Mike Oldfield for Babies

The 1970s was a magical time in which a centuries-old Italian folk song, played on a jaunty recorder, and accompanied by a kazoo, guitar, and string synthesizer, could blow up the charts.  Mike Oldfield’s single “In Dulci Jubilo,” released around Christmas 1975, reached #4 in the UK and became a hit across Europe. It wasContinue reading “Mike Oldfield for Babies”

Violins Don’t Grow on Trees: An Interview with Klaus Schulze Biographer Olaf Lux

With around 100 albums to his name and a 50-year career, writing about Klaus Schulze’s output alone would be a major undertaking. But Olaf Lux managed to write the most in-depth book yet about both his music and his life. This interview is edited lightly for length and clarity. Dead Electric: So how did youContinue reading “Violins Don’t Grow on Trees: An Interview with Klaus Schulze Biographer Olaf Lux”

Klaus ‘Til Dawn: An Overnight Klaus Schulze Marathon

I’m very excited to announce that on Friday, March 19, I’m presenting an all-night Klaus Schulze marathon. From 10:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. PST, celebrate the dark genius of one of the greatest masters of electronic music. If you haven’t heard Klaus Schulze, picture planets being built, event horizons being crossed, and the veil rippedContinue reading “Klaus ‘Til Dawn: An Overnight Klaus Schulze Marathon”

An Introduction to Isao Tomita, Part One

Isao Tomita was nine years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. In the years that followed he found himself surrounded by destruction: Half a million men, women, and children–the majority of whom resided in Tomita’s home city of Tokyo–would be killed in air raids or die from starvation. To know where the bombs would fallContinue reading “An Introduction to Isao Tomita, Part One”

Constance Demby’s “Novus Magnificat” and the Limits of 80s New Age Music

Like a divine, unearthly presence descended from the heavens, bearing pastel-drenched album covers and titles like Angelic Music and The Sky of Mind, the New Age section had appeared out of nowhere at my local record store. It was the late 80s—that most shallow and greedy of ages—and some enlightened consciousness had seen humanity’s painContinue reading “Constance Demby’s “Novus Magnificat” and the Limits of 80s New Age Music”

Future Schlock: The Quiet Comeback of ELO’s Once-villified Album “Time”

I’m unsure whether to pity or envy the Baby Boomer. Their mid-20th century childhoods were filled with visions of a grand future filled with stainless-steel cityscapes traversed by robots and flying cars. After spending three years riding the subway in Philadelphia, which both looked and smelled more like a public restroom than a place toContinue reading “Future Schlock: The Quiet Comeback of ELO’s Once-villified Album “Time””

Does “Soothing Sounds for Baby” Actually Work?

Name: Niko Age: Three months Sex: Male Materials and Methods Materials: Baby “Lullaby” and “Nursery Rhyme” by Raymond Scott, from the Soothing Sounds for Baby album intended for infants aged 1-6 months Control songs: “Silent Night” by Jingle Cats; “Wind on Small Paws” by cEvin Key, industrial musician/founding member of Skinny Puppy; “Sonata in EContinue reading “Does “Soothing Sounds for Baby” Actually Work?”

Let’s Start with My Childhood

It’s junior high and I’m on a bus. 1994. Around me are baggy t-shirts with the words “Nirvana,” “Smashing Pumpkins,” and “Primus.” Inside the shirts are 14-year-old boys with long hair parted in the middle. The radio is playing. I understand this station plays “alternative” music—a term the radio station repeats aggressively. The most popularContinue reading “Let’s Start with My Childhood”