The League of Automatic Music Composers was a band/collective of electronic music experimentalists active in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1977 and 1983. Widely regarded as the first musicians to incorporate the newly available microcomputers of the day into live musical performance, the League created networks of interacting computers and other electronic circuits with an eye to eliciting surprising and new “musical artificial intelligences.” We approached the computer network as one large, interactive musical instrument made up of independently programmed automatic music machines, producing a music that was noisy, difficult, often unpredictable, and occasionally beautiful.
The work of the League partook of the distinctive cultural atmosphere of the San Francisco Bay Area in the seventies and eighties, a rich blend of communal ideologies, radical culture, technical innovation, intellectual ferment, and a hands-on attitude that has been a hallmark of California life since the pioneer days. In the air then there was a sense of new possibilities, and the feeling of the need to build a culture from the ground up. For music, specifically, this meant redefining everything about how it’s done, from the instruments and tuning systems to the musical forms, venues, and social relations among players and audiences.
—Tim Perkis and John Bischoff
The release of this historic compilation restores a vital link in the recorded history of live electronic music and as such is an essential document for anyone interested in the evolution of the American Experimental tradition.
Dense Drone, Martian Folk Music, Finnish Hall, Oakland One, Radio Air Check 1981, Oakland Three, Oakland Four, Blind Lemon, Pedal with Twitter, Oakland Two