Thursday, May 28, 2009
Andrés Lewin-Richter / İlhan Mimaroğlu / Tzvi Avni / Walter Carlos - Electronic Music (Turnabout, 1965)
İlhan Mimaroğlu - Bowery Bum
This is another goody I found in the secret room at The Record Exchange. I picked it up for two reasons. 1: I've been very interested in early electronic music (pre-Moog) and this is definitely on the early side of things (1965) and 2: İlhan Mimaroğlu was on it and I knew he was the man that Keith Fullerton Whitman named his online record shop after so it had to be good.
Andrés Lewin-Richter gets the honor of the first track, although it's only a mere 3 and a half minute. It's kinda minimal stuff. Pops and clicks, echoes and jarring bleeps. Decent but nothing too special in my book.
Mimaroğlu takes the rest of the first side and it starts of with some wicked cool stuff that sounds like tape manipulation, high speed rewinding, that sorta thing. To make things really weird, he has a man reading a Stephane Mallarme poem mixed in with the rapid fire circuit bursting and stretched out robot whistling. Some bang clanking, kinda industrial sounding, very cool. His tracks alone are worth it and make me really want to check out some of his other work.
Tzvi Avni, along with being ridiculously difficult to pronounce, also made a creepy as shit song that used the vocals of his wife, Pnina. Seems like these early electro dudes were way into the "human/machine" juxtaposition. Which I have no problem with. Especially when they make songs like this that are super spastic and the vocals sound like the chorus of horror in Kubrick's 2001.
Here's some fun trivia. Walter Carlos, the guy that finishes off this split, actually had a sex change in 1972 and is now known as Wendy Carlos. Yeah, the same Wendy Carlos who did the soundtrack for A Clockwork Orange. The tracks on Electronic Music are some of the first she's ever done and they are fucking bizarre. "Variations For Flute And Electronic Sound" reminds me of some fucked up nightmare version of some things I used to be forced to listen to in music class in elementary school. And "Dialogues For Piano And Two Loudspeakers" is utter chaos. Nothing your family would ever consider music.
So I figured that, worst case scenario, I'd walk away from Electronic Music being a bit more familiar with the classical style of electronic music. Luckily for me (and you), all of the songs on here (Lewin-Richter excluded) are outstanding even disregarding the time frame. Definitely worth a listen, especially as an educational tool. If you are even slightly interested in contemporary electronic music, then consider this required listening.
I'm feeling generous today.