Wendy Carlos

Beauty in the Beast

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Digital from the inside out, Beauty in the Beast takes electronic music far past the signposts Carlos erected with her Switched On... series. Instead, the music on this album cuts through a lot of the conventions and restraints that were used as frameworks for previous releases: instrumentation, tonality, and scaling, to name just a few. The result is an album filled with music that lives up to the title. At first listen, the music sounds terrifying -- the microtonality causes a brain raised on Western pop music to readjust almost all of its expectations about sound and harmony -- but those willing to listen and let it sink in will appreciate the beauty of the sounds.

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