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Jonathan Block Cassette Discography (1985-1996)

Jonathan Block released a number cassettes between 1985 and 1996. The first Synthetic Block CD was released on Mindspore Records in 1998. If the music must have a label, then it would be called Progressive Ambience: All fit squarely in the ambient/space music domain with a good measure of progressive overtones.

A review in Audion magazine (Issue 33; autumn '95) said that Block: "Presents extraordinary electronic music unlike anything else being produced in the U.S. today."

Here's a review of a live show that Block did in New York City on Nov. 6, 1996, at the Rock and Roll Cafe. This review appears in Progression magazine (Vol. 11, Number 22), and was written by Paul Arzooman. A resident of Connecticut, Block opened the show with an impressive program of space music. Reminiscent of the German artist Klaus Schulze, Block focused on composition over the technical, creating music that was strikingly beautiful as well as complex. Unlike some space/new age music that affects me like an electronic sleeping pill, the pieces offered that evening held my interest. One number featured Block reading his own poetry over music was quite haunting. His first CD should be out sometime this year and I look forward to hearing it. Below are the last three titles released on Ironing Board Recordings. Please note that these cassettes are no longer available.

Either (1996)

Side one has two shorter rhythmic tracks that evolve through a series of loops. On side two is a longer piece that moves along analog textures and builds to some shimmering sequences.

Follow this link for a review of Either in Juxtaposition E-Zine: Either review

Here's a review from Henry Schneider that appeared in Gibraltar (Vol. 7, Issue 2) and should appear in an upcoming Audion: "Propelled by pentatonic sequences popularized by mid-period Tangerine Dream, Jonathan crafts an hour of excellent electronic music. Moving, swirling, and constantly changing chords and sequences makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Help support this independent musician."

This review appears in Eratica (Vol. 2, Number 1) and was written by Leigh Uleaban: "If one can imagine the music Syd Barrett might have created had he lived 20 years later, this might be something like it. Block -- in some portions of the album not deliberately more 'ambient' -- has perhaps a bit more rhythm than old Syd would have bothered with, and I personally like that. There was also, of course, the part that sounded like a world populated by self-replicating mechanical insects who had forgotten that they were machines and developed a strange and intricate culture over thousands of years since their creators died, but maybe that's just me, I don't know."

A Science of Forget (1996)

A 40-minute soundscape that sometimes floats, sometimes chugs.

After (1995)

The most ambient of the bunch. Four tracks that inhabit familiar valleys in alien landscapes.

Another review by H. Schneider that appeared in Gibraltar (Vol. 7, Issue 2) and should appear in an upcoming Audion: "Imagine that you're taking an afternoon nap and are trying to wake up after a short but deep sleep. You are semi-aware (background voices, sounds, etc.) but you can't make your body move. Every time you rally you slip back. Somehow Jonathan Block has captured this experience on his new tape. Lethargic electronics wash over your ears and brain as you progress from After, Burrow In, Burrow Out, through to Inevitable. After is consummate relaxation music. Unfortunately I was unaware of its effects and made the mistake of previewing After while driving to work. Jonathan's hypnotic electronics were so relaxing that I had to rely on auto-pilot to arrive in one piece. Jonathan should have included a disclaimer cautioning you about listening to this music while operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery."


Below is a list of Jonathan Block's solo cassette releases from 1985-1994:

Organizing the Struggle, 1994
K, 1993
IV, 1990
Farther Than Tomorrow, 1988
Beneath a Hidden Sky, 1986
Walking Between Raindrops, 1985


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