The Baltika Years highlights the unique work of a little-known Brooklyn artist.

Daniel Lopatin’s Software label has announced its next project, and it’s one of the label’s most unusual yet – a 31-track archival collection from Brooklyn artist Ben Zimmerman, produced primarily on the defunct Tandy DeskMate computer.

Recorded between 1992 and 2002, the The Baltika Years came about when Zimmerman sent a collection of tapes to Software in 2013, and Lopatin was struck by the personal nature of Zimmerman’s sample-based compositions. Lopatin then went about reducing the massive amount of music to fit two LPs.

“It was like reading an abstract diary,” explains Lopatin in a press release. “The clues themselves into Ben’s world (and there are many) are so stark and strange that they feel like monuments, each so vividly placed that you start to catch yourself obsessing over the slightest detail.”

The Tandy DeskMate was sold by the now-bankrupt Radio Shack, and Zimmerman’s model had a built-in sound card capable of just three-voice polyphony. Zimmerman’s strange and monochromatic sound is a result of both this basic setup and the rich array of samples he used, which range from recordings of his mother and father to the music of Ravi Shankar.

The Baltika Years is released on 2LP, CD and digital formats on June 9 – in the meantime you can get a preview via the video for ‘Pausebreak Pt. 1’ below.


01. Phyllis
02. For Mimi pt. 1
03. For Mimi pt. 2
04. For Mimi pt. 3
05. For Mimi pt. 4
06. For Mimi pt. 5
07. The Scream
08. Housed!
09. Tropical Den
10. 99th Street
11. The Space Jack Hummer
12. Grumble Grumble
13. Reverse Me
14. 75000multicolouredorgasmaticballoons
15. Crystal Lake
16. Redecorated Proto-Computations
17. Da Chopp
18. Yellow Daffodil (Burning) Against A Grey Sidewalk
19. Chants
20. Reso
21. Mazer
22. Life Without Liz
23. One-Liter Plastic Bottle
24. F-Trip
25. Now I Am Num
26. Pausebreak pt. 1
27. Pausebreak pt. 2
28. Pausebreak pt. 3
29. Pausebreak pt. 4
30. Pausebreak pt. 5
31. Pausebreak pt. 6



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