Friday 13 January 2023

Down the rabbit hole

Interesting tale this time around, got talking with a coworker about the repress of the original Artificial Intelligence compilation Warp put out late last year, and in the process of seeing of bleep had any more left in stock, I accidentally stumbled across Doris Norton. Now here's some album art to grab your attention.

It's a reissue of a 1985 release, but the Bleep page lists the reissue date, so you could be forgiven for thinking it was a modern one emulating the style much like Ford & Lopatin's Channel Pressure. Curiousity took hold and off a reading I went. And what a tale it is, with Doris being actually sponsored by Apple - a fact that is shown prominently on the album cover for Personal Computer, embalzoned with the Apple logo, not to mention the Apple II featuring front and center on Artificial Intelligence, both albums I'll be posting from today.

Between it and the mouthful Nortoncomputerforpeace, and the previous album Personal Computer you have a blitz of 1980's electro. It's all good stuff, helped by the relatively bite size portions of the albums - each clocking in at around a half hour apiece. I've been trying to explore more vintage electronic as of late, so this has been a fun, if unexpected, journey. Here are some of my selections:

On paper it's sort of by-the-numbers electro, but for it's time it will have been pretty novel. It's a little like going back and watching an old horror flick, it's full of clichés going back to it - but the only reason they're clichés are because they originated from that film! The other highlight has been Personal Computer. Frustratingly the repressing label only has this 20min preview of the full thing rather than individual tracks, but it's certainly worth a spin - the whole album is only about 33mins after all so it's actually a pretty big 'preview'! Check out title track Personal Computer for some surprisingly grungy hi-tech electronic goodness, or head over to my personal favourite A.D.A. Converter for some wild synth and atmospheric noodling.

And that'll be all for today's electro excursion, hope you've found it as interesting as I have. Just goes to show you what can come of a botched search! Not sure how long it would have been until me and Doris crossed paths otherwise, but it seems like we were destined to at some point. A string of represses means her work is more readily available than if it were stuck in the 80s, but sadly there's no digital version of them to accompany. Still, happy to have found it either way. Until next time, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music


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