Born out of the fertile 1980’s Philadelphia experimental scene surrounding the University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN radio station, the Painted Bride Art Center, and the Third Street Jazz record store, THE NIGHTCRAWLERS – brothers Peter and Tom Gulch, and Dave Lunt – were an ambient synthesizer trio in the kosmische mode, who music mixed Tangerine Dream-style space music with Eno-esque ambience and the minimalist patterns of Steve Reich. With Moogs, Arps & sequencers droning in a meditative manner, the results sounded more likely to have come out of Berlin or Cologne than the Keystone State.
Developing a strong cult following amongst not just the experimental, but also new age and electronic scenes (they were MIDI pioneers), the trio performed frequently, often in churches and galleries, and almost always improvised. Their three three full-length LPs received considerably local airplay, particularly on WXPN, but it was their over thirty-five self-released cassettes, recorded in a garage on a portable cassette player, dubbed individually, with art designed by the band, that truly captured THE NIGHTCRAWLERS in their element. But if you were lucky enough to pick one up at a concert, or through their own mail-order operation, you would be in possession of something truly rare and wondrous. A distinct anti-careerist ethos has resulted in the act, which dissolved in the early 1990’s, essentially disappearing from the history of electronic music.
THE BIOPHONIC BOOMBOX RECORDINGS collects the very cream from those self-released cassettes, cleans them up (they were recorded on a boombox, after all), and presents them in vinyl (2LP) and digital (2CD, which will feature an expanded track listing) formats for the very first time. By doing so, a necessary piece of the history of electronic music is restored. The last half-decade has seen the long-buried roots of kosmische and even new age music blossom with artists such as Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Mark McGuire pursuing a new culture of electronic pop music with experimental roots. And if the music of The Nightcrawlers were not barely discovered during its original airing, one might claim it past due a rediscovery, resonating further than it did the first time around.
Dive deeper into the ambient electronic scene via Biophonic Kosmische