We all sort of subconsciously know that the finished product on an EDM or IDM track comes from a really long, torturous process that involves countless WIPs, lots of saved and binned sound samples, fragments, add-ons, samples, vaporwaves, sine waves, et all. Aside from the odd sample pack released in stick form and stems that are already super-polished, however, fans and even fellow producers never really get to see all those drafts and fragments.
Experimental/IDM producer WooliebuGGer’s torn down that forth wall, so to speak, with his discography on his Bandcamp page. Hardly actually a “new artist” (but still deserving of spotlight), this Illinois-based sound experimenter has just drafts, fragments and add ons on the site as completed tracks. Moreover, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference. A true sound designer who makes ambient sound the focus of his work, WooliebuGGer’s catalog is an encyclopedia of beautiful noise.
Many EDM artists would listen to some of WooliebuGGer’s work and think it’s just endless sample packs and they’re not wrong and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With a good number of some of the untitled tracks on his most recent Experiments In Ambience and In Sound collections and even some that do have titles, the synth loops, variations and pitch play tests could all be inserted into more melodic works, or even just those with a beat. It’s uncleary whether WooliebuGGer is interested in such a use for his sounds, but it’s worth noting this artist is making exactly what many EDM artists need to flesh out their tracks: a wealth of ambient sound design.
EDM and its sinister sampling intentions dispensed with, there’s still a lot to take in with WooliebuGGer’s stand-alone work. Erring on the Moog-y side of spacey, the loops are almost binaural in their quality and somehow both incite relaxation and deep pondering as the time bar marches on, the only real semblance of time one would get from these tracks as they seemingly pitch and loop all over the landscape of each song. Even the most recent full racks, “Transmission 70” and one of his rare tracks with a beat, “Drift” seem more like open drafts than completed songs.
That said, it’s clearly not all experimentation and looping for the Aurora, Illinois sound artist. He seems keenly aware that unfinished tracks can have just as much of an impact as seemingly complete ones. There’s a sense of play and irony here, as in the title of a track released last year, “Combine Your Finite Endings (Draft).” It was seemingly never finished and meant to stay like that, a nod to the idea that no artistic work is ever totally done (ask any artist), but only just got to the most satisfactory version. They’re all technically just drafts.
Moreover, with the way sound waves travel, there are infinite loops travelling in infinite directions throughout space. Like any frequency, sound waves exist in perpetuity. Just because we cease to perceive them when a track ends doesn’t mean they aren’t still echoing throughout time. In that case, here’s hoping alien species aren’t too confused with the sonic blast they receive from WooliebuGGer’s “drafts” when they next encounter something solid.
Thoughts like these come in the meditative state work from artists like WooliebuGGer trigger, which is another reason why experimental electronica is so important. Of course there’s the sampling value, the art for arts sake and the inspiration in other, more structured artists’ works they create while tinkering with the science of sound. Even more importantly, however, experimental artists make us stop and ponder the nature of sound and why it resonates (pardon the pun) with us so much. Its infinite nature is something WooliebuGGer is clearly enamoured with, and his work urges us to be thus as well.