Artist cuts LPs like pies, makes edgy music

Christian Marclay breathes life into old LPs by slicing up and reassembling them into new music.

I play records, Christian Marclay plays with records. They're not the same thing.

He cuts up LPs and glues together slices from different records. He'll mix rock and big band jazz together in alternating slices. The effect can be mesmerizing.

Marclay's interested in the sounds people don't want. Every crack in the record becomes part of the rhythm, the skips, groove roar, static, speeding up, slowing down, wow and flutter are all acceptable to Marclay. He uses his records' fragility, purposely messes with the grooves and puts adhesive tape on them. He brings the recorded music to life, making new, unheard music out of old recordings.

It's performance art, and when Marclay performs live, he's no DJ, it's more about manipulating turntables to make altogether new sounds--the cut-up records are the instruments. When Marclay scratches, he really scratches. Trust me on this one, you've never seen or heard anything like it.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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