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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Letter

In 1971, Swedish rocker Hans Edler's career took a sharp left turn. He released what some claim is the world's first pop album to be created entirely on a computer, with his own eerie vocals layered on top. He had spent two years creating it, and the results are stupefying, like one of those deranged "outsider" albums, but with meticulous microtones instead of wrong notes and primitive technology instead of primitive technique. Elektron Kukéso is an unlistenable must-listen, a stew of strong pop sensibility and avant-garde insanity that somehow sounds so wrong but feels so, so right. So, yeah, it bombed. And he went back to making records like this:

1 comment:

Birdseed said...

Hans Edler is a really fascinating character. Nowadays he arranges (supposedly very odd) revival nights with old sixties artists and has no idea what all the Elektron Kukéso fuss is about. He regularly gets into the tabloids because apparently his idea of scheduling clashes with that of various concert halls.

I've got a couple of his Jukebox Graffiti cover albums on vinyl (they're fairly easy to find here) and the material ranges from very straight covers to the strange and tasteless. I seem to remember his cover of "Electric Avenue" being a particular highlight.