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Book Review: 'The Ambient Century'

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The Ambient Century

Current Status:
In Season
Mark Prendergast

We gave it a B-

Music journalist Prendergast dissects music’s electro-evolution in a 498-page opus that covers everything from Erik Satie’s minimalism to the Chemical Brothers’ rock-techno and Goldie’s trip-hop. Erring on the side of inclusion, Prendergast ventures down side streets as varied as the Beatles’ recording techniques and pioneer Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos’ sex-change operation. Music wonks will forgive the structural mélange but no doubt pick nits of fact and opinion (is German outfit NEU! really ”one of the most overrated bands in the history of rock”?). More casual readers, though, may opt out when the author pauses to explore the nuances of the AKAI S900 sampler. B-