Bleep – A Guide To Electronic Music


For me it all started with U.F. Orb. The very first electronic album to send my brain to another dimension without the assistance of (err) ‘medication’. Back in the early 90s, electronic music was tightly wedded to thoughts of outer space, time travel and aliens. I recall a buddy saying how much more he enjoyed The Future Sound Of London’s ISDN and L.S.G.’s Rendezvous In Outer Space as a soundtrack to a silent X-Files broadcast. He was right.

All of the aforementioned albums still stand up today as some of my favourite electronic music. However, I urge anyone looking to dip their toe into Oliver Lieb’s (L.S.G.) water to start with The Black Album – that thing is just relentless – in a good way. I think it’s also getting the re-issue remaster treatment soon.

The other two albums that broke down my resistance to electronic music were two very fine compilations from Warp: Artificial Intelligence I and Artificial Intelligence II. Time has failed to blunt either album’s edge. [Stop reading and go listen to them before you proceed any further with this article. You will gain more from those sounds than from my words]. Those Ai compilations were gateway drugs to a broader catalogue of Aphex Twin, Autechre, The Black Dog, Plaid, LFO…before Warp decided to broaden their own horizons with Red Snapper. Ugh.

A few 2CD volumes of Virgin Records’  “A Brief History Of Ambient”  series took me back further in time to the more ambient worlds of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Killing Joke and David Sylvian.  Most of that was darker, eerier – but no less intriguing.

Regardless of who/what Warp Records represents in 2012, few can fault’s the Sheffield label’s place in the history of electronic music and now they’re paying it forward (via their own online store) with Bleep’s Guide To Electronic Music, a 55 track compilation that showcases the ‘most important’ tracks in the history of electronic music. This is bound to fire some debate about what’s been omitted (at the expense of something else), but really, it’s worth the $23.99 for Basic Channel’s monstrous Phylyps Trak II alone. But don’t shilly shally, the compilation is only available as a lossless download (.wav or .flac) for a limited time.

Further Information: Bleep / Facebook Timeline

Full tracklisting:

Olivier Messiaen – Oraison (7:45)
Pierre Shaeffer – Etude Aux Chemins De Fer (2:52)
John Cage – Williams Mix (5:45)
Pierre Henry – Voile d’Orphée (15:36)
Karlheinz Stockhausen – Gesang der Junglinge (Song of the Youths) (13:11)
Louis And Bebe Barron – Main Titles (Overture) (2:23)
Iannis Xanakis – Concret PH (2:50)
Daphne Oram – The Innocents (Savage Noises) (3:16)
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Music of the Planets (1:04)
John Baker – Tros Y Gareg (Main Theme) (2:50)
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of The Moon (Part One) (16:40)
Popol Vuh – Aguirre I Lacrima Di Rei (6:17)
Clara Rockmore – Nocturne In C-Sharp Minor (3:56)
Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene (Part IV) (4:15)
Bruce Haack – Stand Up Lazarus (4:16)
Throbbing Gristle – Hot on the Heels Of Love (4:24)
Charanjit Singh – Raga Bairagi (5:08)
Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock (7:35)
Dinosaur L – Go Bang (7:35)
Divine – Love Reaction (5:35)
Shannon – Let The Music Play (5:22)
Art of Noise – Moments In Love (5:14)
Model 500 – No UFO’s (4:12)
Kenny Knots & Sella Colins – Pick A Sound (3:26)
Phuture – Acid Tracks (12:17)
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (4:28)
Inner City – Big Fun (3:25)
808 State – Pacific 202 (5:36)
Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants to Ride (8:40)
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash (5:51)
4hero – Mr Kirk’s Nightmare (6:22)
LFO – LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix) (3:28)
Galaxy 2 Galaxy – Hi-Tech Jazz (Original) (8:11)
Bizzy B – Bad Boy (5:14)
Robert Hood – Unix (3:17)
Autechre – Flutter (9:58)
24 Hour Experience – Together (4:44)
Basic Channel – Phylyps Trak II (12:52)
Innerzone Orchestra – Bug in the Bassbin (10:23)
Drexciya – Rubick’s Cube (6:23)
Coldcut – More Beats & Pieces (Daddy Rips It Up Mix) (6:09)
Boards Of Canada – Roygbiv (2:32)
Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (6:08)
GAS – Pop 4 (9:28)
SND – 00005 Re Vers On C (5:15)
Four Tet – She Moves She (4:42)
Dabrye – Hyped-up Plus Tax (3:37)
Fennesz – Shisheido (2:58)
Wiley – Gangsters (3:14)
Skream – Midnight Request Line (5:04)
J Dilla – Don’t Cry (1:59)
Burial – Archangel (6:17)
Actress – Lost (6:08)
James Blake – CMYK (3:39)
Brian Eno – Emerald and Lime (3:02)

Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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One Comment

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  1. Love your continued efforts to champion ‘electronic’ music. Or indeed music in general. I have taken the time to follow up and investigate some of the artists you have recommended and generally enjoyed the new discoveries.

    However whenever you raise the ‘electronic’ music banner I have tended to roll my eyes and shake my head in that unique way parents reserve for when they are indulging an admirably enthusiastic child. When I saw your post on “Bleep…” I thought I would finally respond to you and point out the error of your ways, something along the lines of ‘repetitive, blah blah boring, blah blah shallow, blah blah lacking emotional depth or resonance’.

    Then I looked at the track listing for the Bleep compilation and realised I own a bunch of those tracks and artists (Autechre, James Blake, Four Tet, A Guy Called Gerald, Eno). Incredible as it sounds it didn’t really occur to me that this was electronic music. It seems dumb to me right now that I didn’t think about it. Anyway, my point is that electronic music is in fact a very broad church that often defies stereo typing and can be soulful, rocking, fun and richly textured in the same way that guitar drums and bass continue to thrill and surprise us.

    I reckon I will download the compilation and have a listen to some of those artists I have never even heard of.