Saturday, April 23, 2011

SAMPLE & HOLD : pauline oliveros / alien bog & beautiful soop

Another relatively unheralded lady of early electronic music, like the great Laurie Spiegel, Pauline Oliveros has produced many seminal works. This one, using the Buchla Box 100, produced in 1967, Alien Bog reflects her poetic reflections on "sounds from the frog pond outside the studio..." Armed with the Buchla and a tape delay system, Oliveros produced a sticky morass of sound, abstract yet clearly owing to her deep listening to pond life. For those interested in the early sounds coming from Buchla instruments Alien Bog and Beautiful Soop are mandatory listening.

Monday, April 18, 2011

SAMPLE & HOLD : he said omala / catch supposes

This 1997 release, essentially a G. Lewis statement, follows the same sonic template as the best Dome releases. All disjointed crunchy rhythms and synth/noise stabs and loops, Catch Supposes does not disappoint those with a fondness for Dome's experimental noise explorations. I'm curious how this wonderful addition to the Wire/Dome discography got lost. Though one of the song titles is Solid or Vanish (yet another in the list of beautifully ambiguous song titles found throughout their arcane discography!), this release is indeed solidly compelling; those who seek it out will be rewarded!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Rejecting the usual chromatic keyboard embraced by Robert Moog, Buchla's 222e Multi-Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port, Folktek's Subharmonic Field, and Tom Bug's Bugbrand BoardWeevil offer the adventurous musician/noisician options other than the traditional keyboard. These instrument/controllers literally get you in touch with creative electricity!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Leather straps turned side-ways after opening.
After much separation anxiety my 200e returned to me with a stunning new cabinet and a 256e module. When my brother's 200e cabinet was damaged in transit, Don did some minor modifications using quite beautiful leather straps and snaps to hold it securely closed during transit...very nice indeed. Now all I have to do is fill the remaining five spaces...!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

SAMPLE & HOLD : interplay / john foxx and the maths

Listening to Interplay by John Foxx and the Maths I am reminded of my initial acquaintance with fellow Brit Peter Forrest's monumental two part tome The A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers, the sense of incantory sonic magic resulting from playing (with) an array of knobs and cables perfecting imperfection, all sonorous smears wonderfully summed up in Foxx's 1980 masterwork Metamatic..."" With the help of synth archivist/musician/artist Benge, Mr. Foxx, using pre-1985 synth technology (all listed for each track) has made a timely statement of analogue intent with great pop songs! If there was any justice in the world of electro-pop, "Evergreen" would hit the charts with an electric jolt! Sharing the same iconic british contradictory mindspace that allows for the home of the Industrial Revolution AND the timeless bucolic garden world of some far-off arcadian England to live together, Foxx, along with other fellow analogue synthesists like Ghostbox's Belbury Poly, have returned to a simpler world devoid of laptop menus and perfect pre-sets...Foxx sings " There is a place we once knew...Forever evergreen..." and the "forever changes" (a nod to Love?) of oscillators made beautifully unstable by temperature and moisture...a future nostalgia. Benge's contributions, sequences,synths, electro-percussion and treatments add layers of analogue grandeur, the summed sound of which is stunning in its direct percussive and atmospheric expression. Foxx and Benge have breathed fresh wave-shapes into a genre Mr. Foxx helped to invent. Bravo!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

LIBRARY : the san francisco tape music center

With interviews with Don Buchla and Morton Subotnick, The San Francisco Tape Music Center / 1960s counterculture and the avant-garde edited by David W. Bernstein, is, excuse the expression, a "heady" read filled with both historical and aesthetic insights into the arts, music, and the tenor of those revolutionary times when anything seemed possible. Warmly recounted, these innovative times meticulously detailed remind us that there was a time before the internet and laptops when artists gave birth to masterful expression with limited means and indeed, to paraphrase William Blake, saw heaven in a wildflower and stopped to tape it!