Tod Dockstader

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Apocalypse Review

by John Bush

The two stellar reissues of collected Dockstader material on the Starkland label can be separated by their connections to light and darker material. As could be expected, Apocalypse concerns the darker edge. Both the 20-minute title track and the included 10-minute "Traveling Music" cultivate a series of chilling atmospheres with few precedents in the academic electronic community. "Traveling Music" does so with a series of clicks and chirps that gradually morph themselves into an undeniable air of menace while "Apocalypse" accomplishes the same with Forbidden Planet effects reminiscent of flying saucers and interstellar explosions plus a series of voice treatments that truly do sound as though they're of an alien nature. Also included on the same disc, "Luna Park" turns the laughter of vacationers into chipmunk-frequency effects processed with tremendous amounts of reverb and echo.

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