On the Other Ocean album cover
On the Other Ocean

David Behrman

1978
Lovely Music, Ltd.

1978, and you’re looking for the epicenter of experimental music, you need to go to the academies: Mills College on the West Coast, where side A was recorded, and SUNY Albany on the East, where side B was tracked. The music here captures the mood of the late Seventies perfectly. We are talking about long, sustained tones here, the hard stuff of minimalism. No chattering and bell tones and vibraphones here—we are letting our waves ride. On the first side, Behrman sets up a primitive software system to interact with flutist Maggi Payne and bassoonist Arthur Stidfole. As they play, the electronics turn certain frequencies on and off. The second side is a long duet for tone generators and David Gibson’s cello. Absolutely gorgeous, slow-moving layers of detail and harmonic accents, and one of Behrman’s most satisfying albums.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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