Even the most dedicated synthesizer aficionados may have missed this obscure 1979 concept album.
Based around Frank Herbert’s _Dune _novels, it features an alternative soundtrack imagined by French composer Zed, aka Bernard Szajner, a sort of Gallic Brian Eno. It’s something of a lost classic, and for those unfamiliar, now’s the time to acquaint yourself with a rare gem of underground electronica. Recorded using extremely basic equipment, the music itself is often also minimalist and austere. To the dark drones of an Oberheim sequencer are added bare bones guitar, percussion and spectral voices, the whole undulating, unfolding soundscape simultaneously jarring, eerie and yet strangely serene. A stark composition, it conceals a great deal of depth and complexity – warm and cold, colourful and monotone, atonal and melodic. Szajner’s intuitive, impressionistic style is the very definition of doing a lot with a little. Two bonus tracks of almost Ligeti-like intensity (his record company deemed them “too futuristic”) add a haunting, ghostly edge. Mandatory for fans of old-school electronic music, space rock, and far-out film scores.