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Boomkat Product Review:
The Toronto archivists strike gold once again with this remastered reissue of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s minimal synth curio.
Brandon Hocura and Gary Abugan’s ICE label relent from their international reissue adventures to document a lesser known chapter in the musical heritage of their own Ontario state. Originally out in 1986 on cassette, ‘Keyboard Fantasies’ dives into the world of Beverly Glenn-Copeland at a musically-compelling moment for the Canada-dwelling American, who remains creatively active today as practicing Buddhist and transitioned male Glenn Copeland. Early recordings from the classically-trained musician were largely centred around folky jazz, be it her 1970 debut LP or the numerous vocal contributions to local Ontario acts. She also wrote music for Sesame Street among other Children’s TV shows.
Recorded in Hunstville, Ontario using only the Yamaha DX7 digital synth and Roland TR707 drum machine, ‘Keyboard Fantasies’ takes the inherent whimsy of her folk dabblings and applies it to a foresighted template of digi-new age and proto techno exotica. Adding an extra blanket of comfort is Glenn-Copeland’s soothing voice, easing the listener in on the lullaby for insomniacs that is opener Ever New, and acting as tender counterpart to the delicate synth work of closer Sunset Village. In amidst these, the chiming synth elegance and snappy TR707 workout on Let Us Dance will appeal to MFM advocates, whilst Slow Dance is the startling experiment that has ICE offering up comparisons with early Detroit techno.