|Tod Dockstader's second Starkland CD contains his brooding, ominous Apocalypse, along with the piece famous for its haunting use of processed laughter, Luna Park, which a Fanfare critic called "one of the finest works of electronic music I've ever heard." (He adds: "The rest of the disc is not a let-down.") Also appearing for the first time on this CD are Two Fragments from Apocalypse and Four Telemetry Tapes, Dockstader's last true organized sound pieces.
In addition to receiving extraordinary praise within the United States, these two CDs have won glowing affirmations around the world, from Canada's Musicworks ("vital and fascinating") to France's Revue & Corrigée ("astonishing") to England's The Wire ("extraordinary") to Belgium's Audioview ("one of the backbones of modern experimental music") to New Zealand's ripitup ("crushingly good...the best that I've heard").
Dockstader's music turns out to have a surprising relevance to music created decades later; he's been described as "one of the godfathers of Nurse With Wound, and a distant cousin of rap and techno" (Option). Craig Anderton writes that Dockstader was one of the few to master "the art of assembling tape-recorded sounds and painstakingly splicing, cutting, dubbing, manipulating and mixing to create final compositions," then adds: "If you think that sounds similar to the procedures used to create today's cutting-edge pop music, you're right."
"The obsessive care with which Starkland have compiled these extraordinary recordings should ensure that Dockstader will be remembered as the innovative, visionary figure he undoubtedly was."
"Tod Dockstader belongs in the select company of Varèse, Stockhausen, Luening, Schaeffer, Subotnick, and the other pioneers of electronic music or musique concrète. His achievement is on a par with the best in his field."
The Washington Post:
"One of the giants in the field."