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Pete Namlook - Electronic Music Center CD (album) cover

ELECTRONIC MUSIC CENTER

Pete Namlook

 

Progressive Electronic

3.00 | 1 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This CD was released in the mid-90s when the world of DJ driven electronic music was at a creative peak. Pete Namlook was easily one of the main innovators and leaders in the more experimental side of this genre. Pete's music stands apart from a lot of the generic electronic music of this era because of his more advanced compositional structures and fresh innovative electronic sounds. There is some humor to this release in that much of it is set up to be a sort of mock graduation thesis for an imaginary electronic music school.

The CD opens with the Great Hall of Synthi 100. This piece features deep humming oscillators that stop and start in simple minimalist patterns. The sounds are very pure and uncomplicated. This is followed by Instruktion which is spoken in German and is part of the faux instructional nature of this CD.

The track Digital and Subharmonic Workgroup takes the listener into a more familiar techno style. Namlook's take on techno is heavily influenced by the Detroit sound and features intricate lines that weave in and out creating African style polyrhythms. Vocal Atoms (AC Study) continues in this Detroit influenced style and adds spoken German phrases that once again sound instructional in nature. The following track, Experimental Observations . is one of the most ambitious on the CD. The song opens with a South American influenced rhythm track that slowly morphs and changes as Namlook adds complicated synth lines and then breaks the song down to it's basics before bringing back more intertwining synth lines. This song clearly shows that Pete is way ahead of the pack when it comes to creating complex structures.

Subharmonic Passage is a very short track that features long held synth notes. This is followed by Chamber of Synthi Dreams which is made up of soft subtle feedback like sounds buried deep in digital reverb. The aptly titled How to Ruin a Song with a Special Sound is the low point on the CD. It is basically a pounding four on the floor trance number with the usual bubbling synth part replaced by an annoying constantly percolating vocoder sound.

Ringmodulation Workgroup returns the listener to another ambient landscape in which single synth notes echo in deep reverb. This track sounds a bit like serious concert hall electronic music from the early 60s. Inspection Comitee is a short and odd little tune that sounds like it came from one of those "Satie played on the Moog" type records.

The CD closes with a beautiful take on Bach's Passacaglia in C minor. The liberties Namlook takes with Bach's masterpiece are very subtle, but they do transform the piece into a psychedelic soundscape, especially in the middle section when the synthesizer sounds become more distorted and distant.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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