Boomkat Product Review:
Each compilation in this excellent series so far has proved an essential primer, and this fourth offering shows no signs of letting up on either substance or quality. The compilation begins with something rather special indeed, and for someone like me who is pretty obsessed with electronic music history - it's about as indispensable as it gets. The track is by Egyptian artist Halim el-Dabh (don't worry, I haven't heard of him either) and was discovered by the Sub Rosa gang hidden in a French magazine article. Of course as you've probably guessed there's a good story attatched to this, and the track was actually made in 1944 and subsequently broadcast on Egyptian national radio. Yes, it's a piece of abstract pre-musique concrete which was broadcast on prime time national radio; what must the locals have thought? That's not all either, this pre-dates most of what we regard as the 'first' electronic concrete experimentations... so why did nobody know about this? As the extenseive book so lovingly provided by Sub Rosa reads 'Pay tribute to the unknowns, those who work in the shadows...'; never a truer word spoken. As with all of these compilations, the list of artists is endlessly exciting and this time we're treated to exclusive tracks from Rune Grammofon's Maja Ratkje, Lauri Spiegel and the psyche-tastic Vibracathedral Orchestra with rarities coming from Steve Reich, Alvin Lucier, Ligeti, Robert Wyatt, Oliver Messiaen and Jean Claude Risset among many more. I don't think I need to go on about how utterly crucial this compilation is, like the first 3 installments this will make for a fantastic appendix to Ohm's incredible "The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music" compilation - an essential purchase.