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The Nightcrawlers


  1. 1.
    Beckoning Beacon
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Phase I: Discovery And Approach
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  5. 5.
    Crystal Loop III
Deep, diverse, and unheralded, the Philadelphia ambient electronic music scene of the 1980s is explored with The Nightcrawlers' 'The Biophonic Boombox Recordings,' an expansive archival collection documenting the hard-knuckled kosmische synthesizer trio’s home recordings self-released and distributed over 35 cassettes between 1980 and 1991.
Both salt-of-the-Earth Jersey-ites (Peter D. Gulch was a chemist, while brother Tom was a mailman, and younger third member Dave Lunt was a graphic designer) and eccentric technicians (particularly when it came to MIDI innovations), The Nightcrawlers created a sound which both evoked the heights of German synth pioneers of the previous decade, such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, while reflecting their classical influences, particularly in the minimalism and pattern-based music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. This was music that the Gulch brothers and Lunt were absorbing through Philadelphia outlets such as WXPN and the Painted Bride Art Center, both eventual - and strong - supporters of the group.
While their contemporaries edged toward electronic music’s future as dance music, The Nightcrawlers held onto their belief in the cosmic, the classical, and the ambient, and left a large, mostly unheard body of work that both holds up next to their better known, European counterparts, as well as a looking glass into a fertile, now forgotten scene, one that should have resonated further than it did at the time.


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