Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mobile Solutions, or the lack of.

I bought a tablet recently, an Apple iPad 4. I wanted something to fit my mobile lifestyle (I live and work in a truck). I was hoping to find a music sketch pad app, something like Deluxe Music Construction Set I had on an Amiga computer. But there is nothing quite like it available. I don't have much hope of finding one either, as the whole touch screen style entry/editor is proving to be inadequate. Good for a calculator, reading comics or playing a game of Scorched Earth, but clumsy for moving notes up and down on a musical staff (or as a word processor). My fingers are just to big. They obscure the popup menus and  never place the editing cursor where I want it. The whole touch screen interface is to a mouse, what an Etch-a-Sketch is to a paint brush. Maybe I'll just dedicate it to being a sampler or wave table synth (PPG Wavegenerator sounds pretty good).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 2K Decade, the Second Renaissance

Looking back, I think the last decade has been the best decade since the 1970s. We have seen a rebirth of interest in Berlin School style of electronic music. There are a huge number of artists releasing music in this style, persons I had never heard of 10 years ago. People like Alpha Wave Movement, Arc, Brendan Pollard, Free System Projekt, Gert Emmens, Javi Cánovas, Jeffrey Koepper, Paul Ellis, Uwe Reckzeh, and Volt have become widely known and are releasing compelling new music. Add to it the people who got started in the 90s and include the names of artists producing similar music in closely related genres, and the list gets very long.
The Berlin School genre has grown to encompass shorter format songs and rely more on melody and less on atmosphere. CDs are selling to a more mature core fan base that still wants to own a physical piece of art. And I don't see any evidence of it slowing down soon. It's a great time to be listening and the best is yet to come! Happy new year to you all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Music from Zon Vern Pyles

Zon Vern Pyles is a well known name in the Electronic Music Community. On his recent CD 'Looking Forward' you'll find spacey Berlin School sequences and melodic tunes in a shorter song format. Everything about this release speaks quality, and a love for the music of the late 70s, early 80s golden age of synth soundscapes. I can't think of a release in the last 10 years I'd give a higher recommendation to. Available from CDBaby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CHAR-EL - Sightings

Stephen Hawking came out a few days ago and said that alien contact might not be such a good thing. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans", said Professor Hawking. You can contemplate this, while watching this great music video from CHAR-EL.n't turn out outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." 

You can find music by CHAR-EL at CDBaby.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Can we stop with the "It's all been done before".

     I  went out last night, with my family, and did the 'Gallery-Hop' here in Columbus Ohio. Every first Saturday of the month, art galleries located in the Short North District of Columbus, keep their doors open till 11PM, and a major crowd walks up and down High Street, checking out the art galleries, clothing and jewelery stores, cafe restaurants, and bars. It's a great, cheap night out!
     Along with the action groups and street vendors, you will find a healthy contingent of street musicians. One person acoustic guitarists, accordion duos, and conga drum trios play their music for people who stop to listen, and occasionally drop a dollar in a hat (times are lean, and the hats were probably a little less full last night).
     I bring this up here, because I've never heard anyone say "It's all been done before" to, or about, the guitarist playing pop songs from the 1980s and 90s or the accordion players squeezing out some ambient-ish tune like out of an old Italian movie. I constantly read this bogus 'It's all been done before' criticism in reference to Berlin School style music.Yet on High Street last night, no one was playing 'New' music. A good reason why is their audience would be small and their hats would be empty.
     There was one band playing prog-jazz on electrified instruments, in a small alley. They had a large number of on-lookers, and they were hot. I'd pay to see them again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm a sucker for music with astronomical associations.

A few stellar selections available from Hypnos

Seren Ffordd - Stellar Nurseries

Atomine Elektrine - Archimetrical Universe

Phaenon - Submerged

Ron Boots - Beyond the Boundaries of Twilight

Lots more great music available, including Saul Stokes CD Abstraction for $9.99. Go check it out at

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Opening Salvo, a Love Letter/List

For the opening blog post, in the spirit of the wonderful book '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die',  I present

100 (mostly) Old School Electronic Music Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
(in alphabetical order of Artist)

Arc - Arcturus
Arc - Blaze
Altus - Coma Cluster
Altus - The Grand Expanse
Brendan Pollard - Flux Echoes
Brian Eno - Another Green World
Catharsis - Et S'Aimer... Et Mourir
Cluster - Qua
Cluster and Eno - Cluster and Eno
Claude Perraudin - Mutation 24
Conrad Schnitzler - Ballet Statique (Con)
Dweller At The Threshold - Generation, Transmission, Illumination
Dwight Ashley, Han-Joachim Roedelius, Tim Story - Errata
Edgar Froese - Epsilon In Malaysian Pale
Frank Van Bogaert - Closer
Frank Van Bogaert - Geographic
Frank Van Bogaert - Nomads
Free System Projekt - Moyland
Free System Projekt - Gent
Free System Projekt and Dweller At The Threshold - Passenger 4
Fripp and Eno - Evening Star
Gert Emmens - A Boy’s World
Gert Emmens - The Tale of the Warlock
Giles Reaves - Wunjo
Harold Budd - The Pearl
Ian Boddy - Box of Secrets
Javi Cánovas - In This Moment, In This Place
Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene
Jean Michel Jarre - Zoolook
Jeffrey Koepper - Sequentaria
Jihel - Lost Oasis
Joël Fajerman - La Aventura De Las Plantas
John Dyson - Darklight
John Foxx - Cathedral Oceans I & II
John Lakveet and Dom F Scab - Silent Mars
Jonn Serrie - And The Stars Go With You
Kevin Braheny - Galaxies
Klaus Schulze - Cyborg
Klaus Schulze - Timewind
Klaus Schulze - X
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Kraftwerk - Computer World
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
Louis and Bebe Barron - Forbidden Planet (OST)
Mark Dwane - Other Worlds
Mark Isham - Vapor Drawings
Michael Garrison - In the Regions of Sunreturn
Michael Hoenig - Departure From The Northern Wasteland
Michael Stearns - Chronos
Pandemonium - Ville Ouverte
Patrick O’Hearn - Eldorado
Patrick O’Hearn - Indigo
Paul Ellis - The Infinity Room
Paul Ellis & Craig Padilla - Echo System
Peter Baumann - Romance 76
Peter Kuhlmann - The Sunken Road
Peter Mergener - Beam-Scape
Peter Michael Hamel - Nada
Redshift - Redshift
Redshift - Toll
Redshift - Faultline
Redshift - Last
Richard Pinhas - East West
Richard Pinhas - L’ethique
Richard Burmer -Bhakti Point
Richard Vimal - Aquarythmies-Migration
Robert Rich - Music From Atlas Dei
Robert Schroeder - Harmonic Ascendant
Robert Scott Thompson - At the Still Point of the Turning World
Rogue Element - Premonition
Ron Boots - Different Stories and Twisted Tales
Rudy Adrian - Kinetic Flow
Rudy Adrian - Par Avion
Synergy - Cords
Synergy - Audion
Saul Stokes - Abstraction
Saul Stokes - Zo Pilots
Saul Stokes - Vast
Stars Of The Lid - The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid
Stars Of The Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline
Steve Roach - Dreamtime Return
Steve Roach - Dynamic Stillness
Steve Roach - The Magnificent Void
Tangerine Dream - Phaedra
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear
Tangerine Dream - Tangram (1980 ver.)
Tangerine Dream - Le Parc
Tim Clark - Tales of the Sun People
Tim Story and Hans Joachim Roedelius - Lunz
Under The Dome - Bellerophon
Urban Sax - Urban Sax 2
Vangelis - Albedo 0.39
Vangelis - Blade Runner
Vangelis - China
Vangelis - L'Apocalypse Des Animaux
Vangelis - Voices
Wendy Carlos - A Clockwork Orange
Wendy Carlos - Beauty in the Beast
Zanov - Green Ray

Some of these pieces of music are hard to find, some of them are free on the web. I didn't add pointers to where you can purchase any of these, because this is more of a love letter than a commercial effort. I'm sure you have your opinions about what I've left out that should be here, so feel free to comment.