All of your favorites, in one place.
Hope you all had a fine summer off. As something of an “Autumn Welcome” here’s a treat - Mr. P.C. C.P.’s reproduction of Douglas Leedy’s groundbreaking 1972 Seraphim-label triple-LP boxed set “Entropical Paradise” - in my mind, the lodestone of all Moogsplotation LPs in that it consists solely of side-length pieces not played by human hands on keyboards - or in fact any other gestural, real-time interface - but in fact produced “Automatically” using Control Voltages assigned to the various functions - oscillator pitch, adsr envelopes, volume gating, stereo panning, etc … - of Moog & Buchla modular systems.
Starting with the pause-pregnant “Entropical Paradise I,” we’re met with a dialogue of chattering atonal garble, accompanied only by an errant upper-register oscillator twitter, bathed in a fine mist of echo. The second part cuts the decay out entirely, reveling in buzzing percussive figures moving around in stereo space. By “White Landscape” the pacing has slowed to a crawl as long segments of white noise fade in & move around in the spectrum extremely slowly, augmented only by a few lone ghost-notes, distant & rising up out of the mire.
The second half of the set starts on a more uplifting note; “The Harmonarium” starts with a deep, slowly morphing low-end drone straight out of the Eleh playbook - seriously; the similarities are unavoidable - before, two-thirds of the way into the piece, a pair of flitting arpeggios work around the root-note, shifting the tonality just so. The barren “Star Engine” recalls “White Landscape,” only with quicker movements and a warbling guide-tone, filtered out to oblivion and all but buried in plate reverb. Finally, the haunting “Dorian," - personally speaking the highlight of the set - takes a page from Terry Riley’s omniverse, working only a tonal straight-rhythm sample & hold pattern, spreading it in endless configurations over a root-note drone.
The timing on this one really couldn’t be any better, esp. given the sheer number of static-feeling “Automatic Synthesizer” records that cross my folding Iceberg table during any given month - see: Pulse Emitter, Carlos Giffoni, Hive Mind, Monstruro, Emeralds, etc … -all of whom, in my mind, owe a great debt to the ideas laid out herein. As a drone/stasis-heavy alternative to the whole Subotnick / Carlos early synthesizer spectrum, it really shouldn’t be understated.