Boomkat Product Review:
Public Information direct their looking glass to London's Standard Music Library circa 1970-2010 for a special 28-track survey including picks by a host of well-known artists and a stack of behind-the-scenes players. Spanning spooky Moog experiments by Beatles producer George Martin thru ambient cues from Kirk Thompson aka DJ Krust and wheezing electronica by Richard Thair ov Red Snapper, it's a sort of unofficial follow-up to the label's exquisite Parry Music archive compilation, this time focussed on an English strain of incidental mood music and electronic mutations purposed for film and TV from the company which provided classic themes for 'Black Beauty', 'Upstairs, Downstairs', and 'The Professionals'. Once the preserve of vinyl obsessives and deep diggers, Library Music has, in recent years, moved from dusty backrooms and uncredited appearances to become a uniquely recognised genre its own right over the last 10-15 years thanks to the transparency of the internet, throwing up all kinds of gems in the process. We'd call this set one of those treasures, taking in the eerie Radiophonic concrète of John Gregory alongside pastoral ambient blissitudes by Brian Hodgson and glam Butlins disco burners by the fantastically monikered John Kongos aka the guy behind "He's Gonna Step On You Again" (sing it back to yourself…). There's a alien, one-off piece by Richard Hewson, complemented by soaring space disco themes from John Keating and a clutch of superb, far-out electronic explorations from Reginald J. Lewis, whose 'Happy Machine' lends the compilation its title, amounting to a diverse and affective cross-section of *that* hidden sound which has so subtly infected British listening lives, and far beyond.