Recorded specially for International Strange Music Day 2021


Artist: Magic Bullet

Title: XXX: Ad Quadratum Ex

Label: Music & Elsewhere

Catalogue Number: M&E MB-004

Release Date: 24th August 2021

Running Time: 15:00

Buy Link: Bandcamp - GBP 2.48



(Sample track from 'Optimas' - VI - 0:30)


This concept of an experiment in extreme minimalism is something Skit and I had been planning for a while, but when we discovered there was such a thing as International Strange Music Day, we simply had to bring the project forward. There is a bit of information here and there on the web about this 'event', mostly on various calendar sites, rather than one of its own. It seems to originate in the late 90's (how did we ever miss that?), courtesy of a New York muzo by the name of Patrick Grant, an offbeat marketing ploy to promote a new album. The idea is not necessarily to force yourself to listen to something strange, rather something that is strange to you, e.g. not what you would usually listen to. Skit and I have decided on Justin Bieber's Greatest Hits, though we're not promising we'll get as far as the end of track 1. Wish us luck.

As artists (wha...?), however, it was more a case of trying to come up with something that was strange by our own standards, which didn't strike us as the easiest of things to do, but I think we can say with some confidence, this is not like any other Magic Bullet you may have heard. The idea was to produce a work that was predominantly silence; a collection of 30 pieces, each running at 30 seconds long, each containing only 1 second of sound, all different, which would appear at a different point in the recording. We recorded them in sequence for the sake of simplicity; the first track starting with a 1 second sound, followed by 29 seconds of silence; the second commencing with 1 second of silence, then 1 of sound, finishing with 28 seconds of silence; until on the thirtieth track, the 1 second of sound would end it. But we knew we couldn't leave the tracks in that order, it would be too predictable. After a while, the listener would know when the sound was due, thus spoiling the anticipation completely.

We decided a random element needed to be introduced; I wrote the numbers 1-30 on a strip of paper and let Skit cut them up (we couldn't do it the other way round, Skit hasn't learnt to write yet). Then all the numbers went into a hat (a St. Patrick's Day leprechaun hat, if you really must know), then we drew them out one by one, titling the tracks with Roman numerals as they came out, and that's the order they appear in. So, if for example, the track with the sound in the 30th second followed the one with the sound at the beginning, the maximum possible silence would be 58 seconds. Were they put together the other way round, there would be no silent gap and a 2 second burst of sound. As it turned out, neither of these things happened. No numbered track was drawn in its rightful place, no two followed each other in their correct sequence, we were quite pleased with that.

Finally came the biggest test of all; did it work? The obvious did occur to us; you have a 15 minute mini album of which there is a total of only 30 seconds of sounds, what if it got boring? Skit and I sat in the studio, him on the floor, bags me the chair, headphones on at the ready. The play button was pressed, let the journey begin! Bizarrely, Skit started headbanging, I think he just does it to confuse me. It works. I hope we won't have to stop his pocket money again. One second bursts of sound came and went, and before we knew it, we were at the end of the 30th track, flew by. We both breathed a sigh of relief. By their very nature, experiments can fail as well as succeed, it's always a relief when you get a positive result. It certainly worked for us and we both hope it will for you too, which just leaves it to say...



THE LUCCA