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White Noise - An Electric Storm CD (album) cover


White Noise


Progressive Electronic

4.03 | 75 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars WHITE NOISE was an interesting electronic band from London, UK that was started by the American David Vorhaus who was both classically trained as a bassist and had a connection to electronic engineering. After hooking up with a couple members of Unit Delta Plus which was one of the innovators of tape manipulations and experimental electronic music, they decided to create a couple tracks intended to be released only as a single but after Island Records caught wind of their goings-on, they were persuaded to release an entire album's worth of material. So meticulous were these guys that that request ended up taking them a full year to complete and only completed the last track in a day when Island insisted on releasing the album. Finally in the summer of 69, AN ELECTRIC STORM was released.

This is fun music and not nearly as freaky as i had anticipated. It is firmly placed in the 60s and will instantly bring The United States Of America to mind with its swingin' sexy bachelor pad type of loungy exotica. The music may not be freaky (all the time), but the electronic embellishments are fairly sophisticated for the day. The production is excellent considering the year and the inventiveness justifies the time allotted to its creation. The album is basically divided into Phase-In (tracks 1-5) and Phase-Out (tracks 6, 7). The first phase being basically an electronically doctored up version of a Herb Alpert or Tom Jones type of feel, while the second phase venturing into the extremities of psychedelic electronica that would totally feel at home next to Pink Floyd's "Saucerful Of Secrets" and the early Krautish psychedelia of Pärson Sound. However, even on phase two it doesn't always get to full-on freakout mode at least until the very end. There is usually a melodic insertion to remind you of the time period therefore this album does feel like a product of its time, but i hardly feel that it is a bad thing. Some music serves the purpose of bringing an era to mind and AN ELECTRIC STORM achieves that for sure.

Personally i'm not quite as taken by this as many others and i prefer the album by The United States Of America which was released the previous year for it had more memorable 60s melodies and offered a lot of the same kind of electronic explorations, but WHITE NOISE does up the ante in the psychedelic department on phase 2 with some truly innovative electronic wizardry that can take you to the moon like Apollo 11 and then back to the the more terrestrial swanky grooviliciousness of 60s pop culture. This is a brilliant album certainly and highly recommended to anyone who is interested in the continuation of early electronic pioneers of the 50s such as Stockhausen and also utilizing the algorithmic composition systems of Gottfried Michael Koenig but also as a proto-progresive electronic album that would eventually fuel the Berlin school sound. Definitely an innovative album for the time but unfortunately WHITE NOISE waited a full six years for a follow-up and in the fertile late 60s / early 70s they were quickly surpassed in their innovation. Still though, this one album keeps them relevant in the rich history that encompasses the progression of electronic music.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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