Out of the noise of the Internet, don’t be surprised if some of the music being made is – unexpectedly – wonderful. So it is with a compilation curated by Chris Randall from the Analog Industries community. Unsuspected Sounds is unexpected. It’s proof that those people writing all those comments really do have time to make music.

It’s nice seeing this come from Chris and the community he’s assembled. For his part, Chris doesn’t fit the stereotype of a blogger; he’s got industry experience as an engineer as an artist, is known to many as a veteran of Sister Machine Gun, and now leads dual lives as music maker and plug-in and mobile developer. (See: Audio Damage.) The guy has craft, across technology and art, such that one can see a dividing line between the two. So, fittingly, Chris pulls from his readers people whose music is evidence of the same.

All of this goes to a good cause, as well. It’s the sort of thing so many of us hope online communities will be. It’s nice when, at times, they actually are.

The sounds themselves fit into the amorphous but, for me, delightful category of “ambient/IDM,” into some catch-all of smart, doesn’t-quite-fit-in music made with electronics, inflected with beats without being slave to genre. (Please, someone, if you can rename that zone of music, you’d do all of us a favor. I know it’s my job as a journalist or whatever. But I’ll be your friend for life.) Thoughtfully constructed sounds, venturing into sometimes-moody, quirky, but personal and passionate realms, this is music that makes you feel intimate with its creators and what moves them when they’re being themselves. That’s perfect for a music compilation that itself represents a community that has gathered around common interests online.

I’ll let Chris explain the rest to CDM:

The story is pretty simple: what I did is have Analog Industries readers submit an exclusive track; I got 92 submissions, and curated the 10 on the album (well, 9 plus mine) out of those. 100% of the net proceeds (that is to say everything after production costs are covered) go to charity, specifically the Breast Assured Foundation.

The cover art was done with a Processing sketch created by Stefan Goodchild. [The sketch code is on GitHub.] The sketch does an FFT on an audio waveform and spits out a circular motif; top is left channel, bottom is right channel. I made a single audio file that was the entire album, and created the image from that. (As an aside: Stefan does audio-reactive visuals in Processing for several big acts, notably Peter Gabriel and Blur, and he did the Varese, Schaeffer, and Derbyshire T-Shirts that I sold on AI a while back.)

Chris also has some nice reflections in what he wrote for the release:

“I dream of instruments obedient to my thought and which with their contribution of a whole new world of unsuspected sounds, will lend themselves to the exigencies of my inner rhythm.”

-Edgard Varèse (Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music)

“unsuspected sounds” is a collection of electronic music curated from the Analog Industries community, with 100% of the net proceeds of the sales donated to the Breast Assured Foundation, an organization that provides early breast cancer detection services for underprivileged women via a sophisticated mobile screening lab. Featuring ten tracks of all-new music, “unsuspected sounds” is a genre-spanning collection that provides a perfect soundtrack to modern living.

Available now at Bandcamp as both a DRM-free digital download and as a download + 12″ vinyl combo.

Side A:
1. Goldbaby – Ten OP
2. Bitmud – All The Beauty Is Gone
3. Chris Randall – Abstract Sixteen
4. Sabama – Doublethink
5. Pauk – Here She Comes

Side B:
1. Ancient Young – Silica Resonance
2. Russian Corvette – Pattern Recognition
3. Anodize – Bismuth
4. Milkfish – Just Once My Day Blows Yours Away
5. Jukebox – Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Pay-what-you-want, minimum $5 for the digital download only, $15 for the vinyl + download. Get some new music, and help out a good cause!