Desert Island #4: Douglas Leedy

douglas_leedy-entropicalFor me, Douglas Leedy is in the pantheon of 20th century American composers alongside the likes of Riley, La Monte Young, etc (all three of which apparently studied together at UC-Berkeley). Entropical Paradise is one of the ten best and most important records of the ’70s (really I’d probably put it in my top five). I’ve been drawn to this record like a moth to a giant fucking lighthouse for ages and even now it’s still hard to fully explain what sets it apart.  Beyond being the first of its kind (at least that I’m aware of) – that is an album where someone programmed the patches to basically play themselves without repitition – there’s an organic irony to these pieces that gives the album so much life and so much depth.  I’m not sure if you’d say anything was necessarily left to ‘chance’, but the implication that these six side-long pieces of music created themselves is pretty stunning.  I could listen to music like this for days on end.

For better reading (and to pick up a copy of the beautifully-crafted Creel Pone reissue), go visit Keith Fullerton Whitman’s (the expert on this stuff for my money) review at mimaroglu (and thanks to Keith for the image that accompanies this article).

I know that most of the music I’ve made over the last six or seven years would not exist without Entropical Paradise and there’s dozens of others who could say the same.

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