Bruce Haack: The King of Techno | Chicago Reader

Bruce Haack: The King of Techno

The amazing, sometimes trippy children's music of Canadian-born Juilliard dropout Bruce Haack (1931-'88) is the subject of Philip Anagnos's video documentary. A 1960 clip from the TV show I've Got a Secret shows Haack demonstrating one of his fanciful electronic instruments, a device that generates tones when he applies his fingers to the forehead of an accompanying pianist. Gimmicks intended to echo Haack's whimsical aesthetic—like the framing of talking heads inside hand-drawn TVs—don't really work, and as a portrait this is somewhat sketchy (Haack's fondness for drink and drugs is acknowledged, but his personal life is left blank). The last 20 minutes devolve into redundant testimonials and hype for a recent tribute album. 56 min.

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