Boomkat Product Review:
Barry Gray is probably best known for his collboarations with Thunderbirds man Gerry Anderson, and thanks to Trunk, those of us who didn’t grow up hearing the UFO soundtrack when it originally aired were truly wowed when the label managed to secure a reissue a few years back. The still alien-sounding blend of echoing jazz and subtle sci-fi electronics had us totally captivated, so you can imagine the hand rubbing involved when we heard plans for this ridiculously comprehensive eighty-one track collection. Gray’s sonic signatures are all here in spades, and he really gets to flex his musical mind as he trips from eerie Radiophonic experiments (‘Hoover Keymatic (Excerpt 2)’) to jaunty instrumentals (‘Herald’) in a hop, skip and a jump. More than just a collection of peculiar sounds however, this is a look into an era long gone, and just as with Raymond Scott’s collected commercial work, hearing the adverts themselves is revealing historically as well as musically. Since the time when these tracks were recorded (the late 1950s and early 60s) advertising has become so much more cynical and often nauseatingly subtle, and the sheer barefaced naivety of the jingles is almost endearing. Sure it’s still selling the same old crap, but there’s a whole lot more style on show here than you’d expect to find in a decade’s worth of Cillit Bang commercials. Anyone left in awe by recent Radiophonic finds should check this anthology out without further delay.