Sunday, June 25, 2006

A friendly racket

Quartermass - Tod Dockstader

This record came out on the Owl label in 1964. It is really hard to find, and other than the one I bought, I've never seen another copy. Oddly enough, there didn't really seem to be a mass market for classical pieces built from manipulated tape loops at the time. Nowadays, it is probably Billboard material.

Unlike the vast majority of the electroclassical records I've got, this one has a real musical feel to it. It might take a couple spins to catch it, but the pieces build and flow like modern minimalist compositions. Also unique among these type of records, it doesn't have any obnoxious place where the composer goes for some overblown industrial machinery feel. This is a cliche of the genre that Dockstader does a good job of avoiding.

Still, this ain't the Cowsills. I can chase my wife out of the room in five minutes with this record. (The Cowsills would do that too, but I digress.) If you came to Dockstader via his newer Aerial pieces, you'll be a bit surprised by the heavy dynamic range here.

Sorry for no picture, but the cover isn't so exciting, anyway. Standard '60's public library issue. The burn is from a rough vinyl copy, but it wouldn't sound right any other way.

I dunno. The digital reissues of Quatermass and Apocalypse via Starkland (widely available: get them now) sure sound good to me.
..."but it wouldn't sound right any other way"

I like the way you think.
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