Various Artists — Electroacoustic Music #5
(Electroshock Records ELCD 013, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-10-01
In these days where electronic music is generally thought of as mindless dance beats with sampled accents, it’s important to remember that the pedigree of electronic music goes back many decades before Moby, Chemical Brothers, and even Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. The earliest experiments came from modern composers pushing the boundaries of music, more from laboratories than studios. Electroshock Records seems to be in the business of reminding us of this fact. Here they present their fifth sampler (the first I’ve heard) of the current generation in this long tradition. Here are seven examples from a wide variety of origins all over the world, some more successful than others. Claire Laronde from France starts things off with “Vibration de la Matiere,” a fascinating fourteen-minute succession of abstract sounds, many from recognizable sources (piano, violin, marimba), many completely unrecognizable. Estonian Peeter Vähi’s “Fugue and Hymn” is a strange combination of a processional march for brass accompanied by electronic noises. The oldest piece on the CD is from 1980, “Anatomy of Chase” by American Robin Julian Heifetz. It’s an insistent workout for analog synthesizers, sort of a mutated dissonant electronic Philip Glass. Anatoliy Pereselegin contribute the unusual “Model #1. A Violin and Virtual Orchestra,” which presents some virtuoso violin playing backed by intense noises that sometimes resemble real instruments and are sometimes just a wall of noise. My only complaint about the collection is the complete lack of liner notes. How were these works produced? Who are the musicians (if there are musicians)?
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more