EUROPEAN ROCK & THE SECOND CULTURE by Archie Patterson

EUROPEAN ROCK & THE SECOND CULTURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this thick anthology of rock history, Patterson compiles every feature article and interview published by Eurock magazine.

Described in the foreword as a documentation of a time in history when “the limits of imagination and what was possible sonically were stretched beyond the norm,” the anthology is organized by year, starting with 1973 and ending with 2002. Fans of European rock and electronic music will value the variety of content, from interviews with Holger Czukay to collections of mini-essays by Robert-Jan Stips. Without commentary or sidebars, the reprinted musings, essays and articles about and by musicians speak for themselves. And there’s a lot of rich information to mine; the reader may discover Klaus Dinger of the German rock scene or Heinz Strobl, also known as Gandalf, and might learn a few things about the underlying philosophies and theories that contributed to new waves of sound and sonic technology. Here, composers discuss the way they probe into their inner “soulscapes” for a truer, more authentic expression of sound, and reviewers rave about the new albums and LPs of the ’80s and ’90s. One artist, Mark Shreeve, describes music as an “undemocratic art” where many solo electronic musicians are more satisfied by developing their own ideas than by collaborating with one another. The interviews dig deep into the inspirations and motivations behind different movements, albums and periods of creation. If anything, the nostalgic experience of reading through these artifacts helps one appreciate the combination of moments, innovations and risks that created each new step of a growing musical force across a continent. For those readers interested in particular research, an index in the book’s final pages organizes all artists, bands and record labels mentioned.

A fascinating aerial view of a music scene spanning three decades.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0972309806
Page count: 708pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2013