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    Tod Dockstader – Quartermass

    July 13th, 2008

    Tod Dockstader - Quartermass

    Tod Dockstader was a sound engineer and effects specialist at Gotham Recording studios from the late ’50s to mid ’60s who, with no formal musical training, secretly composed some of the best electro-acoustic music of all time on company equipment after hours. Snicker. My bedroom now thanks him. His material ranks right up there with the best of the late-night drive accompaniment that has been wafted out by major mid-century composers. This CD contains reissue material culled from old ’60s Folkways and Owl LPs, plus some unreleased works.

    “Water Music” is quite obviously built of dripping water sounds and squeaky balls knocking together, along with twirling, buzzing electronics; percussion, and other sped-up ideas. “Two Moons Of Quartermass” is an insect dormitory chock-full of flittering, droning electronics with sounds of skipping, tapping balls. Everything is all layered and skewed, sped-up, slowed-down, flittering, tittering, hammering, winding up, tightening and letting loose. “Quartermass” is a raging field of squeaky squawks and electronic cries punctured by ultra low-pitched smashes with high-pitched descending melodies—way dense, dramatic and dark. “Tango” continues with a slew of thudding, skittering, beeping, pulsing and winding-up sounds.

    “Parade” is a classic storm full of dull stabs with corroded rocket engines taking flight. “Flight” flies away with humming drones and dull, low voice sounds, plus plenty of echo-pulses with some stuttering, piping cold skipping and tapping. Various wind instruments float in with background drones and change into something a little less comfortable in the form of an array of severe ice stabs. “Second Song” starts out majorly muted and solemn, then turns super heavy and low with rising, high-pitched tides of massive drones and descending harsh hammerings, plus low-pitched stabs and crying—for crying out loud. Apocalypse is the second similar yet equally necessary volume.

    Label: Starkland Catalog Number: ST-201 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 13 Total Time: 73:09 Country: United States Released: 1992 Related Artists: Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: CD baby, Forced Exposure, Unofficial, Wikipedia