Bruce Haack – Farad: The Electric Voice [reissue]

January 01, 1970

 (Stones Throw)


At this day and age in the advent of Auto-Tune and artists
as diverse as Thom Yorke, Kanye West and Cher
exploring the boundaries of voice modulation, the utilization of the vocoder is
as ubiquitous in pop music as actual singing. And the man you can thank (or blame)
for bringing robotic crooning to the airwaves is Bruce Haack.


Since 1962, this Canadian-born inventor and musician was pivotal
in the implementation of touch pads, synthesizers and rhythmic pulses to
recorded sound. He got his start by making educational children’s music, a
craft for which he dropped out of Julliard but wound up as a guest on such
shows as The Mike Douglas Show, Mister
Rogers’ Neighborhood
and The Tonight
. What helped Haack gain notoriety amongst the likes of Madlib, Peanut
Butter Wolf and the late J. Dilla, however, was his grown-up material,
bookended by his 1970 acid-rock epic Electric
and his 1981 electro-fied swan song Bite.


And it was through this more
esoteric end of Haack’s work that “Farad” came to be, a self-made vocoder that
predated Kraftwerk’s Autobahn by several years. Farad: The Electric
finally brings to light the genius of this unsung hero of electronic
music. Working in conjunction with his estate, this 16-track compilation
gathers together songs from his run through the seventies featuring Farad in
the cut, including several previously out-of-print and unreleased tracks,
including an eight-minute collaboration with a pre-Def Jam Russell Simmons from
1982 called “Party Machine.” Ultimately, this is the definitive overview of a
most remarkable man (Haack passed away in 1988) and his extraordinary machines.


DOWNLOAD: “Incantation”,
“National Anthem to the Moon”, “Man Kind”, “Snow Job”, “Party Machine” RON HART

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