Eric Lumbleau    3-November-2001 The Electric Lucifer Book 2

Comprised of equal parts deep seated melodicism and preternaturally twisted mayhem, Bruce Haack's original Electric Lucifer album, released back in 1970, placed him squarely within a rarefied realm of surrealist electronic wizards that include Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan, Mort Garson, David Vorhaus and Ron Geesin. ReSearch's series of Incredibly Strange Music books has brought about a well deserved renaissance for these inspired cranks And Bruce Haack's classic is one of this trajectory's highest points. So ingenious and confounding was the original Electric Lucifer, in fact, that this half-baked rehash (recorded in 1979 and unreleased until now) makes one wonder whether Haack had dealings with the horned one to attain the lofty peaks of his previous work.

Obvious where the original was enigmatic, as flat and boxed in as the original was expansive and far reaching, Haack here regurgitates only the superficial trappings of his former glories (plinky-plonky rhythm machines, vocoded voices and cheerfully doinky melodies). It seems that years of Haack's sideline profession creating "children's first electronic music" albums have left his once remarkable compositional strategies imbued with all the depth and heft of a 70's porn soundtrack and an approach to melody that could pass as a vocoded varient on the theme from The Great Space Coaster. As illusion-shattering archival releases go, Electric Lucifer Book 2 is in a league of its own.

(Originally published in Alternative Press #151, p.83; reprinted by permission)

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