Exposé Online banner

Wendy Carlos — Tales of Heaven and Hell
(East Side Digital ESD 81352, 1998, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1999-04-01

Tales of Heaven and Hell Cover art

Tales of Heaven and Hell is Wendy Carlos’ new album, somewhat of a self-admitted sequel to her soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange. Wendy is rather underrated for her contributions to electronic music, having had an important role in the development of the medium. East Side Digital is doing a nice job bringing music both old and new to digital reissue. This album is one that causes me some writer’s block, being an album with a wide array of classical influences, a remarkably original work that ranges from the tuneful to the abstract. In line with the electronic experimentation that ranges as far back as the late 60s, Wendy uses instruments from the Rachel Elkind-Bob Moog-Carlos-built Circon, analogous to the theremin, to the modern Digital Performer, to create an album that is dark, unusual, and groundbreaking. She adds elaborate liner notes to explain the album’s concept and each track. The centerpiece of the project is the near-18 minute “Clockwork Black,” which incorporates a wide array of classical themes from the “Clockwork Orange” soundtrack into strange tunings, weird sound effects, voices intoning “We are the damned,” and warm harmonics. There are six other tracks, long ones like the oddly tuneful “Transitional” and closer “Seraphim” to more accessible and shorter tracks like “HeavenScent” and “Memories.” Parts of this album are somewhat academic, its abstraction and pure originality making it difficult to grab onto at times. Carlos is by no means verging conventional in any sense, this is a difficult item of new music.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Wendy Carlos

More info
http://www.wendycarlos.com/+thh.html

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Flëur - First Four Albums – Flëur is essentially the Ukrainian duo of Olga Pulatova (piano, vocals) and Elena Voynarovskaya (guitar, vocals) along with a variety of other players on flute, cello, violin, keyboards, bass, and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues