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Arcane Device ‎- Engines of Myth (1988)


Calling himself Arcane Device after his recorded experiments became popular enough to warrant a name, David Myers' exploration into manipulated feedback resulted in several album and cassette-only releases beginning in 1987 and ending in 1994, when he felt the experiment had run its course.

Myers came of age during the era of the Beatles and formed a rock group like hundreds of other teenagers during that time. However, Myers found himself drawn more toward the feedback possibilities of rock music and the various effects boxes associated with electronic music (in the purest sense of the term). After later being influenced by Robert Fripp's Frippertronics and Brian Eno's ambient music, he eventually came round to building a system that would produce feedback to be manipulated by numerous dials, knobs, and buttons, all Frankensteined together from various effects boxes and reshaped. The results sound nothing like feedback as we have come to know it -- depending on Myers' treatments, the sounds produced feel like synthesizers, rhythm boxes, industrial noise, and ambient drones.

In 1987, Myers sent a tape of his first experiments to Chris Cutler, former member of Henry Cow and numerous other music projects, and head of Recommended Records, who then put out the tape as 1988's Engines of Myth. Myers spent the next seven years bouncing from obscure label to obscure label, though Staalplaat now takes care of the CD reissues as does Myers' own homegrown label Pulsewidth. AD's sound evolved and shifted, from near-unbearable noise (1992's Diabolis Ex Machina) to ambient (1994's Envoi in Cumin), though never in a linear fashion. Myers did not keep his Arcane Device projects studio-bound -- the unpredictable nature of the electronics in his setup led to several live appearances and improvisations. Myers' also collaborated with other experimental artists, including PGR on 1990's Fetish (more a shared CD than a collaboration) and Asmus Tietchens (1993's DBL_FDBK and 1996's Speiseleitung). In 1994 Myers took a break from recording, but returned in 1998 with several new projects under his own name. (Ted Mills)


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