You install a looper from CRAX.inthe.wall that boasts a quad-lane, real-time suggestOR. You run it as soon as it lands. You go in and break out every colour panel you can find. You burn two hours just surfing the features. The dials and panels seem to breed with every blink and you’re running out of room on the old-fashioned 60 inch flat. You let it sniff out your other wares and see it mostly takes a live-and-let-live approach to the neighbouring aud tools – illegitimate as these are. You go and let it trawl every bit of //BSCH/machines/droid/root/audio, bagging Gigs of samps... scooping up old-fashioned VSTs that other things have thought less of, in their time. It doesn’t balk at suspicious key files or iffy signage. What else can you feed it? It ASKS you. You don’t know what to tell it and it gives up the wait; goes back to its ravenous bit-feeding. Every now and again it proffers an ‘Origin of item is not certain. Do you still wish add library?’ You yes at everything. That’s what Sissek said, once. She'd said: “Seech: you frigging yes at everything.” Do you still wish add library? Grammar rubs you the wrong way. Rubs BSCH's sentinels the wrong way too. If you didn’t need the thing so badly you would call the whole thing off and do a wipe, just to make sure. You've done your due diligence, though. You’ve read about it. Read around it, more like. A few scattered refs to the raw .exe and its inconsistent names. The threads with the rhyme/rymu/rime lexeme and the Goog translates for the comments: terse, but mostly positive. Right? What the hey. Nothing untoward so far, anyhow: a few minutes of laying down tracks and you almost want to jump around the apartment. You won’t be nice-ing up to people anymore just to get some beats under you. And forget Simon. Simon is a shit producer anyway. It’ll just be you now. Pure rhymes n beats. Old School.
* * *
Yo, what was it called.
Man, that’s bad, yo.
Yeah why’s that bad? It’s not what you had.
Yeah it is. Mine was rhyme.exe. Practically the same thing – I’d wipe that, guy. You know how long it took me to get back after that shit downloaded?
I have a wall.
Dude, it’s inside your wall now.
Everyone laughs. You’d think it was a fricking house party, what with the mellow beats from Sisseks’s 7.1 and her cousins lounging on the couch and the rest of the crew crowded around the small workstation to see what the hell Seech’d just loaded into his cloud. Into his life, actually. Prank and Cho barely let Siss have control of her own machine… gest’ing through rymu.exe’s gazillion features.
The thing had trawled through Seech’s audio files on day one. By day two, it was re-arranging decidedly non-audio files, and you couldn’t really stop it. You could, and it would say alright, and then you would turn around and get on with something and then when you turned back it had copied all your short stories and poems from your useless Lit diploma into a new folder and chopped everything up into tiny paragraphs. That’s when you called the crew and asked them would they fucking believe what just happened and they would say no WAY and then they’d want proof and then you’d all end up at Sissek’s. Because… well, that’s where you all hung out, for the most part. And anyway she was the only one who actually had a physical array. Sissek was the realest GenXster like that. Made everyone else look like the wannabes they were.
Cho was still making disapproving sounds: This is even worse than I had.
Why don’t you guys just buy a dissipator? SKYLARK does them for like $65/hour if you don’t already have a disser on their plan.
No one listens to the girls, except Sissek.
He already tried that, she answers patiently. Looked like it worked, but then the exe came back on condense.
Shit, man. You know what scares me? Cho reaches past Sissek to flip aside a workplane to get back to the recent installs. It’s like, it’s not even hiding. I was a Pegasus, I wouldn’t fucking make launchers to myself on the zero plane.
I know guy!
Yo, check this:
Seech moves Cho aside to touch the plane. He brushes past Sissek’s tight curls, smells something like a flowery shampoo. He hold-tips on a node called personal, makes it fling out a context menu.
Look at this. He points: ‘Load to RSynth?’
I don’t get it.
It’s on everything. Every fricking context menu has this now. I don’t even have audio files in here!
Just porn right?
Everyone laughs again. Even Sissek giggles.
Ha and Ha.
Have you tried it though.
No – doesn’t make sense.
Try it. Go somewhere else. Go out one.
OK hold on. He two-hands out, back in to some holopaper list. Hold-tips on some stock 3D sunflower. Caresses a finger down to ‘Load to Rsynth?’ and holds his breath. A new instance of the looper blossoms across the screen while some credits roll in a Cyrillic script. Or maybe it’s just a load list for toolkits and plugins. You couldn’t tell.
A sampler takes center-stage, un-bidden. The sunflower shimmers gently in some breeze / sunlight realshow animator at the top left. A piercing screech bleeds though the sound system and then gives way to choppier sounds: the sunflower – sliced and diced by something, over and over again, until it devolves into some speckly orange blot while unknown tracks are cued up in the panel behind.
Some words Seech recognizes fly into a new panel on the left: Label0001, Label0002, Label0003…. A whole tree of labels under something captioned verse 01.
Seech, biting the back of his fist now, and then taking his hand away again. That was my first year poem. Remember that? From class?
The sunlight touches…
The soft breeze hushes
Prank says it with more than a touch of glee. Drags out the ‘O’.
Woah, says Sissek, covering her mouth with the sleeves of her hoodie. Did you see what it just did?
No. Look at the sunflower. It’s… coming back.
No-one gets it.
She twists round in her chair: That was an Anosov diffeomorphism.
An Ano what what?
Seech thinks he recognizes the ‘scape fading in from the left array of speakers: you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me ha-ppy… when skies are grey.. It dovetails with some frenetic drum-n-bass loop galloping out of the right-side array. He feels the collision of several tiny wavefronts: the bottom of the subwoof at the back of the room falling out so that the old wooden floorboards vibed underfoot.
F&N milk, so rich and creamy… What the? Sissek was cussing about the volume control. It wasn’t one anymore. take my sunshine away…
Leave it, leave it. Prank was staying Sissek’s frantic gesturing. Let’s just listen for a bit.
They do. It’s a cacophony no human could’ve – scratch that – would’ve programmed. But it feels right.
Out of nowhere a new envelope of sound washes over everything: “No, no, no…” A lazy Carib bassline thumped out of the subwoofs, draped with honey vocals… “You don’t loooove me, and I know now”… The frenetic drum program recedes a little. A bow to the lady that just stepped into the sound house.
Label0001 flashes in the marker track. Then Label0002.
“No, no, nooooo…”
The bass refrain filled the room again. Prank is bopping, not caring a damn about cyber-sleuthing for a moment.
Yo, this is SICK.
Flowers in your hair / so rich and creamy
“You don’t looove me, and I know –”
The sunlight touches your face;
Full of disgrace
I shrink back into the shadows instead of
my only sunshine /
taking my place
My embrace is withheld as the
soft breeze hushes
Flowers in your hair /
I Rushes to my
fall from grace
“ – No, no, nooo…”
Everyone’s looking at Seech. Prank, Cho, Sissek, her cousins; everyone. He shrugs.
I was just… just following the prompts. It rhymed.
“You don’t looove me, and I know now…”
Sissek yanks out the hardwall from it’s jack and starts re-condensing her own cloud in ::cull-streams mode.
I don’t want that thing anywhere near my nets, she says. She turns to Seech. I’d wipe that if I were you.