I first heard this recording on Kent State University's WKSU 89.7 FM on their nightly alternative Radio Program- FRESH AIR- in the late 1970s. Now some 40 years later, this Cult Classic still holds the test of time and remains in the mix of our personal top 40 Obscure Freakout Recordings from this era.
Favorite track: L'Unita.
World of Echo
Bruce Ditmas would be the one person from the 1976 album, Jaco Pastorius / Pat Metheny / Bruce Ditmas / Paul Bley, where you'd be like, "Who?" I mean, that's what I said way back when I picked up that CD. Anyhoo, this comp cherry-picks from two albums the drummer released in '77. It's basically free jazz with Moogs and Arps, and obvi drums.
As an artist whose name has become mutually synonymous with the instrument he plays Bruce Ditmas is a very unique heavy musician from one of those special tight knit communities that tried (and almost succeeded) to change the facade of progressive pop music and jazz via musical technology. Raised in Miami (an unknown incubator for future synthesists) Bruce carved the image of a teen prodigy playing jazz drums at the most exclusive Miami Beach hotels. After being whisked off to New York by none other that July Garland he became immersed in free music, recording compositions by Annette Peacock and Carla Bley before setting up house with vocal artist Joan La Barbara (later Mrs. Morton Subotnick) in 1975, who, via her own label, encouraged Bruce to pursue his very specific experiments in heavy electronic rhythms.
This LP is compiled from the solo Moog Drum compositions from his only two albums both released in 1977 using a Mini-Moog (donated by Gil “Hendrix” Evans), an Arp 2600 and a wide range of treated percussive instruments that littered this enfant terrible’s bedroom floor throughout the 1970s. A later pillar of the Enja and ECM community, Bruce's later work in TV, film, sound sculpture and free music still renders truly unique recording to this very day. Meet your new favourite drummer, and the best Moog Drum record in your whole collection.
Harrowingly beautiful chamber pop/avant-electro experimentation from John Mills-Cockell, arguably one of the most forward-thinking compositional minds of the 70s. After his first band Intersystems folded, he went on to found Syrinx with Doug Pringle on saxophone and Alan Wells playing percussion, playing a number of Canadian coffee shops and going on to link with some big names like Miles Davis, Ravi Shankar, and Robert Moog. Incredible early modular synthesis - this comp is a must-listen! Josh Augustin