The Radiophonic Workshop are Malcolm Clarke, Glynis Jones, John Baker, Dick Mills, Roger Limb, Paddy Kingsland & Richard Yeoman-Clark. The Radiophonic Workshop at the BBC are best known for their work on the 1960s tv show Dr. Who (which the BBC has also unearthed in a two volume set called Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop: Vol 1 & 2) but they also recorded an unearthly amount of electronic music for many other less known British programming.
The average Brit, I'm sure, will conjure up memories and perhaps stir up odd thoughts, but for me, having no connection to the British Television for which most of these recordings were made, I have found it to be a cache of mighty fine electronic music both fun and ambient.
This particular recording is a reissue of an lp originally released in 1975 (and 2 previously unreleased tracks) which has been very sought after on vinyl. This compilation definitely heads more towards the Tangerine Dream 1970s sound of electronic music, but there is also a hint of A Clockwork Orange, Cluster, and Kraftwerk, as well as Pierre Henry, Perrey & Kingsley, Bruce Haack, Pierre Henry, and Raymond Scott.
I think this cd has a timeless quality to it. While this cd is much shorter than the BBC Radiophonic Music cd which was reviewed last week (17 tracks as opposed to 33) this does not hinder this compilation at all. More like it makes for a fine companion piece to it. The only downside to this compilation is the fact that Delia Derbyshire is not present.
1. La grande piece de la foire de la Rue Delaware - Malcolm Clarke - The first track is an excellent click-clockingly playful A Clockwork Orange styled theme tune.
2. Brio - John Baker - This track has a bouncy perculating rhythm box and a jouncy paranoid melody.
3. Adagio - Dick Mills - This mystifying 4 and a half minute ambient piece drifts in and out of focus, bringing to mind drifting spacecraft.
4. Geraldine - Roger Limb - This is a thoroughly modern sounding pop piece which only becomes somewhat dated when the soap opera-styled theme song melody pops in, but otherwise it is quite modern in a Cluster-influenced way. 5. Bath time - Malcolm Clarke - A fun piece (as can be guessed from the title) which has bath sounds and baby sounds, and another Cluster-influenced melody. It is quite the companion to the previous track.
6. Nenuphar - Glynis Jones / Malcolm Clarke - A windy, breathing 5 minute ambient piece which has scattered shards of sound which bring to mind scuttering feet on far away planets.
7. Accentric - John Baker - This is a short (previously unreleased) rhythmic piece which is not out of place in the electronic world today thanks to its sophisticated rhythms.
8. Major Bloodnok's stomach - Dick Mills - This is a 9 second belching sound effect.
9. The panel beaters - Paddy Kingsland - Here we have an upbeat swirling theme great for doing chores around the house.
10. Crazy dazy - Dick Mills - This track has birds chirping, bike bells ringing, and cars speeding and crashing - need I say more??
11. Veils and mirrors - Glynis Jones - Here is a wonderful droning 5 minute ambient piece with wispy melodic synths and pulsing melodies.
12. Romanescan rout - Malcolm Clarke - This track has a throbbing Kraftwerkian melody coupled with another Cluster melody, the whole thing is lovely and melodic with a building choo choo train rhythm box feel mixed with military horns and a crashing finale.
13. Schlum rooli - Glynis Jones - A fitting followup to the previous intense track, this song has an otherworldly vocal (done I guess with sped up tape - but it is hard to tell) which almost sounds like a call to morning prayer on some distant plain.
14. Kitten's lullaby - Roger Limb - Sounding like another theme from A Clockwork Orange, this track is a melodic theme with synthesizer.
15. Chino - John Baker - The other previously unreleased track here, it has a dub-quality to it thanks to the echo on the percussive instruments, while pianos are plucked in a broken melody structure. it reminds me of the found sound that the band Broadcast often use.
16. Waltz antipathy - Richard Yeoman-Clark - A discordant piece with fluttering rhythm synth and a dial tone structure to the melody.
17. The world of science - Paddy Kingsland - A short upbeat theme to end the disc - sounding like the theme to a science show for sure.