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FORERUNNERS: Swedish Electronic & Concrete Music 1955-65
A valuable release, featuring some classic early pieces that show enormous diversity and imaginative scope. This CD documents a period when the field was open and new sounds were really new. Sweden was a relative latecomer to institutionalised electronic music - the first dedicated studio wasn't built until 1965/6. All these works predate that, making them all the more remarkable. The quality is exceptional. In particular Minamusik (1959), by Karl-Birger Blomdahl, comes as a fully formed classic of mixed forms - electronic, concrete, environmental - at this surprisingly early date (like Varese's Deserts it was made as a set of taped interpolations to a conventional musical score and later edited into this single 13-minute piece). Bengt Hambreus worked at Darnstadt in the early 50s and his compact and focused Doppelrohr 2 was made at the Koln studio. You can hear the aesthetic, loud and clear. Then the enigmatic Rune Lindblat, first Swede to make tape music who, his premiere concert in 1957 having been met with derision, continued to work only in private for the next 13 years before any work was again offered to the public. Arne Mellnas makes a plunderphonic cut-up piece (1964), Sten Hanson works with transformed voices after the OU style (this was made in Paris in 1962 - the same year that Ake Karlung's also vocal-based Antihappening was completed). .Leo Nillson, Ralph Lundsten and Bengt Emil Johnson also provide interesting but more conventional pieces, and the collection ends with a 16 minute work by Lars-Gunnar Bodin, probably the best known and most versatile of Sweden's electronic composers. This is 76 minutes of history, with a nicely designed and informative book. Released by Fylkingen.