Ohm: Early Gurus of Electronic Music Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
Many of the pieces included on this set have been severely shortened for variety's sake. Rather than include the full hour or so of Terry Riley's "Poppy Nogood," for instance, we are treated to a seven minute excerpt. In many instances, this does what the set is meant to do on the whole: it gives a good overview of the history and growth of electronic music as its own experimental genre.
Some of the names appearing within this collection are fairly well known: John Cage, David Tudor, Edgard Varese, Steve Reich (performed by Sonic Youth), Karlheinz Stockhausen, Terry Riley, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Schaeffer.... There are also a few unexpected appearances, by Tchaikovsky (an absolutely beautiful performance of his "Valse Sentimentale" on theremin), Holger Czukay (of Can), and a few more contemporary artists such as Jon Hassell and Brian Eno, vintage ambient that finishes up the last disc at the close of the seventies.
Much of the music is what may be considered "difficult" by unexperienced ears. Every once in a while this is true: La Monte Young's "31 I 69" maybe be edited down to a mere 7 minutes, but it's still almost impossible to endure the solid tone of mid-range feedback. Tudor's "Rainforest" squawks and chirps like an electronic jungle of his own creation.Read more ›
Admittedly, some of the songs are much more interesting to think about than they are to listen to. Some of the early pieces that were made through thosuands of hours of pains-taking tape-splicing could be made today in an afternoon with a digital audio editor and a few effects plug-ins.
It is a beautiful package, containing a 90 page booklet of essays, quotations from the featured artists, and photographs. What all music should be: an education in daring.
One complaint about early electronica is that it's `interesting', but you can't listen to it. It's a din, or it sounds like cartoon or sci-fi music. Counter this criticism with OHM, which comprehensively renders the accusation false. The music is uniformly beautiful, substantial, affecting, repeatable. And it hits its targets in ways which can make contemporary stuff look wanting. Messaien's drifting, spiritual ondes martenot piece `Oraison' is an object lesson in the humanisation of electronica. Cage's `Williams Mix' is jawdropping: half a century old and hyperkinetically modern beyond Autechre or Kid 606, with a prophetic title. Tod Dockstader's `Apocalypse II' does things with voice synthesis to make Thomas Bangalter turn pale. Ussachevsky's `Wireless Fantasy' from 1960 is a techno bleepscape set against alien clouds of ambient noise. It's moving in ways FSOL, and even The Orb, imply but never quite get to. MEV's `Spacecraft' is an intensely clear, bone-raw noisefest to inspire any of Norway's current cutting-edge electronica/improv crossover artists; like AMM told they have 6 minutes left to live.
That's just CD1.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's thrilling to hear how electronic music evolved. It's a fest, enjoying some of the most important originals together. Read morePublished 12 months ago by JFI
A great sampling of "the early gurus of electronic music" on three CD's with a large booklet of information on the artists. Read morePublished 15 months ago by bowonwing
I'll preface this by saying that I won't pretend to be an authority on most of the musicians involved with the projects included with this collection, so I certainly cannot speak... Read morePublished on February 29, 2012 by cincy-kid
For those who are unacquainted, this set is the gateway into an entirely new experience of sound. Few listeners, and likely not many practitioners, for that matter, of dance,... Read morePublished on September 11, 2007 by Christopher Costabile
Althought most of the music here is an excellent collection of electronic music history, this 3 CDs lack of the important contribution given by the RAI phonology studios of Milan,... Read morePublished on November 11, 2006 by Fr Q.E.I.
Some of the tracks on here are "music". That is that they contain all the bits we're trained to experience as music -- melody, etc. Read morePublished on October 23, 2006 by Gregory Mills
The OHM collection contains some of those ground breaking electronic compositions that have shaped today's styles, from the early electronic instruments of Theremin and Martenot,... Read morePublished on January 11, 2006 by zzzzt
Ok, this collection is supposed to be early works and, thus not expected to be very sophisticated or polished. Read morePublished on August 15, 2005 by Theresa Hoekstra
Wow!! This is great early electronic music for any occasion - driving, parties, romantic evenings, etc. Read morePublished on July 5, 2002 by munzeeyun
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