Various Artists

OR: Some Computer Music

  • AllMusic Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

It's a tough sell, finding an audience to appreciate music that is so emotionless and densely programmed. About a dozen different contributors download their laptops onto this disc, showcasing their particular blend of sound effects, fax noise, mumblings, and abstractions. The opening piece, programmed by two people who credit themselves as cd_slopper runs 30 seconds in all, and proves to be one of many random sound clusters to follow. Trevor Wishart opens the skies with "Fabulous Paris," a 24-minute epic with mostly recognizable TV gameshows, traffic reports, and city noise that rises and falls repeatedly. Richard James, known in most circles as the Aphex Twin, contributes a short piece that has the most musicality, albeit similarly detached. His relative star-status probably helped to get this CD to the record stores, rather than a classroom for electronics. Next comes "Feelin Hilarious," by Kevin Dunn, which is a damn near impossible strain on the ears -- black noise, static, feedback buzz, and random scrapes that may send some scrambling for the remote, but for others perhaps it's utter brilliance. Somewhat easier to digest is the 6-part study in German vocal abstractions and cold ambience by Stephen Travis Pope, followed by robotic gurgles and lazer gun monologues from Ubik with a piece called "Plex" -- one that actually has some chord progression lurking around in the distance for awhile. Zbigniew Karkowski & Kasper T. Toeplitz give us 11 minutes of sinister ambience and white noise feedback that, in it's own way, gives the ears a rest from all the hyperactive beeping and machine static overdrive that runs elsewhere (including the final piece from Beautyon. It's the sounds we recognize on this disc that give it any sort of approachability or warmth or mystery, but the programmers don't seem to spend much time with the familiar, or worrying that they have nothing to say besides "look what I can do." OR proves to be a very challenging listen, but it may also be a treasure chest for the eccentrics. Listen before you buy.

blue highlight denotes track pick