On why I love electronic music

I started listening to electronic music when I was in my teens. I guess I was the real rebel. Where most teens of my era were rebelling with Electro, Hiphop, and more – I followed other musicians less well known to those around me.

The likes of Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Didier Bocquet, Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream would be common names to me. But, practically never to those around me.

As I got older, my tastes diversified. I listened to techno – the true electronic dance music, made with the 808, 909 and 303, often partnered with the SH-101 synthesiser. Music artificial in nature.

From there I progressed into the sounds of FSOL, Orb, and many more. I still kept my love of all music instrumental, preferring the artificial electronic sound rather than the typical guitar sounds, the four-piece band. Musicians like Kit Watkins, who could create the sounds of an entire band. Live. I always thought his piece ‘The Infinity of Three’ was performed by a band. Until I saw the video.

Then I got into Pete Namlook – a guy so prolific he could have easily released an album a day – and almost did. This got me into long-form music, tracks that broke the 3-4minute pop, and the 7-9minute EP tracks. Obviously this was nothing entirely new, my childhood had introduced me to the likes of Klaus Schulze who produced and album consisting of 2 tracks – one pre side of the LP.

In fact my favourite Klaus Schulze track:

So why electronic music? Because it allows the sound I could never hear otherwise, it frees you from the simply acoustic. It’s got a depth and breadth wider than an orchestra could ever manage. Don’t believe me?

Check these out:

36: Dream Tempest – title track from the awesome latest album by 36. This is a pure soundtrack piece, simply beautiful.

EVE Online OST – composed in Iceland, this is space synth music at it’s finest. I’ve mined many an hour with this track alone.

So. Is electronic music viable? Yes. Does it engage the emotions? I would certainly think so. Thoughts?

In which I rediscover blogging…

It’s been a long while since I just simply blogged. I went from writing a journal pretty much most days, to typing it out on a screen. Now I am trying to find a balance between the two. I still write in a personal journal, and am making a conscious effort to write something less intimate and personal here for the benefit of the reading interwebs.

My Personal Journal

My Personal Journal

I used to use Moleskine notebooks almost exclusively, but now they are relegated to rough note-taking at work. Why?  Simply because they feather like it’s going out of fashion – not that it was ever in fashion, mind you.

So I turned to Leuchtturm 1917 – and they are fantastic notebooks.  No feathering, despite whatever colour ink I’m filling my pen with.  For the pen/ink obsessives out there – here’s the info.  TWSBI Vac 700 clear with fine nib, in the pic I was using Diamine Sapphire Blue, which goes on purple, dries bluer.  My current favourite ink is Diamine Sunshine Yellow.

I guess that will suffice for now – it is late in the evening and I have a few other tasks to attend to.  Hopefully I’ll blog something else shortly. In the meantime, check out Earlyguard’s rather excellent and strangely abstract ‘Alterations’, available on Bandcamp…

Currently Reading: Sarcophagus by Phillip Hemplow

I’m constantly fascinated by Chernobyl, Pripyat, what happened there in 1986. This short book, clocking in around 90 pages took me an evening or so to read. I enjoyed every page – wanting to know what happened next.

The premise is simple. Set around the installation of a massive new cover for Reactor 4, dubbed the Carapace, a woman by the name of Victoria is sent to supervise the running of the project with a colleague. The project is falling massively behind schedule and they are there to sort things out, and get it complete.

A massive snow storm threatens the stability of the current cover to the Reactor, people have mysteriously vanished, taken their lives, or started behaving in strange ways. Then things really start going wrong…

A great short book, the only criticism I have is the Swan character (Victoria’s counterpart) is an annoying twerp. I guess he’s written that way, but I found him annoying and possibly slightly more cliched than any other character, all of whom seemed to fit their role (excepting the strange behviours some exhibit at certain times. If you, like me, know something of Chernobyl, you’ll love this.

If it’s any guide, I think this book (in the survival horror type genre) is vastly better at portraying a mysterious evil surrounding the Reactor than the awful Chernobyl Diaries movie. Way better. And cheaper.

5 out of 5.

Here’s a link to the book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarcophagus-Philip-Hemplow-ebook/dp/B008A7RGUM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404329318&sr=1-1&keywords=sarcophagus