the outside agency [aka dj hidden and eye-d - live bristol debut]
twinhooker & paulie walnuts [mad dem sound usa: soldiers in the streets tour]
duranduranduran [cock rock disco, planet mu - live birthday set!]
ely muff [headfuk/deathchant - live]
boep [aka schemeboy vs randomoidz - adverse camber]
bashout allstars [resident badmen]
upstairs: staggering bass abuse
rogue state ft. mc deadman [r8 recordings - bristol debut]
lief ryan [growth recordings - bristol debut]
big d’s dancehall clearout
diode [aka el kano vs magimix - adverse camber]
davey t [dissident]
back room: the bashout lectures
dan gusset and friends
dubboy vs beavis inna rootstyle
& more tbc...
sat 20 june 2009 black swan, bristol 10 til 5, £8 b4 11, £9 after... tickets: £6 [plus booking fee]
The Bash Out Lectures with Dan Gusset and Friends
Dan Pope (aka Gusset) will be presenting an A/V performance of data bent versions of his urban exploring photos alongside a live drone/glitch soundtrack in room three of Bash Out at the Black Swan, Bristol on Sat 20th June (10pm – 6am).
Data bent images are intentionally corrupted digital images where the files have bits altered, cut around, have channels moved or filtered, and are otherwise bastardised to cause all forms of distortions and bizarre effects. Often the results are disappointing fields of black or images that refuse to open at all but persistence and luck can lead to intriguing results.
Like it's close relative circuit bending, where any electronic sound making device, usually a cheap children's toy, is dismantled and its circuitry randomly rewired, it's something that anyone can try. It may just be noise with occasional recognisable hints of what it once was, but there is a beauty to be found in there either by close study or by allowing it to wash over you.
Among the friends Dan has filled the rest of the line-up with will be a Dub Boy & Beavis - Inna Rootstyle, films from public space hijacker and Occasional Cinema organiser Badoni, and beatless soundscapes from Freq.
Following Anarchist606’s post about the plethora of rare video footage, charting the history of popular music, that can be found on YouTube, I thought it might be interesting to try to cover the history of electronic music in the same way. This is not intended to be in any way comprehensive, I know there are huge chunks missing, so please feel free to add more.
Now, the oldest electronic instrument I can find any footage of is, of course, the Theremin, invented in 1917 by Leon Theremin and still used to this day:
A rash of other early electronic instruments appeared throughout the 1920s and and ‘30s, and disappeared again just as quickly. It wasn’t until Pierre Schaeffer’s invention of the tape recorder in 1939 that the first major school of electronic music took shape.
1940s - Musique Concrète
Some of the pioneers of this technique of creating music from recordings of natural sounds through layering and tape splicing are presented here:
1940 – Vocoder invented by Homer Dudley.
Demonstration on vintage (1978) Sennheiser VSM-201 shows what it does:
Demonstration here from 2007 shows a software vocoder being used to control visuals as well as audio:
1952: RCA Synthesiser Mks I & II invented. No footage found from this period but see later section on the Radiophonic Workshop. The ring modulator also appeared around this time, see Dalek voices.
1953: Greek architect turned composer Iannis Xenakis writes Metastasis, using statistical techniques to create music. Another pioneer of music controlled or composed through computing techniques.
1956 – The Forbidden Planet, with “Electronic Tonalities”* by Louis and Bebe Barron. Pioneers of snuff audio, using circuits build to feedback and go into oscillation they recorded the sound of the electronics dying, so none of these sounds could ever be created identically twice. (* It was intentionally not called music in an attempt to avoid playing musician union fees.)
Varèse/ Xénakis/Le Corbusier - poeme électronique (1958) [stick with it!]
1963 – The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, founded by Daphne Oram in 1958, experimented with musique concreté through it’s early years. It came to mainstream attention when Ron Grainger’s Dr Who theme is arranged and rendered out of tape loops by Delia Derbyshire, the first lady of electronica.
Stockhausen was another important pioneer of experimental music, working music Musique Concreté in the early days and then all sorts of other strange things later on. Like the Helicopter String Quartet:
The music in the video below is "Etude" by Karlheinz Stockhausen (I’m not quite sure why someone has decided to put this video to it but I’d guess they have a custard pie fetish.)
1965: First Moog Synthesiser released. Interview with Bob Moog from
Here there should be a homage to Walter/Wendy Carlos and especially A Clockwork Orange but instead I have to include this:
Someone’s Moog ad:
Alice Shields - Study For Voice And Tape (1968), with pictures of sci-fi crumpet:
1970: Emerson Lake & Palmer - Knife Edge Keith Emerson at his keyboard battering best. (Incidentally, he took a flame thrower to a Hammond organ the time I saw them live.)
1975: Rick Wakeman – King Arthur on Ice
Out of place, but I couldn’t resist including Wizard Of Oz vs the Moog Cookbook
1978: Brian Eno on Music for Airports
1979: Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe - Place De La Concorde. I love Jarre. He’s like the David Copperfield of synths. Just look at that silver shirt. I expect him to start levitating at any moment.
1979: The first digital sampler, the Fairlight CMI is produced. Herbie Hancock Demonstrates the Fairlight on Sesame Street
1981: Brian Eno & David Byrne – America is Waiting, from Life in the Bush of Ghosts, so far ahead of its time it’s scary.
1982: Peter Gabriel and Fairlight CMI, bringing in a “new-wave of electronic skiffle”
Secret of the Fairlight Sequencer
Carlos pops up again: Tron - Light cycle sequence (1982)
1982: Vangelis – Chariots of Fire OST & Bladerunner OST
Grammy awards Synthesizer Medley 1985
Curtis Roads founds the Computer Music Association in 1980 and edits the Computer Music Journal for 23 years. Fluxon (2003)
The 80s were synth-pop tastic, and I could include so much here, but most of it will already be so familiar it’s not really worth it. As a token example, here’s Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder - Together In Electric Dreams. For more Moroder see the soundtracks from Midnight Express, American Gigolo, Flashdance, The Never Ending Story, Thief of Hearts, Electric Dreams, Cat People and Scarface.
Then there’s all the New Order, Madchester stuff. You know all that. So let’s skip to 1989. Where there is disquiet in a field in Kent.
Meat Beat Manifesto – Helter Skelter (‘97 mix)
At this point there could be a whole post of the same size just about the Amen break, but I’m really not interested enough to do that. So instead, here’s my personal favourite dnb tune, Photek’s Ni Ten Ichi Ryu
A nod to the Bristol scene:
Now, as the rave scene above got a bit silly and didn’t make a lot of sense without the aid of pills, the people staring trying to bring the intelligence back into it. Here’s holy trinity of “IDM”: Tom, Rich, and Mike:
µ-ziq – Brace Yourself Jason 2004 live mix
And here are some of the younger names to appear
vs – dm megamix
Datach'i - In Silence
Some Ghost Play Their Customised Tape Machines
Team Brick at the captains rest in Glasgow 26/06/07
monster zoku onsomb @ el perro Madrid
sonic death rabbit - live @ darkmatter soundsystem
Random Function, the collective that puts on the brilliant free (as in entry) experimental electronica night at the Watershed every month, is applying for an Arts Council grant to buy their own PA (to save on hire costs). If they get it they also plan to make it free to hire to other people supporting experimental electronic music in the south west. If you think this is a good idea you can sign this partition that they will be using to support their application.
"A DVD-Video of Short Films, Art-Works, Music Videos and Live Cinema Documentation" by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. I have to admit to being initially sceptical about this, worried that it was just going to be a load of typical club visuals presented on a DVD.
In places it is much more than that, with films of sunspots (untreated documentary data with a choice of 10 different soundtracks) and some brilliant art pieces with dissolving images of Paris, ravaged by mysterious meteorological events. Likewise the treated footage of the Northumberland coast and Earthquake devastated buildings are gripping "fictional documentaries." Their love of architecture is also clear and buildings have been subtly treated in such a way that you wonder how much of it is actually real.
However, the live cinema pieces are exactly what I was worried about. They really don't work outside of the live performance environment. Despite it being apparent that they were impressive at the time (several of them date back to 2002) it is obvious that the technology has already moved on and what was perhaps cutting edge five years ago is now something you see all over the place. The 200 Nanowebbers video for Double Adapter is the best of the bunch here, although it's not entirely clear how live this one actually was.
The highly abstract electronic music used though-out counters the feeling that this is club material, as there is almost nothing danceable here. There is some impressive noodling, some of it also live, but like extreme guitar workouts it's the sort of musical fetishism that is probably only appreciated by practitioners.
In conclusion, there are some intriguing moments I could happily watch and re-watch here, and would love to see performed in a larger, sensory immersing environment, but these are interspersed with some dated and more limited material that distracts from the whole.
Worlds in Flux is released on Feb 26th on Fat Cat.
Ra – Wxfdswxc2 (Sublight)
This limited initial run of this brilliant new album from Raoul Sinier, who I would call the greatest export of French hip-hop influenced electronica, includes a bonus DVD of his video work. Ra's musical work and video work are both just as impressive and together form something greater than the sum of the parts. Although the parts are all worthy on their own. The detail and effort that goes into both is staggering, evidenced by the fact that even the credits on this disk is a short film in itself.
His videos for ddamage are also presented here – compete with animated David Lynch, um, cameo – for completeness, along with a little easter-egg (a plus symbol appears at the bottom of the menu after viewing the stills gallery) of his "day job" material, in the form of odds and sods of ads and flash web design.
The album is more abstract than his pervious Raoul Loves You and perhaps even darker and more brooding. The music alone is perhaps not as instantly accessible as some of his previous work but together with the video it all makes sense.
It seems a shame that for such a visual artist the packaging is so sparse, but considering what a bargain the two disk set is already that is perhaps asking slightly too much. Having said that, I would shell out extra for a book of some of his material.
Brilliant album / video combo. Get it now while you still can!