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Best of 2018

Charles Ditto

Cyberdelic Ambient and Nootropic Soundscapes (1987-1994) LP

Label: Passat Continu

Format: LP

Genre: Electronic

In stock

** Astonishing selection of tracks taken from privately released albums and obscure tapes by this obscure Texas-based loner musician under the influence of Cluster, Moondog, The Residents and Brian Eno** Second release on Passat Continu comes from the depths of Texas. “Basso Continuo” span works from the privately pressed LPs “In Human Terms” (1987) and “Texas Electric” (1989) and music released on limited cassettes during the early nineties. Charles Ditto created an intimate world of minimal 'pop' tunes, abstract soundscapes and playful melodies wich remained in the vaults for years. “Snarkdanz” is an only-digital bonus track.  "I was born in Houston, Texas in 1954 into a musical family: my mother played piano, organ, and clarinet, and my father played guitar and sang. I took piano and guitar lessons starting around 7 years old, and later added clarinet to the regimen. As a family, we would sing 4-part harmonies early on, singing hymns around the piano and alternating parts with each other. Got a scholarship to the University of Houston in 1972 where I got a BM in composition. Enjoyed composing very much, but couldn't find my voice. Got the itch there to play music professionally in bands. Moved to Austin in 1981 and began that life: full-time road musician with gigs around the US, Mexico and Texas also for almost 20 years. Additionally, during this 30+-year stretch, I worked with Broadway vet Peter Lobdell (and the theater department at Amherst College) and artist Thom Haxo, composing music for live theater. These opportunities allowed for the continuation of my MIDI-based experimental music.

In 1992, had a notion to go back to music school. Got a MM and DMA, both in composition, from the University of Texas, while supporting myself playing in bands, as house pianist and working at Strait Music in Austin selling keyboards and pianos. A year after graduating from UT, 1998, I received an offer to teach music theory at Texas State University, down the road in San Marcos. Discovered that I loved the classroom/performance setting and that I was weary of the full-time live music lifestyle. Went full-time in 2003 at TXST and that is where I am today. I only occasionally play live music anymore just with friends and mostly for the fun of it. The space music of my two LPs came about in the mid and late-80s when MIDI technology hit. I acquired some MIDI-capable instruments, learned the sequencing/software and played live in Austin with my Mac, and managed to record and press the two LPs. I could only afford 500 copies of “In human terms” and 1000 copies of “Texas Electric.” I sent about 150 each to public and college radio stations. About 200 copies were lost in a fire, and the rest I've been giving away to anyone who wanted.

The music of these records is not as much space/ambient like Eno or Stearns, but more deconstructed, minimalist pop structures. I was listening to lots of Eno, Residents, Cluster, Moondog, Steve Tibbetts, etc. Also, I have always listened to traditional folk music from all over. Indian raga, middle-Eastern, Celtic, Scandinavian, Mongolian and Chinese music, this is probably my favorite music to listen to. I also fell hard under the spell of the minimalists: Steve Reich, Philipp Glass, and J. Adams. Still love their music. My scored music is influenced by these guys. I continued to create music on the MIDI ensemble, even when the space music gigs in Austin dried up."
File under: AmbientCosmic
Cat. number: PC002
Year: 2018
- A1, A5, A6, B2, B3 & B4 from 'in human terms' (1987). - A2 taken from 'The way of all peach' (1992), originally sold but not distributed as a 90 minute cassette "The way of all peach, The Extemporaneous Tapes." Recorded in Hyde Park, Austin, Texas, january 1992. - A3, B1 & B5 taken from 'Texas electric' (1989). - A4 is an update of 'bush', originally sold but not distributed as a 90 minute cassette "The Fantoccini Chronicles" (1994). Produced by CD and Trina-Marie. Recorded direct to DAT in Hyde Park, Austin, Texas, january 1992.

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