Dado Blade (AD012)

2003
Aaron S. Davidson, Jared Ashburn, Melissa Dubbin, and Shawn Onsgard

An experimental CD from Aaron S. Davidson, Jared Ashburn, Melissa Dubbin, and Shawn Onsgard.

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Shawn Onsgard Tracks 01-08
Burning & Looting 14:56
i. Introduction 2:18
ii. Fanfare / Kill Or Be Killed 2:28
iii. A Word From The Oval Office 2:53
iv. Wretch 0:09
v. Patient With a Number of Obsessions 1:49
vi. Only Death Will Make Them Stop 2:12
vii. Conclusion 2:10
viii. Afterword 0:57

Aaron S. Davidson
09. Target #3 : the disaffected intellectual 1:50
10. Inventing the Internet 4:36
11. Silo designs 4:36
12. Death of a keyboard salesman 2:11
13. Baby’s first drum lesson 3:11

Melissa Dubbin
14. Pretender (auld lang sine) 2:27
15. Plait 3:43
16. Mute Swan 4:19
17. Music from the first karate lesson 4:43
18. Spinel 2:19

Jared Ashburn
Headphone use is encouraged.
19. Breezy 3:49
20. The Let Out 5:02
Total Running Time: 58:37 minutes

Woodworkers use dado blades to cut channels and grooves, allowing them to make tricky joints and difficult couplings. Creating a sort of architectural sound, Aaron Davidson, Jared Ashburn, Melissa Dubbin and Shawn Onsgard have chosen the "Dado Blade" name for a joint release of their works, since it both correlates with the first letters of each of their last names and also describes their way of creating sound art. The four New York-based artists each cut their own channels and grooves on "Dado Blade," joining seemingly disparate sources, and creating spectacular sound architecture, with airy spaces, clear acoustics and majestic sweeps.

Onsgard's "Burning & Looting," for instance, portrays a fictional "State of the Union" address with audio derived from just three sources: a broadcast of George W. Bush's 2002 "State of the Union" address, a cassette of his favorite high school heavy metal band, and a 1953 LP of a German psychiatrist lecturing about a patient with a number of obsessions. Onsgard's manipulation becomes more important than the source material, as he crafts something completely removed from the original artists' intentions, turning the current conservative rhetoric about "freedom" on its head. Dubbin's "Mute Swan" is composed with very low frequency transmissions of the earth's magnetic fields' mixed with field recordings of birds and manipulated electronics. Davidson's "Death of a keyboard salesman," records the sounds a Casio randomly emitted during the final moments of its batteries, transforming an unintended byproduct of physics into something more lasting. His "Inventing the Internet" captures two Ham radio operators chatting about the information superhighway and mixes it with live electronic accompaniment. Earlier sound architects might have scoffed at Ashburn's chorus of shrill electronic chirping on "Breezy," or his needle-dropping samples and pockets of high-end hiss on the closing "The Let Out," but exposing the seams and circuits succeeds in these surroundings.

Davidson, Ashburn, Dubbin and Onsgard are previous collaborators, having worked together in various pairs before. Dubbin's pulsing "Music from the first karate lesson," for instance, is a live improvisation created for a video work made with Davidson. All four artists began "Dado Blade" with just a time limit, but their previous familiarity and obvious stylistic similarities allow this album to exceed the sum of its parts. --Tom Roe

Special thanks to:
Chris Jonas, John Radenberg, Blake Marquis, Tom Roe, Molly Sturges, Leah B., and M. & S. Dubbin. -Melissa
Thanks Mom. -Aaron
Props/shout-outs: Erin, Ken and Zach$$ -Jared
Shawn would like to thank Megan, August, Mollie O'Brien and MOB Productions, and 123 Fakestreet.
Design: Blake Marquis
©2003 A. Davidson, J. Ashburn, M. Dubbin, S. Onsgard