Thursday, 1 December 2011

Interplanetary Music - 20 Essential Albums Part 2

Phase 2, travelling further along the strange celestial roads of IM. Here we begin to chart purely electronic and tape music. Technology advances, allowing music-makers to take giant steps in the name of mankind's mission to explore new sonic territory. 

6. Rocket Number Nine - Sun Ra (1960)

This was later reissued as 'Interstellar Low Ways'. Space philosopher and musician, Sun Ra is IM's greatest exponent and if you've yet to begin exploring his universe this is a good place to start.

7. Musique  Electronique Du Cosmos - Jean-Jacques Perrey (1962)

Enter the electronic space sound age. This is only TV and radio background music, which is fine by me. Over the years I've come to prefer a one-minute 'throwaway' library piece to most Wagnerian voyages to Synthtopia (hands up guilty Germans). Despite the inclusion of daffy tunes like 'Barnyard In Orbit' most of it consists of brief sketches that stick to the IM theme in a consistently fine manner. 

8. Dr Who At The BBC Radiophonic Workshop - The Early Years Vol 1 (1963-'69)

Mostly Brian Hodgson's work on this compilation. The early years were the best. They normally are.

9. The Inside Of The Outside / Or The Outside Of The Inside - Who Are They? Where Do They Come From? Why Are They Here? - George Engler (1965)

Recorded in Area 51, I suspect. Who is Engler? He has no online profile. Multi-instru-mentalism of the highest order, all in glorious lo-fidelity. Electro-acoustic-tape brilliance.

10. Raumpatrouille - Peter Thomas Sound Orchester (1966)

Progressive Pop for space cadets. Amid all the Swinging sounds it would be easy to lose sight of Thomas's brilliance as an imaginative arranger of Jazz, Electronic and Easy elements. This music for the TV series still holds it's value four decades on.

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