Transistor Sound has released two albums (so far) as a music label. Here they are.
Rayograph is the synthesizer and software project of Andy Miles. The first Rayograph recording, “Welcoming Country,” was made in late summer 2007. A full-length album, Nested Forms, followed, with an original release date of November 10, 2009; it was reissued March 15, 2019.
Miles programs synthesizer, percussion and field-sound samples in a little-known open-source sample-sequencing application called Leaf Drums, and sometimes plays an Alesis Micron synthesizer and electronic drum pads. He orchestrates the sounds, programmed and performed, into dense rhythmic and melodic collages, endeavoring to inject in the songs organic qualities that eschew the often-rigid confines of techno (of which he doesn’t consider himself an exponent). He likewise demonstrates no loyalty to a genre, electronic or otherwise, wandering from ‘80s-inflected synth pop to dusky cinematic ambience, sitar-drenched meditations, serene Eno-esque soundscapes, and more.
Says Miles, a drummer since the '80s,“I think of myself as a song fabricator, and not musician, because 'musician’ implies knowledge about chords and scales and things like that, which I have none, and that I compose and record in a linear, conventional way, which I don’t. What interests me is the accretion of sounds into a (more or less) coherent whole.”
Sampled sounds on the album include a host of vintage synthesizers and drum machines, the Armenian-Canadian actress Arsinée Khanjian speaking at a Toronto Film Festival press conference, the late afternoon strains of a Michigan Avenue trumpeter outside the Art Institute of Chicago, the Washington, D.C. fire department at the scene of a residential blaze, the clanging together of various steel pipes, the dialing of a rotary phone, static on a shortwave radio, French New Wave film dialogue – all of it (and much more) recorded by Miles on Marantz digital recorders. Many of the song titles came from visits to the Chicago Cultural Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery.
Listen to the album on Bandcamp. It’s available to purchase for $6.
Also find Rayograph on Soundcloud.
White Gothic No. 5 3:22
Starlight Scope 0:22
A Thousand Cranes 1:36
Particles (free) 0:17
Welcoming Country 2:15
Aps Module 3:44
Paradox Lake 2:24
Twilight 2000 2:19
Solar Wire 2:22
Redaction (2019 Bonus Track) 0:34
Personnel: Andy Miles (synthesizer, samples, drums)
“Nested Forms” was originally released November 10, 2009. It was reissued March 15, 2019. All songs written, performed, programmed, recorded and mixed by Andy Miles. Mastering by Ryan Gatenby.
Credit (and thanks) to: Arsinée Khanjian, whose voice is heard on “Welcoming Country.”
Cover photo and design by Andy Miles.
Friday Night Live at Transistor: 2010 is a collection of songs by artists who played Transistor's orange stage in 2010. The album is free, but if you'd like to contribute something we will make sure to pay the artists their share. All but two of the artists on the compilation are based in Chicago, the exceptions being Charlie Slick (Ann Arbor, MI) and The Low End (Manhattan, KS). We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Special thanks, of course, to all of the artists who played Transistor in 2010.