Tod Dockstader Aerial #3

Aerial # 3 is the final edition of the three album set of electronic compositions by Tod Dockstader. All of the sound sources are generated by the spaces in between the stations of shortwave radio and before you brush this off as a collection of static, allow me to set things straight. The genius of this volume lies in a form and sound sensibility that has its echoes in Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma and more recent forays by fan boys Autechre and Aphex Twin. Each piece is as concise and precise as a good pop single, with the longest track running at just under five minutes, and each develops its own moods and themes extremely well. Pulsing rhythms and ambient washes are the general subject but the detail and sophistication of the content is quite remarkable. It’s also worthwhile to note that this music came about as a result of the affordability of consumer computer systems. Dockstader got no props or gear access from the academic music mafia for much of his 40-plus-year career. Their loss, your gain. (Sub Rosa)