Listen to the "Loon Garden" sample from one of the E-mu Emulator II's stock library of sounds, and it may sound familiar in an unusual way. Instead of invoking a feeling of being near the Great Lakes, you might get taken to dance floors or mixes of the past and present, from 808 State's "Pacific State" and Sueño Latino's "Sueño Latino (Paradise Mix)" (both vaguely tropical numbers from 1989), to the more recent Rustie's "Up Down (feat. D Double E)" and Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" (NSFW). Philip Sherburne tracked down the story of a sample that keeps coming back, collecting more examples and getting some great insight into a number of notable tracks.
What do you do with a vintage synth keyboard collection but not enough ways to make use of them all? Well, if you're Graham Massey, and you stumbled across the forgotten history of Women's Organ Quartets who might have overwhelmed the senses of audiences with their weird electronic music, you put together a four-woman keyboard band, and you take up the drums. Read on, for the story of the Sisters of Transistors, "a tale which wanders between truth, history and myth, and involves panic in America, army issue organs, a Derbyshire pub and a member of 808 State!" [more inside]
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
Last year, English conceptual artist Jeremy Deller went to Trinidad to have "Pacific State", the English dance anthem by 808 State, reworked on steel drums. He gave the project to Michelle Huggins-Watts and the Valley Harps steel pan drum group to see where they'd take it. Here is the result. Before that, he also brought a similar idea to the Williams Fairey Brass Band, and they re-arranged 808 State's "Pacific 202" (original version, for comparison).
A bit over a year ago, Warp Record's digital music shop, Bleep.com, presented their guide to recorded* electronic music, spanning from 1930 to 2010 (also as a Facebook timeline, which apparently kicked the whole thing off). The overview of recorded electronic music was presented as a selection of 55 tracks, almost five and a half hours in full. Part of this presentation was a (now expired) promotional deal to purchase the collection of songs as a lot, but you can still read about each piece of music on Bleep and hear 49 of the tracks in a playlist on Grooveshark. There's more to hear and read below the fold. [more inside]