ROX #7 was inspired by the enigmatic Michael Northam, a.k.a. mnortham.
We hadn't planned on doing another show in the basement of 711 E. Cottage Grove. J's lease was almost up, and we were set to move into our new apartment in a week or so. But then Mike showed up, passing through Bloomington again after a couple of years in Eastern Europe. He brought some amazingly weird self-made musical instruments with him, and it just seemed like an opportunity that was too good to miss.
So, on a sweltering August night, we cranked out one last episode in the basement. But what a strange episode it was, completely unlike anything else in the ROX series.
Mike was doing a lot of stuff with feedback at the time, both audio and video. The swirling pattern used as a transitional motif throughout this episode is from his video, “Squared Circle.” It may look like some sort of computer-generated fractal, but it's actually feedback, created by pointing the camera at the screen and feeding the signal back into itself.
In editing this show, I followed Mike's example and emulated his aesthetic. I made two dubs of the orignal source videotape and mixed them together, then took the mix tape and remixed it with one of the dubs, and so on. The show starts out normal but gets progressively weirder and more highly processed as it goes on.
Incidentally, this was the first episode of ROX which was explicitly titled. (I invented titles for the first six after the fact.) But I got the episode number wrong; the show bills itself as #8 but it was actually the seventh show.