Friday, February 25, 2011

Arcane Device - Also Sprach Zarathustra (1990, Anckarstrom)

Consider the fact that Drone is a buzz word these days. Now, consider the fact that some hipster kids are into it. Now, consider the fact that I was made fun of for listening to Steve Roach at 18 years old, in 1992. Everything that used to be made fun of is now cool. Well, somehow, David Lee Myers remains under the hipster radar as well as mine until recently.

This recording is flooring me. I listened to it because it came to me amidst a mass mp3 swap. Yep, hooked into the matrix and assimilated a hard drive. I do that often and I do it unabashedly. However, over the years its become increasingly rare that I'm shocked and amazed. I began listening to this 50 minute album because it was next in my alphabetized itunes after choosing the genre "ambient". When it breached the wall of background music I thought to myself "hmm... I wonder which dark ambient superstar this is? Side project of Lustmord or Raison D'etre or Sephiroth?". Wrong. No one I'd ever heard of and recorded in 1990? Impossible but true.

David Lee Myers used the Arcane Device moniker from 1987 to 1993. He collaborated with musicians such as Asmus Tietchens, Tod Dockstader, Marco Oppedisano, and Kim Cascone. He was drawn to the feedback possibilities and various effects boxes associated with electronic music. After grasping the concepts behind Frippertronics and Eno's ambient music, he built a system that would produce feedback to be manipulated by numerous dials, knobs, and buttons, all rigged together. The results sound nothing like feedback as we have come to know it -- depending on Myers' treatments, the sounds produced feel like synthesizers, rhythm boxes, industrial noise, and ambient drones.

Steve Roach meets Fripp meets Lustmord. Fucking weird and goooooood.

Get It Here

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your review.
    Got it from a cd shop around 1997, after asking for deep and derealising music :)

    Can only be listened on scarce occasions, though.

    great record!