Megatron edition of Laurie Spiegel’s groundbreaking 1980 LP ‘The Expanding Universe’ here. All four of the original tracks are included here, remastered for extra shine, radiating vibes that would later be picked up on by the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never and Tim Hecker. On this new pressing ‘The Expanding Universe’ is expanded yet further by a whopping fifteen bonus tracks - many of which are previously unreleased.
Vinyl Triple LP £38.99 UW19LP
Expanded 3LP edition on Unseen Worlds. Mastered by Laurie Spiegel, cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Comes in a split-fountain gatefold sleeve.
- Includes download code
CD £17.99 UW19CD
Reissue 2CD on Unseen Worlds. Comes in a gatefold wallet incl. 23-page booklet with comprehensive liner notes by Laurie Spiegel and period photos.
A very weird coincidence occurred a couple of months back that sorta freaked me out a little. I'd been recently listening to a compilation called ‘Women In Electronic Music’ and heard a track called ‘Appalachian Grove I’ by Laurie Spiegel. I had heard some of her music previously but not this track and so I decided to hunt down a copy of the original after discovering it appeared on the ‘Expanding Universe Album’. I was unable to locate a copy anywhere online and so I gave up. A couple of hours later I was working, adding new titles to the Norman Records website and lo and behold what should appear in the sales notes from a certain distro but that very album! This was around a month before The Wire magazine featured her extensively in their September issue. I was overjoyed and a little spooked at the same time. Was it an act of the divine? Synchronicity? Or just the universe dealing out its cards? Who knows but finally the album is here and it’s an absolute joy to behold.
I’ll spare the biographic details of this marvellous women as you can read those in The Wire feature and also in the extensive sleeve notes. Spiegel is an electronic music pioneer and none of her work has dated one single iota. My fascination with electronic music is how an artist can harness voltage and by sensitively caressing something like a potentiometer can make the magic of the universe appear before the listener. Cue this brilliant reissue package that clocks in at over two and a half hours with so much extra material it’s almost unfathomable upon first listen, but it constantly rewards. This is one huge bliss out from begining to end.
I’ve been listening to it while relaxing in the bath and can highly recommend doing so. Should you electrocute yourself in the process then top marks for being stupid. If you can manage to track down the almost impossible to find ‘Obsolete Systems’ and ‘Unseen Worlds’ works by her then go for it as they are also fantastic but let’s hope on the strength of this, affordable reissues will eventually see the light of day. Comes as a 2CD set or vinyl LP replica the original that includes a digital download of said album plus the bonus goodies. A highlight of 2012.
10/10 Matty Skylab 2nd April 2014
What an extraordinary record... The side-long Expanding Universe tack itself is an all- enveloping deep meditation piece of constantly but subtly shifting pure synthesiser tones - in effect, highly psychedelic. Shut your eyes and drift away on cosmic visions....Elsewhere the music on this album and the accompanying mp3s has a lightness, an airiness, hints of celtic melody, always a feeling of space, the sky, colours, flow and life. Mountain - stream electronica. Pure tones, ascending arpeggios, bubbling fluid textures, resonant cave echoes, suggestions of distant forest birdlife, high mountains, underground rivers, sonar bips, all somehow deeply organic. Gorgeous morning music. Superb!
10/10 Adam 12th March 2014
Like a fractal, this music can be encountered at infinite depth or hung on a wall to pulse the ambient beauty of its surface structure into the surrounding environment. It cannot, however, be totally ignored. It permeates consciousness, lifting the mood and providing space where once there was tension. Spiegel studied composition, got heavy into the theory of music before taking her knowledge to the imposing computers and synthesizers of the time. Combining smarts with sensitivity she miraculously coaxed the imposing grey blocks and wires into producing intricate spirals of fantastic aural colour.
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- The Expanding Universe by Laurie Spiegel
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