Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Nicolas Collins

Devil's Music

(EM; US: 27 Oct 2009; UK: Import)

Originally released on vinyl in 1986, the debut album from New York City avant sound splicer Nicolas Collins is a groundbreaking experiment in sound that has been considered an early template of the techno movement that would succeed its release a couple of years later. Largely inspired by the early sampling techniques of such hip-hop pioneers as Grandmaster Flash, Rick Rubin, and Afrika Bambaataa, Devil’s Music is an effective and innovative snapshot of Koch-era NYC, utilizing soundclips culled from what Collins considers to be “the world’s cheapest, yet most powerful synthesizer”—otherwise known as his radio—by manipulating circuits and both AM and FM frequencies to capture a flurry of commercials, news flashes, station IDs, talk show quips, and other slices of sonic ephemera of the day.  Em Records’ fascinating reissue of Devi’s Music contains the original two-side performance, along with “The Spark Heard ‘Round the World”, a 25-minute tape piece crafted by Collins around the same time and featuring a pastiche of multi-band radio and scanner recordings. There’s also a bonus disc featuring live performances of “Devil’s Music” and a software download of the original hardware utilized for this most fascinating and forward thinking masterpiece of electronic music.

Rating:

Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


Media
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.