A pioneering acoustic ecologist, the German-born Hildegard Westerkamp followed in the wake of R. Murray Schafer's 1977 book, The Tuning of the World (The Soundscape). Creating music from field recordings with a particular consciousness towards their original sources, Westerkamp made music of the world at hand. On "Cricket Voice," she time-stretched desert crickets amid the rustling of cactus spines and dried palm leaves, a deep environmental awareness without which AnCo's Campfire Songs might not have discovered the rhythm of the Maryland rain. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: White Noise


    A key member the Group de Recherches Musicales, the electroacoustic crew established in post-WWII Paris, the classically trained Pierre Henry was an early titan of musique concrète. The GRM's radical notion of music built around source materials rather than linear performance was a ticking conceptual time-bomb when psych rock was finally invented. Henry was right there with his 1967 single with Michel Colombier, "Psyché Rock," from which Christopher Tyng appropriately borrowed for the Futurama theme 30 years later. Geologist: One of those dudes I discovered from records thorough WKCR. Since I was a DJ there, they encourage you to take anything out. I didn’t have many friends early in college. I'd sign out like three at a time. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Hour-Glass Sanatorium


    Practice space-mates with Animal Collective in the heady early aughts and comrades ever since, Gang Gang Dance's art-groove moves grew from the same lysergic Brooklyn soil. The rare contemporary act that Animal Collective has repeatedly claimed allegiance with, the Gang Gang gang's own beat obfuscation has evolved in parallel towards bigger and more drippingly dense targets. With 2011's Eye Contact being the glistening New Wave yin to Centipede Hz's day-glo yang, both continue to follow their psychedelic marching orders into new paths. Geologist: We sort of try to fight nostalgia a lot, at least aesthetically. We're not interested in nostalgia because it's in opposition to the spirit of what psychedelic music is to try and sound exactly like it. At their time their music was really forward thinking and trying to push boundaries.


    The Moog-pop supergroup spawn of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, White Noise's sole LP —1969's An Electric Storm — is handmade electronic music of the first order. David Vorhaus, Delia Derbyshire, and Brian Hodgson built their resonant blips and proto-hauntological swirl from scratch without a single keyboard-based synth. Though parts of "Firebird" sound like Smile, the trio embraced the power of working without presets, either generic or technological. The drama of the group's dream-splice edits wasn't lost on Animal Collective. Deakin: We used to spend time outside on this porch [of the house] Dave's family lived in. I remember that record coming on. I might have been having a [psychedelic] experience of some sort. It was just incredible. It was something I think I already understood.

  • Bill Doss / Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

    Bill Doss of Olivia Tremor Control, RIP: Hear His Legacy in 15 Tracks

    Olivia Trevor Control member and co-founder of the Elephant 6 collective Bill Doss passed away suddenly on Monday at the age of 43. He had a long and storied career as a indie-rock songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer, scene lynchpin, and sound artist. But before all that, growing up outside Ruston, Louisiana, his idea of music itself was literally synonymous with the Beatles. He once recalled to the San Francisco Weekly about hearing the Fab Four at age 10, thinking, "Wow, this is neat. This music thing is good." As Doss grew and evolved, the Beatles remained his lingua franca as he and his high school pals discovered punk rock, screamed into boomboxes and four-tracks, got jobs at the college radio station, invented the Elephant 6 Recording Company, and eventually formed real bands.

  • Kurt Wagner / Photo by Walker Burns

    Lambchop and Yo La Tengo Invent a Holiday in New York

    "It's our favorite holiday," Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan declared from the Le Poisson Rouge stage, "Lambchop Comes to New York Day." It was a quiet celebration, but a celebration nonetheless.

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    R.E.M.'s Mike Mills on the Band's Most Underrated Record

    Alternative godfathers and four-time SPIN cover stars R.E.M. ended a 30-year career of defining generations and defying MTV with no fanfare beyond an website announcement. The band's Mike Mills told SPIN last week, "There was no moment of clarity," as he kicked his feet up on the Warner Brothers furniture, explaining that the split was a slow-burner that had been in the works since 2008. Thankfully, Warner Bros. is issuing a proper eulogy in the form of a career-spanning greatest hits set. The two-disc retrospective Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage is their first to include tracks from both their pioneering I.R.S. days and their 10 records for Warner Bros. — not to mention three new tracks.

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    R.E.M.'s Mike Mills Says Split Was Gestating Since '08

    "There was no moment of clarity," R.E.M.'s Mike Mills tells SPIN on his second-to-last day as a Warner Brothers employee, feet up on the furniture, chatting about the band's two-disc retrospective Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage (due November 15). "We were discussing it on tour in 2008 and gradually the three of us came separately to the decision that breaking up might be the right thing to do at the time. We had an opportunity to do something that nobody else has really done — a band that has been together for a long time without any sort of bad things prompting the breakup.

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