Consider a YouTube video where Beyonce’s song and video for “Single Ladies” is slowed down 800 percent, to the point where it sounds like the kind of spacey messages Carol Anne Freeling delivered from inside the television in the 1980’s flick “Poltregeist.”
Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” becomes a sort of Gregorian chant near an ocean.
Musician Zac Bentz decided to test out Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch, a program with a pretty self-explanatory name, on some of the electro/glitch music he makes under the name Dirty Knobs.
“It’s like this simple, tiny little program you can put audio into and it will stretch it out ridiculously long, like 13 days,” Bentz said. “They were using it on a Justin Bieber song. It would be this crazy epic, operatic, ambient thing.”
After messing around with the program, he went on to make an 8-hour album of drone/doom music that is getting some iLove from fans of the genre. Bentz said it has been streamed 5,000 times and downloaded more than 200 times — and it is an ambitious download, weighing in at more than 1 gig. His suggested donation is $1, but he’s found some people want to pay more.
He got some help from comic-creator, author, and otherwise in-the-knower of things Warren Ellis, who posted a link to the Bentz album “Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell.” Bentz had sent him a link, knowing Ellis was into drone music. According to Ellis’s superpopular blog, it was shared on Facebook 62 times, StumbleUpon more than 200 times, and retweeted more than 150 times. He said of the work-shift long album, which is cut into 13 pieces:
This album is eight hours long. Thatâ€™s right. An eight-hour piece of ambient drone music broken into thirteen chapters. The albumâ€™s name, FIELD RECORDINGS FROM THE EDGE OF HELL, is such a perfectly fitting descriptor of the sound that I have little more to add. Iâ€™m only 90 minutes in and I swear I can hear organs playing from inside a pit.
The album is a mix of re-purposed old stuff and new music Bentz made specifically with the stretching program in mind.
“It spiraled out of control,” Bentz said. “I ended up filling up my hard drive with stuff. I started editing it down and figuring out what worked.”
Even Bentz hasn’t gone straight through from the 28 plus minute “Falling Upon the Darkened Shore” to the album’s almost 53-minute long finale “A Lament Crosses the Horizon.” But he’s listened to chunks of it at a time and has found it good music to write to.
“It’s a good thing to shut out the world,” Bentz said. “If you turn off one of the songs halfway through, it’s too silent. Like the air conditioning just went off in the building. It has this weird effect of lulling you into a trance. It’s this constant presence.”
Enough talky talky: You can stream and/or buy the album here.
And since we’re here anyway, Bentz and his non-drone band The Surfactants play something totally different than this on Saturday at The Rex, 600 E. Superior St. Also on the bill: Cars & Trucks and American Rebels.