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Silver Apples - Silver Apples CD (album) cover


Silver Apples



3.62 | 42 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 styars really!!

First album of the NY duo that had begun as a quintet named Overland Stage Electric Band, but slowly disintegrated into the groundbreaking Silver Apple duet. The metamorphosis was mainly due to leader Simeon's increased interest in electronic sounds and gizmos, which scared the other members, except for drummer Taylor. Indeed, as the defections went on, Simeon acquired a bunch of oscillators (some played with hands, others with feet), some of which were used as bass guitar proxy, all of it mostly self-assembled. They received much attention for their first appearance at a Central Park all-day concert that featured Zappa, Fugs, Steve Miller Band, and this landed them a recording contract with Kapp Records.

Silver Apples were definitely one of the electronic music pioneers, along with United States Of America, Fifty Foot Hose, and White Noise & Tangerine Dream (across the Atlantic), and in some ways, the music on their debut album can resemble a bit the one that Neu!, Can or Kraftwerk would develop some five years later. The least we can say is that the drug- induced psychedelic electronic soundscapes developed on their s/t debut is completely un- commercial (at least back in those days), and was very repetitive and had a minimalist side to it. Some of these tracks even are a little hypnotic and even develop a certain Amerindian incantation feel (Dancing Gods). Right from the first electronic pulse of the opening Oscillations, you'd swear that you're somewhere in the mid-70's if not even in the early 80's, if it wasn't for the "poor" production and na´ve vocals. Lovefingers features the repetititititive electronic beats and melodies (often limited to binary) with plenty of tape extracts and effects from all sorts of source, including classical music. While few people remember SA's legacy though their two albums, I have little doubt that some musicians heard them and inspired their sounds from them. While I wouldn't call any of SA's two albums masterpieces of electronic music, if you're into the genesis of the style, then they both become essential and very groundbreaking albums, a bit like White Noise's Electric Storm or Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditations. But as pure musical quality, this album is fairly average, most of its interest lies within the historical context and its avant-garde aura.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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