|Up until now, Bruce Haack's legacy has only existed in the quirks, glitches, and audio signals of techno-luminaries such as Zapp and Kraftwerk, left unacknowledged and relatively unknown. But with the release of The Electric Voice, the electronic music pioneer can finally be lifted out of the sooty fields of arcane knowledge and placed into a justifiable position of recognition.|
Haack's music is rooted in the idea that humans and electronic machines share a reciprocal relationship that manifests itself through sounds. In order to further explore this dynamic, Haack dropped out of Juilliard to pursue a more experimental course in, surprisingly, educational children's music. Haack released material off his own label Dimension 5 Records in 1962, which allowed him to mix kinetic energy, infuse psychedelic philosophy, and pluck sounds from various genres across the board. Adding to his musical pastiches, Haack used home-made modular synthesizers, proto-vocoders, and the heat-touch sensitive Dermatron to expand his music into the technological realm of creativity.
After contributing to commercials, TV shows such as Mister Rogers, and theatre productions, Haack released the acid-rock-techno gem Electric Lucifer, a conceptual masterpiece that maps out a war between heaven and hell, and where notions of ''powerlove'' are mediated through Moog synths. Similar to friend Raymond Scott (who J-Dilla sampled for ''Lightworks''), Haack's facility to create new electronic soundscapes has turned his work into a virtual music library, one whose samples have already been culled by the likes of Cut Chemist.
The Electric Voice serves as a glowing primer of Haack's work throughout his career. Touching on the lush, pysch-electronic grooves of the Electric Lucifer period and extending to his more abstract, angular works, this compilation highlights his use of the Farad, one of the first musical vocoders invented at the time. Yet amidst echoey reverb and haunting drones, Haack himself manages to create something primal and human, not necessarily conflating human and electronic but posing them as compatible partners.