The Well-Tempered Synthesizer by Wendy Carlos turns 50 years old this month. After demonstrating that synthesizers were Musical As Fuck with Switched-On Bach, her second album goes a step further, capturing the nuances of Handel and Scarlatti, and even having an admirable shot at vocal synthesis. Give it a listen!

For whatever reason, Wendy's entire back catalogue outside the Tron OST remains tragically unavailiable, but Archive Dot Org has us covered.

@ThreeLetterMax thank you so much for pointing out this is on, i've been trying to find a copy of that collab she did with weird al _forever_

@wijn right?! One of the most important figures in electronic music history and her entire catalogue is an absolute bastard to find. It's a real shame.

@ThreeLetterMax yup. the only thing I had of hers was a vinyl copy of Switched-On Bach I just randomly found in a junk store one day.

@wijn nice. Was it the terrible cursed version of the album cover where the Bach model is sat down, making a silly face and wearing a pair of headphones plugged into the INPUT of a random module? Because if I can ever find a vinyl copy that's the one I would go for.

@wijn Oooh, a copy for radio stations? Don't think I've seen a variant like that before. Dang, how many different versions of this one album ARE there out there?

@ThreeLetterMax It's a sticker on the front, but it's always neat to find these sort of variations when grabbing records. also i wonder what sort of radio station would have even played this.

@wijn Yeah, it's a stubbornly difficult record to categorise. It wouldn't fit on a pop station, it made classical stations pretty cross at the time, and don't you fucking dare call it a novelty record, although there were certainly no shortage of Bad Novelty Records that ripped it off.

There's a great radio programme from 1969 by Glenn Gould, featuring interviews with Wendy Carlos and Jean Le Moyne, that seems to nicely capture what The Discourse at the time was like.

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Elekk: Gameing and Other Delightful Pursuits

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