I first became aware of CEP2plet via my favorite Youtube channel, Chookiessss. The brazen chiptune tones of ‘Grand Upper’ were ridiculous to the point of humour, and yet undeniably compelling. A few days later, I found that comments had been left on my tracks by CEP2plet himself, made entirely of code. ‘347…I.$…|*.|2.|.|\/|.[-…’ read one. ‘|3./.|)…|3.().}{.[-.|2…’ read another. It was at this point that I had something of a ‘wake up Neo…’ feeling; was I being communicated to by an extra-terrestrial computer or is this some weird prank?

After we had arranged to have a brief exchange online, I took one cursory look through his emails and saw code everywhere. I immediately thought that the formatting had gone wrong somewhere down the line and sought to fix it. However, at another glance, I noticed that many of his answers simply contained long streams of data. This much was clear; he was obsessed with code. As it transpires, Jacob (the man behind CEP2plet) is interested in studying the interface between language and symbolic logic, so this might help us understand why. I ask how he has been spending his time recently; “I spend most of my time looking into my computer screen, working on stuff like my music, programming ideas, and foundational issues in mathematics, like which theory would be best to use as a foundation for mathematics; set theory, category theory, or the one I believe to be the most preferable: language theory” he begins. “I prefer language theory, because the other theories assume an alphabet and syntax, while alphabets and syntax is what language theory is about. I can set the difference as follows: “∙” is the symbol for the metalanguage, meaning it’s the only symbol in the metalanguage’s alphabet. So, here’s a listing of the words I can form with this one symbol…


…and so on. It’s not really a visually appealing or impressive language. There’s really only two rules of syntax going on, so, at any point, I can just construct another ∙ any time whenever. That’s the metalanaguage” he continues. “It just so happens to be the case that I can represent all other formal languages as sublanguages of the metalanguage by setting all the words of the metalanguage with names…

∙ ∙
∙∙ ʔ
∙∙∙ h
∙∙∙∙ ɦ
∙∙∙∙∙ ʡ

…and so on.”

His next planned release aims to provide his thesis on the philosophy of mathematics as a complementary supplement. I ask how he goes about creating those staggering compositions, “most of my tracks are actually recursively generated according to certain compositional rules of syntax. The reason they sound so diverse is partly because of the unpredictable noise of mixing artefacts together, and partly because the recursive process itself can be really long, allowing for all kinds of sounds to be part of the process. If I wasn’t so impatient, each of my tracks would be at least 20 minutes long. I also don’t use many copyright-free samples anymore. Now I just use samples of sounds from the previous tracks I’ve made, and a whole track will be made from just one sample. All the diverse sounds are all generated from combinations of effects on the one original sample.”

This obsession for permutations, combinations and code infiltrates the way his entire musical persona is constructed. His track names, for example, are almost always lengthy strings of symbols, which he describes as “a standardized way of naming, just like chemical formulas”. He proceeds, “I’ve experimented with anagrams, number sequences, plain-English titles, even specially-phrased titles. Recently, with this new batch of tracks, I have gotten closer to what I’ve been seeking. The names of these tracks reflect their ancestry [see top image]. Since I always now make tracks that are made from one sample of sound, I can name a track a sequence of alphanumeric characters, and any other track I make that is derived from a sample of that track, the name of that newly derived track will be a subsequence of its ancestor’s name.”

Even his moniker is imbued with niche symbolic meaning; “CEP2 is the acronym for Cool Edit Pro 2, the audio editor I use, and a septuplet is a 7-beat polyrhythm in music theory” he explains. “Since I have practiced performing polyrhythms on and off, I can only get up to a quintuplet over a sextuplet simultaneously. I can perform all other polyrhythms with either hands, with all possible combinations of polyrhythms with either hands, underneath the 5-with-6 combination. I love polyrhythms and I love Cool Edit Pro 2. Now you know how to pronounce ‘CEP2plet’.” This may enlighten us somewhat, but CEP2plet is still a mystery to me. The podcast that he has kindly provided us with is no less puzzling; a relentless torrent of glitch and noise that lasts over eighty minutes as a monolithic headfuck. Tracklist as follows…

Fistr HF74H76G7H765 (0:00:00.0 – 0:02:51.0)
HF74H76G7H765i (0:02:51.0 – 0:13:25.4)
HFHGH (0:13:25.4 – 0:19:57.8)
HFHGHi (0:19:57.8 – 0:23:52.0)
5i (0:23:52.0 – 0:30:00.2)
HF74i (0:30:00.2 – 0:33:27.4)
i47FH (0:33:27.4 – 0:37:52.8)
~i47FH (0:37:52.8 – 0:42:12.6)
74i (0:42:12.6 – 0:45:16.0)
4 (0:45:16.0 – 0:49:41.3)
HFi (0:49:41.3 – 0:54:04.7)
i (0:54:04.7 – 0:55:39.2)
iFH (0:55:39.2 – 1:02:24.3)
H76 (1:02:24.3 – 1:05:02.3)
H76i (1:05:02.3 – 1:07:42.3)
G7 (1:07:42.3 – 1:12:56.7)
~G7 (1:12:56.7 – 1:16:31.0)
~G7i (1:16:31.0 – 1:19:47.5)

0049 // CEP2plet by Stray Landings on Mixcloud

  • Published
  • Jul 19, 2015
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