Jean Piché might not get as many shout-outs as Harald Grosskopf or John Carpenter, but his music is as pioneering as any of his synth-wielding contemporaries.

In 1982, the Canadian released the four-track Heliograms, one of the era’s most ambitious exercises in synth-based composition. The album arrived on the ill-fated Melbourne label, and swiftly drifted into obscurity. Playground report that Heliograms is now getting the reissue treatment, courtesy of Digitalis. The leftfield imprint will give Heliograms a second crack of the whip on May 28.

The tracks were completed from 1977-80 at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, where Piché studied electroacoustic and computer music. Piché compiled his pieces using Barry Truax’s POD compositional interface. Computers, digital synthesisers and acoustic instruments are all brought into play over the course of the record.

You can listen to four stately extracts, ranging from Romantic soundscapes through to jangly motorik, below.

1. Ange
2. La mer à l’aube
3. Rouge
4. Heliograms



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