Juan Blanco – Nuestro Tiempo


Innova has released a new album of music by Juan Blanco (1919-2008), a pioneer of electronic music in Cuba.

Blanco’s work is not well known, but he’s considered the first Cuban composer to explore electroacoustics, spatial music and multimedia works. Nuestro Tiempo offers a retrospective work.

The album features significant works from four decades in Blanco’s career. The works on Nuestro Tiempo are largely electronic, but also feature congas, timbales and saxophone. Continue reading

Bruno Ender Lee’s Hope Beyond Menace

YouTube Preview Image

We got a nice surprise in the mail at Synthtopia this week – a vinyl LP of synth music by Swiss synthesist Bruno Ender Lee.

Long time readers of Synthtopia will be familiar with Lee’s live synth jam videos from our Sunday Synth Jam series. Lee’s music is explicitly in the space music category, with titles like Hyperspace, Mindsong and Moonsphere. Though Lee has clearly been inspired by classic Berlin school music, especially the work of Klaus Schulze, his albums, now in the dozens, define a unique vision for this genre.

Continue reading

Berlin Heritage – Land Of The Rising Sun

Berlin Heritage Land Of The Rising SunLand Of The Rising Sun is a new CD of synth music from Berlin Heritage.

WIth a group called Berlin Heritage, you probably expect to hear some old-school analog synth sounds and Berlin School style sequencing – and Land Of The Rising Sun delivers.

The first track, Long Journey To Different Temples, for example, is an epic 34:50 sonic trip through intricate sequences, washes of synth strings, vocal synth pads, deep drones, Minimoog solo explorations – and more sequences.

The next track, Spectral Enso, is an extended drone piece. It mixes gentle sequences and phased synth pads to create blissful textures. Zen seems like it could be a lost 70′s synth music classic. It’s structured in an A B A form, starting with drones and Mellotron-style flute a la Tangerine Dream’s Sorceror, building to a more propulsive sequenced section with Minimoog soloing and then returning to the more reflective mood of the beginning.

The album ends with Flying Cranes in Slow Motion, the shortest track on the album at 8:27.  The track has a relaxed, hymn-like quality. Synth organ/string pads are used in slowly changing chord progressions, over a deep bass pedal point. These are accented by quiet, percussive synth notes that create an effect almost like distant birds.

Berlin Heritage’s Land Of The Rising Sun harkens back to the classic synth music of the 70′s, evoking at times artists like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. But, rather than sounding imitative, Berlin Heritage uses vintage sounds to create a ‘second generation Berlin School’ sound, taking some of the best elements of classic Berlin School synth music and looking forward, instead of back.

Land Of The Rising Sun is available via Amazon or the Spheric Music label site. Audio demos are available at the Spheric site.

Continue reading

“This Music Makes Me Want To Slap My Sister’s Fat Bum!” – Kids On Skrillex

YouTube Preview Image

This video, via noisey, features a bunch of adorable kids offering their honest opinions on the Skrillex track, Bangarang.

Some of the comments are dead-on and others probably make more sense if you’re six years old.

Along the way, they also offer their insight into why people like to go to nightclubs, drinking drinks to stay awake, what ‘the drop’ is and Skrillex’s ‘horrifying’ hairstyle.

Let us know what you think of their review!

via Tom at Waveformless, Buzzfeed


Lawrence Ball’s ‘Method Music’ Explores The World Of Generative Music Buried In The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’

Lawrence Ball‘s double CD Method Music is a new collection of generative music that’s inspired by ideas Pete Townshend has explored over the last 40 years, with his Lifehouse project.

Townshend’s Lifehouse had its origin in a sci-fi rock opera, written as a follow up to Tommy. One of the key ideas of the project was that the music would be customized to the characteristics of individual listeners. This was an underlying concept of The Who’s Baba O’Riley.

The original music Townshend wrote for Lifehouse was eventually released on Who’s Next and other albums. But Townshend has remained interested in the idea of music based tailored to listeners.

The tracks on Lawrence Ball’s Method Music represent a modern interpretation of these ideas. Ball implemented Townshend’s ideas using a computerized compositional system called he calls Harmonic Maths.

Continue reading

Danoteck’s BEAT The Machine

Free Music Friday: Danoteck’s BEAT The Machine is described as “a fast paced Drum N’ Bass journey through the awakening of ‘Binary Emulation of Advanced Thought’ or B.E.A.T.- A Supercomputer that becomes self aware.”

But, while BEAT The Machine may be a drum and bass concept album, Danoteck doesn’t let the concept get the way of the music.

The album starts with about 10 seconds of deep synth drones. But about the time you think you put on a Hearts Of Space album by accident, Danoteck unleashes an unrelenting onslaught of machine gun rhythms and sub-shredding basslines. This is followed by an hour of face-grinding beats, heavy breaks and synth bass nastiness.

If you’re looking for something subtle, this probably isn’t it.

On the other hand, I listened to this while driving 200 miles across Western Kansas, and when I arrived at my destination, I was ready to break things with my bare hands.

You can download a few tracks from BEAT The Machine from the player above, or get the full album at Amazon.