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Early electronic music favourites

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 Bob Kemp 16 May 2020

This is a bit of a spinoff from the 'Electronic album masterworks' thread, which had more of a focus on dance electro but which set me off reacquainting myself with some of the older musicians mentioned in the thread. I thought it might be interesting to hear about other people's favourites.

To start with, one of my personal favourites is Annette Peacock. Here's one of her '80s tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_GqybsXoR8&

More about her here:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-unclassifiable-unstreamable-eighties-albums-of-annette-peacock

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 tlouth7 16 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I really like Pulstar from Vangelis' Albedo 0.39 album. It just builds and builds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaMBmBeNvtM&

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In reply to Bob Kemp:

Is 80's early?

Anyway, here's Klaus Schulze.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOz2PdjLSeM&

T.

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 Skyfall 16 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Alan Parsons Project - possibly debatable but whether it’s prog or soft rock, it’s certainly almost entirely electronic.  Some classic stuff although more popular in the US than here strangely.   

Post edited at 20:31
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 Bob Kemp 16 May 2020
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I think ‘80s is fine - it is 30-40 years ago. Interesting thing is when electronic music first started. I remember reading about experiments in the 1930s at least - that’s definitely early!

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In reply to Bob Kemp:

Studie II by Karlheinz Stockhausen is an early and influential contribution to electronic music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDyjuVwWv0M&

When he visited Denmark in the 90ties I went to one of his classical music concerts. Strange sounds I must say!

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 Bob Kemp 16 May 2020
In reply to Skyfall:

> Alan Parsons Project - possibly debatable but whether it’s prog or soft rock, it’s certainly almost entirely electronic.  Some classic stuff although more popular in the US than here strangely.   

As I remember they used a range of instruments, including guitar, bass, drums and sax, and electronic/programmed effects. More of a hybrid than a pure electro outfit I guess, but then there's always a continuum between the purely electronic and the traditional instrumental work. 

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 Bob Kemp 16 May 2020
In reply to tlouth7:

I hadn't heard that. Quite crazy by the end. He was definitely a key figure in the development of electronic music, particularly its adoption in the mainstream.

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 PaulW 17 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Tonto's Expanding Headband were early 1970's. The era of lava lamps....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2R3XVW0wmw&

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 BnB 17 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

This is one of the most influential early sampled pieces by American composer Steve Reich, created in 1966. I heard it at university in the early 80s and was captivated, although it goes back almost to my birth (not quite). Many theses have been written on the work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Out_(Reich)

Also check out Delia Derbyshire.  Famous for the Doctor Who theme, she produced many looped masterpieces with miles and miles of recording tape. A friend produced this book in celebration of her influence. You can get it on the big A:

http://wyrdbritain.blogspot.com/2016/03/an-electric-storm-daphne-delia-and-bbc.html

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 Bob Kemp 17 May 2020
In reply to BnB:

That looks like a good read, and his blog looks interesting too- thanks. Always feel a bit sad about the trajectory of DD’s life but she was a real talent. 

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 Bob Kemp 17 May 2020
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

Thanks Stefan. Stockhausen always seems like hard work because he often deliberately avoids any repetition, rhythm or melody, but he was hugely influential. I don’t think I could sit through a whole concert of his music!

Varese was another very influential figure- maybe slightly more listenable because of more use of repeated themes. 
This is the one that people cite as a bit of a milestone in electronic music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-R3F3ZVbi8&

Still not something I’ll be listening to much!

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 aln 17 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Regarding the earliest electronic music releases there's some good info here. https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/culture_bunker/1st_ever_electronic_record-715775?v=1#x9132236

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 Bob Kemp 17 May 2020
In reply to aln:

Thanks- I’d forgotten about that thread. I’m keen to hear more about the various early hybrids of electronica that were excluded there so I hope this thread isn’t too much of a repetition. 

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 Bob Kemp 18 May 2020
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

On Stockhausen, I just came across this amusing pair of quotes from an article about him:

"He often only recommended his own works for others to find influence in, not those of his contemporaries. Always the teacher, never the taught. “Mr. Richard James. I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work ‘Song of the Youth’, […], then he would stop with all these post-African repetitions and would look for changing tempi and changing rhythms,” he said after first hearing Aphex Twin. “I thought he should listen to a track of mine: ‘Didgeridoo’, then he’d stop making abstract, random patterns you can’t dance to,” replied Richard D. James."

https://thevinylfactory.com/features/karlheinz-stockhausen-electronic-music-influence/

The article is worth reading generally - gives a sense of his influence on the field of electronic music. 

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In reply to Bob Kemp:

You have inspired me to browse a little bit further on avantgarde music. Mainly to support my memory.

In 1987 the Danish National Academy of Music in Odense held what they called a Stockhausen week with the composer himself and his orchestra. It was one of these concerts that I attended back then. I recall a small incident during the performance of a piece named Oberlippentanz for solo piccolo trumpet: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmsQvqoUJtc&

Imagine the whole concert hall listening in concentration and absolute silence when a traditional wind-up alarm clock went off really loud. At first I thought it was part of the composition, Stockhausen being Stockhausen, but it was one of the students among the audience who had it in her bag. She couldn't stop it sounding and had to run out into the foyer not to disturb any further.

Reading about Stockhausen lead me to one of his contemporaries namely György Ligeti. At first I couldn't quite remember where I had heard his name before, but then it struck me: Stanley Kubrick used his music in several of his movies. Most famously, maybe, in the Star Gate sequence of his 2001: A Space Odyssey which is accompanied by Atmosphères: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_o-T1CVrY&

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 Bob Kemp 19 May 2020
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

That first piece is surprisingly listenable for Stockhausen. I can see why you might have thought an alarm clock should be part of it though!

Ligeti was one of the first electronic composers I ever heard. There was a piece on a Decca sampler of electronic music we had. I think others included Varese and Berio.

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 Chris Sansum 19 May 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

A few, off the top of my head:

The Yellow Magic Orchestra - manly their instrumental tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DskuDtfOG1c&

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YastQM59JQE&

Vangelis, eg Direct: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg9RfU98eXE01km95NxVy0F8U-ivC9MWh

Not a very well known work, but The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony (1979) by Dave Greenslade is classic to me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNhtAh3U_sc&

Jean-Michel Jarre, The Essential (1983) - an absolute classic compilation!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j55B08bm8mg&

Kraftwerk The Man Machine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl-eVipq5cE&

Tangerine Dream Dream Sequence (compilation)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8a8cutYP7fphvJ7jcQ7GWW0z9nSYWx4B

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