The New Electric Church

Launch 48 Faculty Blog

Doug Caldwell

This seemed like a perfect opportunity to 'Welcome Everyone to the New Electric Church'!!

For the uninitiated, the original Electric Church was a quasi-spiritual counter-culture belief that electric music brought out inner emotions, feelings, and creative ideas in people, and encouraged spiritual maturity. Popularized in the 1960s during the Psychedelic era, primarily by artists & musicians, maybe its original ideology still has some relevance today.

Consider all the Electronic music that has emerged since John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Terry Riley and Edgar Varese began dabbling and experimenting in the 1930s and 1940s minimalism composition of music- then the 1960s oscillating & Moog synthesized sounds of The Silver Apples, Martin Denny, andWendy Carlos, followed by the 1970s Electronic Ambient music of Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Jean Michel Jarre, and all of the surreal Electronic music since the 1970s from the likes of Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Tangerine Dream, ClusterandKlaus Schulze. Then consider, even, the pop-tinged 1990s Electronica of The Chemical Brothers, The Orb, Aphex Twin or the 21st Electronic sounds of Boards Of Canada andSkrillex. It all emanates from the same "wavelength" - man's fascination with new sounds and man's relentless pursuit to uncover newer sounds.

As much as I like to "Rock out" or groove to R&B, Funk & Soul, nothing gives me a more pleasing (quasi-spiritual?) experience than the near "out-of-body" feeling I get when I listen to Electronic music. (My favorite music to achieve this state of ecstasy is Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois' 'Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks')

Be aware that Electronic music and Ambient music has grown tenfold in popularity over the decades, especially in the past 20 years. Today's generation of young music aficionados are discovering albums such as Eno's Ambient 1: Music For Airportsor Kraftwerks''Computer World' with such zest and zeal. The Internet and digital technology has allowed even general music fans to self-produce electronic music on their Mac or discover youTube postings of full albums and classic performances. Check out the youTube clip below of the legendary Terry Riley (77 years old) in a 2011 Moogfest performance of "A Rainbow in Curved Air". Brilliant!

So, through the good fortune of this blog, allow me to recommend some other key Electronic/Ambient albums from the past few decades that others will find interesting and, possibly, worship.

Brian Eno - Discreet Music, Music For Films, Neroli, Thursday Afternoon

Robert Fripp & Brian Eno - No Pussyfooting, Evening Star, Equatorial Stars

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene,  Equinoxe

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Comica

Tangerine Dream (Early Years) - Atem, Zeit, Electronic Meditation

Tangerine Dream (Virgin Years) - Phaedra, Stratosphear, Ricochet, Encore

Klaus Schulze - Moonwind, Irrlicht, Cyborg, Dune

George Harrison - Electronic Sound

The Future Sound Of London ISDN, Amorphous Androgynous

Boards Of Canada - Music Has The Right To Children, Trans Canada Highway

Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk I, Kraftwerk II, Autobahn, Trans Europe Express, Radioactivity, Computer World

Cluster & Eno Cluster & Eno

The Fireman (Paul McCartney) - Strawberries Oceans Ships Forests

Flying Saucer Attack Rural Psychedelia

Harmonia Musik Von Harmonia

Moebius & Plank - Rastakrautpasta

Moebius, Plank & Neumeier - Zero Set

Neu! - Neu!, Neu 75

Nik Tuner's Sphyinx - Xitintoday

Popol Vuh - Einsjäger & Siebenjäger, Future Sound Experience

Silver Apples - Silver Apples

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music

Terry Riley- A Rainbow In Curved Air

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