Various Artists

New Forms: Contemporary Electronic Music in the Context of Art

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This compilation two-CD set groups artists who have performed at the Galerie fuer Zeitgenoessische Kunst Leipzig, a museum, as part of a concert series titled New Forms: Contemporary Electronic Music in the Context of Art. The aim was to show the variety of approaches in the developing field of avant-garde electronica while playing on the popular/serious, vernacular/institutionalized aspects of this music. The pieces presented here are not live recordings from these concerts, but new studio works submitted by the performers in the spirit of the series. Most are six to seven minutes long (with the notable exception of Byetone's slow minimalist ambient piece "Rotation," close to 14 minutes). Artists represented range from club music avant-gardists such as Scanner, Pan Sonic, and Ritchie Hawtin, to die-hard experimentalists like Disinformation, Francisco Lopez, and COH. On the strength of this impressive palette of interesting artists, New Forms: Contemporary Electronic Music in the Context of Art provides a complete picture of electronic audio art at the turn of the millennium. Highlights include Ryoji Ikeda's delicate "Cyclo Cycle," the moving "Tape Loop" by William Basinski (which includes a soft piano and cello motif, merging electro-acoustics with lo-fi post-rock), and COH's "Grain:Loop," a work that almost crosses over to musique concrète. The two CDs are packaged in a space food sealed plastic bag, an original design to say the least and added value for the collector.

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