Modulations: A History of Electronic Music – Throbbing Words on Sound

Edited by Peter Shapiro

Modulations serves as a good introduction to the various genres of modern dance electronica. It was was written to accompany Iara Lee’s 1998 film of the same name. It is written in a hip style by people you can tell really love electronica. It is stylishly put together, and includes many great photos that give you a feel for the musicians and the scene they were making music for.

The book is written by a variety of musicians and critics, and edited by Peter Shapiro. They cover electronic music from the early artists like Varese to today’s dance electronica.

The book does a good job of covering most of the dance current styles of electronic dance music. It covers house, trance, rave culture, electropop and techno well. It doesn’t do a good job of covering styles that aren’t dance-oriented. There is almost no coverage of electronic music in the worlds of jazz, classical, new age,  or rock.

Because of the uneven coverage, Modulations serves as a good introduction to modern dance electronica, but doesn’t live up to it’s claim of being “A History of Electronic Music”.

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