The Innerspace Labs Top 100 Albums

Recently a vinyl community I frequent held a month-long event where members shared their Top 30 LPs. I had a wonderful time coming up with my list and writing small reviews for each title. Unfortunately, I had a terrible time limiting my list to just 30, and it quickly grew to a Top 100. (And even then, I’ve cheated here and there with multi-disc box sets and discographies.)

But it all seemed too good not to share here at Innerspace so please enjoy a gallery of 100 of my favorite albums. Mouse over any thumbnail for artist and title info and click any image to expand and view the full-resolution photograph. All albums are presented alphabetically by artist.

Have I made any glaring omissions? Any indisputable electronic classics? Let me know! Perhaps we’ll have to push it to 200…

Enjoy!

Innerspace Video Introduction

Last week I put the new Nexus 7 tablet to the test and filmed my first-ever video as my official introduction to the Youtube Vinyl Community – perhaps the Web’s largest active record group with over 5200 members.   It seemed only appropriate to utilize the same clip as an introduction to my readers here at The Innerspace Connection as well.

This intro features essential recordings for listeners beginning to explore the early electronic sounds of the late 1950s to the early 1970s.

I enjoyed putting it together and I am currently preparing my next two features, so stay tuned for more!

Or view this video on in HD here.

They Just Keep on Coming!

My pre-ordered copy of Brian Eno’s latest generative work, Lux has arrived at my record shop which I should be visiting next week.

In the meantime here are a few groovy titles that I’ve found in the wild.

This first album appeared on r/vinyl and I couldn’t get my wallet out fast enough.  I’ve been watching auctions for original copies of Beck’s Sea Change for months.  Every copy sells for about $40.  Then I found out about the special limited edition Black Friday release of the Mobile Fidelity 180g remaster and knew I had to act fast.  This is the first Mobile Fidelity release on a colored vinyl – marbled pink wax in this case.  And it sounds absolutely magnificent.

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Next I found two John Cage LPs in the trade-in boxes a customer dropped off at my local record shop.  They were a little musty so I may look to upgrade my copies later down the line.  They were Folkways Records’ Sound of New Music featuring Cage, Varese, Ussachevsky and others, and Indeterminacy by Cage and David Tudor.

Smithsonian Folkways - Sounds of New Music (Cage, Ussachevsky, Varese)

John Cage - Indeterminacy

Later that week I checked out Buffalo’s largest bookstore and took a chance on their small record section in the back.  Behind about 50 Elvis records I lucked out and found a sealed John Cage and David Tudor record!  It still had it’s $2 price sticker from 1966, which the shop kindly honored!

John Cage w David Tudor - Variations IV

Next up at my local Antique Mall I absolutely struck gold in the area of New Music.

I almost passed up this next disc because I knew I had the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange at home.  But the vendor explained to me that this was a different album, entirely.  Most importantly it includes the full 13 minute version of “Timesteps,” one of the most famed in the history of early electronic recordings.  (The soundtrack version of the album trimmed it down to 4 minutes.)

Walter Carlos - Clockwork Orange

They also had a classic ambient album from Harold Budd – a Belgian import of Serpent in Quicksilver.

Harold Budd - Serpent in Quicksilver

Then I spotted this legendary Nonesuch release – Time’s Encomium.  Wuorinen won a Pulitzer Prize for this recording, making it the first all-electronic album to win the Prize and making Wuorinen the youngest-ever recipient.  It’s a wonderful milestone in early electronic sound.

Wuorinen - Time's Encomium

And finally there was this incredible LP which I had been after for weeks.  The Columbia-Princeston Electronic Music Center was founded in 1958 and this mono LP was released in 1964.  The only electronic record I’ve found that pre-dates this release is my copy of Forbidden Planet which was recorded in 1956.

Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

That’s all for this week, I’ll post the new Eno album as soon as I pick it up!