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Related: electronic music - electronic dance music - synthesizer

Pierre Schaeffer in 1952


Electronica is a rather vague term (which appears to have originated in the United States) that covers a wide range of electronic or electronic-influenced music. The term has been defined by some to mean modern electronic music that is not necessarily designed for the dance-floor, but rather for home listening. It was originally used to refer to a list of then-uncategorizable post-rave music that drew upon different genres and sounds that did not necessarily have a steady dancefloor beat. In the early 1990s electronica began being played in clubs in Europe and North America, and although known for being more abstract and experimental than techno, it often has an underlying rhythm.

In the mid-1990s it began to be used used by MTV and major record labels to describe the professionally produced and more single oriented electronic dance music made by such artists as Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. It currently covers a wide variety of styles from the bristling and experimental styles or for home listening such as IDM, glitch, to the dub-oriented downtempo and downbeat to the more jazz-inflected styles of trip-hop and nu jazz. The categories such as IDM, glitch and chip music share much in common with the art and musique concrète styles which predate it by several decades. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronica [Oct 2004]


  1. Machine - Soul - Various Artists [Amazon US]
    Disc: 1 1. Robots - Kraftwerk 2. Warm Leatherette - The Normal 3. I Feel Love - Donna Summer 4. Number One Song in Heaven - Sparks 5. Electricity - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 6. Cars - Gary Numan 7. Adrenalin - Throbbing Gristle 8. Yashar - Cabaret Voltaire 9. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa 10. Jam on Revenge (The Wikki-Wikki Song) - Newcleus 11. Clear - Cybotron 12. Blue Monday - New Order 13. Strings of Life - Rhythim Is Rhythim Disc: 2 1. Pump Up the Volume [Radio Edit] - M/A/R/R/S 2. Big Fun - Inner City 3. Enjoy the Silence [Single Mix] - Depeche Mode 4. What Time Is Love? [Live at Trancentral Mix] - The KLF 5. Little Fluffy Clouds [Dance Mix Mk I Edit] - The Orb 6. Go - Moby 7. Move Any Mountain [I.R.P. in the the Land of Oz Remix] - The Shamen 8. James Brown Is Dead [7" Version] - L.A. Style 9. Charly [Alley Cat Mix] - The Prodigy 10. Rez - Underworld 11. Life Is Sweet - The Chemical Brothers 12. Absurd [Mighty Dub Katz Vox Mix] - Fluke 13. 2 Kool 4 Skool [Short] - Überzone 14. For an Angel [PVD Angel in Heaven Radio Mix] - Paul Van Dyk 15. Godspeed [BT

    A surprisingly perceptive Amazon.com review gets it right: Andrew Weatherall's "Nine O'Clock Drop" is a far superior compilation of cutting edge late 70s/early 80s music. "Machine Soul" is a bunch of tracks, many individually good, with too many previously released on innumerable other compilations; as an "odyssey" it's a dud. - Grantc, Australia

    It's difficult discerning just who this collection is aimed at. Covering 25 years, "Machine Soul" regurgitates a heap of old, vaguely electronica-related commercial tunes. Anyone with even a passing interest in the pop-electronica genre would have collected these tracks years ago. As for any others, there's nothing here that would remotely interest. It's a tragic title, too: there's no flow, nor relationship, between the tracks, suggesting Rhino thinks "Machine Soul" is some clanking, grinding monstrosity. With this release, they're right.

    To its defense, I like the title (from Jon Savage) and it has the smashers Clear and Strings Of Life, Planet Rock, Cars and maybe a couple of others, ...

    OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music

  2. OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music [Amazon US] [BOX SET]
    Track Listings Disc: 1 1. Tchaikovsky: Valse Sentimentale - Clara Rockmore 2. Oraision - Olivier Messiaen 3. Etude aux Chemins de Fer - Pierre Schaeffer 4. Williams Mix - John Cage 5. Klangstudie 6. Low Speed 7. Dripsody - Hugh Le Caine 8. Main Title from "Forbidden Planet" - Bebe Barron 9. Concertando Rubato: Elektronische Tanzsuite - Oskar Sala 10. Poème Électronique - Edgard Varèse 11. Sine Music (A Swarm of Butterflies Encountered over the Ocean) - Richard Maxfield 12. Apocalypse - Tod Dockstader 13. Kontakte - Karlheinz Stockhausen 14. Wireless Fantasy - Vladimir Ussachevsky 15. Philomel - Milton Babbitt 16. Spacecraft - M.E.V. Disc: 2 1. Cindy Electronium - Raymond Scott 2. Pendulum Music - Steve Reich 3. Bye Bye Butterfly - Pauline Oliveros 4. Projection Esemplastic for White Noise - Joji Yuasa 5. Silver Apples of the Moon, Pt. 1 - Morton Subnotnick 6. Rainforest Version 1 - David Tudor 7. Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band - Terry Riley 8. Boat-Woman-Song - Holger Czukay 9. Music Promenade - Luc Ferrari 10. Rosace 3 - François Bayle 11. Mutations - Jean-Claude Risset 12. Hibiki/Hana/Ma - Iannis Xenakis 13. Map of 49's Dream the Two Systems of Eleven Sets of Galactic Intervals - La Monte Young Disc: 3 1. Speech Songs: He Destroyed Her Image - Charles Dodge 2. Six Fantasies on a Poem by Thomas Campion: Her Song - Paul Lansky 3. Appalachian Grove I - Laurie Spiegel 4. En Phase/Hors Phase - Bernard Parmegiani 5. On the Other Ocean - David Behrman 6. Stria - John Chowning 7. Living Sound - Maryanne Amacher 8. Automatic Writing - Robert Ashley 9. Canti Illuminati - Alvin Curran 10. Music on a Long Thin Wire - Alvin Lucier 11. Melange - Klaus Schulze 12. Before and After Charm - Jon Hassell 13. Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills) - Brian Eno

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