Boomkat Product Review:
This collection, originally released by BBC Records in 1979 to celebrate 21 years of the workshop appears for the first time in its full original form on CD and includes rare material from Delia Derbyshire, John Baker, Dick Mills, Desmond Briscoe and others, although quite why the founder of the workshop Daphne Oram is left out remains a mystery...
A time capsule of sounds from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s golden era, 1958 - 1979, first released on occasion of the Maida Vale institution’s 21st anniversary, now finally availed on CD!
Curiously omitting any Daphne Oram material whatsoever, but covering myriad sounds from Delia Derbyshire, Maddalena Fagandini, Dick Mills, John Baker, Paddy Kingsland, Desmond Briscoe and more, the collection unfolds a carefully sequenced tour around the studio’s imaginative and innovative output, strafing from naif and bucolic themes to ominous sci-fi synth moods and modes.
Perhaps among the greatest points of interest, are the handful of pieces by Maddalena Fagandini, who counts among the workshop’s handful of pioneering female artist/technicians, and has only previously appeared on The Grey Area’s A Retrospective CD in 2008. Among them you’ll find her best known work, Time Beat, as famously sampled on George Martin’s Ray Cathode 7” of the same name, along with one of her Moondog-like Interval Signal and the bloopy whorl of The Chem Lab Mystery and the playful Ideal Home Exhibition, and the spindly clang of Outside with Desmond Briscoe.
Delia Derbyshire is also strongly represented with no fewer than 10 succinct cues and themes, at best in the filigree tones of Arabic Science and Industry, her dippy cut-up Know Your Car (Get Out and Get Under), and of course the Dr. Who theme, and you’ll also hear other gems such as Tony Askew’s Secrets of the Chasm, the wigged-out charms of Paddy Kingsland’s Broken Biscuit Club, or the shivering, proto-SAW II feels of Thomas The Rhymer by Dick Mills.