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Farad: The Electric Voice

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Bruce Haack was a visionary and a pioneer of electronic music. A purveyor of the DIY ethos, he wrote and recorded cosmic songs for children on analog synthesizers, modulators, and an early prototype of the vocoder—all self-fabricated from household appliances. Haack named his vocoder Farad after inventor Michael Faraday. Farad: The Electric Voice compiles the vocoder-heavy recordings that Haack made from the early ‘70s to the early ‘80s. The opening “Electric to Me Turn” starts like a bouncy Switched On Moog album before Haack sings through his personified multiband filter, sounding like a cartoon robot. The following “Incantation” takes a less novel approach (save for some springy jaw harp tones) as Haack blends baroque-inspired notes played on an analog synth with honky-tonk piano, all the while singing about how neat the earth is. He fuses futurism and funk with the album gem “Stand Up Lazarus.” “National Anthem to the Moon” is another standout, reminiscent of Zager and Evans’ “In the Year 2525.”


Born: May 4, 1931 in Nordegg, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Bruce Haack, born on May 4, 1931, was one of the most musically and lyrically inventive children's songwriters of the '60s and '70s. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- his intended audience, his music was unusually expressive, combining homemade analog synths; classical, country, pop, and rock elements; and surreal, idealistic lyrics. Haack's innovations and desire to teach still sound fresh, making his music a favorite with fans of analog synths and esoteric recordings. Followers like Luke Vibert...
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