Electronic Music Pioneers, a book by Ben Kettlewell, is a popular history of electronic music. Kettlewell covers the highlights of recent electronic music history, and does it in an easy-to-read fashion.
The book features interviews with many of the artists and synth designers that have been influential in shaping the world of popular electronica in the last thirty years. Some of the highlights are discussions of the work of Dr. Robert Moog, the work of Wendy Carlos, Keith Emerson and Jan Hammer, and an interview with Klaus Schulze.
By combining coverage of both inventors and musicians, Kettlewell effectively covers the most important events and music in the last few decades of electronic music.
Kettlewell is a writer, musician and hosts a public radio show, Imaginary Visions. As a result of the many hats he wears, he brings a broad understanding of electronic music history to the book, along with an open mind to different styles.
If there’s a weakness to the book, it’s that it tries to cover a lot of territory in a relatively small book. As a result, many of topics are covered without a great deal of depth. In addition, the book emphasizes keyboard-based electronic music over other types.
Electronic Music Pioneers is a fun read and a worthwhile addition to your electronica library.