Everyone on the Noise Floor: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984
02:53 pm
Everyone on the Noise Floor: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984

There’s a new entry in Cherry Red’s exhaustive Close To The Noise Floor series of proto electronica: Third Noise Principle: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984 explores early (late 70s/early 80s) US and Canadian efforts, including a previously unreleased track from The Residents and music from Suicide, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Patrick Cowley, NON, Laurie Spiegel, Chrome, Ministry, Moev, John Bender and dozens more. As always in the series, the music ranges from early techno and electro to synth-pop, industrial music, ambient soundscapes and noise experiments. This time there are 60 tracks spread across across 4CDs cased in a 48 page hardback book containing 10,000 words of artists’ sleevenotes and an introductory essay by Dave Henderson.

Patrick Cowley
Like its popular predecessors, Close To The Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984 and Noise Reduction System: Formative European Electronica 1974-1984, Third Noise Principle covers the gamut from lesser known gems and underground classics from experimenters, innovators, composers and “outsider” musicians. As the press release puts it “Part primitive rave, part synthesiser porn, part history lesson!” and “Some wanted to dance, some to relax and others to confuse and confront – all are represented here.”

Terry Riley
Thankfully this time around there’s somewhat less of an emphasis on the history lesson aspect to the compilation as some of the material on the earlier volumes (covering early synthesizer music from UK and Europe) could sound a bit, well, educational at times (if not outright attempts at mind control). And it’s not like I’m rooting for the home team, either, I think the reason is that the American electro experimentalists simply seemed to have been able to afford better equipment than their British and continental counterparts. I felt like too much of the earlier sets just sounded like people fucking around with presets—not everyone who picked up a synth in the late 70s was ready for prime time, or even Cabaret Voltaire for that matter—but the ratio of something that is a pleasure to listen to, to tracks charitably described as being “of historical interest” gets much better this time and there are some real gems to discover here. A vinyl box set compiled from all three volumes has been announced and that seems like it might be the favored iteration of this material for me.

Have a listen to a sample selection from Third Noise Principle courtesy of Cherry Red Records. Full track list below.

Disc One

1. The Devil Makes The Loudest Noise –Tone Set
2. Creators - Data-Bank-A
3. Mambopolis – Richard Bone
4. Logarithms - Geoffrey Landers
5. Current Slaughter - Rhythm And Noise
6. The Metal Benders – Dark Day
7. Push Me, Pull You (Pt 2) - Futurisk
8. Dancing Hairpiece Wears Two Left Shoes - Smegma
9. Rocket USA - Suicide
10. Intermission: “Pop” - Lon C. Diehl
11. First Mutation - Kevin Lazar *
12. Am City – Voice Farm
13. Donkeys Bearing Cups – Craig Leon
14. I Adore You - German Shepherds
15. Slabyard - Psyclones
* Previously Unreleased

Disc Two

1. 99 Space Music - The Residents *
2. Hands Across The Sea (Pt 2) – K7ss
3. Archie’s Dub – K Leimer
4. Simulation/Stimulation – Hunting Lodge
5. Hello Grieg - Short-Term Memory
6. Be Good - Blackhouse
7. Ange Des Orages – Philip Glass
8. Primordial Landscape – Patrick Cowley
9. Mind Over Matter (Demo) - Psyche
10. Lowdown – Galen Herod
11. Max Pale Red - Cyrnai *
12. Mode Of Infection - Non
13. Oleo Strut - Marc Barreca
14. Electric Piece - F/I
15. Drums - Laurie Spiegel
* Previously Unreleased

Disc Three

1. Across The Lake Of The Ancient Word – Terry Riley
2. Unwinding - Michael William Gilbert
3. Mrs Laura - If, Bwana
4. Inacontact - Chrome
5. Slimy Stew And Pussy Gruel
(Extract) - Dog As Master
6. Evening Thoughts - Anode
7. Xx Committee - Damarc
8. Cat Vomit Punk House – Girls On Fire
9. United We Fall - Problemist
10. 1981-83 Source Mix - Mystery Hearsay
11. What The Peeper Saw - Smersh
12. Catalyze (Subjection To Catalyst)– Boy Dirt Car
13. Ao 01 ‘Reagent’ - Architects Office
14. Sad Horror Film – Mental Anguish
15. Untitled #3 - Controlled Bleeding

Disc Four

1. Geomancy – Joel Graham
2. Executive Slacks - Thirty Years
3. Madness - Lou Champagne System *
4. Nite And Day (Homage À Cole Porter)- Tuxedomoon
5. Anemone Housing - Factrix
6. Womble - Nash The Slash
7. Police Story - Sequencer People
8. Dancing On The Berlin Wall (Demo) –Rational Youth
9. Untitled - F/I And Boy Dirt Car *
10. Possibly Winston - Isosceles
11. Worlds – Steve Roach
12. Ice Floe - Young Scientist
13. 36a3 – John Bender
14. Work For Love (Dub) - Ministry
15. Clerk Charade - Moev
* Previously Unreleased

Posted by Richard Metzger
02:53 pm



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