06 April 2013

Electronic Greats 1955 - 1984 Mixed

"In early 2010, what would eventually become Antique Electronic Synthesizer Greats was simply a concept for a live set. Fluorescent Grey, aka Robbie Martin, cut almost a thousand tiny samples and loops from works dating from 1955 to 1984, limiting his sources to strictly electronic and/or synthesized recordings.

"His rules allowed for non-synthesized compositions (e.g., Delia Derbyshire's tape cutting based tones) as well as synthesizer audio of any kind, including the Hammond Novachord. And far from simply a stolen sample collage, or meta-mash-up project, Robbie wanted to allow the mix he composed to preserve and highlight the eras' best sounds in a comprehensive backdrop. Some of those painstakingly found and excised snippets may be all but indiscernible to most, while some tease with their familiarity (Depeche Mode bass drum? YMO hi hat?), and some are nakedly in homage (synth lines from Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder). All are as playful as the puzzling track names, one of the most obvious of which are pieces that re-imagine the sound of John Carpenter's best synth-centric movie scores. From the uneasy sounds of horror to the sweet spot of vintage synth-pop and industrial, to the brief satisfyingly bizarre vocal cameos by Alan Vega and a Spanish industrial/noise outfit, it runs the gamut of its chosen time period exhaustively....

"Given the uncannily nostalgic or modern moods evoked, it can be all too easy to forget that the entire mix is comprised solely of an endlessly rotating roster of up to 15 isolated loops, all at least a quarter of a century old, some twice that age. On some songs, you could imagine a DJ dialing into the sounds of AFX or Mr. Oizo, an amusing stunt for some of the source material sounds unmistakably dated in a way that has yet to be retrofetishized. Proto-electronica futurism captured in Chris Carter's sequences or Morton Subotnick's Autechre-like FM synth splatters, works that indisputably sound futuristic in their own right. Dated or not, the novelty factor of an overwhelmingly corny synth brass sample is sometimes too good to resist, making it nigh impossible to prevent that old fashioned sound from antiquing the whole mix.

"This pastiche is offered up in both a mix and an individually tracked album for maximum utility. Use the cover art and the hidden messages contained herein as a resource for your own Antique Electronic Music search...."