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Favorite Electronic Albums or Artists?
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telstarmagikistferrari



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:14 am    Post subject: Favorite Electronic Albums or Artists? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I start this thread out of a real curiosity of what EM members like to listen to and are influenced by. I'd love to hear what single album you find the most historically important, sonically creative, innovative, ahead of it's time, etc.

I am a huge fan of Morton Subotnick and fortunately own several of his albums on vinyl. I first heard Touch when I was about sixteen and was totally baffled by it, in a good way. I couldn't figure out how a synthesizer made those marimba-type sounds. Later, during my freshman year of college, I asked the friend that owned the record to play it again for me. This time I was more simply amazed by the record. I would have to say Touch is the most important album in terms of influencing me to make my own electronic music. The Wild Bull is probably my favorite album of his. Well, I'll add more later but I want to see what others come up with. Thanks for reading.

Marck
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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Wild Bull is certainly an important one.
Another album : "Zero Time" by Tontos Expanding Head Band.

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Winstontaneous



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Brian Eno's "Another Green World" is the one for me. 35 years old but timeless.

I've listened to it at least a thousand times (literally) and I still hear new things. I love the variety of sounds, the pacing, and his use of space. The performances he got out of Robert Fripp, Percy Jones, Phil Collins (!), John Cale, and others are remarkable.
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Rykhaard



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Off the top of my head:

Tangerine Dream - Richochet (1st side)
Synergy (Larry Fast) - Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra

Artists - Larry Fast, Eddie Jobson, Jean Michel Jarre
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dutch composer Jan Boerman with his piece De Zee (The Sea) has been important for me to make me realize that the things I had been doing with sound were in fact music ... it was a key event for me to listen to that music.
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's so many... I'll do a present/past thing.

I've been listening to some acts mixing woodwind and synthesizers lately, most notably Minotaur Shock and Silences Sumire. The former is more poppy and quirky, while the latter (found out about those guys on the monome forum) is serene and beautiful.

As for the past, every now and then I dig out the old Alan Parsons Project albums and have a listen. I love most of them, especially Pyramid and Eye in the Sky. It's hard to say if it's nostalgia or sober appreciation, but TAPP have definitely helped shape tha way I look at music a lot.

Oh, single most important album, was it? Ok, I'll look at it another way then. Wink I'll choose the single most important album track: 1/1 on Ambient 1 by Brian Eno. Partly because I often feel that it is the most amazing composition I have ever heard. Partly because I feel it actually had an impact; not in sales or being quoted, but I feel you can sense the spirit of Eno slowly rising like gas in the air from that point on, infecting more and more artists and performers. A kind of gentler Warholesque fusion of popular and serious art. I can't put my finger on it.

Also, the random nature of 1/1 predates the kind of noodling I love to do (and listen to what others do) on the NMG2.

/Stefan

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

2 Blue Hell : Right on !!
In fact Jan Boerman was the first one to came up in my mind, but I thought he was too unknown to mention.
He has a unique style, which is very recognizable. After a few sounds, you know it's him.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sam_Zen wrote:
I thought he was too unknown to mention.


We change that, bit by bit Wink

An example : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d121fIEBbM

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Octahedra



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Favorite Electronic Albums or Artists? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

telstarmagikistferrari wrote:
I'd love to hear what single album you find the most historically important, sonically creative, innovative, ahead of it's time, etc.


Favourite album ever:
Jean-Michel Jarre - Rendezvous

I reckon the albums with all numbered tracks are the best of his work - especially this and his first 3 albums. I first heard parts of Rendezvous when the Docklands concert was on television in 1988, and at the time it just felt like too much of a change from his early stuff. But over the next 15 years it grew on me - especially Rendezvous 2 (including sort-of-Philip Glass arpeggios and the laser harp with sounds from the Elka Synthex, his favourite synth) and the last section of Rendezvous 5 (proving in his own way that step-sequencer-driven music doesn't have to go easy on the tonal progressions*). The album works very well as a single epic piece of music; perhaps it doesn't slot together quite as neatly as Equinoxe**, but it certainly has the most impact for me.

I spend more and more time these days listening to modern classical. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated that it's hard to find new electronic music that's ambitious enough with the harmonies and big-scale structures. So as well as trying to make a better job of these aspects in my own work, I listen to a lot of music that's as old as me...

Gordon



* I hope that sentence made sense - I was going to say 'chord progressions' but it's just the lead synth and the bass really.

** It turns out that Equinoxe is the most listened-to Jarre album on my iPod over the last 3 years - I've played each track about 60 times.
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telstarmagikistferrari



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Octahedra.. seen this site? If not I just made your day. All of the stuff is (by the nature of the site, legality, etc.) currently out of print. Really a great contribution by Somebody. Check out Kagel's Acustica if you get a chance.. it's unbelievable.

Marck

www.avantgardeproject.org
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Octahedra



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

telstarmagikistferrari wrote:
seen this site?
www.avantgardeproject.org


Thanks for the link! Actually I already know of the site (from this forum I think), and have downloaded various things including Radulescu. There are so many names on there that I've heard of but don't know enough about yet. I went back today for a dose of Ben Johnston and Harry Partch...

I'm a big fan of the new sounds that have been created by people like Stockhausen (and Kagel in the piece you mentioned), but often they 'exhibit' the sounds in (near-)isolation, and miss the chance to combine them with harmonies built from conventional notes. I'm quite a 'big chords' person - I like rich chords even if they're dissonant. That's why I'm so keen on composers like Scelsi and Gloria Coates, and less interested in the 'pointillist' stuff.

Gordon
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arcticranger



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject:  my electronic favs Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

#1 on my is has to be Future Days by Can, the German group. There's probably very little synthesizer on this record but the studio is used extensively as an instrument itself. The title track opens with a barrage of organized sound from which emerges a sort of drugged calypso rhythm. A white noise pattern keeps up, sounding at first like a click track someone forgot to remove but gradually taking on a main role through simple receding and advancing in the stereo field. The vocals are recorded largely behind these lapping waves and you often aren't sure if what you are hearing exists.

Tago Mago by Can is also a brilliant exploration of the studio and in particular tape technique.

Timesteps by Wendy Carlos
Phaedra by Tangerine Dream.
Tonto's Expanding Headband
Pawn Hearts by Van der Graaf Generator (for extreme studio technique and extreme Robert Fripp, possibly his most magical performance ever)

Varese - everything
Lucier - everything
Henri - everything

Commercial synthesizers seem to lead people into boring composition corners very quickly (why?). Glad someone remembered Tonto.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For me it would be Metamatic - John Foxx. It has an inspiring and original feel which has stayed as fresh as the first time I heard it. (1981)

Followed closely by The Pleasure Principle - Gary Numan. Very clean layers of early analogue synths, plus real bass, drums, and violin.

Kraftwerk, Eno, Bill Nelson, Cocteau Twins, Simple Minds, etc. are all favourites too.

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kkissinger



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wendy Carlos' albums "Switched On Bach", "Clockwork Orange", and "Sonic Seasonings" were early inspirations. In particular, "Timesteps" from "Clockwork Orange" made an impression on me.

Also, the "Four Duets in Odd Meter" and "Minotaur" from the "Moog: The Electric Eclectics" by Dick Hyman were early favorites.

I also like "Silver Apples of the Moon" and "The Wild Bull" by Subotnick.

The biggest influence lately though, has been the music I've heard on the electro-music streams and at the electro-music festivals.

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Rykhaard



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ooo - there's one that I forgot, thanks to Unkie Krunkus ....

John Foxx's British as well as Canadian releases of Metamatic. Together - definately in my top 10 faves, electronically, ever.

And Gary Numan's Replicas - for it's simplicity and directness.
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abstraktor



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Trying to avoid including nostalgia as much as possible.....

Faust "The Faust Tapes - not their best work perhaps but maybe their most radical - a true cultural collage. So many of the 80's industrial bands borrowed from this...
John Cage "Sonatas and Interludes for prepared Piano" -beautiful, simple Satie-esque and sonorous.
Tonto "Zero Time" - I listened to this last week for the first time in years, and was amazed at how creative and fresh it still sounded.
Kraftwerk "Radio Activity" - maybe less obvious than Man Machine or TEE, but I love its understated minimalism and overuse of ring modulators!
I also go with Future Days, The Wild Bull and Another Green World , but Discreet Music is also wonderful.
Beaver & Krause "The Nonesuch guide to Electronic Music" -yes it is a demo album of A Moog III , but it taught me the rudiments of synth programming, years before I could actually get my hands on one!
Model 500 album - the epitome of claasic Detroit Techno?
This Heats First album.
Cluster "Zuckerzeit"
I think DopplerEffekt's "Calabi Yourspace " is a great example of the new wave of electronic experimentalists.
Hoger Czukay's "On The Way To the Peak of Normal" -what tape editing!
and too many more to mention I'm afraid! Smile Smile
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droffset



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One of my older brothers had Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene album and I used to sneak into his room as a kid to listen to it. I had no clue what I was listening to at first but I loved it. I remember begging for some cheap Yamaha keyboard and trying to get the same sound out of it. I'm pretty sure we had Equinox too, might have been on tape.

It was a good varied big stack of albums: Boston, Kiss, Rush's 2112, Styx's Mr Roboto, Phantom of the Opera original cast recording, Bat out of Hell, my dad's Nat King cole stuff, pretty cool thinking back to all that.

My sister had disco 8 tracks, haha. Loved them too.

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Octahedra



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: my electronic favs Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

arcticranger wrote:
Commercial synthesizers seem to lead people into boring composition corners very quickly (why?).


Synths changed a lot in the 80s as they got accepted in mainstream pop, went digital and grew big banks of preset sounds. Yesterday I bought Hyperborea by Tangerine Dream. Not bad I thought; some interesting new sounds of the time (1983) but my favourites are their more experimental 70s analog sequencer stuff (the early albums are the only ones people have mentioned in this thread so far)... A lot of the electronic musicians who'd had mainstream success in the 70s, were under such awful pressure in the 80s to be more pop. Just speaking for myself, I can't think of any genuine artistic benefit at all that came from this. Except maybe Mike Oldfield's guitar line in Morse code that told Richard Branson to f*** off...

So I'd say that part of the problem was commercial pressures pushing the musicians themselves into the boring corners (or to very weird rebellion in Oldfield's case). The instruments followed very close behind. And of course the evolution of synths fed back into more changes in how people used them, as over time you could get away with less effort.

Gordon
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emdot_ambient



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Everything by Klaus Schulze up till about 1979, but especially Irrlicht, Timewind, and Mirage. I've been getting his La Vie Electronique compilations of period recordings that didn't make it to LPs back in the day (they've been released before on some limited edition box sets). I'm focusing on these up to 1979. It's a mixed bag, but there's some really good stuff among the more "practice" or unfinished pieces. I kind of lost track of him in the 80s, wasn't too impressed with his work up till recently...he's done some work more recently that's a bit more related to the 70s material that I might get.

Tangerine Dream, too, I pretty much stick with the 70s work. Phaedra, Rubycon, Stratosfear and the soundtrack Sorcerer being my favorites. But I also love Edgar Froese's work in that time period as well: Aqua, Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, Macula Transfer, Ages. And Peter Baumann's solo LP Romance 76 is quite good.
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emdot_ambient



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, and a must have is Louis and Bebe Barron's soundtrack to Forbidden Planet. Even better than hearing it in the movie.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: my electronic favs Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Octahedra wrote:
So I'd say that part of the problem was commercial pressures pushing the musicians themselves into the boring corners (or to very weird rebellion in Oldfield's case). The instruments followed very close behind. And of course the evolution of synths fed back into more changes in how people used them, as over time you could get away with less effort.


I agree Octahedra,
If you look at Numan as an example, I'd say his best stuff was 78-82, when he was using predominantly analogue synths. It was a "setup, tune, play, tweak, play" type of performance, often a one of a kind which could never be repeated. There were very few "presets" on synths back then. They required a more finessed performance ethic. Like you get with a guitar.
Then he started using banks of D50s for ever more "thick" sounds which ended up all sounding the same. This blandness then had to be backed up by more and more session artists, and all kinds of people telling him what to do, what would sell. He'd lost that simple, immediate approach which depended more on sci-fi story lines, and simple melodies.
I think digital synths and preset banks almost immediately retarded the use of electronics. Relegated them to the banal and embarrassing fluff we endured around 85-89. Simmered away for another 10 years, and you get R&B, which to me is the scum which has floated to the surface of what was originally an inspiring and tasty stew.

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nobody



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I second Andy.

I like being able to store my patches digitally, but I rarely use presets as they came from the factory. I find myself looking for ever more interesting, wild and/or convoluted sounds the older I get.

When I was a youngster, my mom didn't support my love of synths because she thought it was an easy way out and that the machines played the music for me. Stars forbid the machines play it for me - where's the fun in that? Now, I think she gets it and she likes some of my music.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

a couple of related threads:

Music That Has Shaped Your Musical Conception

The 1st LP that I ever owned was...

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Octahedra



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

audiodef wrote:
When I was a youngster, my mom didn't support my love of synths because she thought it was an easy way out and that the machines played the music for me.


I feel your pain too. (My parents made me take snare drum lessons for a couple of years. At the time my level of interest, erm, varied, but now I'm glad I did it.) We had a small home keyboard in the family, but I didn't manage to get hold of a real synth until I was 18. Even then, it was a DX11, so it was a bit of a problem trying to make finished music with only 8 polyphony, FM sounds and 8-bit Amiga samples...

I found that having a proper keyboard and trying to play my favourite of other people's music (especially Jarre but also Oldfield's Songs of Distant Earth had recently come out at that time) was a massive help in learning some basic theory so that my own compositions started to get more melody and structure and relied less on variations of loops.

I still own (and use) the DX11 and the snare drum!

Gordon
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arcticranger



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: structured electronic music Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I also listen mainly to modern classical and wish more electronic music was 'through-composed' as they say. Eno said that synthesizer players, obsessed with obtaining the latest gear, never develop a rapport with their instruments. It would be virtually impossible for a composer to get two people with the same gear in one room, let alone be familiar enough himself with those devices to orchestrate for them.

That leaves many of us working in isolation as 'the composer'. And unfortunately we are not all Stravinskys. Timesteps and some of the other Carlos stuff is all I have in my collection that is traditional through-composed music.
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