electronica Archive

Album Review: Gel-Sol — Horse Head Bookends

It’s inevitable: the first thing one notices about Horse Head Bookends, the latest album from Andrew Reichel (d/b/a/ Gel-Sol), is its stunningly original album artwork and packaging. The vinyl LP is housed in a black, die-cut sleeve with a front window that serves as a frame for a 12×12 full-color art. There’s a collage for

Jean-Michel Jarre: Embracing — Yet Remaining Wary of — Technology

A pioneer in electronic music, French composer-performer Jean-Michel Jarre is as well-known for his stage spectaculars as for his innovations in ambient and new age music. Though he has always embraced new technology – from his earliest projects, his musical tools included synthesizers and drum machines – he remains wary of some of the uses

Album Review: Sxip Shirey — A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees

File next to: Amanda Palmer, Yoko Ono, Bad Things A quick written description of the music made by Brooklyn-based Sxip Shirey might leave the reader with the wrong impression: he often makes music using found objects right alongside what one thinks of as traditional instruments. Moreover, the latter category is populated by a lot of

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 2 of 10

Rolf Trostel – Inselmusik When we think back to synthesizer-based innovators circa 1980, names like Gary Numan pop right up. But German musicians had been exploring the possibilities of synths – and more specifically, synth-based (as opposed to synth-accented) music – for quite awhile by then. Rolf Trossel’s instrumental explorations – using the then-revolutionary PPG

Album Review: The Dining Rooms — Do Hipsters Love Sun (Ra)?

More even than the album title, the title of the tenth track on Do Hipsters Love Sun (Ra)? sums up the musical approach of The Dining Rooms on their twenfth full-length album. “Instrumental Hip Hop Is Back” delivers on its titular promise. The Milan, Italian group is essentially a duo – multi-instrumentalists and co-producers Stefano

Album Review: Craig Leon et. al. — Bach to Moog

During a press conference held amidst the April 2014 Moogfest – the last time that festival would be held in Asheville, NC, home of Moog Music and the adopted hometown of the late Dr. R.A. (Bob) Moog – Moog personnel and famed musician/composer Keith Emerson unveiled a new build of Emerson’s classic “beast,” the modular

Concert Review: Papadosio w/ Third Nature and Midnight Snack, October 31 2015

A concert scheduled on October 31 gives those in a playful, partying mood an excellent excuse to head out to the show. While the ensuing sold-out crowd at Asheville’s Orange Peel didn’t end up creating a favorable atmosphere for the two opening acts on the bill, headliner Papadosio was the beneficiary of an upbeat and

Ozric Tentacles: Thirty Years and Still Underground

Ozric Tentacles is that rare group that appeals to fans of trance/rave, techno, jam, psychedelic, and space/progressive rock. Founded in Somerset, England – they currently make their home in Colorado – the festival favorites brought their music indoors to Asheville’s Altamont Theatre on Thursday, October 8. The Ozrics (as they’re known among fans) have been

Album Review: The Volt Per Octaves — Joining the Circuits

There’s a line of thinking that insists electronic-based music is cold, bloodless, and bereft of emotion. And in its most high-profile variant (EDM, or electronic dance music), the style places infinitely more emphasis on beat than melody. But while there’s plenty of aural evidence to support those assertions, that perspective simply doesn’t account for the

Best of 2014: Concerts

One of the many pleasures associated with living in the small mountain city of Asheville NC is access to great live music. I grew up in the 70s and 80s in Atlanta, where going to a concert often meant traveling to a sports arena, and watching the tiny performers from the nosebleed seats (where you’d