Reviews » Reviews by hrvatski from Mimaroglu Music

These reviews were on the old Mimaroglu site when they held Dockstader’s recordings, and were written by Keith Fullerton Whitman (hrvatski).

Aerial

contemporary work from the master!

you have no idea how excited i was to hear about this entirely ambitious three-album series… sitting here now, listening to the first installment i am completely bowled over by the staggering quality of these pieces, all of which reside in the same hoth-frozen wasteland mapped out on everything from dockstader’s own early 60s ouput on through the contemporary work of composers such as thomas köner, gilles gobeil, and troum.

which is to say… yes, it does live up to my somewhat unreasonable expectations. i honestly can’t think of another composer whose 60s/70s work resonated at such uncharted depths that has continued to make relevant singular music with current technology (most get lost along the way: see pierre henry, stockhausen, even our beloved mimaroglu)

unequivocally awesome… grand in scope, colossal in sound. let’s start holding our breath now for the next two installments…

behold! the second disc in dockstader’s awesome “aerial” trilogy… despite not reaching completion in 2005; i have placed this series at the very top of my “best of 2005” list (thusfar.) in my mind no other early electronic pioneer has kept as surprising and vital as mr. dockstader in the contemporary era. these new recordings rival anything he’s done in the past 40 years while sounding completely fresh…

interesting and funny to see an honest to goodness quote from mimaroglu music sales on the cover of a record!!! also interesting to see a reference to fellini in the track-titles (its long been rumored that dockstader, along with mimaroglu and andrew rudin, worked on sound design & the score for fellini’s epic “satyricon”)

Bijou

second collaborative disc w/myers… a series of shorter vignettes (well… shorter than the extended pieces on “pond”) mixing digitally processed field recordings in with dosckstader’s shortwave timbres and myers’ feedback circuitry. quite lovely…

Pond

this was the first time tod dockstader had peeked out from a silent void of nearly 20 years; it’s a collaborative release with david lee myers; otherwise known as arcane device (fantastic 7” pack on rrr if you can find it..) a suite of excellent modern-age musique concrète, with pieces hovering in the 5-6 minute range; just enough for each section to develop fully & stay it’s welcome… superb.

Omniphony 1

first reissue of this legendary 1966 loudspeaker composition for concrete sounds, chamber ensemble, electronically processed chamber ensemble, razorblades and tape.

the legendary collaboration between leading american musique concrete composer tod dockstader and an instrumental ensemble directed by james reichert where, for i think the first and to date only time, there was full integration of the written, played and manipulated sounds.

the instrumental parts were derived from ‘cells’ of concrete sound and in turn were electronically transformed (in robert moog’s then state of the art studio), then the whole mass of material was organised together. a true hybrid, and a one-off. long out of print since it’s appearance on vinyl in 1966.

with two extra pieces by tod dockstader a new stereo version of no.7 (from the 1961 ‘8 electronic pieces’ and very late and very different - piece from 1990 which has never escaped his studio until now. a classic and a milestone in the evolution of electronic, mediated sound.

Creel Pone re-release of Recorded Music for Film, Radio & Television: Electronic (SBH3082)

exactly 50… discs (numbers? dots? crelplers? let’s go with crelplers) crelplers after the creel pone reproduction of tod dockstader’s first boosey & hawkes lp comes this; a reproduction of the second.

what made/makes the first creel pone great is again here in spades: much tweaked-out/rhythmic modular-synth riffing, buffered into very short vignettes for “production use.” dockstader was so incredibly ahead of the curve on this (these) record(s), it’s hard to fathom… contemporary sensibilities and almost proto-idm-ish figures abundant throughout.

much like the first volume, this is a great “gateway” creel pone into the deep, dark, seedy underbelly/chasm of time-obscured electronic tomfoolery that is creel pone. enjoy the voyage…

Creel Pone re-release of Recorded Music for Film, Radio & Television: Electronic (SBH3072)

recent claims made re: dockstader’s absence from the public eye since releasing his owl-label lps in the late 60s are somewhat off… in 1979 this and another “companion” volume were released on the boosey & hawkes library music label; consisting of a spate of sound-queues made by mr. dockstader for production/documentary use. i will say this; this sounds like no other dockstader recording you’ve heard. personally, i think it’s amazing and way ahead of its time, but i could understand if others out there are a bit befuddled by the music on the lp in question; mostly short (<2 minutes) rhythmic / melody-oriented modular-synth studies coming across like a paleozoic aphex twin (and i know people often say “xXx sounds like aphex twin” as that’s the sole reference point they have in discussing contemporary experimental electronic music… give me the benefit of the doubt (you’ve probably gathered that my vocabulary re: electronic music is slightly more… verbose)… still… this really does sound like “afx”-era aphex twin, quite a bit - staggeringly so given the 15-odd-year divide.) there are a couple of “fat brass synth-fanfares for sci-fi” kind of queues, but for every one of those there’s a drifting filtered white-noise beast or high-resonance/q oscillating beat with crazy atonal triplet-feel melodies that just hits home…

definitely one for the completists (dockstader fans are known for not resting until they’ve heard every sound carefully “organised” by the master), although there’s enough here for casual early-electronic music fans alike… if anything, this would be a great creel pone to bridge the gap between fans of contemporary melodic/“into depeche mode” electronic dance music that find all of the cold, emotionally-distant abstract concrète that i’m always going on about here a bit daunting…

Eight Electronic Pieces

tod dockstader’s classic 1960 folkways debut lp - a bit rougher-around-the-edges than the owl-era material, but no less stultifying … the cream of the early american tape music crop …