Content tagged 'Electronic'
Computer World (2009 Remastered) (Album of the Day)
Kraftwerk's embrace of the brave new world of synthesizers set them apart in the 1970s, but by the time of COMPUTER WORLD, the German group was perfectly in synch with the pop zeitgeist. With members Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider twiddling knobs on both sides of the board, the album offers an irresistible batch of songs like “Pocket Calculator,” “Computerwelt” (which picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and “Computer Love,” which became a No.1 single in the U.K. on this day in 1982. While the blips, bleeps and beats of COMPUTER WORLD are clearly audible in the music of disciples like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk offers a playful, and even warm take on technology that again sets them apart from their peers.
Zero Time (Album of the Day)
Though the duo behind it were likely aware of the Lone Ranger's sidekick, the “T.O.N.T.O.” in Tonto's Expanding Head Band was really an acronym for "The Original New Timbral Orchestra" - the first multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer. Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff played it on sessions for other artists (including Stevie Wonder) as well as a pair of albums on their own beginning in 1971. That inaugural collection was called by Allmusic.com “one of the first - and perhaps best of - all electronic albums,” and it's easy to hear why; the six instrumentals are both highly accessible and atmospheric. Eno, Devo and all electronica artists owe a debt to TONTO'S EXPANDING HEAD BAND, and the set remains essential listening.
So Tough (Album of the Day)
Like The Smiths or Belle & Sebastian, Saint Etienne has the rare ability to exude early-'60s British cool while sounding wholly contemporary. The U.K. trio's second album, 1993's SO TOUGH, is well versed in pop classicism – songwriters/keyboardists Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs are both former music journalists – though it's couched in club-friendly beats and dreamy electronica. Sarah Cracknell's pure, airy voice leads the way through 11 alluring tracks (including such highlights as “Mario's Cafe,” “Hobart Paving” and the sublime “You're In A Bad Way”), with snippets of vintage film/TV dialogue interspersed to add to the atmosphere. Released 25 years ago, SO TOUGH became a Top 10 hit in England, and stands among Saint Etienne's finest albums.