Malcolm Pointon was an early British synthesiser explorer, making weird sounds and building new synths as part of the DIY-at-home scene that circulated around the magazine Practical Electronics in the 70’s. Electromuse compiles a number of his amazing works, which, taken together, sounds like an alternate-universe history of 20th century electronic music. LP on Public Information.
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- Electromuse by Malcolm Pointon
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Now made available for the first time on record, to a soon-to-be-staggered public, Malcolm Pointon’s experimental recordings and studies in electronics are presented in this fascinating, important artefact from the 1970s. Electromuse, compiled by Ian Helliwell, features all the compositional playfulness and engineering ingenuity of a man who was later diagnosed with a devastating brain disease at the age of 51. Dementia triggered Pointon’s protracted mental decline and death at the age of 66, in 2007.
Inspired by the likes of Stockhausen, in 1970 Malcolm began to compose in his home using a radio and multi-speed tape recorder. The opening track ‘Radiophonie’ was made this way and features a series of short-and-long-wave oscillations expertly spliced together to create something which sounds particularly eerie and unearthly now, in our digitally obsessed age. Ghostly sounds of the past. Relentless arpeggiated rhythm runs amok through ‘Sonata Elletronica’.
Malcolm’s own voice introduces his centrepiece, ‘Symbiosis’, detailing the technical aspects of the recording and enthusing over the opportunities presented by this exciting new medium for the dedicated amateur. Lovely and quaint as all that sounds now, the track is a heavy and full-on encounter with a range of mind-warping pulses, bursts and cut-up techniques we now associate with concrète and most ‘experimental’ musics. What follows, in ‘Trojan Woman’ is an extended trip into the world of head-spinning freak-out frequences and narrative textures. Other works, like the gauzy ‘Study 2’ and fluttery ‘Poreira’ are shimmeringly beautiful. Profits from the record go to the Alzheimer’s Society.
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