Friday, 3 May 2013

Interpretations On F.C. Judd - Various Artists (Public Information)

'His life included an early and abiding interest in radio and communications, RAF service in WW2, the establishing of his home electronic studio in the 1950s, and continued writing about radio, tape recording and electronics throughout his career.
His contribution to the sci-fi puppet series Space Patrol, which first aired in 1963, is the first on British TV to feature a complete electronic score for each episode. His music and sound effects are integral to the atmosphere, and were created with tape manipulation and electronic tone generators.'

This is a Public Information broadcast.

On Interpretations On F.C. Judd Fred gets 'Wrecked' by Ekoplekz and sampled (speech), naturally, because the sound of an Englishman from the olde days of v-neck sweaters and pipes discussing electronic music is irresistibly both quaint, amusing and incongruous, isn't it?

'By the start of 1963 Fred had designed and built his own prototype synthesizer – a simple voltage controlled, keyboard-operated unit for generating, shaping and switching electronic sounds – a small but significant development in the history of the synthesizer, as it pre-dates the Synket, Moog and Buchla instruments.'

He wasn't German, American, Dutch or French, and didn't belong to a state-sponsored futurist music lab. Like Daphne, he ploughed a lonesome furrow fuelled by an obsession with the potential for new music in the popular mechanics mode of DIY space-age sound. The golden age of tape technology as techno hobbyist heaven provided work for some in writing (Judd wrote several books) and the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, of course - all before The Future became redundant and little more than glorious nostalgia.

Ian Helliwell's devotion to ensuring that Judd is not forgotten earns him the right to remake the man's music and he does so here in fine style, providing a lovely sample of Fred directing his wife (?) on where to stand for a recording - she's out in the kitchen when Fred directs her into the living room, instructing her to talk, to which she responds 'Yeah, all right, I'm standin' 'ere talkin' to meself' - classic - the sound of tomorrow rewritten as a sitcom.

Leyland Kirby's contribution is as good as you'd expect, an electrical storm of reverb, and Mordant Music typically loops the loop until it almost disintegrates, conjuring a kind of demonic Dr Who scenario from the tomb of time. Perc and Peter Rehberg both do justice to the source, the latter evoking behind-the-sofa soundtracks to 60s sci-fi that spooked my generation. Everyone involved does a great job.  It's a wonderful compilation, where past and present intermingle, as befits music from time gone by that spoke of what was to come.

Released on May 20th

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