In September 2016, The Hum blog, long a favorite even before we found out that Bradford Bailey was aware of our existence, published a review of “Carl Stone – Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties” that was thoughtful, historical, well-researched, and – best of all – could really only be categorized as a rave. Full review can be found at on-site at The Hum, but here are some tantalizing excerpts:
Stone’s Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties is a missing link, not only in the history of avant-garde and electronic music, but within the entire body of arranged sound (popular or otherwise). As Leger’s realization of Cubism was to the visual, these works become a metaphor of the contemporary operation of sound. We are saturated with chaos, barraged with an ever present, but uncountable of number sources – each vying for a place in the world. This is the fruit and consequence of a technological age. This is that sound encountered at a crucial point in history – the tipping point between the optimism of exploration and progress which defined the High-Modern spirit, and the fatigue, saturation, inward reflection, and slowing which marks our own.
Dong Il Jang (1982) – the collection’s third track completely knocked me over. It’s incredible – sonically to the coming digital era, what Steve Reich’s It’s Gonna Rain is to the analog. It was recorded the same year the CD debuted, anticipating sounds we all know too well (and eluding to an aesthetic yet to be pioneered by Yasunao Tone, Nicolas Collins, and others) – skipping and skittering micro-loops. Remarkably, it was created on an early analog sampler. It’s prescience and achievement is mind boggling.
Sukothai is a sound collage with 1024 layers, built from a single source – a recording of the harpsichord. It grows from faithful representation, toward a writhing chaotic sea of sound, until it progressively becomes so complex that it evolves into one of the most beautiful drones imaginable.
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