TOD DOCKSTADER: From the Archives – Starkland

An interesting compilation of later works by one of the great electronic/tape music composers.

TOD DOCKSTADER: From the Archives (TrackList follows) – Starkland ST-226, 65:50 [11/18/16] ****:

Dockstader died a couple years ago and was a key figure in the development of electronic music. As a child, before tape recording, he was fascinated by the sounds of shortwave radio. He began working with wire recording, and as an adult worked at various sound studios. He was a maverick who created amazing musique concrete works on tape on a shoestring budget. His last album, 2006, was thought to be his final statement, but he was productive up until the end of his life, and these selections were culled from 4200 sound files recently discovered on his computer.  His daughter encouraged a devoted enthusiast to sift thru the extensive material. Starkland’s Thomas Steenland worked with Dockstader and promoted his music, and carefully reduced about 50 selected sound files to the final 15 on this CD.

The 15 short selections display the full sonic and emotional range of Dockstader. He stayed relentlessly modern and innovative, pushing into new sonic territories, and his works still sound fresh today. The tracks that seem least interesting here to me were those using natural sounds in the studio such as closing doors etc. He once said “I had no idea that electronic music, as it’s called now, would become anything of any value.”  The last track is very noisy and totally different from all the others. I remember listening to Dockstader’s early LPs at a friend’s house when they first came out, and I have never been a big fan of electronic music but liked his works.

TrackList:

Super Choral
Chinese Morf
Basement Passage
Todt I (excerpt)
Anat Loop
First Target
Whisper Smoothed
Mystery Creak
Creek Bells
Creak Creek
Odd Bells
Todt II
Piano Morf
Choral Mix (excerpt)
Big Jig

—John Sunier

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