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John Holland; Music From A Small Planet, Paths Of Motion

Creel Pone
CP 198-198.5 CD
Double Compact Disc-Recordable

Two discs covering three self-issued LPs of 8-bit digital grind by Boston-area composer John Holland; as unheralded and unbeknownst as they come. Despite living in the hub for 24 years, and being a rabid fanatic of exactly this sort of thing, I had never seen nor heard head nor hide of either release, proving all too well that there are still gems out there waiting to be mined.

On par with such proto-Digital-Synthesis masterworks as Daniel Arfib's "Musique Numerique", Pietro Grossi's "Computer Music" double-LP, and even later digital-grind classics by the Leage of Automatic Music Composers and Yasunao Tone, the variably tonal & discordant works here convey a certain continuous-mode motorik, at times greatly resembling Terry Riley's "Time-Lag" era work and even Laurie Spiegel's Hal-Alles-Machine études - even if the melodies themselves are far less humanistic, proffering an almost algorithmic-feeling lilt to them. The phrasing & general algorithmic elasticity remind me heavily of the note-choices the Triadex Muse can, and often only, offers.

This Creel Pone replica of both "Music From A Small Planet" (ASR-1001) & "Paths Of Motion" (ASR-1002-2) offers all relevant info on a 6-panel booklet, plus another double-sided insert showing the label-art. If careening, runaway early digital-noise is of interest to you, or even early stabs at algorithmic, generative digital composition, this is a crucial set, bridging the gap to many of today's stabs at a similar spec.  


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