Boomkat Product Review:
Spanning spirited kosmische thru to Eastern-inspired percussion, proto-IDM and spectral pop circa 1981-1996, ‘For The Moment’ is a charming portrait of San Fran’s John Di Stefano compiled by Jed Bindeman’s amazing Concentric Circles imprint - a sister label of sorts to Freedom To Spend.
An American-born, Japan-based percussionist with a taste for synths and roots spread between theatre and world musics, John Di Stefano was a key node in San Fran’s experimental/artistic rhizome that connects ‘70s kosmische to ‘80s new wave and new age musics, and ultimately ‘90s ambient and early IDM.
‘For The Moment’ compiles 8 tracks from Di Stefano’s hard-to-find and often self-released tapes on vinyl for the first time. Slotting alongside Concentric Circle’s overlooked gems by Carola Baer and IXNA, the compilation offers a dilated perspective on utopian styles that would inform and reflect the cybernetic era and its transition from analog to digital as it took root with networked, techgnostic West Coast hippies.
Connected as much by that prevailing, forward-looking Pacific breeziness as his array of classic modular kit made by Moog, Buchla, Serge, Emu and Octron, and his acoustic drums/tablas, the set charts a glowing course from it’s earliest, beaming kosmische waltz ‘Three Moon Reflection’ (1981) thru to his 1996 mix of Suba-esque electro-acoustic fusions on ‘Ng’s Office’, and the spectral nocturne ‘The Rain On the Leaves’ starring a very Julee Cruise-like vocal from Maria Kusumdewi.
In between he strikes charming highlights in the 10 minute ‘Nuage’ (1985), which sounds like an iridescent pre-echo of Anthony Manning’s interwoven electronics or Move D & Jonah Sharp’s acid-jazzy ambient as much as Indonesian gamelan, while his percussive instincts make for sensuous dancefloor moments in the likes of his future folk dance styles on 1996’s ‘Ng’s Office’ and ‘Culture Schlock.’
It’s all blessed with the sort of human touch that we’ve come to expect from Concentric Circles and the Séance Centre family of labels, and yet again sweetly expands a collective knowledge of the ‘80s US electronic underground in a way that will resonate with listens from all corners.