Luening / Ussachevsky / Bergsma – A Poem In Cycles And Bells & Other Music For Tape Recorder (1958) review
Luening / Ussachevsky / Bergsma – A Poem In Cycles And Bells & Other Music For Tape Recorder (Aurora Rising, 1958/2016)
You would never believe this record to be a relic from a past of electronic music that happened before anybody even spoke about rock music. In 1957 this compilation of electronic and orchestral compositions by the three masterminds Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky and William Bergsma saw the light of the stars for the first time and has become a cult piece among lovers of electronic space music since then, despite the fact that only the first side features the so called tape compositions of Luening and Ussachevsky from the 50s while Bergsma’s lengthy piece from the B side gets performed by a regular orchestra consisting of living beings. You certainly have to lay back and let yourself drift away upon this stream of sound but it is still a very human effort all in all. All instruments are for real and even though this piece of music moves within the narrow borderlines of classic orchestral music patterns, there is a warm and gentle flow of energy pouring out of it and reaching out for your mind. Luening and Ussachevsky on the other hand work with sounds of undefined origin recorded on tape reels which are their main instruments for creating something new out of everything. The result is dark and gloomy. It pulls you away from your earthly existence and drags you out into space to the furthest corners of the cosmos. This is the right music for all lovers of spaced out sounds from the days before the synthesizer. If you love all the late 60s and 70s stuff like early TANGERINE DREAM, KRAFTWERK / ORGANISATION and KLUSTER you will be happy to find these compositions 10-20 years prior being on par with all the newer and now legendary cosmic music acts. This long out of print gem is definitely one of the important steps towards every kind of electronic music that was successful ever since.
– ‘Sir Lord Doom’
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