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Reviewed by:
  • Arcane Devices: Engines of Myth
  • Curtis E.A. Karnow
Arcane Devices: Engines of Myth David Lee Myers . ReR Megacorp, Thornton Heath, U.K., 1988-2003.

David Lee Myers bemoans J.S. Bach. Myers makes closed electronic feedback loops, and so even the Moog keyboard violates the implied rule: No outside input. "[E]lectronic sound is a pulse of the cosmos which never heard of J. S. Bach, much as I might appreciate the genius of that other music. The electron rules its own universe" <>. Myers fabricates machines, including the Feedback Workstation, which he used to make most of Arcane Devices' tracks. The "improvisations for feedback album was originally released in 1988 and subsequently re-mastered for the 2003 CD.

These are not free-range electrons, though. Myers very carefully massages their stream, and bits of the music are indeed indistinguishable from early Moog, such as Dick Heyman's Electric Eclectics. To be sure, Myers is far more abstract and industrial than popular Moog, but the tone intervals and timing are surgically composed. Imagine patches contributed by Jimi Hendrix, arranged on the fly by an infinitely flexible metronome. This is little more than a proof of concept, however: Perhaps because Myers works alone, the tapestry is thin, no more than one to two tracks. A guy in a junkyard, hammer in one hand and tongs in the other, starting up motors, shredding cables, methodically smashing hoods and breaking glass, just to see what he can come up with. [End Page 77]

Curtis E.A. Karnow
685 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco CA 94105, U.S.A. E-mail: <>.


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