263 posts tagged with Music by filthy light thief.
Displaying 1 through 50 of 263.
2017 marks 30 years since acid was put on (commercial) wax, if* you're crediting Phuture's Acid Tracks as the first Acid (House) song/EP. BBC Radio 1 recently celebrated this history with the first Essential Mix of 2017 by DJ Pierre, one third of Phuture, the Chicago group that recorded an epic 12 minutes of Roland TB-303 knob-twiddling and spread the acid madness via Ron Hardy in The Music Box. For more acid in the mix, B. Traits preceded that set and played a 2 hour set acid, with a 3rd hour by Luke Vibert, who stated (via a track title) "I Love Acid." [more inside]
The upcoming transfer of power in the United States will be a time with much pomp and music, with people singing along to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America," but "Hail to the Chief" remains instrumental, even though there are lyrics, as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle. And if we sang those lyrics, we'd be missing its origin as a song to celebrate Roderick Dhu, or Black Roderick, a fictional medieval Scottish outlaw, which was re-written a number of times before becoming the song that Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, requested for presidential entrances. [more inside]
There’s been no shortage of pessimism about 2016—a year that was plagued with fear, hatred, and confusion.... There was plenty to mourn over within music itself, as we said farewell to David Bowiepreviously, Princeprev., Leonard Cohenprev., Phife Dawgprev., Sharon Jonesprev., and too many others. But nevertheless, we found comfort in song: Solange’s meditationsprev., twice, Chance the Rapper’s spirituality, Bruno Mars’s throwback levity. Frank Ocean resurfacedprev., and the Avalanches finally returnedprev.. For the most part, music in 2016 remained good. The 50 Best Albums of 2016 from Spin, or you can go to Album of the Yearprev., twice to see an aggregated list of top albums or browse individual lists, listed alphabetically. [more inside]
DJ Kutski is keeping the rave alive via podcast mixes, "representing 360 degrees of the harder styles of dance music," an hour at a time. He's up to 244 episodes, and if you check out a few, you'll quickly notice a pattern in the shows. They generally feature a mix of old and new tracks, a cheeky check to see "does it sound good at 170 BPM", a bit of sample mania, and a guest mini-mix from such names as Dune and Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo from the living history of the scenes, with folks like Sound Rush and AniMe representing the new generation. PLUR! [more inside]
Sharon Jones, the Grammy-nominated soul and funk singer With Dap-Kings, died following her "heroic battle against pancreatic cancer" at the age of 60.
Jones recorded six albums with the Dap-Kings, but it was her exhilarating live shows, which functioned as equal parts Baptist church revival, Saturday night juke joint and raucous 1970s Las Vegas revue, that showcased the singer's unparalleled energy. In venues filled with people half her age, Jones was the most dynamic person in the room, bolting onstage and commanding the crowd like her idol James Brown. It was homage without mimicry; respecting the soul and funk elders that defined the genres while displaying seemingly boundless vitality.Sharon Jones, previously. [more inside]
May I Meet My Accuser (AllMusic review by Thom Jurek) ~~ Magas has been hanging out making mischief on the fringes of noise and electronic music since the early 1990s, whether it was playing in Couch with Aaron Dilloway, being a member of Lake of Dracula, remixing [Bobby] Conn tracks, or just generally being gleefully obnoxious and participating in things that kept him amused. Then comes this slab. It's big-bottom beats, wild pitch-warped synths, distorted vocals, hammered loops, and wonk and whir come off as a new, (yes, new) electro-swamp music for the dawn of this final century... [more inside]
Parentz invite you say hello or goodbye to summer with Beach Body, the music video for their vapory electro-pop + r & b single. It's warmer than their prior ice-pop/ moving-on-with-your-life-pop/ now-pop/ otter-pop/ whatever-pop EP FP&B<3Z1:FLY (music video: Fly) from 2013. They also have a future-pop EP, titled Big (music video: Back It Up), that they released in 2011.
Mndsgn is pronounced mind design. The law calls him Ringgo Ancheta. He says his music has dirty, dirty soul vibes, but after checking out his video for Eggs (2014) and Cosmic Perspective (2016), you might agree with this interviewer and think that he might be a mystic jazz player who traveled to earth with Sun Ra. Any way it shakes out, enjoy Mndsgn's music on Bandcamp, and his new concept album*, Body Wash (YT playlist), or just hang out and have some breakfast with Ringgo, Knxwledge and The Koreatown Oddity, the first of five such breakfasts, via Boiler Room. [more inside]
Alan Jefferson was inspired: he had heard War of the Worlds and wanted to make his own space epic, and he did, between 1979-1984, in his shed ("AJ Studios") in Hull. He wrote and played the music, wrote the story, narrates the story, sings the songs, made all the artwork, the poster, the storyfile etc. He started selling cassette copies of Galactic Nightmare in 1986 in the back of magazines such as C U Amiga and Future Music, but faded from view, with a few copies being traded by friends. Then a recording made its way to Trunk Records, who have now re-released the album, which you can now hear in full on YouTube.
The bizarre rise and fall and resurgence of tiki bars and cocktails is an interesting history that starts with two men, Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, who traveled to the South Pacific and brought back some "island culture" to the United States with them in the 1930s, continuing on with the craze really booming after WWII vets returned from tours overseas. With the ebbs and flows of popularity, the cultural appropriation in "Tiki culture" has often been overlooked, as to the Māori mythology and meaning behind Tiki carvings and imagery and Hawiian culture of leis and luaus. Let's talk Tiki bars: harmless fun or exploitation. [Soundtrack: Les Baxter's Ritual Of The Savage ( 1951) and Martin Denny's Exotica (1957)] [more inside]
Steve Buscemi began his career in, and continues to support experimental theater, writing and performance. Elliott Sharp is a central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City of over thirty years. The two have collaborated a few times in recent years, for example on Sharps' The Yahoos Trilogy, and more recently in celebration of the legacy of William S. Burroughs during the 100th anniversary of the writer's birth in 1914. Partnering with musician Elliott Sharp, the two have set to work staging poems of famed American Beat poet William S. Burroughs. They recorded their efforts, and have titled the album Rub Out The World (Bandcamp, some NSFW language, natch). [more inside]
Last week, BBC 1 broadcast the first Essential Mix from The Avalanches (tracklist, BBC iPlayer / Mixcloud / Global Sets), which they made in support of their new album, Wildflower (YouTube playlist; previously). This is their first broadcasted mix since 2002, according to MixesDB, where you can find 13 more mixes, to expand the band's limited discography. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. [more inside]
Back in March 2015, conservation movement Freedom Conservation has set a new world record by successfully flying ‘Darshan the Eagle’, equipped with a camera, from the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai (via Presurfer). Freedom's YouTube channel has more videos, including preparation of the flight, and a music video for Fritz Kalkbrenner's Void, shot on the borders of Lake Geneva with a guest role for Freedom’s Victor the Eagle.
Wondercore Island is a Melbourne-based label/ artist management and PR company label that supports a range of future soul, alternative and hip-hop acts, including Clever Austin, Ainslie Wills, Jaala, Oscar Key Sung, Vulture St. Tape Gang, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Sampa the Great, to name a few groups and artists. You can check out more from this umbrella group/ thing on Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud and perhaps most conveniently on Bandcamp, where they have a number of mixtapes and other musical collections available to stream and download for free.
Fifty years ago, a few months before they released their third studio album, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel took to the stage in Holland on a TV Show called 'Twien' with just their two voices and one guitar. Here's 23 minutes of music and some interludes with information about selected songs. Playlist: 'Richard Cory,' 'Homeward Bound,' 'Leaves That Are Green,' 'I Am A Rock,' 'A Most Peculiar Man,' 'A Poem On The Underground Wall,' 'He Was My Brother,' and 'The Sound Of Silence.' [Alternative link - slightly longer, but watermarked video.] [more inside]
Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
A few months back, Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book mixtape (Soundcloud), "one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to." (Pitchfork) That mixtape features a ton of guests, including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, Justin Bieber ... and Noname. Who? She's a Chicago rapper, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, and with her own mixtape, Telefone (Soundcloud), she "has only further solidified her reputation as a deft and hyper-intelligent young rapper, at first a one woman Digable Planets for the melodic Chicago contemporary, but quickly something wholly unique." (Noisey/Vice)
In the 1990s, a group of Australian misfits who made anti-rave music [NSFW audio, present elsewhere, too], influenced by their local Newcastle industrial heritage and the international sounds of gabber. In 1994, they bashed out some tunes and pulled together enough money to make 102 hand-stamped records, officially starting Bloody Fist Records. The label gained recognition world-wide, but abruptly closed shop in 2004, and a decade later Bloody Fist was celebrated in Newcastle with Fistography, an exhibit to the history and legacy of the label. If you missed any of this the first time around, you can stream and buy much of the label's catalog on their Bandcamp page. [more inside]
If you look at nothing more than album titles, you'll get the impression that the duo of the brothers Andreas and Simone Salvatici, who record and perform as Clorinde, pull in a diverse set of sounds, from The Gardens of Bomarzo, named for the Italian park of stone monsters, to The Poetry of Charles B., with song titles pulled from Bukowski. If that's too vague, "Imagine an orchestral and oriental Efterklang reworking “Selected Ambient Works” by Aphex Twin." [more inside]
What do you get when you give the directors of such music videos as DJ Snake & Lil' Jon's Turn Down for What [previously] or Manchester Orchestra's Simple Math [previously] a movie to direct? You get Swiss Army Man (trailer). And when you have a movie that features the magical, flatulent corpse played by Daniel Radcliffe, how do you promote it online? With a virtual swiss army man (warning: possibly NSFW for optional* full-screen video bikini-clad women and a .. helpful erection) [more inside]
Arena-folk rockers Mumford and Sons toured in South Africa earlier this year, where they took two days to record new music. The result is their Johannesburg EP (YT playlist with live and studio tracks), with Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Maal (documentary playlist), South African pop trio Beatenberg (playlist of live videos), and the team of Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya with British production/DJ duo Radioclit as The Very Best (their original mixtape). More music from the collaborators inside. [more inside]
The origins of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' are pretty brief. In this 1970 demo (source), you can hear a short version, with the opening question but no piano intro and extended jam at the end. Though they recorded a long version for their debut album, they also cut a short version for the single. But people want "guitar sagas", such as "Whipping Post," by the Allman Brothers Band,and "Smoke on the Water," by Deep Purple, or maybe it was a silly thing to heckle Florence Henderson and other uncool cats. Decades later, people are still yelling "Freebird!" Sometimes people snap back, like Bill Hicks (NSFW), and sometimes people oblige, like Bob Dylan recently. In case that's not enough, there's (always) more! [more inside]
Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner were mates back in the day, digging into b-boy stuff as it came into England, mixing in sounds from Chicago and Detroit, acid and techno, and making it their own. They released three EPs on their own, and joined Warp Records in 1993 with the iconic album, Bytes, which already showed a fractured nature to the group, with eight different entities attributed for the album and individual tracks, but they wouldn't formally fracture for a few more years. Ken Downie kept The Black Dog, which he named in part for his battle with depression, while Ed and Andy became Plaid. With Plaid's newest album, The Digging Remedy, each now with 11 albums to their names. Read on for more history and tunes. [more inside]
Leyla McCalla is a classically trained cellist who grew up in New York with her Haitian parents. She moved to New Orleans where she performed on Royal Street and learned about the Haitian history of the community. McCalla also joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops and diversified her style and sound. With the combined influence of place and company, she started performing Haitian folk music, which she paired that music with poetry of Langston Hughes for her first solo album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes (Soundcloud album stream). That was two years ago, and now she has her second album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey (YT, official video for the title track; YT playlist), where she sings in Haitian Creole, French, and English. [more inside]
"Polish jazz, which was celebrating its triumphs in the 1950s and 60s, gradually became bogged down under the power of omnipresent and omnipotent institutions" ... "The 1990s saw the birth of a musical trend that wanted nothing less than to turn the established order of things to ash by the most drastic of means. This new trend was called yass." Though the headiest and most experimental days are behind them, "yass" is still used to indicate Polish jazz that's more than traditional jazz, and has been used to describe Skalpel, Jazzpospolita, and Pink Freud, who have performed Autechre live for Boiler Room and RBMA.
For your listening pleasure, double-dose of other/worldly Essential Mixes from the recent past: the German trio known as Moderat (Mixcloud/Soundcloud), and the globe-trotting psychedelic Canadian duo known as Blond:ish (YouTube/ Mixcloud/ Soundcloud). Blond:ish started releasing music together in 2010, while Moderat have a more than a decade of work together and more musical history as the separate parts of Modeselektor and Apparat. Which is to say, more music inside. [more inside]
The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
... at the same time that Chicago was creating House and Detroit was forging ahead with what would become Techno, the roots of Trance were being sawn on the beaches of Anjuna and Vagator. And just as Chicago had Ron Hardy and Detroit had The Electrifying Mojo, Goa had a DJ called Laurent. If it wasn’t for him, it’s quite possible that the music played at parties in Goa would have been little more than a carbon copy of what was going on back in Europe and America. Unveiling The Secret: The Roots of Trance - before Goa was Goa, it was "new electronic music coming out of Europe and America," sliced and edited by Laurent to make one long, constantly morphing psychedelic groove. [more inside]
"When it comes to modern day composers, the most prominent ones out there are names like Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Varèse and a couple more.... But when discussing these modern composers, the name ‘Kashiwa Daisuke’ is unlikely to be mentioned. The guy doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.... But he’s up there along with those ‘big’ names I just mentioned. Program Music I is the very proof of this." Consisting of two long pieces, Stella and Write Once, Run Melos, each evokes the feelings of specific stories, told with modern classical instrumentation, spacious post-rock, jazz piano, and some intentional digital glitches. Almost nine years after that first album, Kashiwa Daisuke has released Program Music II (video for the track "Meteor"), with less glitch and more euphoric elements. [more inside]
The term "one-man band" generally brings to mind someone surrounded by instruments, like this Croatian street performer, but the earliest examples are a simple combination of pipe and tambor, which traces back to the 1300s. There were records of some creative, enterprising individuals in the centuries since, with more in the early to mid 20th century, including seated set-ups by Fate Norris, Jesse Fuller, and Joe Barrick, with Vic Ellis representing the traveling one-man band. Add in a MIDI controller, and you can expand your sound with less gear. The footprint can shrink more with the new ACPAD, with demos focusing on bringing electronic sounds to an acoustic guitar. [more inside]
Felix Manuel, better known as Djrum (pronounced as "drum," evolved from his initial DJ Rum handle) blends hip hop, house, jungle and bass seamlessly in his mixes, plus splices the DNA of techno, dubstep, garage and grime in an attempt to make them, in his words, “live inside each other” in his own productions. This blending is not frenetic, but slow and methodical, often including extended clips from movies, such as heard in The Miracle. With a relatively scant 9 EPs and singles, including two splits, and one album to his name, you can get hear more of the scope of Felix Manuel's musical tastes from his mixes... [more inside]
Medieval Music - 'Hardcore' Party Mix -- "The most rhythmic, upbeat, party medieval music out there, put together in a mix." If you need something to cool down after that 40 minute set, YouTuber VacnaPaul also put together a two hour "daydream mix" of fantasy music, from the video game scores by Jeremy Soule.
Nkosinathi Maphumulo is a South African musician better known as Black Coffee. He has been devoted to making music since an early age, and even though he lost the use of his left arm in a car crash while growing up in a poor township, he has gone on to become a superstar in South African music. More than a marathon-session DJ (going so far as to DJ for 60 hours), he created a multimedia stadium show, where he played with a 24 piece orchestra and additional live percussion, keyboards and singers, who all spoke with love for the unique South African experience they created. [more inside]
The internet is full of interesting ebbs and flows, and a current push-pull started with Beyoncé's video for 'Formation' (previously), which she also featured in her Super Bowl show. Then came the much-derided acoustic covers. Those covers inspired Nathan Zed to do a trap cover of 'Hey Jude', and the #TrapCovers really took off from there (more on Twitter)
Santigold is back with her third album, 99¢ (YT playlist), omnivorous pop in a post-genre age. She's been promoting the album throughout 2015, and enjoying the process this time around, trying to incorporate some of the joy from her son, Radek. She's been bending genres since her self-titled debut album, but this time around she's in a different place from her prior album, Master of My Make-Believe, which was fit for the dystopian end of the Age of Aquarius ... crackling with discontent, with a powerful cover designed by Kehinde Wiley (previously). [more inside]
A month from today will be 50 years since Sammy Davis Jr. satisfied a whim and had The Andrew Sisters sing the hits of The Supremes, and vise-versa. The quality isn't great, and it's only a snippet of Sammy's short-lived show from 1966. If you want more, here's the full episode, full of singing, dancing and comedy: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6.
Are you looking for a world of progressive and psychedelic music? Look no further than Psyche Music aka Prog/Psych/Advanced Music Reviews and Psychefolk aka Psyche Van Het Folk. The sites are old, so beware of dead links, but there's also more online now than there was when Progressive.Homestead.com was first linked on the blue, over a decade ago. Now hear Metin Alatli's "Alamooga Esinlenmeler" for 34 minutes of "early 70s Moog-madness" from Turkey.
The duo of Maribou State have come a long way from impressing Fatboy Slim with their remix of Praise You that landed them on his label. Last year, they dropped their debut album, Portraits (YT playlist, Bandcamp), "occupying a space somewhere between ambient electronic and a more house-nodding, four on the floor sensibility," and they had the honor of getting the first Essential Mix for 2016 (Mixcloud; Soundcloud). “We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music. We aim for something more uptempo and less atmospheric. But that’s the way it comes out.” [more inside]
The idea and goal of “The Seasons” was a simple one: 12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I’ve ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.Ben Wendel, inspired by Tchaikovsky's work from 139 years ago, has finished his year of duets: The Seasons Project (YouTube playlist)
Since he started Akkord (s/t album playlist) with Synkro, Liam Blackburn has been in search of a sound. His last few solo releases skirted past drum & bass through to techno, ambient, IDM and, with 2013's excellent Storm, some sort of ultra-hi-tech jungle.... [H]e's re-emerging as Ancestral Voices on the increasingly out-there label Samurai Horo....The debut album for Blackburn's new alias is "yawning chords, complex drum patterns and existential dread," directly inspired by his mind-expanding, life-altering experiences on Machu Picchu and in the Amazon, and you can hear all of Night Of Visions on Bandcamp.
In support of his most recent album, Racine Carrée (YT playlist with official videos), Stromae played 209 concerts in 25 countries. From these, he captured performances at the Bell Center in Montreal on September 28 and 29 to present two hours of the singing, dancing, acting spectacle that was his show (YT). Bonus: it's subtitled in English, if you want to understand those French lyrics. [more inside]
Norwegian legends and fairy tales are full of references to subterranean or supernatural beings, many of which have the fiddle as a symbolic attribute.... Even today, some people believe that anyone hoping to become a real fiddler must be apprenticed to Fossegrimen.... The Hardanger fiddle is inextricably linked to such legends, and it is the folk tunes which have kept them alive.And Targjei Augundsson is at the crossroads of legends and folk tunes, whose skill with the fiddle is said to have come at the price of his soul from a deal with Fossegrimen, making him something of the Norwegian predecessor to Robert Johnson. [more inside]
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.
The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work, and is regarded as the single most significant native Mongolian account of Genghis Khan. Linguistically, it provides the richest source of pre-classical Mongolian and Middle Mongolian, and while you can read it in various translations, it can be quite a slog. That's why Mongolian rappers Gee of/with Click Click Boom team up with Jonon to present a musical version of Mongolian History, in Mongolian. Luckily, there are English subtitles to this video, but there's still a gap between knowing the words and knowing what they mean. With that, you can find a collections of links as annotations below. [more inside]
You've tuned back into Radio FLTR, where we're digging up more hits from the past and doin' a monster song with ya on this beautiful November night. Here's that young dreamboat with the wacky expressions, Bobby Pickett doing the Monster Mash back in 1964 on American Bandstand, two years after his hit was first released, when he first cashed in on two hits at once - songs about dancing and monster mania. Bobby "Boris" Pickett didn't rest on those laurels in '62, but swiftly came back with a whole album of monster songs that same year .... [more inside]
Mo'Wax is a British record label that was formed in 1992 by teenage school friends James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy. The label quickly gained renown for trip-hop, turntablism and other odd beat hip-hop, from the likes of Japanese DJ Krush, Americans Money Mark, Dr. Octagon and DJ Shadow, British Luke Vibert, and their own UNKLE project. The label lasted a solid decade, then petered out as the 2000s wore on. James Lavelle looked back on 21 years of the label (a year late), and is now restarting the label. This effort is being kicked off with releases by a West London artist, Elliot Power. More waxing below the break. [more inside]
Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Elènne (ɛ'lɛn) makes a wide range of dance music, from lush vocal pop (Between Us feat. Mothica), something with chopped beats and vocals (King of Thebes), and a bit of marching band percussion with strings and ... I don't know what (Burning Bridges). Many of the tracks are free to download via Soundcloud or Dropbox, plus Elènne has a Bandcamp account. For more music, here is Elènne's Yellow Mix #1, a pick of current favorites and inspirations. For even more musical selections, Elènne picks a track per week on Facebook.
How did a funky R&B guitarist and singer get signed on to a spook-tacular music video? No, I'm not talking about Ray Parker Jr.'s very Halloween-appropriate music video for "The Other Woman", but his later video for the scary-funny movie, Ghostbusters. Screen Crush has the inside story on the making of Ghostbusters theme song video (alt source: Daily Motion). [more inside]
A Beginner's Guide to the Synth is a nice long write-up to the history of the synthesizers, from their origins up to the present, with embedded sound samples. For a deeper dive into the history of the hardware, learn the secrets of the synths from Sound on Sound.