Unofficial sequel to our Parry Music compilation from 2012, here again we step into the world of library. With official permission granted from the label itself we have selected 31 tracks from UK library music institution Standard Music spanning 30 years of electronic play, this is Happy Machine.
Standard Music Library was established in 1968 as a partnership between independent music publisher David Platz and London Weekend Television. Themes and incidental music for hit LWT shows like Black Beauty, Upstairs, Downstairs, On the Buses and The Professionals, were written under Standard’s wing. A breathtaking who’s-who of musicians recorded under the Standard banner, pressing up records that are now found in the rare as hens-teeth zone; Brian Eno, Delia Derbyshire, John Gregory. Those who feature on Happy Machine include… Brian Hodgson, John Kongos, Richard Thair, John Keating, Mike Vickers, Marco Pirroni and none other than Beatles producer George Martin jamming out on a Moog…..These characters and more are nestled comfortably here on Happy Machine as we try to make sense of our favourite electronic moments from this incredible library.
We trip from desolate Radiophonic ambient, to cute bleep-idents, to stark contemporary drone to jagged electronic scorch. There are moments of square-Italo groove, freaky electroid-psych and early 70’s Beat. Moog-heavy workouts sit nervously aside unsettling concrete. Harsh science-fiction drama bristles against gentle Romantic interludes. This is electronic library music laid bare in all its wonderful diversity; sounds for a thousand images, scores for myriad backdrops, as British spring breaks its silence, Happy Machine is the record for these days.
A1. Logo Rhythmic II – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
A2. Cathedral Of Space – Brian Hodgson (ESL133B)
A3. Arcadian Valley – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133A)
A4. Deserted Starship – Richard Hewson (ESL008d)
A5. Haley’s Largo – John Keating (ESL008d)
A6. Programmadate – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
A7. Sidestreet – John Kongos (ESL164)
B1. Happy Machine – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
B2. Curve of the Wind – Mike Vickers (ESL122A)
B3. Eary Feary – George Martin (ESL121B)
B4. Homing Nucleus – Mike Vickers (ESL121B)
B5. In the Shadows – Chris McCormack (ESL201d)
B6. In Safe Hands (No Bass / No Beats) – Kirk Thompson (ELS099)
B7. The Craters of Mars – Brian Hodgson (ESL133)
B8. Sous Sol – Elliot Ireland, Alessandro Rizzo, Tom Greenwood (ESL074)
C1. Flutes – Naim Amor (ESL203)
C2. Glass Corridor into Hall of Glass Clocks – John Gregory (ESL116B)
C3. Take me Home – Richard Thair (ESL096)
C4. Happy Soul – Jim Lawless (ESL215)
C5. The Wind From Nowhere – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
C6. Banshee – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
C7. Headful of Birds – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
D1. The Seven Immortals – Kirk Thompson (ESL099)
D2. Crystal Forms – Brian Hodgson, Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133A)
D3. Song Of The Wilderness – Brian Hodgson, Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
D4. In The Beginning – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
D5. Mystery Stomp (B) – Marco Pirroni (ESL218)
D6. On The Streets – John Kongos (ESL164)
D7. Haley’s Comet – John Keating (ESL008d)
D8. Goodnight – Chris Barron (ESL154)
4 track EP (Ltd 500 copy pressing (no repress) in debossed house sleeve, individually hand numbered) / Download
And so we drive down rain-slicked analogue motorways head first into our second EP series release following an IVVVO dispatch in September 2013. This time out Ralph Cumbers AKA Some Truths AKA Bass Clef is behind the wheels.
The clue is in the title. Tom “BugBrand” Bugs, denizen of Bristol, electronic sound devices engineer, maker and creator. The four tracks here are dedicated to his craft and design: the thrill of the analogue-surprise, the crunch of the circuit, the twist of the patch cable, the white-hot burn of solder on board. BUT it takes a real master to make sense of these machines, Public Information are so happy to have one in our midst.
Long-time wielder of the modular-flame, Ralph Cumbers has a distinguished CV for the likes of Punch Drunk and his own Magic+Dreams imprint. Here, across four extended sequences does he shine, taking the crystalline drive and coarse groove of the acclaimed Reeling Skullways LP into hotwired groove zones.
“Sometimes the only way out is to go further in” starts the trip. Take care dear listener; once you’re in track one, you may not want to escape from its grip, its cyclical riffs, its space dust licks, its buttered bass notes. Then, the sadness. The mournful minor key shuffle of “elsewhen” is sheer blue-note Blade Runner melancholy. Then, the euphoria. Instant gratification hits you on “faster than the speed of love” a click-pump-click-pump kick surrounded by jagged sawtones, straight to the chest. Through swirling, speed-addled melodies does Clef then lead us- Detroit nights under Hackney sodium lights. Then, to a breath. Bugbranded arrives at an all too premature end with “neon black and vulcane” a glistening collage of white noise splash, acidic whispers and head-nod-chug.
This is techno how it was dreamed in Belleville, re-imagined by a genius with a synth or three. In Clef we trust, for all our magic and dreams.
A1: sometimes the only way out is to go further in
B1: faster than the speed of love
B2: neon black and vulcane
Again we search into West Coast skies to an artist reaching for them. To Los Angeles, to Katie Gately, still in the throes of academe we find her, playing at new pop forms. This here record in July bloom is a bold and exciting taster of what is in store, around the corner. Six tracks of frightening ambition. A prime distillation in computer-music-pop. More alarming – this is her debut release, she has been making organised sound for just over a year.
Screech ,crumble, gurgle, crack…. the opening track “Ice” a storm of cluster tones and sequenced-bursts sets the standard. Then, to a potential Top10 smasher… gone mutant. “Last Day” is the first time we hear Katie’s voice, first looped and torn, then glowing, euphoric and beaming from deep inside a crashing-banging-beat system… I awoke from a little hole underneath the earth…
We follow similar patterns across this half-dozen. Fractured vocalisations, bittersweet harmonies, freaked alien voices all living, breathing in deep fried motherboards of acute computer programming and field sound. “Dead Referee” finds Katie on a post-apocalypse Basketball court, destroying waves of squeaks and crunches and cuts with a vocal refrain of high beauty, it Knifes through the noise.
Then, to “Left Half” the haunting reverb-calm before storm…. I’m gonna’ sew your face to my heart she whispers… “Stems” closes the record in a riot of tone and interference and alien acappella.
This is a new approach toward brighter days, mangled, beautiful, sun-reaching 23C Pop Musik for troubled times.
2. Last Day
4. Dead Referee
5. Left Half
Limited edition of 500 housed in debossed sleeve, individually hand numbered.
As Summer awakes we head toward the 4/4.
This is the first in our series of limited edition 12”s aimed at those dancefloors with nary a Guetta in sight. Presented in special debossed sleeve, numbered one-off pressings that give us the chance to introduce some of the most interesting names on our spectrum.
For our maiden voyage, we cross Europe, to sunnier climes, to Portugal… to IVVVO. A young producer with some early history on the estimable Opal Tapes and closely affiliated with the Photonz crew, the Future EP represents his most exciting work yet.
Six transmissions long- vinyl scarred, abrasive and heartbroken, IVVVO reaches into early UK Rave music for inspiration, but twists the endgame.The yearning vocal, the minor key whisper, the shuffling breakbeat, the bleep, the bloop, and the seeping tape bleed- all present. Yet IVVVO mangles these core elements of dance music past into something that sizzles headfirst into 2013.
Opening cut “Darkness in my Soul” kicks off the record in a sad-glare of tone bursts, aching lead lines and throbbing kicks. Elsewhere he reaches into his bag for stinging hats, tweaked vamps and nagging hooks. All tracks clock in shy of five minutes. IVVVO’S way is the quick
release, the instant blast, the cute melodic touch… smouldering in warehouse black. No time for bloated dance formulas here.
And then, the piano. Bookending either side sits a pair of devastating miniatures, played on his Grandma’s piano, prepared, cloaked in hiss and ending these plates with a kiss of forlorn ambience. A funereal flourish to the Death of Rave… to the Future…
A1 Darkness In My Soul
A2 Before The Death Of Rave
A3 Rave pt.1
12 track 2 x LP (Edition of 500 pressed on white vinyl) / Download
In January 2012 we released a 35-track compendium of F.C. Judd’s music and sound, it was called Electronics Without Tears. Fast forward to Spring 2013 and we are back with Fred for a very special LP to reignite his legacy.
For our tenth release we asked some of our favourite artists working today to submit a reinterpretation of the greatly undervalued early electronics pioneer, Frederick Charles Judd. We gave them Fred’s entire archive of sounds, tone experiments, field recordings and lectures and left it up them to produce an audio artefact befitting of Judd himself.
The players invited: Chris Carter, Perc, Pye Corner Audio, Holly Herndon, Mordant Music, Peter Rehberg, Bandshell, Ekoplekz, The Boats, Leyland Kirby, Karen Gwyer and Ian Helliwell.
Interpretations On F.C. Judd opens with Fred himself, welcoming us into his world before Ian Helliwell takes us into a fractured loop of radio static and gargled musique concrete.
From here we lurch through pure tape trips (Leyland Kirby, Chris Carter) dubwise refractions (Karen Gwyer, The Boats, PCA), haunted never-zones (Ekoplekz, Mordant Music, Perc), sublime vocal deconstructions (Holly Herndon) and frightening slashes of electronic deviance (Peter Rehberg, Bandshell).
Throughout Inspirations, Fred is never far away, reminding us how important visionaries like him stalk even the most future-bound of electronic music.
Ian Helliwell – Solid States
Perc – Woodford
Chris Carter – Flip-Flop
Holly Herndon – Control Sample
Mordant Music – Hoarded House (reMMix Fredit)
The Boats – Space Judder
Pye Corner Audio – Splice Block
Leyland Kirby – Slim Jim Wimshurst Mechanicals
Karen Gwyer – Judd Drums
Peter Rehberg – FJUDDmix 032013
Bandshell – Concrete Teeth
Ekoplekz – Fredwrek