Antunes - Savage Songs - The Squids Ear, Kurt Gottschalk
There are some stories, like
The Shaggs, Milli Vanilli and Harry Partch, that just need to be told. Sound and
electronics experimenter Jorge Atunes is one such story.
As a 19-year-old violin student who made extra money fixing
radios, Atunes went to the first electronic music concert
ever held in Brazil, a 1961 performance by David Tudor of
Stockhausen's "Kontakte." Within a month, he had
set up two tape recorders and a wave generator next to the
piano in his parents' home and recorded his first piece.
That piece is one of 14 included on this excellent compilation,
which documents the composers experiments through 1970. While
all the trappings might suggest stuffy experimentalism, the
tracks are brief, most of them between two and four minutes,
and thoroughly engaging. Atunes is a composer, and arguably
a pop composer, whose instrumental work could stand alongside
such other sound fantasists as Brian Wilson, Kraftwerk and
his countryman Tom Zé. But while those musicians worked
in partnerships and generally with vocals, Atunes was alone,
making the sounds he heard in his head and experimenting with
what is now a quaint and thoroughly listenable futurism.