Bruce Haack: Farad: The Electric Voice

Bruce Haack: Farad: The Electric Voice
By those in the know, Bruce Haack‘s work is considered a predecessor to modern techno but unlike luminaries like Kraftwerk Haack’s work has largely been ignored by modern generations. There are a couple reasons for this. One is that Haack’s failing health really prevented him from releasing music past 1982 with him dying shortly after in 1988. Second, his music never made a major commercial impact. This is mostly because of the odd things he recorded. His recording output through most of the 1960s was educational children’s music. That all changed with 1970’s Electric Lucifer, a Paradise Lost-esque concept record about a war between heaven and hell. Stone Throw Record owner Peanut Butter Wolf said of the record “it really threw me off. It was this psychedelic, electronic stuff from the late 60s that sounded so futuristic.”
Peanut Butter Wolf was apparently so taken by Haack’s work that he decided to negotiate a release of this compilation with Haack’s estate. The compilation focuses on Haack’s work with “farad”. Farad was a home made vocoder that Haack invented. That’s right, long before Jay-Z pronounced auto-tune dead, Haack actually invented the device that has been popularized by T-Pain and Cher.
It is kind of astonishing listening to Farad: The Electric Voice to believe that most of this music was made before 1980. The crowning achievement is the album’s last song which is also Haack’s swan song “Party Machine.” The eight minute track essentially sounds like a Daft Punk demo; it is a little stripped down and not as thumping as modern club dance songs but it has all the basic hallmarks. The song was released in 1982 and was the last release by Haack before his death.
Ultimately, Farad: The Electric Voice feels like an essential listen for any fan of modern electronic music. Some of the tracks are quirky but there is a strong artistic component to most of them that makes them feel like an important historical document in regards to the evolution of music.
Rating: 9.1/10
MP3: Bruce Haack “Party Machine”
Buy: Insound!

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