Across The Cell Wall


"The Lineup: Stewart Walker, Kid 606, Mannequin Lung, Kevin Blechdom, Twerk, Richard Devine, Jake Mandell, Brian Tester, Arovane, Unit, Safety Scissors. The Assignment: A wall is a barrier, a border, a boundary. The unsuitably named 'Cell Wall' is actually a constantly shifting dynamism. Known to biochemists as a Fluid Mosaic, this fascinating membrane is more than a divider between cells. It is a transport system, air traffic control, highway network, and a police force. Countless proteins, hormones, nutrients and toxins are processed, passed, and shuffled around by the ever-moving membrane that encompasses each cell into an ovoid, providing the mechanism which allows trillions of cells to link together into a higher organism. You are invited to play a little game of imagination. You are a tiny point, perhaps the size of a small molecule such as nitrous oxide or water. Your assignment is to write a song/track/sound as you pass through this vastly complicated biochemical machine -- the cell wall. Your submission should hint at the wonder, the incalculably complex nature, and the simple elegance of the cell wall, from the perspective of a tiny molecule. The Results: Every cell of the same type is virtually identical, yet somehow trillions of cells link together to create infinitely unique individuals. Likewise, all eleven of the world-class musicians who were asked to participate in this assignment had dynamically different visions of what it would be like to pass through a cell wall. The results are not always easy listening -- but then again, that is why this breathtaking lineup was chosen: Stewart Walker takes a break from his world-touring techno regime to create a different sort of fluttering rhythm. After teasing us with the beautiful Carpark Soccergirl EP, Kid 606 once again shows us that molecular biology is part of his gentler side. Mannequin Lung amazingly still manages to make proteins sound like sine-jazz. Kevin Blechdom puts her laptop through a 300 rpm pirouette and records it trying to maintain its balance. Twerk explores the beauty of contemplation. Richard Devine makes the most un-Richard Devine track possible: for him the Cell is stability. Jake Mandell uses only one sound, a sound with a surprising origin that is revealed at the end. Brian Tester resyncopates the 15/16 time signature into a recombinant autonomy. Arovane recalls the fluctuation of an intracellular dust storm, while Unit's winds whip across rhizomes with a howl. Safety Scissors sings about sliding across to another side. Or maybe not -- you can interpret each interpretation in countless ways."