Music News Network Review: End ID

Japan's Koji Marutani (who has appeared on several Touch compilations) gathers the electronic underground for this double disc look at the development of sound and technology in the 20th century. It is not only another chance to promote the scene working with digital noise, Mego's Rehberg & Bauer for instance, but also to equate experimenters coming from power electronics with those of academic backgrounds like Maggi Payne.

The CD's concept requires the use of a range of sound sources, and an emphasis was placed on communications technologies: dictaphone (ERG), records (Michael Gendreau & Ralf Wehousky), radio (Ryoji Ikeda, Koji Marutani), television (Aube) and the domestic answering machine (Venoz TKS). Maggi Payne worked with raw short-wave radio broadcasts in which she found a compressed history of telecommunications - signals from a basic Morse code to current forms are all present simultaneously.

The more unusual sound sources on End ID include Mark Behrens' use of a "light-to-sound transducer" for his electronic-concrete piece "Ccdeinnoorsttu," and Zbigniev Karkowski & Helmut Schafer's sampling of the hums and drones of a German power plant for "Don't Touch Me I'm Electric." And the strangest of them all is Atau Tanaka's computer translation of Nick Ut's Pulitzer famous prize-winning photograph of the Vietnamese victim of an American napalm attack. His programs interpreted a spectral scan of the photograph, with the vertical axis becoming frequency in the remarkable piece "9m14s Over Vietnam."