohead simultaneously.

Those two artists also meet in this 15-minute Beatles cut-up, Beatleg Bootles Part 1 by Go Home Productions. (More mixes here.)

Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza also merged the two in 1997 (playlist 1, playlist 2 - no audio yet). Separately, "Extended Karma" provides an elongated version of Radiohead's "Karma Police", while The Beatles are rather layered in the live "Beatles Chaos Fugue" show, and quite remixed in the live "It's Too Much" show.

Michael Jackson, once owner of The Beatles' publishing rights, is at his best in John Oswald's "Dab" collage (from Plunderphonic, all copies of which were destroyed on threat of litigation). Oswald's collage "Worse" (from Plexure, plundering over 1,000 pop stars) reminds me of my recent dance party to Wobbly's Wild Why (frenetic hip-hop-sourced collage). Here's "Yo Yo Yo Yoyo Yo, Hey..." from that non-stop barrage of joy.

For some meticulous low-brow collage, here's an excerpt from Wayne Butane's "Purloined Chimp Hair." Yes, it has Michael Jackson in it.

Following on its video game ending, here's someone's remix/song/collage made only from sounds from the original 1997 Grand Theft Auto PC game, identified only as "Sampleland." Super Mario Bros. starred in this live excerpt by God's Grandparents from a Bay Area Omnimedia event. And Wendy Carlos meets hundreds of falling gender-ambiguous video game stars, in K.L.E.R.E.'s "Q*Bert Bach Terror."

Momus wrote a song that pondered, if Wendy Carlos went back in time before the gender change, would she marry Walter Carlos? Wendy sued, Momus incurred $30,000 in legal bills, and the track, "Walter Carlos," was pulled from subsequent pressings. Momus was also sued for a song's reference to the trademarked Michelin Man, and all remaining copies of that album, "a record about sex for children," had to be destroyed.

Which brings us back to Michael Jackson, who was reportedly simply having a noisy Christmastime with Paul McCartney in V/Vm's "Simply."

For further celebrations of pop irritation via remixing, the Spice Girls are made exciting in M-sli(c)k da ninjA's "Wannabe (Ginger's Revenge Mix);" K.L.E.R.E. makes Hanson's "Mmmbop" even more impossible to listen to in "More Hanson, Please," while rigidly drawing out a Magnetic Fields song in "Falling Out of Love (Forever)" (more, by song); and Pop-Chop gives us a long connected string of annoying pop hooks in "Comp-Elation."

Some people borrow sounds from the real world, via the oft surreptitious practice of live field recording. Quiet American's site showcases his own mass of raw recordings, and also describes his "serendipity machine" (info), which builds layered sound streams out of randomly chosen field recordings. Listen (eyes closed, with headphones!) to this wonderful sample composition generated on March 19, 2002, "skyway", as you're transported into a fictional world for 15 minutes.

Or, take a one-minute vacation. Put on headphones, and take "sixty seconds to be someone else." Over 100 short field recording MP3's of all types from places all around the world, captured by all sorts of people, with and without permission.

Finally, rejoice in your despair at the wonder and horror of our world leaders, in K.L.E.R.E.'s live musical-political meditation "Beautiful Terror." George W. at his most captivating.