Morphine Records, 2013
The last few years have seen steadily rising vinyl sales, punctuated by reissues and so-called special editions, making it all too easy for some of the truly special releases to pass you by. One such cornerstone record is Charles Cohen's The Middle Distance; released last year on the groundbreaking Morphine label, it is part of a three-LP compilation comprising of music originally recorded between 1979 and 1988. While listening to Charles' work, you'll undoubtably make strong associations to experimental minimalist composers such as Terry Riley, but due to Charles' mastery of the ultra-rare Buchla synthesizer, his sound has a life of its own. The rhythms are complex and the sound design ranges from anywhere between lush and transformative to harsh and chaotic, making it impossible not to draw parallels with so many of the experimental dance music artists working today. With these records finally finding their way to the public this late in his career, it really makes you wonder what other genius unsigned artists are hiding unexplored in their local music troupes and theatre groups.