Thursday, January 26, 2012
Electreasure Tronics From The Growing Bin: Peru- Continents, Constellations; Rolf Trostel- Two Faces, Der Prophet; Proxyon- S/t; Charlie- Spacer Woman
The Growing Bin is a true treasure of the internet, a deep river of e-music rarities and other out-of-print esoteric wonders. Good as it is, however, its almost total lack of write-ups (especially in the earlier days) and dizzying, enormous archives make it easy to miss some of its real gems. So here's some wonderful albums that I've been really into that I'd like to tip you towards with a high recommendation, if you're interested.
Edit: It seems some of these links are dead over at The Bin, so I've uploaded new links.
Peru's 1983 album Continents is fantastic. Of course, I'm a sucker for any album that promises to take me on a musical journey around the globe, and here, Peru paints a sound-picture of the various geographical regions of the world. They operate very much in a pseudo-Berlin School mode, using chilly sequencers and electric drums toward a slightly poppy, almost cheesy sound. Somewhere between the new age-y accessibility of Oxygene and the trashy soundtrack sensibility of Tony Carey's instrumental records-- but even better than I'm making it sound. This is actually one of my favorite albums of the genre.
Constellations is almost as good, and has essentially the same palate of sounds, although somewhat colder and spacier, naturally, and without the globe-trotting conceit. Like Continents, it's just excellent, enjoyable cosmic synth music.
CONSTELLATIONS (link fixed, 192)
more Peru to be found here
Though Rolf Trostel's Two Faces is legitimately Berlin School (later-period, with shorter compositions), it's actually pretty similar to Peru, albeit a good bit more serious and Kraut-oriented. Again, it's also very similar to Oxygene, which I keep using as a reference point not just because it's one of my favorite records, but also because it's one of the best sellers of all time. Like Oxygene, Two Faces finds the cold goliath of Berlin School sound moving into what could even be called a more mainstream sensibility, touching tips gingerly with new age and synth-pop.
These are totally listenable, eminently enjoyable synthstrumentals. Deep tracks like a warm metallic ocean.
TWO FACES (link fixed, 320)
More of the same, basically. I gather it's even from the same year, more or less. If anything, it's even warmer and deeper-- closer to Tangerine Dream territory. Really, really good.
DER PROPHET (192)
Proxyon is in the same ballpark as Peru, but it's just really, really goofy. Handclaps galore, doofy disco beats, vocoder vocals, orchestra hits, huge pop hooks. Super fun stuff, and every track has the word "space" in the title. "Space Guards", "Space Travellers", "Space Hopper", "Space Fly (Magic Fly)", "Space Warriors", "Space Hopper (Space Dub)".
Hilarious, but also incredibly satisfying in the correct context.
I'm just gonna tack this little beauty on the end here... Holly recommended this in the comments, and it's extra dope. Similar to the space-disco of Proxyon, with fembot vocals and relentless rhythm. Handclaps that sound like heavy-duty tinfoil getting whacked with a stick and double-tracked with TV static. So awesome. Thanks, Holly.
SPACER WOMAN (192)