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Marc Barreca

Seattle-based artist Marc Barreca has been producing strange, otherworldly music since the 1970s. His work blends a variety of techniques and audio sources, ranging from field recordings and acoustic instruments to digital loops and MAX/MSP processing, resulting in surrealist soundscapes that are often too complex or busy to merely categorize as ambient music. During the late 1970s, he began releasing experimental cassettes as a solo artist as well as a member of the kosmische-inspired trio Young Scientist. Barreca released an LP titled Twilight in 1980, and participated in the avant-funk/rock collective Savant, but after the mid-'80s he largely abandoned music in order to focus on his career as a bankruptcy lawyer, and later as a judge. He resumed productivity during the 21st century, releasing albums such as 2015's Beneath the Mirrored Surface in addition to several collaborations with K. Leimer. Inspired by artists such as Cluster and Iannis Xenakis, Barreca began experimenting with sounds during the mid-'70s. By the end of the decade, he had begun issuing cassettes including 1978's Raw Fish and Green Tea/Surrogate Religions. Along with James Husted and Roland Barker, he formed a Berlin School-influenced electronic group called Young Scientist, and the trio released a few cassettes, such as 1979's Results Not Answers. Barreca's first LP, Twilight, was released through K. Leimer's Palace of Lights label in 1980. Barreca also participated in Leimer's Savant collective, whose only full-length, The Neo-Realist (At Risk), appeared in 1983. The same year also brought Barreca's Music Works for Industry, a sample-heavy collection of brief, minimalist pieces with a political bent. Following 1986's The Sleeper Wakes, Barreca stopped releasing music in order to focus on his career in law, although his composition "Messier Crosses the Blue Line" (from an unreleased work titled Warble) was released on the 1991 compilation The Aerial #3. After Leimer re-activated Palace of Lights in 2002, Barreca began releasing music once again. Digital collection Big Dahomey Funeral appeared in 2006, and 2010's Subterrane initiated a prolific run of CD releases. Tremble was issued in 2012, and Premap (with Leimer) appeared in 2014. Solo effort Beneath the Mirrored Surface and Field Characteristics, another Leimer collaboration, both came out in 2015. Barreca's back catalog began to attract notice by this point; Vinyl-on-Demand released the solo compilation Tape Recordings 1977-1983 as well as an LP of Young Scientist tracks, and Rvng Intl. issued the Savant anthology Artificial Dance. Twilight was reissued in 2016, and Music Works for Industry was released on vinyl for the first time in 2017. Recordings 1978-1979, a double-LP of two early cassettes, also surfaced in 2017. Barreca continued releasing new works; Aberrant Lens and Dual Mono (with Leimer) both appeared in 2017, followed by Shadow Aesthetics in 2018. Young Scientist's Results Not Answers was given a proper reissue by Krautrock label Bureau B in 2019. Barreca's From the Gray and the Green was released in 2019.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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