Wednesday, 13th December 2017. 2:03:06am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Electric Shepherd: An Audio Tribute To Philip K. Dick


Artist: (Various Artists)
CD Title: Electric Shepherd, An Audio Tribute To Philip K. Dick
Label: Backwards Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 8-4-06

 

 

 

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Psychedelic science fiction author Philip K. Dick and glitch music both have a strong appeal to weird intellectual types, so it's only natural that Backwards Records should release a compilation that combines both interests in a two-disc set. Featuring a number of Backwards Records regulars as well as some new names and faces creating music based on Dick's novels and stories, this compilation's best material is its most esoteric. Joy Von Spain's "Radio Free Albemuth" has some beautiful theremin lines worming their way through minimalist synth arpeggios, for example, while Syphilis Sauna's "Gubbish" incorporates everything from muttering growls to video game noises. Rassmussen's "Youth Of Today," inspired by Dick's alternate World War II history Man In The High Castle, evokes the novel's themes alongside the author's Southern California hometown by juxtaposing Nazi rallies with vintage Disneyland commercials, while Kuxaan Sum's "Recollections Of A Blue Sky" and Wounded Infidel's "Nkay" are more abstract, but still fascinating, with lots of clicks, glitches, and tones in the vein of Nurse With Wound, Coil, and Aphex Twin's darker electronic experiments. The more straightforward attempts are more of a mixed bag. Gonken's "Why Can't I Dream" (inspired by Blade Runner) is science fiction electro rap, but though the delivery is amateurish at best, the story of a bounty hunter chasing down robots in a dance club is strangely compelling. "VALIS" by A Scanner Darkly is deep, sludgy death metal, with gurgling vocals and squealing feedback, and though its noisiness should appeal to fans of old Controlled Bleeding and Skin Chamber, it seems like an odd choice, given the titular novel's themes of Gnostic spirituality and redemption. Despite a few puzzling selections, though, this is a delightfully odd collection of songs quite worthy of the Dick's delightfully odd writing.

Visit Backwards Records at www.backwardsrecords.com for more information about this release.

 

 

 


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