site update / Various Archival Articles, 1994 – 2003

Re-uploaded another batch of past “essays/reports” I wrote, plus one interview I did, dating back to 1994. Here they are, in roughly chronological order:

  • “Good Neighbors” (1994): How rock music and classical music face similar creative obstacles — and how so-called “crossover” projects aim for a mirage of a middle ground. What, for example, does lo-fi punk-rock holdover Billy Childish have in common with early-music keyboardist Malcolm Bilson?
  • “Rock Slide” (1995): Are independent pop-music labels going classical? Albums by the ensemble Rachel’s (on Quarterstick) and the composer Timothy Brock (on K) suggest the answer is yes.
  • “Ambient: A Starter Kit” (1996), “Electronic for Dunderheads” (1999), “What’s That Buzz About, Anyhow?” (2001): Three different introductions to electronic music, all originally written, like several of these articles, for Pulse! magazine, and its sibling mag, Classical Pulse! It was interesting for me to look back to 1996 and see what I considered “essential” introductory listening at the time. These are the compilations I listed: Macro Dub Infection, Volume One (Caroline, 1995), Earthrise.Ninja.2 (Shadow/Ninja Tune USA, 1996), Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip (WaxTrax!/TVT, 1996), Synthetic Pleasures, Volume One (Moonshine, 1996), Source Lab 2 (Source/Gyroscope, 1996). They were selected for breadth and timeliness and they still hold up, though for a snapshot of that moment, at the risk of missing club music, I’d probably replace the Moonshine one with the Mille Plateaux set In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze.
  • “Higher Sources” (2001): Fatboy Slim, Miles Davis‘s estate, and String Cheese Incident offer up raw material for your inner sampler.
  • “Robots Without Attitude” (2001): An appreciation of Kraftwerk.
  • “Beyond the Froth” (2001): An appreciation of Tangerine Dream.
  • “6-String Synthesizer” (2002): The guitar is the tool of choice among a certain breed of atmospherists, including Steve Roach, Greg Davis and the duo Dual.
  • “Sonic Anomaly” (2002): An interview with the ubiquitous turntablist named DJ Logic, the Moby of the musicians’ union. (Ties in with the Jazzfest review from 2003, below.)
  • “Industry Standards” (2002): The esteemed jazz label Verve takes a trip down memory lane with a host of DJs, including Rae & Christian and Richard Dorfmeister — and, just to hedge its bets on electronic music, retro vocalist Diana Krall.
  • “Into the Mystic” (2002): Enya‘s stillness in times of terror and fantasy, plus more soothing sounds from Scott Tuma and Monolake.
  • “2003 Gift Guide” (2003): Fairly self-explanatory. I should do these more often.
  • “Toil and Trouble” (2003): Concert review of the trio Mephista, which consists of Sylvie Couvoisier, Ikue Mori, and Suzi Ibarra.
  • “Rockapaloozer” (2003): When the Lollapalooza touring festival came out of hibernation, it forgot about electronic music, despite founder Perry Farrell having headed in that direction himself.
  • “Laptop Folkie” (2003): Concert review of pastoral Japanese electronicist Ogurusu Norihide.
  • “Digital Voodoo” (2003): Festival review of the 2003 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, focusing on its electronic undercurrent. To stumble upon electronic elements at Jazzfest is a bit like running into an old friend while traveling abroad. It’s exciting to see how comfortably your buddy has settled into an exotic locale. Coverage includes the fest’s willful myopia about hip-hop, the ghost of Charles Ives, the debut of Nicholas Payton‘s Sonic Trance, and various satellite evening concerts, including a visit to Quintron‘s Spellcaster Lounge.

As of these uploads, all the entries in the “reports/essays” section of have been (re)posted, following the July 26, 2007, upgrade of this website. That leaves a batch of interviews and some old “field notes” items. Almost there…

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