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Edgard Varèse - Complete Works Of Edgard Varèse Vol 1 [El Records - 2008]

French born modern classical composer & noise maker Edgard Varèse is best known as an influence on the young Frank Zappa, but he deserves much more attention and appreciation beyond this. Varèse's work has certainly an big influence on both the noise and industrial genres, as well as wider experimental music forms with its use early electronics’, noise matter and mixing it with orchestral instruments & the up front and often violent percussive focus running through much of his work.

The most astonishing thing about this reissue is that many of the pieces here date back to the mid 1920’s, early 1930's and with the most recent piece been from 1954 - the music is far in advance and often dangerous and explosive for the time. With Varèse mixing in air raid siren sounds, smashing and clunking percussion, and early seering electronic tone over his often discordant, awkward and offten ugly wind orchestration, crashing piano work and huge array of percussive orchestration. Varèse really did sound like no one else at the time and must have scared the hell out of most people with his violent, dissonant and noisy music; today most of these tracks still sounds fairly fresh and violent in their own right, sure you can hear where Zappa got a lot of his avant classical edges from, but this collection stands up in its own right.

This reissue will be of course interest to fans of general modern classical music, as well as fans of industrial, noise and early electro acoustic music. Varèse was a true innovator in experimental music form and his work still stands up today with power and discordant wonder.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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