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Keith Fullerton Whitman: “Generator 5”

From the album Generator (2010)

Keith Fullerton Whitman is a one-man army of electronic music. I first knew of him as the proprietor of Mimaroglu Music Sales, a premiere source for rare and hard-to-find albums within a broad experimental/electronic spectrum. Later, I learned that Whitman was also the main figure behind Creel Pone, a mysterious label devoted to releasing small print runs of CD re-releases of ultra-rare LPs, presented as “Unheralded Classics of Electronic Music - 1952-1984.”

Beyond this staggering curatorial work, Whitman somehow finds time to make his own music, as well. His earliest records, released under the moniker Hrvatski, trafficked in an EDM-inspired sound with heavy doses of sonic weirdness. Later work under his own name explored a more free-form approach to electronic composition that nonetheless betrayed Whitman’s intimate familiarity with the deep history of the genre.

I was fortunate to hear Whitman’s recent performance at the Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam, where he unleashed a brutal, 10-minute fusillade of raw analog noise in swirling quadrophony. The tone of the music on Generator is for the most part much more reserved, dominated by gently churning sequencers, pure electronic waveforms, and a cumulative, layering approach to compositional form. In its directness, whimsy, and sheer joy in the phenomena of sound, Whitman’s Generator recaptures the experimental spirit animating the best of the electronic music tradition.

Played 249 time(s).

July 25, 2012, 11:13pm

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