atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,


I have always had an interest in electronic music.

Back in the 1980s there wasn't much of it available. As a relatively poor youth (it was my own fault; I could have had a job if I wanted one) I didn't have the money to spend on music I didn't know, and there was nowhere I could go to listen to stuff to see what I liked. But moreso, it just wasn't all that common, either. There were a few artists (like Isao Tomita, Jean-Paul Jarre, some others) who did "electronic realizations" of classical works, or their own stuff, but there were few places one could listen to them on the radio.

A friend of mine let me hear Tomita's version of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and it was really cool. He also loaned me a copy of Walter Wendy Carlos' "Switched on Bach", which was also really good.

I have always liked Johann Sebastian Bach's music. The first CD I bought for myself--the first one which was not given to me as a gift--was the first three Brandenburg Concertos. Over the years since then I have collected some other disks (both vinyl and CD) of Bach's music, and I never get tired of it. The precision and mathematical perfection of his music has always struck a chord in me. Hearing three- and four-part songs, where everything just fits like perfectly machined gears, it's obvious why his music has endured for so long!

As I've said before, I was a dedicated Projectologist (fan of the Alan Parsons' Project [APP]) in the 1980s, and the instrumentals on the various APP albums were the closest I could come to electronic music. "I, Robot" sounded electronic but really wasn't; Parsons is a talented audio engineer, and won a Grammy for his work on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album--back before they started handing out Grammies with boxes of Cracker Jacks, I mean. And he, and "the Project", has been nominated for several Grammies since then. As a producer, he probably had more influence on early progressive rock than any three other individuals combined, particularly since he did not confine his efforts only to his own albums.

As for me, I never had much exposure to techno or dance music. I'm not into nightclubs and I can't dance to save my life. But in the late 1990s I heard some while shopping at Best Buy, and thought, "Hey, this is not-bad stuff."

A couple years later I bought a stack of blank CD-Rs, and included with the blanks was a disk of assorted MP3s. There was one track on the disk by the Cynic Project (, their track "Matrix II Trance Mix", and it hooked me. I sought out other tracks and downloaded every track by them that I could find--the free download tracks, not bootlegs--and started wondering if I could find other good techno/trance/dance/etc stuff.

Well, I had other things going on in my life, so it wasn't really a priority.... When I moved back to Illinois from Iowa, though, I moved back into range of WNUA and their weekly broadcast of "Musical Starstreams" ( That ended (see below, the entry about "Nucleus" being broadcast).

Now I'm sitting here listening to the XM Radio channel "The System", which is dance/trance/techno/etc 24/7. It's part of my DirecTV service. Lucky!

Most of the stuff that they play on The System is pretty decent stuff. I have heard a few tracks I didn't like all that much, but most of it is pretty good. I find myself alternating between The System and Audio Visions, and once they get "Musical Starstreams" running on "XM Chill" I'll be listening to that channel at least twice per day.

It almost makes me want to buy an XM receiver for my car.

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