Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Sound Events of 2012
  1. Your Call is Important to Us by Flomag (Fonetown: 2012)
    This is a set of chiptunes composed entirely with DMTF tones, parts of which call into call centers for various companies and treat the responses as lyrics.
    Your call may be monitored for training and quality assurance purposes.
  2. Cephalopodic (Ooctoopuus: 2012)
    "Cephalopod social cues" were apparently a hot research topic in the overly funded Dutch marine science worlds of the late 60s. Here was a specially edited series of aquatic noises on tape, used by researchers to see if the shy mollusks could be lured out of protective coloration by seductive music.
  3. Cylinder Grind by Leonardo Camelia (No Sided Records: 2012)
    Leonardo Camelia used his 3d printer to make special parts to replace the worm gear in his Edison phonograph and turn it into a locked groove cylinder player. If you leave it running, it can cut right through a blue Amberol cylinder down to the plaster beneath. Camelia is also using his 3D printer to make a series of contemporary synthetic cylinder recordings.
  4. Infinite Words by Oblate (Oblate disks: 2012)
    A research project in the early 70s from MIT's linguistics department was focussed on finding the limits of comprehensibility of long names of synthetic chemicals. A taped lecture from this research made its way to remixer Oblate, who weaves the example words into an ambient texture of vocalese on top of some jazz standards and ragtime.
  5. Get In The Vote! (Tyler Harrison Collection: 2012
    Big election years alway result in some pathetic attempts at wooing subgroups of voters. This year was special in that several states passed laws designed to keep voters from the polls. To explain these laws, governments and the corporations who own them made TV and radio spots explaining how to try to vote. Harrison has collected a few of them (English and Spanish) for your jaw-dropping enjoyment.
  6. Upright Centennials (100 Ears: 2012)
    2012 was the Centennial birthday year for John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow and Woody Guthrie. This tribute concert concentrated on piano works and transcriptions of these three famous composers. Simultaneously, of course.
  7. Melody Path Travelogue by Sound of Footsteps Apps (iOS app, 2012)
    Melody Path takes your GPS coordinates and maps them into musical motifs, so everywhere has a theme song, every trip is an opera. Choose from: Chamber Music, Orchestral, Jazz combo, Nashville, Dirt Band, Rock, Soft Rock, Metal, Art Rock, and Kidz!
  8. Left in the by Lurch (Big Lunk, 2012)
    Cashing in on the zombie Apocalypse meme, Lurch covers rock oldies with a zombie beat and groaning vocal style. While this would seem corny to the extreme, their bassist seems to have come from some other band and provides a super-tight funk groove.
  9. Infinite Replay by Lori Glass (Digireissues, 1971/2012)
    The big rediscovery this year was pioneering electronic composer Lori Glass, who repurposed an entire pinball arcade into a relay driven algorithmic composing machine in 1971. Working with sculptor/musician Jean Tinguely, and techno art menace Nam June Paik, this piece combined deterministic logic and the randomness of pinball with circuit bent video projections into a psychedelic surround-sound happening. There were no takers for this complex art work system, so it's been sitting in Lori's loft for 40-odd years until she was brought back into the spotlight when an except of "Infinite Replay" was used in a viral Microwave popcorn ad.
  10. Ken's Basement Tape Mix by S. M. Ken (WFM Foo 2012)
    Tropical storm Sandy turned Hoboken into an island, and Ken's basement into an open septic tank. While his LP collection was ruined, a box of cassettes floated to the surface from who knows where and these mixtapes and promos were all that were left. Unable to escape his house, and having no other material for his weekly radio show, he played selections from this box exclusively for four weeks over a Skype connection.