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Daily Archives: March 16th, 2011

Antique Electronic / Synthesizer Greats 1955 – 1984 Part 1

catalogue no.:


1. Dacca Thermotensile Loony Smut Syst
2. Baba Rube Drone Lions
3. Ice Age Fire Loving Zool; Troy
4. Ramadan Greek Winter Trek (aka Coricidin)
5. Chicken Hypnotism
6. Abc Condom Motorist = Trunks Tony
7. Juanita Ciardelli
8. Basal Metabolic Rate Niggle Vishnu; Intr. Slur
9 . Cinema Isn’t Soul Sorn
10. Gomez Childs Shult
11. Gunner McRagburn
12. Dead Pink Sphere Pussy Envy
13. Leaf-Laden Amber Hued GUI
14. Abaca Cede, Love to Lie……… Iris Truly
15. Johnny Rocket-Ball
16. Endless Saccharic Acid Deed… Every Show Oozy
17. Calcium Cyclamate: Eighteen Helix Horn Worms
18. Arcjet Penhorn
19. Applebaum Watersnake
20. PPink Sun, Venial Gypsies
21. Where From Tape Deck Ked
22. Would You Say I Have A Plethora Of Piñatas?
23. Rick Santorum Smokes Salvia Divinorum
24 .Abadox
25. Québécoise Italo
26. Pierce Molten Dog Rose
27. The Acroplane Guide to Electronic Music Mix


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ACP077 Fluorescent Grey – Antique Electronic / Synthesizer Greats 1955 – 1984 Part 1

“Like G**lt**k for music geeks”
– Barret / RMS, 2010

“Perhaps within the next hundred years, science will perfect a process of thought transference from composer to listener. The composer will sit alone on the concert stage and merely ‘think’ his idealized conception of his music. Instead of recordings of actual music sound, recordings will carry the brainwaves of the composer directly to the mind of the listener.”
– Raymond Scott, 1949

In early 2010, what would eventually become Antique Electronic Synthesizer Greats was simply a concept for a live set. Fluorescent Grey, aka Robbie Martin, cut almost a thousand tiny samples and loops from works dating from 1955 to 1984, limiting his sources to strictly electronic and/or synthesized recordings. His rules allowed for non-synthesized compositions (e.g., Delia Derbyshire’s tape cutting based tones) as well as synthesizer audio of any kind, including the Hammond Novachord. And far from simply a stolen sample collage, or meta-mash-up project, Robbie wanted to allow the mix he composed to preserve and highlight the eras’ best sounds in a comprehensive backdrop. Some of those painstakingly found and excised snippets may be all but indiscernible to most, while some tease with their familiarity (Depeche Mode bass drum? YMO hi hat?), and some are nakedly in homage (synth lines from Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder). All are as playful as the puzzling track names, one of the most obvious of which are pieces that re-imagine the sound of John Carpenter’s best synth-centric movie scores. From the uneasy sounds of horror to the sweet spot of vintage synth-pop and industrial, to the brief satisfyingly bizarre vocal cameos by Alan Vega and a Spanish industrial/noise outfit, it runs the gamut of its chosen time period exhaustively.

One might wonder, why stop at 1984? or 1983 (the original cutoff)? In all honesty, the cut off year was first altered to make one Zoviet France record eligible. But why is it so important to draw the line in the early 80’s when many classic and important electronic albums came out between 1984-1990, Skinny Puppy’s Bites or DJ Pierre’s Acid Tracks. The answer is simple, until 1984 most music that was ‘electronic’ relied primarily on synthesizers. Around mid-1983 romplers/samplers become par the course. The techniques sent waves through the electronic music production circles and arguably diluted the powerful earlier sound of acts like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk (ie electric cafe). Maybe most notably, the Klaus Schulze album ‘Dig it’ that proclaims the death of a analog on it’s opening track. Additionally the rules were not set yet, before rave culture took hold there was a more playful less specific purpose to it all. Lending itself automatically to a more varied feel.

Given the uncannily nostalgic or modern moods evoked, it can be all too easy to forget that the entire mix is comprised solely of an endlessly rotating roster of up to 15 isolated loops, all at least a quarter of a century old, some twice that age. On some songs, you could imagine a DJ dialing into the sounds of AFX or Mr. Oizo, an amusing stunt for some of the source material sounds unmistakably dated in a way that has yet to be retrofetishized. Proto-electronica futurism captured in Chris Carter’s sequences or Morton Subotnick’s Autechre-like FM synth splatters, works that indisputably sound futuristic in their own right. Dated or not, the novelty factor of an overwhelmingly corny synth brass sample is sometimes too good to resist, making it nigh impossible to prevent that old fashioned sound from antiquing the whole mix.

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