Soul Jazz Records’ Space, Energy and Light is a collection of music by early electronic and synthesizer pioneers (from the 1960s through the 1970s), mid-1970s proto-new age gurus and 1980s guerrilla D-I-Y cassette-era electronic artists, spanning in total over a near 30-year time frame.

It’s hard not to fetishize the era when electronic music seemed full of hope, promise and mystery. From the 1960s up until the 1980s, artist who were lucky enough to get hold of synthesizers, computers or drum machines were able to paint on a virtually blank canvas – the sounds hadn’t yet been absorbed completely into cultural history. Soul Jazz helps map out the development of electronic music in the deep underground, mining the DIY cassette/private press scene for gems like Baffo Banfi’s opening blur of arpeggios and brassy waves ‘Gang (For the Rock Industry)’.

Elsewhere we get a charmingly breezy new age jam from IASOS, a fascinating synth improvisation from Laurie Spiegel, a blunted, proggy burner from Richard Pinhas and another placement for Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s well-known ‘Ever New’. The comp closes on its most brief but most precious track – ‘Piece #1’ from tape scientist Tod Dockstader. That’s the stuff!