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Hub, The: Boundary Layer (Tzadik)

Triple CD of electro-acoustic improvisers The Hub (Bischoff/Brown/Perkis/&c), a document covering 3 decades of activity with photos, tech diagrams and writings.

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product information:

UPC: 702397805021

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: TZA-CD-8050
Squidco Product Code: 9451

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: USA
Packaging: 3 CDs in a jewel tray box


John Bischoff-computers, electronic Instruments

Chris Brown-computers, electronic Instruments

Tim Perkis-computers, electronic Instruments

Mark Trayle-computers, electronic Instruments

Scot Gresham-Lancaster-computers, electronic Instruments

Phil Stone-computers, electronic Instruments

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Artist Biographies:

"Chris Brown, composer, pianist, and electronic musician, creates music for acoustic instruments with interactive electronics, for computer networks, and for improvising ensembles. Collaboration and improvisation are consistent themes in his work, along with the invention and performance of new electronic instruments and software. He is a founding member of The HUB, the pioneering network music ensemble, and has composed many interactive works for the percussionist William Winant (Iconicities, New World Records.) His trio with Winant and saxophonist Frank Gratkowski were featured on the 2009 Donaueschingen Musiktage. His most recent music explores microtonal tunings, including 6Primes, for piano in 13-limit just intonation, Arcade for string quartet, and Ragamala Chiaroscuro, for wind trio. Recordings are available on New World, Tzadik, Pogus, Intakt, Rastascan, Ecstatic Peace, Red Toucan, SIRR, Leo, and Artifact labels. He is currently a Professor of Music at Mills College and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM)."

-Chris Brown Website (

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"Tim Perkis has been working in the medium of live electronic and computer sound for many years, performing, exhibiting installation works and recording in North America,Europe and Japan. His work has largely been concerned with exploring the emergence of life-like properties in complex systems of interaction.

In addition, he is a well known performer in the world of improvised music, having performed on his electronic improvisation instruments with hundreds of artists and groups, including Chris Brown, John Butcher, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Frith, Gianni Gebbia, Frank Gratkowski, Luc Houtkamp, Yoshi Ichiraku, Matt Ingalls, Joelle Leandre, Gino Robair, ROVA saxophone quartet, Elliott Sharp, Leo Wadada Smith and John Zorn. Ongoing groups he has founded or played in include the League of Automatic Music Composers and the Hub -- pioneering live computer network bands -- and Rotodoti, the Natto Quartet, Fuzzybunny, All Tomorrow's Zombies and Wobbly/Perkis/Antimatter.

He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and the California College of the Arts (CCA); has been composer-in-residence at Mills College in Oakland California, artist-in-residence at Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center, and designed musical tools and toys at Paul Allen's legendary thinktank, Interval Research. In 2013 he was a resident fellow at the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Research (IMéRA) of the University of Aix-Marseille in France.

His checkered career as a researcher and engineer has brought him a variety of interesting projects: creating data sonification displays for research physicists and biologists in France; designing museum displays for science and music museums in San Francisco, Toronto and Seattle; creating artificial-intelligence based auction tools for business; working on mobile phone based support systems for the blind; consulting on multimedia art presentation networks for the SF Art Commission and SF Airport; writing software embedded in toys and other consumer products; and creating new tools for sound and video production, research and analysis.

Recordings of his work are available on several labels: Artifact,Tzadik, New World, Metalanguage, Rastascan, Limited Sedition, Kajira,482, Lucky Garage and Praemedia (USA); EMANEM, Leo(UK); Sonore and Meniscus(France); Curva Minore and Snowdonia(Italy); Pogriff(Canada); ALKU(Spain); XOR(Netherlands); Creative Sources(Portugal).

He is also producer and director of a feature-length documentary on musicians and sound artists in the San Francisco Bay area called NOISY PEOPLE (2007), and the ongoing audio podcast NOISY PEOPLE (2015- )."

-Tim Perkis Website (

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track listing:

Disc 1:


1. Perry Mason in East Germany

2. Rol'Em

3. The Minister of Pitch

4. Vini

5. Hot Pig

6. Peyote

7. Falling Edge

8. Dovetail

9. Farabi

10. Borrowing and Stealing

11. Whackers

12. Simple Degradation

13. Wave Junction

Disc 2:


1. Crybaby

2. Hub X 6

3. Waxlips I

4. Stuck Note

5. Wheelies

6. Waxlips II

7. The Glass Hand

8. Hertz Donut

9. Vex

Disc 3:

   Boundary Layer

1. Tesla Sync

2. Hot Potato

3. Cut to Ribbons

4. Lou Drift

5. Pins & Splits

6. Boss

7. Noosphere
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A new recording by the band that pioneered laptop ensembles over twenty years ago coupled with an historic overview of their recordings, unreleased tracks and video clips of the band in performance. Functioning in the West Coast tradition of composer as instrument builder-redefining music from the ground up-The Hub makes music using electronic and digital systems of their own devising. A natural extension of the late 1970's ensemble the League of Automatic Music Composers, the group has performed worldwide over the past two decades and continues to break new ground in the ever-growing laptop medium.

This is the definitive document of this important west coast collective and contains recordings covering three decades of activity. Most of this material is being issued here for the first time, much of it has been unavailable for years, and all of it is some of the most imaginative and compelling electronic music ever made. This specially priced 3 CD set includes a deluxe booklet with photos, technical diagrams and written testaments by group members and collaborators giving new insights and historical perspective to one of the most infamous electronic ensembles since Musica Elettronica Viva."-Tzadik

This album has been review on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:


Electro-Acoustic Improv
Sextet Recordings

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