This seemed like a perfect opportunity to ‘Welcome Everyone to the New Electric Church’ !!
For the uninitiated, the original Electric Church was a quasi-spiritual counter-culture belief that electric music brought out inner emotions, feelings, and creative ideas in people, and encouraged spiritual maturity. Popularized in the 1960s during the Psychedelic era, primarily by artists & musicians, maybe its original ideology still has some relevance today.
Consider all the Electronic music that has emerged since John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Terry Riley and Edgar Varese began dabbling and experimenting in the 1930s and 1940s minimalism composition of music- then the 1960s oscillating & Moog synthesized sounds of The Silver Apples, Martin Denny, and Wendy Carlos, followed by the 1970s Electronic Ambient music of Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Jean Michel Jarre, and all of the surreal Electronic music since the 1970s from the likes of Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Tangerine Dream, Cluster and Klaus Schulze. Then consider, even, the pop-tinged 1990s Electronica of The Chemical Brothers, The Orb, Aphex Twin or the 21st Electronic sounds of Boards Of Canada and Skrillex. It all emanates from the same “wavelength” – man’s fascination with new sounds and man’s relentless pursuit to uncover newer sounds.
As much as I like to “Rock out” or groove to R&B, Funk & Soul, nothing gives me a more pleasing (quasi-spiritual?) experience than the near “out-of-body” feeling I get when I listen to Electronic music. (My favorite music to achieve this state of ecstasy is Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois’ ‘Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks’)
Be aware that Electronic music and Ambient music has grown tenfold in popularity over the decades, especially in the past 20 years. Today’s generation of young music aficionados are discovering albums such as Eno’s Ambient 1: Music For Airports or Kraftwerks’ ‘Computer World’ with such zest and zeal. The Internet and digital technology has allowed even general music fans to self-produce electronic music on their Mac or discover youTube postings of full albums and classic performances. Check out the youTube clip below of the legendary Terry Riley (77 years old) in a 2011 Moogfest performance of “A Rainbow in Curved Air”. Brilliant!
So, through the good fortune of this blog, allow me to recommend some other key Electronic/Ambient albums from the past few decades that others will find interesting and, possibly, worship.
Brian Eno – Discreet Music, Music For Films, Neroli, Thursday Afternoon
Robert Fripp & Brian Eno – No Pussyfooting, Evening Star, Equatorial Stars
Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene, Equinoxe
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Comica
Tangerine Dream (Early Years) – Atem, Zeit, Electronic Meditation
Tangerine Dream (Virgin Years) – Phaedra, Stratosphear, Ricochet, Encore
Klaus Schulze – Moonwind, Irrlicht, Cyborg, Dune
George Harrison – Electronic Sound
The Future Sound Of London – ISDN, Amorphous Androgynous
Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children, Trans Canada Highway
Kraftwerk – Kraftwerk I, Kraftwerk II, Autobahn, Trans Europe Express, Radioactivity, Computer World
Cluster & Eno – Cluster & Eno
The Fireman (Paul McCartney) – Strawberries Oceans Ships Forests
Flying Saucer Attack – Rural Psychedelia
Harmonia – Musik Von Harmonia
Moebius & Plank – Rastakrautpasta
Moebius, Plank & Neumeier – Zero Set
Neu! – Neu!, Neu 75
Nik Tuner’s Sphyinx – Xitintoday
Popol Vuh – Einsjäger & Siebenjäger, Future Sound Experience
Silver Apples – Silver Apples
Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music
Terry Riley– A Rainbow In Curved Air