Electronic Music. Isn't it funny how two words can have so many different meaning to so many people? In my mind electronic music immediately brings to mind Switched On Bach by Walter Carlos (who later became Wendy Carlos but that has nothing to do with music except the beat that Walter happened to dance to was more Wendy's rhythm) and Tomita's wonderful versions of Debussy's music on I believe what was called Snowflakes Are Dancing.
In other words pieces developed from pre existing music and interpreted on Moog synthesisers. I can also skip forward to the next generation of electronic arts – where it first crossed over into the popular music arena with people like Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and Laurie Anderson or bands like Cluster, Kraftwerk, and various projects that Brian Eno did with people like Jon Hassel.
Unlike their predecessors these people created original compositions which attempted, with the exception of Kraftwerk, to create atmospheric impressions. Music For Films and Music For Airports, two Fripp and Eno collaborations, are classic examples from that period of what they called aural wallpaper compositions. They were created with the purpose of being played in the background, to have as subtle an effect on a room's atmosphere as wallpaper. The aim was for it to be noticed in the same subliminal way that wallpaper affects a response.
Today electronic music seems to mean anything from compositions like the above, to people doing nothing more than compiling samples of other people music through digital processors, adding bass and drum machines, and playing it for mindless hoards of people to dance to. Other people make better use of the technology to share audio tracks across great distances so that a musician in India can collaborate with indigenous drummers in the rainforests of Brazil and a singer in Detroit to make a unique piece of music but I'd be hard pressed to find any contemporary music that had really impressed me, until now.
So it was with some trepidation that I placed Altered Realities by Erdem Helvacioglu into my player. He had said his music was electronic and I was dreading some horrible house style thing. Well, my fears were offset immediately upon reading his C.V. that he had thoughtfully enclosed with the disc. (he mailed it at his own expense from Istanbul, Turkey where he lives).