Even among knowledgeable devotees of electronic music, Canadian scientist and composer Hugh Le Caine is more likely someone they’ve heard of than someone they know much about. This celebration of Le Caine’s 100th birthday aimed to change this perception. These remixes of Le Caine’s groundbreaking work, « Dripsody, » were composed for this celebration, and are exclusively available digitally for download.
Hugh Le Caine (1914-1977) has been called a hero of electronic music. At an early age he began building musical instruments and experimenting with electronic devices. Shortly after World War II he developed the electronic sackbut. This was a sophisticated monophonic performance instrument now recognized as the first voltage-controlled synthesizer, which paved the way for the majority of commercially available synthesizers available today.
What the critics are saying:
« (Boundary’s remix is) cubist, differently splendid, a new rhythm for « Dripsody » with the same lift as the original. He has taken a groundbreaking electronic piece and broken it on the ground, rubbed it with the dry dust, watched the fly of sparks and gold flecks. He has made a noise piece noisier, given it atmosphere or ionosphere, made it levitate. » – Said The Gramophone
« Each producer offers a distinguished interpretation that bridges yesteryear’s futurism with the present: Boundary sets slow, spacious synth lines against a hypnotic loop concocted from the original; Elaquent situates Le Caine’s pitched water droplets amid a deep kick and intricately skewed hi-hat rhythms; and, to haunting effect, Sandro Perri draws upon musique concrète gestures and a ghostly waltz figure. » – Silent Shout
« Hugh Le Caine was way before his time. The Canadian electronic music pioneer devoted his life to building synthesizers, creating new sounds, and composing in the musique concrète style. His seminal recording, « Dripsody, » which emulates and modifies the sound of a single drop of water, shines as a remarkable and fresh experiment. And it’s from 1955. That’s the same year Elvis Presley released his first #1 single and people were flipping their sh*t over the rise of rock n’ roll – the devil’s music. Imagine the utter chaos that would’ve ensued if anyone had heard this. People would have jumped past worrying about the devil to a full-on apocalyptic alien invasion. » – Noisey
« Each remix takes the simple, neutral sound of Le Caine’s water droplet, and like with the original, manipulates it, resulting in three modern renditions, each with their own distinct character. The project bridges the century-wide gap between early modernist electronic compositions, and the very popular work of today’s DJs and dubstep artists. The Boundary Remix creates a steady groove, combined with slow ethereal chords, using the drips like a metronomic figure. Elaquent’s mix uses the Dripsody motives to create a trickling stream-like sound that plays underneath very bendy synth chords, as if it were under water. With the same material, Sandro Perri created something closer to Le Caine’s original, with an old quasi-carousel waltz pattern playing continuously underneath a fascinating array of chaotic drips, drops, bleeps, and bloops. You can hear samples of each remix here. Be sure to also check out the Centretracks homepage on a regular basis for new recordings from this exciting label. The best is surely yet to come. » – Modulations