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Various Artists – Electronic Music

Outstanding set of early electronics on the ever-popular Folkways label. It’s hard to imagine the nerdish looking dudes pictured in the included booklet would be the ones producing these totally bizarre sound structures.

The first song, “Dripsody,” makes you aware of the kind of experimentation the folks at the University of Toronto’s Electronic Music Studio were capable of in the early to mid 1960s. From the booklet:

This record was made from the sound of the fall of a single drop of water. The original tape record, about half an inch long, was copied at various speeds to produce sounds having fundamental frequencies from 45 CPS to 8,000 CPS.

The rhythmic figures which imitate the rhythms of dripping water were written down in musical notation and set up on tape by splicing together prints of the right pitch. The records so obtained were combined in a variety of ways. The first sound heard on the disc is the unaltered original record.

Another personal favorite is “Pinball” which, you guessed it, was created entirely from sound recordings of pinball machines. The tapes which contained the recordings were then altered through the use of ring modulation, reversal effects, and other various filters.

If you have any sort of appreciation for primitive electronic sounds you should probably attempt to track this one down. Highly recommended.

Dripsody – Hugh Le Caine
Dance R4 / 3 – Myron Schaeffer
Summer Idyl – Arnold Walter, Harvey Olnick
Noesis – Robert Aitkin
Fireworks – Val Stephen
The Orgasmic Opus – Val Stephen
Collage – J.D. Robb
Pinball – Jean Eichelberger Ivey
Inferno – Victor Grauer

I’ve included some close-up scans of some of the artists included on this record. (1) Jean Eichelberger Ivey, (2) J.D. Robb

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  • Hugh Le Caine is somewhat of a legend amongst nerdy canadians with bachelor degrees in music. I had to study him no less than 4 times in different classes during school…. Le Caine is kind of crossover, if you asked a bunch of people on the street in Toronto about him, they’d probably tell you “ain’t that that raindrop dude?”

  • possibly a pinball mp3?
    I’d love to hear it

  • thx 4 for awesome pic of madamme Eichelberger.
    Since of i have a serious fetich for women on synths, this actually makes my day and i have a new desktop now.
    I’d die for an Mp3 of Pinball too..

  • stephen boyle

    This recording is available on cd-r or cassette from Smithsonian/Folkways. I like Victor Grauer’s track!

  • Thank you SO MUCH to Stephen Boyle for letting us know that this can be purchased from Smithsonian /Folkways! Just today I was bitterly regretting that I no longer had the LP of this which I purchased in college, when I was a friend of Victor Grauer’s (at SUNY Buffalo). I just ordered one, and can’t wait to listen to it again! I am a fan of today’s electronic dance music, and I think I may have been influenced in that direction by early contact with electronic music. Check out the Temple of Boom podcasts at http://www.thetempleofboompodcast.com/
    You might be surprised at how much you like it.

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