Laurie Spiegel Reissue

This September, we can look forward to a reissue of an album from electronic music pioneer, Laurie Spiegel.  The Expanding Universe was an album originally released in 1980 and consisted of four tracks.  Along with the original tracks, the reissued album will also include lots of previously unreleased material that has been put together by Spiegel herself and brought out by the label, Unseen Worlds.

Laurie Spiegel was born in Chicago in 1945 and is known for her pioneering work with electronics and computer based music. Spiegel saw the potential of computers for musical expression; a means to provide a broader range of sonic possibilities. Throughout the 70s she worked at Bell Labs and used a computer system called GROOVE, designed by Max Matthews.  Her album, the Expanding Universe concentrates on subtle textures and variations in pitch and rhythm.  Spiegel was interested in experiencing the “momentary occurrences” found in her pieces, emphasising a focus on process rather than product.  

“I automate whatever can be automated to be freer to focus on those aspects of music that can’t be automated. The challenge is to figure out which is which.”- Spiegel

Synthy Goodness!

I can’t get enough of this band! The album ‘On the Screen’ was re-released by Minimal Wave Records in 2008.  Linear Movement was a side project of Belgian musician, Peter Bonne (A Split Second, Twilight Ritual, Autumn), along with Peter Koutstaal and Lieve Van Steerteghem.  
Throughout this album, Bonne experiments with poppy-er compositions than found in his previous work.  Some of the tracks from this album can be found on the ‘Pulse Music’ cassette whereas others are previously unreleased. 
Check out the July 1st podcast for another great Linear Movement track called “In My Head.”

July First

Steve Moore- Enhanced Humanoid
Peaking Lights- Cosmic Tides
Orgue Electronique- Wind of Summer
Polysick- Smudge, Hawaii
Polysick- Preda
Nathan Fake- Iceni Strings
Legowelt- Dimension Door
Linear Movement- In My Head
DAF- Kebabtraume
Stereolab- Fuses
Dylan Ettinger- Shandor’s Dream

Planetary Winds

German space-synth band! Pond formed in 1979 in DDR and released their first LP in 1984 on the Amiga label. At the time, pop music was highly regulated and there were many obstacles for musicians- including licensing requirements for live performances and the challenge of acquiring synthesizers and drum machines.  Bands were not able to put out albums unless they were sanctioned by the state to do so and there was only one state owned record company.

I came across this lil’ electronic gem after some digging at my local record shop. I first became aware of Pond with the 2010 album ‘Mandarinen Träme: Electronic Escapes from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik 1981-1989.’ It wasn’t until recently that I heard Pond’s Planetenwind in full.

Wolfgang “Paule” Fuchs founded the band and worked with partner Harald Wittkowski.  They were both greatly influenced by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.  ‘Planetenwind,’ the title track of their first album was a huge success in East Germany and sold over 100,000 copies.

June Twenty-Fourth

Harmonia- Dino
Gary Wilson- Soul Traveling
Gary Wilson- Another Time
Michael Rother- Flammen Herzen
Pond (German synth space music from DDR)- Cassiopeia
Drexciya- Unknown Journey 1
Drexciya- Lardossen Funk
Martin Lloyd- Science Fiction Man
Kraftwerk- Hall of Mirrors
Martin Lloyd- Half Life
Circuit 7- Beat Tonight
Heaven 17- (We Dont Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
Thomas Leer- West End
Harold Budd- Afar
N.H. Brown (off ‘Synthesizer Sound’ Comp.)- You Are My Lucky Star
Michael Rother- Doppelstern

An Electric Storm

“White Noise’s first album has long been one of the holy grails for kosmische / space rock collectors. Kinda strange, actually, because it’s actually more on the “exotica” Moog side of things, as opposed to a Klaus Schulze or Conrad Schnitzler production… Released in 1968 on Island in a total vacuum, An Electric Storm could be a Perrey & Kingsley soundtrack to a Radley Metzger soft-core porn film with twee psych-pop vocal melodies (a la Beach Boys, Free Design, Monkees) topped off with lots of bizarre electronic squiggles that originated in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. White Noise’s mastermind David Vorhaus keeps things pretty surreal with a track based around the recordings made at an orgy and with a precursor to the John Balance vocal mumbles about how “darkness was enshrouded by darkness and the darkness was deadeningly dark.” -Aquarius Records 

White Noise (An Electric Storm)- Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hogdson, who had worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and David Vorhaus.  

Last Sunday I played a White Noise track called “Firebird.” Here is another great track to check out from this album called “Your Hidden Dreams.” If you like this kindof stuff the album as a whole is SO good! Definitely worth a listen all the way through if you haven’t already!