Mr. Rogers’ Trippy Day in the Neighborhood

BRUCE HAACK  [MAY 4, 1931 – SEPT 26, 1988]

When I first decided to write an article about music, I looked through my music hoping to stumble upon a new discovery. It was a chance to broaden the mind of readers. I soon found out all of the information sharing that we enjoy makes the hunt for uncharted territory less fulfilling. Every time I “discovered’ a plausible subject, it seemed that most of my friends were at least somewhat familiar with my new find and they would dismiss it as ‘old news.’

I decided to take a more unorthodox angle by eliminating the self-imposed rules of my search. I thought about an occasional visitor to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood by the name of Bruce Haack. His segments involved a homemade synthesizer that kids danced around creatively making their own rules. The sounds of electronic music were new to the ears. Bruce was hungry to expand their minds using space sounds that were sometimes accompanied by dance beats. He went on to create kids’ albums that created trance-like responses from his audience.

Bruce Haack – The Way-Out Record For Children (1968) FULL ALBUM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njB4JrRAWjU

 

See video of HaaCk on Mr. Rogers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmZqDfFDK5Y

 

It was at this point, I began to wonder if he was a musician or someone who was content to make otherworldly noise set to looping beats. I discovered that Haack was indeed an accomplished piano player. His thirst to explore without rules allowed him to strip the music into a more primal direction. He continued to work on his beats. As he progressed and shifted from kids’ albums to trippy psychedelic rock he always set the mood with a futuristic, scary undertone. His beats began to sound like backdrops at a rave.

Haack’s need to create a mood with his albums was beginning to sharpen and take hold. During my time spent researching and listening to Haack, it is easy to imagine how he has since been sampled by many performers. Haack’s no-rules approach led him to discover an entirely new genre of music. He has been referred to as the Father of Techno Pop.

Haack did a a proto hip-hop collaboration with Def Jam's Russell Simmons, entitled "Party Machine”

In 2005, a tribute album was released entitled Dimension Mix. A tribute to Dimension 5 Records featuring covers of Bruce Haack songs by Beck, Stereolab, and others

In 2006, Cut Chemist sampled Bruce Haack's "School For Robots" on (My 1st) Big Break

As far as finding a new group to cover, I soon found out that he is relatively well-known among rave enthusiasts and mixers. When I consider his addition to the world of popular music, I am able to see it change and transform from innocent to a more multilayered sound. My search for new music gave way to several available choices: Haack, like rock and roll, pushed rules to the side in order to arrive at something new.

For more info visit: http://www.brucehaack.com

 

About The Author

Peter Barthelmes is an author and musician who resides in Wattsburg, PA. Peter is a guest blogger for The Relevant Man contributing his unique perspectives on music.

peter@therelevantman.com

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Gentlemen, there have been times (and they have been numerous) when I have been educated regarding things of which I had previously been unaware that my life was lacking. On those occasions my wife has been kind enough to illuminate me. I am therefore going share this important tidbit with you, so that you can avoid the inevitable shame of having to admit that you required enlightenment. If you cook … you need a Dutch oven (I know you’re still giggling BTW).   Read More

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Things we like - The Rawlings® Duffel Bags

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