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The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog

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Album Review

The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog is a collection of pieces from Vol. 1 through Vol. 8 of that glorious e-music series from Pete Namlook, Klaus Schulze, and — on half of them — Bill Laswell. This CD traces the growth of the series and includes the now-famous Robert Moog introduction from Vol. 5. These three visionaries have created a series that rates as some of the best space music ever to grace a disc changer. Gathering pieces from the entire set into one disc is a stroke of genius and as exciting as anything. This is neither psychoactive nor psychoacoustic. It is almost perfect space music for cadets and even for casual fans. It is essential even for collectors with the entire set on hand already.

Customer Reviews

A M A Z I N G .

I have known about The Dark Side of the Moog series for a while but I never really listened to any tracks so I thought this album would be a great place to start. I am a huge fan of Kraftwerk and electronic music/synthesizers. When I listened to this album I was amazed at how rich and powerful the sounds are and really kicked me back when I listened to it in my car sound system. I highly recommend this album for people who like electronic music.

Much Non-ambient Hyperactivity

Given the iTunes samples I heard, I was expecting many tracks with consistent ambience and melodic depth. However, there is a fair amount of non-ambient hyperactivity on this album, and most of the melodies and riffs on it dance around a bit, while few of them have anything big to say in any one direction or another. -- The Intro and track I furthered my expectations of an album that would easily engage me, with a welcome from the inventor of the Moog followed by swirling, captivating, ambient synthesizer tones. -- II stoked my expectations further by blasting into a rousing ambient rhythm, but soon turned me off by adding in a hollow thud percussion that I find distractingly overbearing to the point that it undermines the ambience for me. Eventually the rhythm ceases, replaced by what sounds like rapid, manual trilling of synthesizer notes on the keyboard. The trilling seems to display an enjoyment of skilled finger-play, but is so rapid that most of the complexity of the synthesizer sounds is chopped off. Towards the end of the track, the ambient rhythm with the distracting percussion returns with less intensity than before. -- III/3 is centered around some kind of regularly beeping EKG machine, with some mild ambient background and the occasional odd synthesizer sound thrown in. This track gets me nowhere. -- III/4 has a bouncing, attractive beat, but I could not find any inspiration in its melody. -- IV/7 is a very deep-toned clock-tower bell slowly chiming, that's all. -- IV/8 has a fast drumbeat accompanied by a lot of frenetic tweeting and beeping. This kind of mosh-ready hyperness never does anything for me, at least not these days. -- V/8 has rapidly oscillating synthesizer sounds, some ambient chorus, and moves briefly into an engaging, dynamic riff towards the end. -- VI/6 starts out similar to track I, but slowly evolves into more bouncy beeps with a fast rhythm, ultimately leaving me with nothing to enjoy. -- VII/6, again, starts out similar to track I, with an even grander progression of ambient tones, and follows through to its end with intermittent, delicate, blue piano playing. This is one track on the album that may stick with me. -- VIII/2 briefly shows how wildly the synthesizer can oscillate, but does little else. -- VIII/6 starts off with an intense rhythm similar to track II, and eventually adds in some blazing, trilling sounds that sound manual. However, I am not much interested in acrid, guitar-like trilling, either, so this track doesn't do much for me.

As a new fan: Pete

Mr. Namlook deserves my respect. I'm not into electronic or dance music, (this is not dance music) with that said this is not Ambient, this is some of the most formost si-fi, minimalistic electronica you will hear. As a pink floyd fan, well just don't suppose this is classic rock mixes. It's only for fans like me who love music in general and have experimented with different music myself.


Born: February 12, 1955 in Salem, IL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A longtime linchpin of the New York City underground music scene, Bill Laswell has been among the most prolific artists in contemporary music; as a performer, producer, and label chief, his imprint is on literally hundreds of albums, the majority of them characterized by a signature sound fusing the energy of punk with the bone-rattling rhythms of funk. Born on February 12, 1955, in Salem, Illinois, he initially played guitar, but soon switched to bass; raised primarily in the Detroit area, he honed...
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The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog, Bill Laswell
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