Re-uploads: Bernard Herrmann and Ennio Morricone

Bernard Herrmann's fantastic score for The Day The Earth Stood Still and Ennio Morricone's funky, psychedelic fun romp Danger, Diablolik are available again.


Radiophonic Music In A Round House

(Click on the picture to download.)

This is basically a personal best-of cobbled together from the various Radiophonic Workshop albums posted on the
XYZ Cosmonaut blog. (Thanks a lot, by the way!) While I think that all the praise heaped upon the Workshops 60's and early 70's output is largely justified, both BBC released Radiophonic compilations are marred by slightly annoying station id's and tracks that haven't really aged that gracefully. And the cds from the Dr. Who At The BBC Radiophonic Workshop series contain mostly sound effects and very short cues of incidental music that may be highl
y imaginative. But seriously, how often are going to listen to a few seconds of swooshing, whooping and bleeping?

So I did my own compilation, basically condensing the two BBC compilations down to those tracks that are of more than just historical interest and adding some tracks from the Dr. Who cds and the pretty great soundtrack of
The Tomorrow People. Strictly speaking, the latter is actually not a Radiophonic record. The music for this ITV produced series was mostly cobbled together from a library record by the Workshop's Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (working under the pseudonyms of Li De La Russe and Nikki St. George) and David Vorhaus, the three of them also forming the initial line-up of White Noise. Also, the show's theme was created by Dudley Simpson, a freelance composer who worked
on a lot of Dr. Who episodes at the Radiophonic studios.

Bookended by the o
riginal Dr. Who Theme and it's 1980 re-working by Peter Howell, the bulk of this collection is made up of Delia Derbyshire's wonderfully otherwordly and sensous creations, John Baker's quirky and inventive rhythmic workouts and three fantastic tracks by Glynis Jones (wrongly spelled Johns in the ID3-tags, by the way). Also included are Dudley Simpson's theme for The Tomorrow People and two tracks by David Cain, the short but charming Crossbeat and the impressive musique concrète-piece War Of The Worlds.

If you want to get the
full albums, head over to the XYZ Cosmonaut. And here's a pretty fantastic and insanely well researched essay that's well worth reading, even if you only have a passing interest in the Workshop.

The knob-twiddling lady on the photo is Delia Derbyshire and that's Ron Grainer looking over her shoulder. The painting by Bridget Riley doesn't really have anything to do with the Workshop, I just thought it suits the music's proto-psychedelic pop modernism quite nicely.

Jeff Mills - Lifelike

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A rather beautiful out-of-print compilation of tracks from various EPs on Mills' own Axis and Purposemaker labels, the Waveform Transmissions Vol. 3 EP and the Japan-only release From The 21st Century plus a handful of exclusives. While there are some quite energetic tracks, things never get as relentlessly pounding as on the Purpose Maker compilation. Leaning more towards the subdued and contemplative, this is classicist emotive Detroit techno with shimmering, multilayered synth textures, glistening keyboard and string riffs and some downright beautiful melodies.


Jeff Mills - Purpose Maker Compilation

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More Jeff Mills niceness: this compilation from 1997 documents Mills' mid-nineties output on his own Purpose Maker label. Expect a collection of pumping, loopy, 909-driven dancefloor wreckers with lots of rattling, banging and clanging snare and conga sounds and catchy, minimalist high-end hook-lines on top. Including his signature tunes Alarms and The Bells, this is Mills at his most rave-anthemic. Great, great stuff.

Jeff Mills - LiveMix At Liquid Room, Tokyo

(Re-upped by request. Click on the picture to dowload.)

One of the things I find so intruiging about Detroit techno is the thougt of young black, (for the most part) middle class and quite well educated men listening not only to the New Pop/Synth Wave of Human League, Visage, Gary Numan or Depeche Mode, but also to the whiter-than-white sounds of post-industrial dance music. Especially with the 2nd and 3rd generation, there's a whole bunch of tracks on which the influence of Cabaret Voltaire, Belgian New Beat and Electronic Body Music by the likes of Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb shines through. It always makes me wonder, how much this infatuation of young Black Americans with harsh European militancy mirrors the fascination ultra-aggressive hiphop and dancehall has for a lot of young, white, middle-class and often quite well educated Europeans.

Of the Detroit producers, Jeff Mills is probably the one most influenced by post-Industrial. He even started making music as a founding member of EBM-styled Band The Final Cut (though he left the group after the first lp) and especially his dancefloor-oriented tracks and his dj-sets lean towards a stark, noisy and relentlessly pounding sound. But it is counter-balanced by dense, heavily layered percussion providing a driving groove and thus resulting in a kind of bleak, futuristic and immensely funky mongrel-music, somehow sounding neither "black" nor "white" (speaking in cultural terms, of course). When the post-industrial aspects of the music takes over, Mills' dj-sets can be a bit dull and samey, but when he gets the balance right he's simply impeccable. Although Mills has done a fair share of more subdued, moody music full of wide-screen ambience I think that it's his dance tracks and djing where he shines the most.

LiveMix At Liquid Room is the second volume of the five-part Mix Up-series, released by Sony Japan to showcase the spectrum of techno music. Recorded entirely live at Tokyo club The Liquid Room on Oct 28 1995, this is a rough and rugged recording without any additional studio polish - there's even some noises and cheering from the crowd to be heard. It's a high energy affair, with Mills providing his trademark rapidfire mixing (38 tracks in just about an hour) and lots of banging, clanging voodoo percussion, often achieved through mixing two copies of the same record into each other. The general opinion on LiveMix is that it's on of the best dj mix-cds ever and after listening to it you can't really argue with that.

(Additional information: The booklet lists the recording date as Oct. 28 1995 from 3:00 am. Can't remember where it was, but a while ago I read on the net that Mills actually had another gig on Oct. 29 and that part 2 of the cd was recorded on that second night. Not that it matters much...)

NB: If anybody should have one of the other Mix Up volumes, I'd be quite interested in hearing them, especially Vol. 3 by Ken Ishii and Vol. 5 by Derrick May. The various volumes are constantly shifting in and out of print. At the moment, they are only available as quite pricey Japan-imports. So uploads would be greatly appreciated. ;-)

Discogs has a full tracklist and a little more info right here.