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Ocean of Sound Paperback – June 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Ultimately, however, I leave the book feeling a bit underwhelmed. Ironically, it is the book's very eclecticism that works against it. I personally did not see the connectionsbetween, say, the music of Kraftwerk and Toop's (admittedly fascinating) discussion of the sound of the Amazon jungle. These disgressions ultimately make the book useless as a survey. Of course, I doubt that it was meant to be so, but Toop fails to make the kinds of connections that have given books by Greil Marcus and others a fascinating unity.
Perhaps, though, this is the point. Much like the ambient music that serves as the centerpoint of the book, this book simply floats by, not asking you to make any conclusions. It is probably best read in bits, before bed or in the bathroom, where the individual moments of brilliance can be better appreciated. Very ambient, indeed.
There is a similarly-titled double CD which came out to accompany the book, but I can't see it on Amazon. It is as eclectic as the book and features a lot of the artists interviewed and mentioned - Sun Ra, Aphex Twin, and others. I have played the CD to death and would recommend it. You gotta respect a compilation that puts The Beach Boys right next to African Headcharge, or My Bloody Valentine next to Brian Eno - and makes it work so well.
The book also features a list of albums and artists in the appendix, which I found useful as a way of doing further research.
Another book in a similar vein is Kodwo Eshun's "More Brilliant Than The Sun", though it focuses solely on the innovators in electronic music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice overview of music that falls thru the
cracks-great chapter on the Ambient scene in
England in the nineties.
I was not pleased with this book
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