Various Artists

BBC Radiophonic Music

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A treasured LP for fans of early electronic music, 1968's BBC Radiophonic Music compiles a series of short works composed as intros or occasionally, complete soundtracks, for various radio or television programs, representing hours of work by three of the Maida Vale facility's most enterprising minds: John Baker, David Cain, and Delia Derbyshire. The three, along with innumerable engineers and studio technicians, helped bring electronic music to a wide audience during the '60s, much as Raymond Scott had been doing in America. On the scale of early electronic music, these come halfway between the ditty pop flair of Scott and the more consciously composed symphonies of Tod Dockstader. Since most of these were show themes -- for BBC affiliates in Sheffield and Nottingham and programs aimed at everything from farmers to domestic audiences -- there isn't a great deal of experimentation. Unsurprisingly, it's only with a pair of science-fiction themes (Derbyshire's "Ziwzih Ziwzih Oo-Oo-Oo" and Cain's "War of the Worlds") that this collections offers a degree of stylistic experimentation to match the technological sophistication on display. (A bonus track on the CD reissue, "Time to Go," is also a bit abstract.) Still, BBC Radiophonic Music is practically unmatched for pure marvel at the hours of work involved in this pioneering field.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:41
2 1:21
3 1:02
4 1:15
5 3:21
6 0:25
7 1:10
8 0:14
9 3:33
10 1:03
11 0:40
12 0:27
13 0:48
14 0:50
15 5:38
16 0:36
17 0:40
18 1:44
19 3:02
20 0:46
21 1:50
22 0:30
23 1:45
24 1:11
25 0:59
26 0:52
27 2:03
28 0:30
29 0:37
30 4:55
31 0:30
32
1:43
33 0:24
blue highlight denotes track pick