Ben Zimmerman’s ‘The Baltika Years’

ben zimmermanI just love coming across new and exciting things. Why just yesterday I came across a garlic press that doubles as a watch and defibrillator. And last week I came across a pen with an eraser on the end of it. Can you believe it?? Erasable ink?? We are living in futuristic times, people. We truly are.

But this post isn’t about heated underwear or zero-gravity beards, no this is about the amazing release coming in June via Daniel Lopatin(Oneohtrix Point Never) and his Software label. The Baltika Years is a double LP collection of music Ben Zimmerman created on a Tandy Deskmate computer between 1992 and 2002. Who is Ben Zimmerman you ask? Well, until reading about this record I had no idea. Apparently he’s a Brooklyn artist that sent a bunch of tapes of music to Software in 2013 and Lopatin was compelled to release this music.

Upon listening to the first track, “Pausebreak pt.1” I can see why he was compelled to release it. Imagine Trent Reznor alone in a tiny apartment with nothing but a crappy Radio Shack computer and lots of lonely moments to make music. Well, I should say that the song begins that way, then quickly morphs into this dystopian-sounding dream world. Breakbeats mixed with longing and emptiness.

I was enthralled immediately. It has the feel of Boards of Canada, though this song may have been created before there was a Boards of Canada. I don’t know. Either way this is exciting. It’s electronic music that puts you in a state of existential longing. Much like Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never, it feels more intellectually alive than the typical “beep bap boop” run of the mill electronic stuff.

Looking on Software’s website it seems there’s some interesting musical fodder to immerse yourself in. Like this one, it’s called….

I’m getting ahead of myself. Ben Zimmerman’s The Baltika Years comes out on June 9th, 2015 through Software. Check out “Pausebreak pt.1” below and preorder the album here.

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