Ragnar Grippe, 1977
Our current era of reissue mania has cross-pollinated with the analogue synth revival to unearth a trove of early proto-electronica. I won't pretend like I knew who these rediscovered artists were, I'm just riding this wave like most everyone else. Ragnar Grippe ranks among those lucky enough to be reassessed, having their music given an opportunity to find a new, wider audience. His album, Sand, is a single piece in two parts that sits in a bermuda triangle somewhere between new age, minimalism, and krautrock. Sand probably can't compete, head-to-head with Manuel Göttsching's E2-E4 (one of its closest relatives) or Brian Eno's ambient milestones. That doesn't mean it isn't an enlightening listen. History is an imperfect sieve, and it's surprising to learn just how sprawling electronic music's first flirtations with popular music was.