David Toop

Ocean of Sound, Vol. 3: Booming on Pluto

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Despite its presence at the crux of most significant forms of late 20th century dance- and post-dance-based electronic music, electro remains for the most part obscure and misunderstood. Music historian/producer David Toop here bridges the vast gap in comprehension with the third installment of his Ocean of Sound compilation series. A 2-CD set tracing electro's many bifurcating lines of influence through the last 20 years or so of dance-based electronic music, Booming on Pluto is just about the most inclusive, encompassing introduction available to a hugely influential, vastly underrecognized style of music. The set more than makes its point by juxtaposing musicians as varied as Herbie Hancock, Plaid, George Clinton, Hashim, Atom Heart, Cat Stevens, Mantronix, Omar Santana, Unique 3, the Black Dog, the Jonzun Crew, Jedi Knights, and the Future Sound of London, among many others, clarifying their connections through tight, snapping electronic rhythms, big, booming bass, crisp, clean electronics, and an ever-present funk. Although the set's vague gesture toward a continuous mix can be irritating at times, the occasional trainwreck is forgivable for the larger concept suggested in the vast continuum of styles and artists represented.

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