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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and great value overview of obscure electronica., 25 Sep 2000
By 
P. King (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: OHM - The Early Gurus of Electronic Music (Audio CD)
This 3-CD set is a must for anyone interested in the origins of electronic music, and/or avant-garde 20th Century classical music. Many of the recordings included have been difficult, if not impossible to track down before, and despite many of them being edited versions, it is fascinating to finally hear recordings which have so frequently been cited as influential. Sequenced chronologically this overview gives a coherent and surprisingly easy to listen to overview of this scene. Many of these pieces are revolutionary and staggeringly ahead of their time. A mark of the bemusement these pieces caused on their original release is demonstrated on the live realisation of Cage's 'Williams Mix'. The audience reaction at the end of the piece is a battle between approving cheers and loud booing. Much of the material included did and still does push the very definition of what music is. The set comes with a booklet of extensive notes on each piece and an introduction by Brian Eno. Amazingly good value, this collection finally makes long-unavailable/obscure recordings available in a lovingly put together package. Fascinating 'music'!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And so does the whole world, 13 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: OHM - The Early Gurus of Electronic Music (Audio CD)
Although it's quite expensive, Ohm is well worth buying if you've ever wondered if there was electronic music before Phuture (or Jean Michel Jarre, depending on how old you are). It comes in a great plastic sleeve and folds out like a giant bug, and looks good on a shelf or table. There are three artfully-illustrated CDs with music on them and a big, well-written inlay booklet which could easily have been bigger. There is also a special edition that has a DVD, but I can't comment on that because I don't have it.

Ohm does two things - on the one hand it's a little piece of history, and a useful one too. Many of the pieces here are very hard to get otherwise, and to have the main theme of Forbidden Planet and Terry Riley's "Poppy Nogood" in one handy box is ace. Elsewhere the usual faces are present - Cage, Stockhausen, Schaeffer, and so forth, plus FM pioneer John Chowning. The cast list is an exclusive set of faces picked from the high-art end of the musical scale. It's a shame the compilers didn't go the whole hog, and include Stevie Wonder or the Silver Apples or some other popular musicians who brought electronic music to the masses. I mean, some of the pieces on this record from the 1980s are just going over old ground.

As an album of music to listen to it's not quite as successful - most of the songs are like Monty Python sketches, in the sense that they're basically a punchline extended much too long. You get the joke after a minute, and find yourself hanging on, waiting for another joke, and there isn't one. The abstract nature of the pieces renders them timeless, but timeless as a corpse - cold and dead. Stockhausen, in particular, sounds almost like a parody of esoteric experimentalism.

It's fascinating, then, and worth the money, but you probably won't listen to it more than once or twice.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where did it all go wrong?, 19 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: OHM - The Early Gurus of Electronic Music (Audio CD)
I can't add much to the excellent reviews already posted. Just a short comment, due to being enlightened by this collection...
Track 1 of disc 2, "Cindy Electronium" by Raymond Scott, was created using a 'clavivox' and other gadgetry he made himself. The liner notes mention that Robert Moog contributed his fledgling ideas to the hardware. Here's the thing: this track was made in 1959. Listen to it and it could be from any modern "ambient/IDM" producer. Warp Records, supposed by many (though, to their credit, not themselves) to be the home of innovative electronica, publish half a dozen 'artists' who would love to have made that track.
So over 40 years ago, a guy using the earliest Moog hardware makes sounds identical to those presently strived for by enthusiasts buying the latest virtual analogue synthesisers to emulate old Moogs. And, worse, these modern chaps aren't considered music archaeologists, but creators! Which, in their ignorance, they arguably are. I have no eloquent conclusion, but clearly that's totally messed up.
Anyway, I'm off to buy the Manhattan Research CD (more Scott electronic music, not atomic bomb documents).
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great obscure collection in high quality packaging, 22 Dec 2000
This review is from: OHM - The Early Gurus of Electronic Music (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant collection of the history of electronic music. It consentrates on the avant garde and the scientific - lots of the compositions are demonstrations of techniques and eqiupment which revolutionised music as we know it today. Such important advances as magnetic tape are explored in musique concrete pieces by John Cage and Edgar Varese (w/ the compelling Poem Electronic), or Clara Rockmore demonstrating the Theremin and displaying amazing virtuosity on such a difficult instrument to accurately play - even has Pauline Oliveros creatively using a record and a turntable in the 1965 piece 'bye bye butterfly'. Everything about this package is brilliant - the music; the stories, history and theory behind the music and the cool looking case with funky circuitboard pictures, and highly detailed linear notes about and by the composers. This boxset is a great way to gain an incite into a musical field that can be baffling, avant garde electronic art music - you may at first see it as strange people making weird noises, but its way deeper than that - if your looking for some of the most multilayed (in every sense of the word) music you can find then this is it - or if your just looking for really odd trippy shit to get high to then this may be it - but don't listen to 'pendulum music' too loudly or for too long. Oh, and check out Insane Clown Posse.
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OHM - The Early Gurus of Electronic Music by Robert (Audio CD - 2000)
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