Bruce Haack (& Miss Nelson) – Listen, Compute, Rock Home : The Best Of Dimension 5

I have to thank the other weirdos on Amazon for helping me discover this, as it came up as one of those ‘people also bought’ when I was ordering Raymond Scott, who was actually a mate and collaborator of Haack’s. His famous contemporary fans include Luke Vibert and Add N To X.

Bruce Haack was an electronic music pioneer and started off in the 50s (post-Juilliard) with Musique Concrete. He then went on to experiment with electronic fiddling. This record is the result of Haack working with Esther Nelson, a children’s dance educator who asked him to do some stuff for kids.

But, as it says on the front of the record, this music is for all ages. It starts off with ‘Way Out’ which is Bruce and Miss Nelson introducing themselves over burbling electronic rhythms and vague flurblings. Next, ‘Motorcycle Ride’ tells you the thrills of motorbiking, as if Chris Spedding joined the B-52s briefly. There’s a great groove with some funky organ/polysynth.

‘Jelly Dancers’ starts off with some lovely am-dram and then gets into a wiggly, jiggly, faux-Arabian riff. This is a *great* song and had me and my mrs dancing round the room trying to follow the directions.

All the songs on this CD surprise and delight me. ‘Abracadabra’ is just *so* catchy, I’m hooked on it. And the bizarre fx that pepper it don’t distract, they enhance. ‘OK Robot’ has Bruce and Miss Nelson getting their robot to do some tidying up before getting it to do… some country dancing! Of course, what else would a tired robot do after a hard day mopping floors?

‘Popcorn’ has what sounds like a double-speed piano interspersed with slapbacked bongos and maniacal cackling. And perhaps a chipmunk. Brilliant.

‘Funky Little Song’ closes this CD with what I can only sound as the sound of Air, thirty years too early to break the charts. There’s the lilting melody, vocodered vocals and striding piano.

All the songs on this CD are poppy and make you want to sing, clap and dance along. The sounds are just right, showing that Haack had a unique arranging and synthesis skill. Try the official site for more info.

Buy this CD if you like any electronic music, the theme song from Button Moon or cool songs about motorbikes. Don’t buy this CD if you’re looking for po-faced wedges of “serious” electronica,

love and kisses,