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Kurenniemi, Erkki / Recordings 1963-1973
Album:Recordings 1963-1973 Collection:General
Artist:Kurenniemi, Erkki Added:06/2003
Label:Love Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2003-08-25 Pull Date:2003-10-27 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:19 Oct12 Oct28 Sep21 Sep14 Sep7 Sep31 Aug
Airplays:1112131

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Album Review
Gabe
Reviewed 2003-08-18 
Kurenniemi is a pioneer of electronic music, having designed and built several very interesting instruments and made recordings with them. He’s also been into filmmaking. Recently, a documentary about him came out. On the DVD version, there is a concert featuring Kurenniemi, the two guys from Panasonic, and another guy playing Kurenniemi’s instruments, most distinctively, the electronic quartet. You can really see then (and hear on several tracks of this album) whence Panasonic’s mighty machine-music-as-environment ideas emanated. If you like this, listen to Panasonic, and vice versa. So what is it? Blippy, buzzy bass-laden, even a little bit warm. The machines do have to be played by humans, after all. Great geek photos inside. Alas, no circuit diagrams. And much of the more expansive writings on the web are in Finnish.

1. Mutating drone – pitch shifting – from the “violin machine” of the electronic quartet
2. Bouncy bass notes alternate with poon-ka-poon-ka – everybody get dancing! This is the drum machine of the electronic quartet
3. Harsh, dude; industrial noise – this is EK’s first composition and is indeed inspired by generator turbines at a power plant
4. A big, loud sound that recalls guitar feedback and a higher-frequency buzz
5. Cinematic description – “impression of music that aliens in some faraway galaxy might dance to”; I can’t describe it any better than that except to note that this reminds me in a way of Fred Frith’s Gravity album, also a work of odd dance music
6. This is a brilliant blipwork that is, in fact, used for the menu of the Kurenniemi documentary DVD; very rhythmic, almost melodic, and yet soooo otherworldly
7. The first part of the track is Bach’s Inventions in A minor played on Kurenniemi’s DIMI-A instrument; Walter/Wendy Carlos to the second power as EK messes with the tempo; the second part is a more traditionally electronic composition; note that some of the machines weren’t capable of playing multiple simultaneous notes so all chords are arpeggiated, making them sound sort of dizzy and gay
8. Watch those eardrums – glissando rising to dog-call frequencies while a bass buzzes in and out
9. Chords on the march
10. A long and somewhat incoherent voice and electronics collage
11. Another long tape collage but this one’s goofier – more silly effects and “samples”, musical jokes

Track Listing
1.Sahkosoittimen Aania #4 6.Improvisaatio
2.Sahkosoittimen Aania #1 7.Inventio/Outventio
3.On-Off 8.Preludi
4.Hana 9.Nimeton
5.Antropoidien Tanssi 10.Virsi
 11.Mix Master Universe 2