The home revolution in electronic music gear didn’t happen until the mid-1970s, when miniaturized components helped bring down the price and size. Synthesizers and drum machines began popping up in many a wood-paneled basement, and a generation of novice musicians began to tinker. One particularly fascinating aspect of this period: the sound of electronic R&B.

—Oliver Wang reviews a new compilation titled Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984

Photo: Electronic soul artist Jeff Phelps with his synthesizers.

Now playing Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984.