Iara Lee, Peter Shapiro (Editor), Simon Reynolds
Distributed Art Publishers
October 15 2000
Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 8.33 x 8.20
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Other books have been written on electronic music, but none with the breadth and accessibility offered by Modulations, the tie-in volume to the critically acclaimed film directed by Iara Lee, released in 1998. Going beyond the limits of an encyclopedia or a record guide, essays by musicians and music journalists illuminate such genres as techno, house, krautrock, disco, hip-hop, drum'n'bass, ambient, and downtempo in more expansive detail than was possible in the film. From the "art of noise" proposed by then Italian Futurists to the musique concrete experiments of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, Modulations probes the conceptual origins of synthesized sound. Present day geographic trends and cross-fertilized styles are traced back to the experimental and groundbreaking work of diverse pioneers such as Iannis Xenakis, Kraftwerk, Giorgo Moroder, Robert Moog, and John Cage. The African-American roots of electronic music are also documented, from free-jazz fellow traveler Sun Ra to funk innovators Parliament/Funkadelic.
Sections on fusion, dub, post-punk, breakbeats, latin freestyle, and Miami bass make this book an all-encompassing reference tool for devoted followers as well as an excellent introduction for curious newcomers.