Category Archives: Bill Converse

Subatomic folkways


After some time of deep work with any technology you stop thinking about the results as a discrete output, but as stages in a process, the process through which technology becomes embedded in you, and you become embedded in the technology: together, you are building a cybernetic system for solving problems and creating things. If you only focus on those things – the discrete outputs – then you are taking the narrow view. The longer-term impacts, and the most interesting stuff, are happening at the level of the system, where new forms of life are constantly being created and evolved.

A stronger understanding of the fundamentals of the system, unmediated by layers of abstraction, intensifies the integration, and the scale of what can be accomplished through mutual adaption of human to device and device to human.

This is why the work of electronic music researchers like the ones we are featuring today feels so powerful and direct. They have removed the digital interfaces and representations standing in the way between them and sound, and in doing so, tapped into something primitive, the ancient foundations of our technological present, a folkways of subatomic cultures. This is also why their music provides an excellent soundtrack for your favourite cyberpunk epiphanies.

We begin with Bill Converse. His “Meditation/Industry” record out on Dark Entries draws inspiration “from the desert and places of industry, like power stations, old factories and warehouses”.

Indeed. When we listen to its opener, Inward Fathoms, we are reminded of the psychedelic sketches of 1970s library music, or even Basil Kirchin’s symphonies for an industrial age, but playing over the the operations of a multi-dimensional linear programming operation which, upon being solved, allocates R&D funds in a way that enhances productivity, preserves the environment and guarantees the quality of life of industrial workers.

Imagine William Gibson’s hallucination of cyberspace, but sang in machine code instead of new wave english. Or even better, buy the album from Dark Entries, and flip out.

Bill Converse – Inward Fathoms




We ourselves did substantial levels of flipping out in response to Palmbomen II’s RVNG release some time ago. Here was a soundtrack for the emotions cracking through the black ops circuitry of an X Files universe, or the fucked-up psycho-tech dynamics of a Bladerunner sequel directed by David Lynch. His Center Parcs tape collab with Betonkust continues in the same vein, melodies full of innocence interspersed with beats brimming with dissonant danger and distorted threat, fairy tales to prepare childroid algorithms in for a world of hacking bogeymen,  corporate takeover step-mothers and ravenous werewolf super-intelligences.

Betonkunst and Palmbomen II – 24×33

Get the tape from 1080p.