Additive Noise Function: Formative UK, European and North American Electronica 1978-1984 by Various

Cherry Red are back at it again. Addictive Noise Function is a compilation of Western electronic music recorded between 1978 and 1984. This 32 track snapshot shows off everything from house and techno, ambient and musique concreÌ€te. Features tracks by Holger CzukayD.A.F. and The Residents. File under: 101 things to make and with a synth.

Vinyl Triple LP £31.48 BREDT748

3LP on Cherry Red incl. O Yuki Conjugate, The Residents, Tuxedomoon, Portion Control, Thomas Leer, The Legendary Pink Dots, D.A.F etc.

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Additive Noise Function: Formative UK, European and North American Electronica 1978-1984 by Various
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8/10 Will 17 April 2019

The late 70s and early 80s were a pivotal moment in electronic music. The capabilities for making electronic music had been massively expanded with the advent of (relatively) cheap musical equipment, and, aided by the success of bands like Kraftwerk and New Order, there were many artists experimenting with this new way of making music making the first forays into genres such as house, techno, ambient, and IDM. On this superb compilation released by the ever-reliable Cherry Red Records, there is a good mix of a few classics and great swathes of stuff you might not have heard before. I was blown away by a hiterto-unknown band called ‘O Yuki Conjugate’ from Nottingham who have a track called ‘Sedation’, a mix of a sampled Japanese choir (I think...) as well as ambient beats and synthesizers.

You can hear the effects of post-punk clearly on this compilation (especially in the minor, cyclic chord progressions), but you can still sense the move away from traditional instruments in favour of something more clinical and sparse. Techno in its initial form is always so scintillating to hear because you know what it eventually turns into, but on these tracks you can hear the tentative steps towards the industrial, hard-edged form that we know and love today.

Every song on ‘Additive’ is in a liminal state, between the electronic and the acoustic, if not in sound then certainly in philosophy. This is best evidenced by the title of Thomas Leer’s track from this compilation ‘Tight As A Drum’ which initially suggests the physical qualities of an acoustic drum but also calls into question the sonic qualities of an electronic drum. It’s clear, then, that ‘Additive’ is something that special indeed. It’s not only an artefact, but a way of showing how modern electronic music came into being.


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