Zbynek Vostrák, Miloslav Istvan, Václav Kucera; From Czech Electronic Music StudiosCreel Pone
CP 076 CD
Mr. P.C. C.P. here sticking to its (his? their?) new “Every Other Friday” schedule - frankly its much easier to keep on top of things now - with this lovely reproduction of a 1973 Supraphon LP containing four pieces from 1967 & 1968; one each by composers Zbyněk Vostřák & Miloslav Ištvan, two by Václav Kučera - all very much in the Musique Concrète tradition - as the liners outline, the entire Bohemian Electronic Music “Scene” was sparked by a 1964 lecture in Plzeň by members of the “Groupe de Recherches Musicales” - aka the GRM - yet filtered through the same Eastern-European sensibilities that make the era & geographically appropriate animated film & design so unique.
Starting off with Zbyněk Vostřák’s spare, episodic “Scales of Light” - rife with dissonant Synthesized tone clusters, backwards Concrète sounds, and a few gratifyingly noisy outbursts - and continuing into Miloslav Ištvan’s “Isle of Toys” - a dense study using only children’s sound-toys as source material: Bells, Whistles, Drums, Jack-in-the-Box, Ukelele, etc. - it’s clear the lessons of Schaeffer et.al were taken to heart. The two pieces by Václav Kučera that make up the remainder of the album have a more filmic bent; the first utilizing a continuous heart-beat rhythm overlaid with drops of pitch-altered instrumental and vocal jabs, the second a spacious collage of field-recorded events, manipulated ensemble performance and meticulously executed tape-edits & effects.
Consider this the companion volume to “Electronic Music - Experimental Studios in Prague, Bratislava, Munich, University of Illinois, Warsaw, Paris” - whose Vladimir Lébl contributes sleeve-notes here - and “Hungarian Electronic Music” - completing something of a Triptych of obscure Eastern-European Electronic Music activity.