Monday, 24 July 2017

Raymond Scott - Three Willow Park

Three Willow Park, the new Raymond Scott collection, is here and has been entertaining me for weeks. I know I don't have to tell you about it. You already know. Don't you? Who are you again? 

Scott's playful experimentation is like a parallel BBC Radiophonic universe of dedicated DIY pioneering electronics (us Brits had Daphne Oram in her oast house, a little later) - it's all a joy, the joy of Raymond Scott's toys as he tinkers to create rhythm samples and ripple effects - an antidote, you might say, to the DoomTech of so much contemporary electronic music (Goth just won't die, in whatever form!). 

But should any of those jokers dare dismiss Scott's recordings they should think again about what he achieved, how devoted he was to finding new sound and therefore paving the way, bleep-by-bleep, for many tech-heads to come. Scott was scientist of sound but a commercially-minded one (no epic Stockhausen-like sonic operas for him!) and as such, I should condemn him, perhaps....because he could be seen as the very worst example of making soothing sounds for big business - but - listening to much of this selection, how can we criticise him for that? Besides, I do like the whole visual culture of the space-age/cold war electronic vanguard, perfectly encapsulated in the title and sound of IBM Probe, for instance. I can detach my political self (seeing the insidious imperialist corporate/war complex) and savour this music.

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