Boomkat Product Review:
Trunk records give overdue props to the completely overlooked oeuvre of electronic music pioneer Tristram Cary on this stunning retrospective. Despite all the attention afforded to Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire and Dick Mills of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, Tristram's foundational work has undoubtedly recieved less attention than his peers. Born in 1925, he served as a radar operator in WWII, placing him on the cutting edge of contemporary audio technology. This experience inspired him to devleop his own conception of electronic and tape music, starting an advanced auditive curve that would see him produce the world's very first portable synthesizer, the EMS VCS 3 and set up the UK's very first electronic music studio, London's EMS. This research unit produced an invaluable array of synthesizers which would be used by everyone from the Radiophonic Workshop to Pink Floyd and Brian Eno, practically sculpting the shape of modern music to come. His compositions were in wide demand too, receiving commissions to produce all the incidental music for the pilot episode of Dr Who, the seven part Dalek series, and the equally legendary 'Quatermass and the Pit' (1967) and Blood From The Mummy's Tomb' for the Hammer film company. Some of these soundtracks have been reissued in the last few years, but in true Trunk style this album collects those morsels of Cary's abstract ephemera and jaunty oddness that others may neglect plus rare works for exhibitions, sculpture and television. One of the most charming of these is the performance of 'Divertimento', a commission for the opening of Olivetti's UK training centre using typewriters, tape, operatic vocals, and EMS synthesizers, or the exquisitely sonorous electro-acoustic compositions for an aluminium sculpture exhibited at London's Olympia in 1968. These recordings show Cary to be an exceptionally inquisitive mind, a manufacturer of wonderfully alien sound that wouldn't be possible without serious dedication and an innate belief in the the exploration of electronic music. He passed away in 2008 aged 82, but left a legacy that should be cherished by all lovers of interesting sounds. Amazing.