Tag Archives: Electronic music

Weekly Vinyl – Digging it

13 Jan

Dig It
Klaus Schulze
(1980)
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The Dig in the title is short for digital. This is Klaus Schulze’s first serious foray into the then new digital musical synthesis realm.
And it sounds different than his previous offerings.
First there is the sound – gone are the analogue synthesizers. The sound is different. You can really hear the difference between the sound the two types of machines make when listening to a Klaus Schulz album when he plays analogue and this one. The sound is different – some will say better, others will say it is worse.
The main difference is in the music. You can hear the joy Mr. Schulze has and he is playing with his new synthesizers. Experimenting with the sounds and weaving joyful tapestries of music as a result of the new technology.
This is a fun album, less meditative and contemplative that his other works, but a great listen non-the-less.

Weekly Vinyl – Ricochet

26 Dec

Ricochet
Tangerine Dream
(1975)
SONY DSC
Not much really to say about this album except I put it on the record player about four days ago and have been listening to it non-stop.
This is a live album but you can’t tell because there is no audience noise. No one yelling, “Whoo-Hoo,” during the quiet parts. And the music does flow organically from very subtle delicate instrumentation to more rhythmic and industrial sound.
While the primary instruments of this trio are keyboards and synthesizers it is quite astounding how smooth and rich the sound is. This has a lot to do with the electronic instrumentation being analogue and not digital. The electronic manipulation was done through wires, transistors, capacitors and other tiny electronic bits. It was not all programmed onto a microchip. The sounds are lush and melodic.
As I was listening to this album for the umpteenth time, I searched for it on the Internet. I rarely do this. The Tangerine Dream Facebook page stated that December 23rd was the 39th anniversary of this album making it to the UK charts. That’s quite coincidental in an insignificant way.
This album is not insignificant. It is great.

 

 

Weekly Vinyl – Moog

5 Jan

Everything you always wanted to hear on the Moog *
*but were afraid to ask for
“Semi-conducted by Andrew Kazdin and Thomas Z. Shepard”
(1973)
SONY DSC

This is an irritating album. A great novelty item, but really not a good listen. I’m being rather generous. This is a horrendously bad album… but an interesting one.
This recording is from 1973 – the time when electronic music is making its jump from experimentation to mainstream acceptance. There was lots of great music that spanned these two divides. Some suit decided to cash in and got a music producer and a music scientist to recreate some classical music on an electrical synthesizer. Since the instrument, the synthesizer can only play one note at a time, there was a lot of multi-track work involved. It was all a waste of time.
Ravel’s Bolero makes up one of the sides of the disk. If you listen to this recording twice in a row you will have nightmares … for a week.
The less said about Side 1, the one without Bolero, the better.
This is an excellent album to play to chase guests out of your home.

 

Weekly Vinyl — Dune

12 Jul

Dune
Klause Schulze
(1979)

SONY DSC
This is Trance before it was Trance, this was New Age, before someone came up with that silly and meaningless category. This is very cool music and I’m glad I pulled it out. Klause Schulze is a master. Most electronica dance practitioners owe a lot of their craft, their music to Mr. Schulze. Do they know it? I particularly like this album because of the beautiful soft and enchanting cello that intertwines with the harsh, rhythmic synthesizer sounds.
The synths used are all analogue here. The ones with lots of wires that had to be physically plugged and unplugged, dials that had to be rotated to create sounds. No sampling here. Digital synthesizers with programming and all the automation were still a few years down the road.

This is a masterpiece of an album, many years ahead of its time yet of the time. In 1979 progressive rock was being moved from the mainstream to the fringes by punk, new wave and reggae. The fringes allowed for more creativity and experimentation before the market forces abandoned the genre.
Once again, a fantastic album. If you don’t have it, or are not convinced — somebody posted it on Youtube. Check it out. You won’t regret it. (Except for the lacklustre computer/YouTube sound.)