The Holmes Archive of Electronic Music
An Imaginary Movie in Sound

An Imaginary Movie in Sound

October 17, 2021

Episode 56 

An Imaginary Movie in Sound

 

Playlist

  1. John Carpenter, “Opening sequence” from Dark Star (1980 Citadel). This record contains incidental music, sound effects and dialogue from the motion picture. Electronic music by John Carpenter. Completed in 1974, the film wasn’t released until 1979 following the success of Carpenter’s Halloween. The soundtrack followed in 1980. Early synth music from Carpenter for which he used the EMS VCS3 synthesizer. 3:30
  2. Dick Maas, “Main Title” and “Out of Breath” from L'Ascenseur Bande Originale Du Film (The Lift) (1984 Milan). Composed by, Roland synthesizers, Dick Maas. 5:11
  3. Mike Oldfield, “Pran's Departure,” “Worksite,” “The Year Zero,” “Blood Sucking” from The Killing Fields (1984 Virgin). Composed by, guitar, Fairlight Computer, Mike Oldfield; Choral & Orchestral Arrangements, edited by, David Bedford; Choir, Tölzer Boys Choir; Composed by David Bedford (“Worksite”), Mike Oldfield; Conductor, Eberhard Schoener; Orchestra Of The Bavarian State Opera; Asian Percussion, Preston Heyman (“The Year Zero”). 6:56
  4. David Holmes, “You're Going To Belfast,” “The Hunt,” and “’71” from ’71 (2014 Touch Sensitive Records). 10:01
  5. Arthur B Rubinstein, “Video Fever” plus dialogue from Wargames (1983 Polydor). Composer, Arthur B Rubinstein; Synclaver II Digital Music System; Linndrum Drum Machine; Roland System 100 Analog Synthesizer, programmed and performed, Anthony Marinelli, Brian Banks. 3:30
  6. Michael Stearns, “Meditation 1” from Chronos (1984 Sonic Atmospheres). Created for the Ron Fricke film and produced for the six-channel discreet surround sound system of the OMNIMAX IMAX theaters. Stearns plays synthesizers made by Serge Modular, Oberheim, Yamaha, and EMU. Constance Demby plays “space” bass. 8:36
  7. Cliff Martinez, “I Drive” from Drive (2011 Lakeshore Records). Composer, performer, Baschet Crystal, Cliff Martinez; Guitar, Mac Quayle; Lute, Sitar, Gregory Tripi. The Cristal Baschet is a contemporary musical instrument developed in 1952 by the brothers Bernard and François Baschet. To play, musicians rub the rods with wet fingertips. Martinez was also known as the drummer for the early Red Hot Chili Peppers. He uses the Baschet Cristal, a kind of glass harmonica, for many of the sustained, ambient tonalities, plus vintage synths and percussion devices to create these beautiful textures. 2:04
  8. Cliff Martinez, “My Name on a Car” from Drive (2011 Lakeshore Records). Composer, performer, Baschet Crystal, Cliff Martinez; Guitar, Mac Quayle; Lute, Sitar, Gregory Tripi. 2:19
  9. Cliff Martinez, “On the Beach” from Drive (2011 Lakeshore Records). Composer, performer, Baschet Crystal, Cliff Martinez; Guitar, Mac Quayle; Lute, Sitar, Gregory Tripi. 6:35
  10. Cliff Martinez, “Rubber Head” from Drive (2011 Lakeshore Records). Composer, performer, Baschet Crystal, Cliff Martinez; Guitar, Mac Quayle; Lute, Sitar, Gregory Tripi. 3:09
  11. Michael Stearns, “Meditation 3” from Chronos (1984 Sonic Atmospheres). Stearns plays synthesizers made by Serge Modular, Oberheim, Yamaha, and EMU. Constance Demby plays “space” bass. 5:05
  12. Popol Vuh, “Sieh Nicht Überm Meer Ist's” from Cobra Verde (1987 Milan). Piano, Synclavier, vocals, Florian Fricke; Synclavier programming, recording and digital mastering by Ralph Graf; Guitar, percussion, vocals, Daniel Fichelscher; Vocals, Renate Knaup. 1:23
  13. Popol Vuh, “Nachts: Schnee” and “Der Marktplatz” from Cobra Verde (1987 Milan). Piano, Synclavier, vocals, Florian Fricke; Synclavier programming, recording and digital mastering by Ralph Graf; Guitar, percussion, vocals, Daniel Fichelscher; Vocals, Renate Knaup. 4:24
  14. Christopher Spelman, “The Final Journey” from The Lost City of Z (2017 Filmtrax). Composed, Arranged, Christopher Spelman; Conductors, Adam Klemens, Pejtsik Péter, Richard Hein; Drum, Jim Berenholtz; Flute, Jim Berenholtz; additional music, Kent Sparling; FILMharmonic Orchestra, The Budapest Film Orchestra, orchestrated by Daniel Halle. 7:51

Background Music, Introduction

  • Vangelis, “Blade Runner Blues” from Blade Runner (1994 EastWest). "Most of the music contained in this album originates from recordings I made in London in 1982, whilst working on the score for the film Blade Runner. Finding myself unable to release these recordings at the time, it is with great pleasure that I am able to do so now. Some of the pieces contained will be known to you from the Original Soundtrack of the film, whilst others are appearing here for the first time. Looking back to Ridley Scott's powerful and evocative pictures left me as stimulated as before, and made the recompiling of this music, today, an enjoyable experience." Vangelis (Athens, April 1994). 8:54

Opening: Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

 

Drum Machines: A Recorded History, Part 2, Digital Drum Machines

Drum Machines: A Recorded History, Part 2, Digital Drum Machines

October 11, 2021

Episode 55

Drum Machines: A Recorded History, Part 2: Digital Drum Machines

 

Playlist

Linn Drum

  • Gary Numan, “My Brothers Time” from Dance (1981 Beggar’s Banquet). Early use of the Linn LM-1 by John Webb on this track. Note the sound of the claves, played by Numan but not digital. Bass, Saxophone, Mick Karn; Linn LM-1 drum machine, John Webb; Piano, Claves, Gary Numan. 4:37
  • Rajie, “ストーミー・ナイト (Stormy Night)” from Acoustic Moon (Sony 1981). Early recognition in Japan of the original Linn LM-1 drum machine. Rajie, vocals; Guitar, Mikihiko Matsumiya; Bass, Tsugutoshi Goto ; Chorus,  Hiroshi Koide,  Raji ; Composed By,  Akira Inoue ; Drums,  Tatsuo Hayashi ; Electric Guitar-Tsuyoshi Kon; Flute,  Motoya Hamaguchi ; Lyrics By,  Etsuko Kisugi ; Percussion,  Motoya Hamaguchi ; Prophet-10, Linn LM-1, Electric Piano,  Akira Inoue. Early Linn Drum Computer. 5:08
  • Herbie Hancock, “The Twilight Clone” from Magic Windows (1981 Columbia). If you want to study the latest in emerging electronic music instruments, just listen to the many albums by Herbie Hancock throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He was an early adopter of the Linn LM-1, heard here and played by Hancock. Bass, Louis Johnson; Linn LM-1 Drum Machine, Herbie Hancock; Ghanian Drums, Moody Perry III; Ghanian Drums, Bells, Kwasi Dzidzornu, Kwawu Ladzekpo; Lead Guitar, Adrian Belew; Percussion, Paulinho Da Costa; Rhythm Guitar, George Johnson; Written by, A. Belew, H. Hancock. 8:16
  • Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer” Linn Drum demo version (excerpt) (1984 private). Guitar and Linndrum, Mike Campbell; Synthesizer, Steve Porcaro; Synthesizer, Guitar, Danny Kortchmar. Bass, Larry Klein; vocals, lyrics, Don Henley. The instrumental part of the song came first and was put together by Tom Petty bandmate Mike Campbell who had just purchased a LinnDrum machine which was a more affordable model than the original LM-1 released in 1980. Campbell put together a rhythm track and played some guitar. Tom Petty wasn’t interested in the song at that time, so it went to Henley, who wrote the lyrics. This demo was close to the final version. The final mix of the song also included some human drumming, as did live performances where a human drummer tried to replicate the sound of the original Linndrum. 0:42
  • Jean Michel Jarre, “Zoolookologie” from Zoolook (1984 Disques Dreyfus). A fascinating exploration of samples both of voice and drums. This is the later version of the Linn Linndrum machine, just before the introduction of the Linn 9000. There is pure joy in this track as Jarre uses the Linndrum to create many unexpected sounds and atypical rhythms. Bass, Marcus Miller; Composer, Producer, Ethnic Vocals Processing, Keyboards, Electronics, Jean-Michel Jarre; Drums, Yogi Horton; Daniel Lazerus; Guitar Ira Siegel; Guitar, Effects, Adrian Belew; Keyboards, Frederic Rousseau. 4:13
  • David Van Tieghem, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1986 Wide Angle). Drummer and percussionist Van Tieghem created this version of the Iron Butterfly song using electronic drums (Octapads) and digital drums. Engineer, Programmed By Fairlight Programming Assistance, Eric Liljestrand; Guitar, Larry Saltzman; Vocals, Synthesizer Digital, Analog, Percussion Acoustic, Electronic, Mixed By, Producer, David Van Tieghem; Written-By, Doug Ingle. Basically a one-person performance aside from guitarist Saltzman. Van Tieghem was using both hand played electronic drums (the Octapads) plus some digital drum machines. 5:36
  • Suzanne Ciani, “Mosaic” from Neverland (1988 Private Music). Composed, Arranged, Performed, Produced by Suzanne Ciani. Among the many electronic instruments used by Ciani were keyboards made by Yamaha, Roland, and Bode (vocoder). For drum programming, she turned to the Linn 9000. This track has some decidedly simple, yet complex rhythms using the Linn 9000 that are truly nuanced and more jazz like. The care with which she programmed this track is in contrast to the typical drum machine beats you hear on records. Ciani also used a Roland TR-707 on this album, which you may also detect on this track. 4:37

Oberheim DMX

  • Todd McKinney, “Kimberlite” from The Sound Of The System (1982 Oberheim). This 7-inch demo disc includes music created by Todd McKinney and Daniel Soger, two Oberheim employees. “Kimberlite” was composed and performed by McKinney using the DMX Programmable Digital Drum Machine, the DSX Digital Polyphonic Sequencer, and the OB-Xa Polyphonic Synthesizer. 2:28
  • Tangerine Dream, “Poland” from Poland (The Warsaw Concert) (1984 Jive Electro). You can hear the Bohn Digital Drums in the first half of the song and the Oberheim DMX in the second half. But that’s a bit of a guess. Dr. Böhm DIGITAL DRUMS was a rhythm machine made in Germany from 1982-83, also known as ''the German Linndrum.'' Composed, performed, and produced by Tangerine Dream. Jupiter 8, PPG Wave 2.3 Waveterm, Minimoog, Korg Monopoly, Sequenced by EEH CM 4 Digital Sequencer, Bohm Digital Drums, Roland Tr 808 Drums, Roland SDE 3000 Delay, MXR 01 Digital Reverb, MXR Digital Delay, Johannes Schmoelling; Prophet 5, Prophet 600, Prophet 1, E-mu Custom Programmable Synth, Moog Custom Programmable Modular Synth, MTI Synergy, Sequenced by the PE Polyrhythmic Sequencer, Compulab Digital Sequencer, Syntec Custom Digital Drum Computer, Electronic Drums Simmons Drum Modules, Effects Quantec Room Simulator, Roland SDE 3000, Electronics Hill Multi-mixer, Chris Franke; Yamaha DX 7, Yamaha YP 30, Jupiter 8, Jupiter 6, Prophet 5, PPG Wave 2.2, Sequenced By Pe Polyrhythmic Sequencer, EEH Cm 4 Digital Sequencer, PE Custom Trigger Selector, DMX Oberheim Digital Drum machine, Edgar Froese. 8:43
  • Herbie Hancock, “Earth Beat” from Future Shock (1983 Columbia). In addition to the DMX, this track includes evidence that Garfield Electronics Dr. Click Rhythm Controller was a much-needed rhythm device for wrangling the otherwise incompatible signals prior to the introduction of MIDI a few years later. Craig Anderton wrote the following about Doctor Click in an article in Keyboard from 1983: "Doctor Click is not a keyboard instrument, not a drum machine, and not a signal processor: What it does is synchronize and interface these three families of devices together. Not only can it interface to existing sync tracks, it can build up click tracks from incomplete click tracks, and even create sync and/or click tracks which are referenced to a live musician." Hancock masters Dr. Click on this album. Fairlight CMI, Yamaha GS-1, Yamaha CE-20, Dr. Click Rhythm Controller, Herbie Hancock; DMX Drum Machine, Synare Electronic Drums, Memory Moog Programming, Michael Beinhorn; Bass, Bill Laswell; Bata, Daniel Ponce; Turntables – Grandmixer D. ST. 5:09
  • Herbie Hancock, “Hardrock” from Sound System (1984 Columbia). The sound of the Oberheim DMX digital drum machine as used by Herbie Hancock. This album was his follow-up to the album Future Shock on the DMX made a famous appearance in the song Rockit, which was unusually a top-selling hit for Hancock. The DMX is played here by non-other than Bill Laswell. Note that Simmons electronic drums are also being played on this track by Anton Fier, but I think you can tell the difference. Bass, Drum Machine DMX, Tape, Bill Laswell; Bata, Daniel Ponce; Simmons electronic drums, Sound Plates, Cuica, Anton Fier; Guitar, Henry Kaiser, Nicky Skopelitis; Fairlight CMI Programming, Will Alexander; Fairlight CMI, Rhodes Chroma, Apple IIe, Yamaha DX7, Emu 4060 Digital Keyboard, Herbie Hancock; Synthesizer (XMD), Rob Stevens; Turntables, D. St; Written-By, B. Laswell, D. Showard, Herbie Hancock. 6:10
  • Davy DMX, “Bonus Beats” from One For The Treble (Fresh) (1984 Tuff City). Davy DMX when he first met the Oberhheim DMX digital sampling drum machine. He is also known as David Franklin Reeves, Jr. Here is a bonus track of only drum machine and turntable. 1:47
  • Davy DMX, “One For The Treble (Fresh) (Instrumental)” from One For The Treble (Fresh) (1984 Tuff City). Davy DMX when he first met the Oberheim DMX digital sampling drum machine. Another track from that same 12-inch. 7:31

Movement MCS Drum Computer

  • John Foxx, “Pater Noster” from The Garden (Virgin 1981). This album was produced after Foxx left Ultravox. It is another example of the MCS Drum Computer. This track only features Foxx on synthesizers, voice, drum programming, and a manually struck Tom Tom. 2:30

Roland

  • El Escuadrón Del Ritmo, “Las Cucarachas” from Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989 (2021 Dark Entries). I discovered this wonderful collection of Mexican synth-pop tracks, some never before heard, and immediately dug-out a track using a drum machine. This track is from 1982. In this case, the drum machine is the Roland Compu-Rhythm CR-78, which was a transitional analog device with analog drum sounds and digital control for programming patterns. 3:44
  • Nahtabisk, “La Dama De Probeta” from Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989 (2021 Dark Entries). Another hidden gem from Mexico. This track is from 1984 and features the Roland drumTR-606 Drumatix. The TR-606 featured PCM-encoded sounds of real drums. This small device, that ran on batteries, helped define the sound of early techno. 3:20

E-mu

  • Joe Mansfield, “Drumulator (Instrumental)” from Drumulator (2014 Get On Down). This is a track featuring the sounds of the E-mu Drumulator that was sold from 1983 to 1985. It had twelve, 8-bit sampled sounds of real drums and at about $1000 was more affordable that drum machines like the Linndrum and Oberheim DMX. It was created on the heels of the sample synthesizers they made under the Emulator name. It also had a relatively short life so few recordings from the time were made. This demo is an example of what could be done with the Drumulator and Herbie Hancock took a liking to it prior to switching to the Oberheim DMX. 2:02
  • Richard Souther, “Uncharted Waters” from Innermission (1986 Meadowlark Records). Music and realization by Richard Souther. Includes synthesizers from Roland, PPG, Sequential Circuits, and Casio. He also used both the Linn 9000 and E-mu SP-12 drum machines, which are both heard on this track. You can clearly hear the Linn 900 and its distinctive snare and bass sounds, while the E-mu, which was built around the circuits in the company’s popular keyboard samplers, provided some of the more unusual, even exotic, percussion sounds. 3:23

Alesis

  • Slant, “Sheep” and “Ducks” from Hive (1989 These Records). This amazing group, although short-lived, was a British experiment in rock with noise elements that included Cris Cheek, Philip Jeck, Sianed Jones, and Osian Tam. Cross used an Alesis HR-16, which is showcased in the second of two tracks, “Ducks.” I think that is probably the same drum machine in the first track, “Sheep” so I thought this represented some good contrast in the way that the sound could be treated. This had 49 digital samples of drums that could be programmed in real-time by playing the velocity sensitive drum buttons. Double Bass Julia Doyle; Guitar, Cabasa, Engineer, Co-producer Maciek Hrybowicz; Keyboards, Accordion, Synthesizer DX7; Piano, Clarinet, Voice, Marimba, Goblet Drum Darabouka, Tambourine, Bells Agogo Bells, Sampler Cassette Samples, Flute Souffara, Rattle Seed Pod Rattles, Performer Emax, Alesis HR-16, Breath Rhythms, Face Slap, Mixed By, Co-producer Cris Cheek; Turntables, Radio Philip Jeck; Violin, Piano, Vocals, Organ, Fife, Viol Viola Da Gamba, Harmonium, Claves, Performer Emax, Breath Rhythms, Mixed By, Co-producer Sianed Jones; Voice Osian Tam. 4:31

Closing, Linn LinnDrum

  • Mikel Rouse, “Quorum part 2” from Quorum (1984 Club Soda Music). It was inevitable that a composer would create an extended piece of music using only the Linn Linndrum. Mikel Rouse was that person. Listen to the hypnotic patterns of this work. From the composer’s notes: “Quorom is a piece for LinnDrum machine (or 18 percussion players) in 9 parts running approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in length. Though the sequence of parts 1 through 9 must be maintained, the parts may be divided into sections, or run continuously. Themes are produced through the synchronization of the 3 generators, 3-5-8, and their complimentary factors yield counterthemes. Power series are then applied to produce harmonic contrasts from the original themes. Thematic material is developed through multiple variation techniques (circular permutations, accents through superimposition of an additional component, natural growth through the summation series). I decided to undertake the programming myself and, with the aid of Jim Bergman, successfully completed the programming in about 5 hours. I would like to stress that all programming was done through the step-by-step process provided in the operator’s manual for construction “songs” from “patterns”. No special treatments or extensions (including cassette interfaces) were required.” Such was the versatility of the Linn Linndrum. 11:16

 

Background Sounds

  • Volti, “Corazón” from Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989 (2021 Dark Entries). Mexican electro-pop group. This track is from 1986 and features unknown drum programming. vocals, synthesizer, Lyndell Brookhouse; bass, synthesizers, drum programming percussion, Eddie Rubello; Backing Vocals, Katie Taylor; Congas, Edgar Herrera; Piano, Vincent Kenis; Timbales, Pedro Ortiz. 3:45.
  • Adams and Fleisner, tracks “a1, a2, b1, b2, b3” from Modern Digital Recorded Drumcomputer Rhythm Tracks (1983 Break Records). I think this track of library digital drum samples from the Netherlands was made with the Drum Computer MCS II (or Percussion Computer) from Movement Computer Systems, a rare British made-drum machine circa 1983. It had an integrated CRT monitor and had an orange (or black) case. It used 8-bit samples of drums and featured 14 voices and programmable patterns.

Opening: Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

There are dozens of drum machines that dot the history of electronic music. For an encyclopedic list of almost every drum machines ever made, and there were dozens of variations and models up until around 1985, check-out the excellent books by Alex Graham, a UK-based drum machine collector and specialist.

Drum Machines: A Recorded History, Part 1, Analog Drum Machines

Drum Machines: A Recorded History, Part 1, Analog Drum Machines

September 28, 2021

Playlist

Chamberlin Rhythmate

  1. Two Times The Trauma, “Freak Show” from I Fell In Love With An Ocean (2006 Starfly). There is an original Chamberlin Rhythmate at Roth Händle Studios in Stockholm, plus some other precious vintage equipment used in the making of the first album by Two Times The Trauma. Double Bass, Vocals, Magnus Eugensson; Drums, Percussion, Optigan, Mellotron, Tin Whistle, Turntables, Chamberlin Rhythmate, Mattias Olsson; Electric Guitar, Eric Fallope; Mellotron, Orchestron, Tobias Ljungkvist; Tuba, Fredrik Wennström; Vocals, Cecilia Åhlfeldt; Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mattias Eriksson; Xylophone, Daniel Kåse. Recorded at Roth Händle Studios 3 & 4, Stockholm. Mellotron bee tape set used with kind permission from Gaby Stenberg. Yamaha GX-1 used with kind permission from Benny Andersson. Orchestron French Horn disc on 'In Your Eyes' used thanks to Zac Rae. All Optigan, Mellotron and Chamberlin Rhythmate service and maintenance was performed way beyond the call of duty by Markus Resch.

Wurlitizer Side Man and Swingin’ Rhythm

  1. LCD Sound System, “Somebody’s Calling Me” from This Is Happening (2010 Parlophone). Somebody's Calling Me; Finger Snaps Snaps, Matt Thornley; Finger Snaps Snaps, Synthesizer Casio MT-68, Wurlitzer Sideman, EMS VCS3 Putney, Korg Poly Ensemble, Bass, Piano Acoustic, Keyboards Roland System 100, Vocals, James Murphy; Mixed By, DS; Trombone, Jason Disu; Written-By, J. Murphy.
  2. Glenn Derringer, “The Girl From Ipanema” from Wurlitzer Swingin' Rhythm (1968 Wurlitzer). Glenn Derringer at the Wurlitzer electronic organ, demonstrating the Wurlitzer Electronic Swingin' Rhythm attachment with an unspecified Wurlitzer electronic organ. Each track on this demonstration disc explains the Swingin’ Rhythm settings that were used. For “The Girl From Ipanema,” the settings were: “Moderate Bossa Nova. The Swingin’ Rhythm was set at Latin, tempo control set to 1 o’clock.” What more can I say?
  3. Dick Hyman, “Strobo” from the single Strobo/Lay, Lady, Lay (1969 Command). Dick told me about this track, which was one of his Moog experiments that didn’t make it onto his two albums around this time. Normally, he produced his Moog tracks with the help of synthesizer programmer Walter Sear. But in the case of this single, he did all the programming. For “Strobo,” he used a drum machine. It sounds like a Swingin’ Rhythm.
  4. Jean-Pierre Sabar, “Fool on the Hill” from Super-Danse/Les Orgues Électroniques De Jean Pierre Sabar (1969 Sava). French LP of instrumental cover versions of popular music, all played on the Wurlitzer 4300 electronic organ with integrated Multi-Matic Percussion unit and Swingin’ Rhythm, which was also sold as a standalone drum machine. In this case, I’m having a little trouble telling the difference between the drum machine and what sometimes sounds like a drum set with bass and toms. The settings on the organ indicate that the pedals can be used to play “drum” and “cymbal” sounds, and the Swingin’ Rhythm unit had buttons for drum, brush, snare, block, and cymbal. Still, I can’t account for the tambourine sound but so much of this rhythm section sounds like a drum machine repeating sounds robotically that I must assume that this is a combination of live drummer and drum machine.
  5. Jerry Styner And Larry Brown, “Dock of the Bay” from Orbit III (1971 Beverly Hills). Album produced to showcase the sounds of the Wurlitzer Orbit III organ, the “orbit” portion being a a third, two-octave keyboard that was a monophonic synthesizer. The instrument was equipped with the latest Wurlitzer rhythm machine built in. On this track, you not only hear sounds of a drum machine that sounds similar to the Wurlitzer Swingin’ Rhythm machine introduced in 1969. Although the liner notes suggest that all of the sounds were created using the organ, there appears to be a regular human drummer playing along (probably percussionist and co-producer Larry Brown). I say this because there is a hit hat heard throughout and although Swingin’ Rhythm had setting for a Snare, Brush and Cymbal sounds, as fills for the rhythm settings, they really did not reproduce the hit hat sound that is heard here. That and the miscellaneous drum fills added throughout sound more “played” than mechanized. Anyway, that’s my take after examining this recording as compared to the actual sounds of the Swingin’ Rhythm unit.

Thomas Organ

  1. Byron Melcher, “Spanish Flea” from The Entertainers (1966 Thomas Organ Co.). Thomas Organ was one of the leading makers of electronic organs for the home. On this track, you can hear the Playmate rhythm component, a drum machine with 15 preset rhythms. The Thomas organ drum machine, circa mid-1960s. Thomas Organ was another maker of electronic organs for the home market. By 1966 they had created the Playmate rhythm component, a drum machine with 15 preset rhythms and a standalone device called the Band Box that had 10 preset rhythms. These were often sold as part of their Color-Glo line of transistorized organs. Color-Glo helped amateur musicians by lighting up the keys for preprogrammed melodies and chords to guide them along.

Lowrey Organ

  1. Johnny Kemm “Taboo” from Latin Days (1970 Concert Recording). This album was created using the Lowrey Theater Console Deluxe organ model H25R-2 equipped with the built-in Automatic Rhythm drum machine feature.

Not Sure Which Drum Machine

  1. Robin Gibb, “Mother and Jack” from the single Saved by the Bell/Mother and Jack (1969 Polydor). There was brief period in 1969 when the Brothers Gibb, otherwise known as the Bee Gees, had a sibling riff and Robin went off on his own to record some solo projects while Barry and Maurice completed a two-man Bee Gee album called Cucumber Castle. Perhaps because he was working along, Robin used a drum machine to mark time while recording various tracks and in the case of a few songs, he kept the mechanical rhythm as part of the finished recording. This might be the earliest purposeful use of a drum machine on a pop hit. I include it hear because it is probably a Swingin’ Rhythm, although it might also be a Seeburg Select-A-Rhythm, also available at the time.
  2. Bruce Haack “Saint Basil” from The Electronic Record For Children (1969 Dimension 5). Tape composition, drum machine, and synthesis by Bruce Haack; Directed by P. Pandel; Performer, The Children Of Holy Trinity Cathedral School. Bruce used an unidentified drum machine on this album of children’s music.

Roland (Various)

  1. Michael Iceberg, “Mexican Hat Dance” from Does It Live: 100th Week At Walt Disney World (1977 Hihomusic). This album was only sold to tourists as a souvenir at Walt Disney World during the Michael Iceberg residency as a performer at Tomorrowland Terrace during the late 70's through the late 80's. Unknown drum machine, but likely a Roland Rhythm TR-55.
  2. Miha Kralj, “Apokalipsa” from Andromeda (1980 PGP). Yugoslavian record from synthesist Miha Kralj features a Roland CompuRhythm CR-78. Composer, producer, Synthesizer, Vocoder, Sequencer, Drum Machine, Effects, Miha Kralj.
  3. Gary Numan, “Slowcar To China” from Dance (1981 Atco). Bass , Mick Karn; Percussion, Gary Numan, Tim Steggles; Polymoog, Prophet 5, Roland JP 4, CP30, Claptrap, Electronic Drums Roland CR78, Gary Numan; Viola, Chris Payne.
  4. The Noyes Brothers, “Byte to Beat” from Sheep From Goats (1980 Object Music). Synthesizer and electronic drums, Solamar. The Noyes Brothers had two members, Steve Miro and Steve Solamar. They were from the UK and Solamar seems to be the only artist on this track and uses an non-specific Roland drum machine. This track is taken from a double LP, the only record I know of for the Noyes Brothers.
  5. Comateens, “Ghosts” from Comateens (1981 Cachalot Records). Here is a group who’s unofficial fourth member was a Roland Compu-Rhythm CR-78. The inner notes for the album featured profiles of all of the artists, including Lyn Byrd on synthesizers and vocals, Oliver North on guitar and vocals, Nic North on bass, and vocals and the Roland machine, which was described as having a square black head, no body, with red, blue, and yellow buttons. In addition, the notes state that the Roland drum machine was born in Japan and existed as 3,468 separate pieces before assembled and called upon to serve with the Comateens.
  6. Joël Fajerman, “Espace – Oiseaux” from Azimuts (1981 PSA). French record by Fajerman featuring a Roland TR 808 Rhythm composer, and instruments such as the Multimoog, Prophet 5, Korg polyphonic 3100, Clavinet D6, ARP sequencer, Oberheim module.
  7. SPK (System Planning Korporation), “Emanation Machine R. Gie 1916” from Information Overload Unit (1981 Side Effects). Australian industrial sounds released in the UK. Guitar, Bass, Tape, Vocals, Mike Wilkins; Synthesizer, Roland Drum Programming, Effects, Vocals, Graeme Revell; Synthesizer, Effects, Dominic Guerin.
  8. Rüdiger Lorenz, “Out of the Past” from Invisible Voices (1983 Syncord). This late pharmacist/synthesist from Germany played all the instruments on this album, including Korg Polysix, Formant Synthesizer, Roland Vocoder VC 10, Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, Moog Sample & Hold, MXR Stereo Chorus, Electro-Harmonix Flanger, PPG Sequencer, Elektor Ringmodulator, and Pearl Vorg Echo-Orbit.

Other analog drum machines

  1. Bob Hacker, “Careless Hands” from One Man Opry: Bob Hacker Plays The Yamaha Electone D (1980 Yamaha). This album, produced by Yamaha, features some of the wacky analog synth effects it could produce as well as its built-in drum machine. This was a spinet style organ, a small upright keyboard with pedals for the home market.
  2. Arthur Brown and Kingdom Come, “Time Captives” from Journey (1973 Polydor). Brown used Bentley drum machine to provide drums on this track. The Bentley was actually a UK version of the Roland TR-77 which was the very first product Roland released under they own name. In the US this same unit was sold by Hammond as the Auto-Vari 64. The unit has 5 faders for Volume, Tempo, Cymbal/HH/Maracas, Guiro, Snare, Bass Drum. The TR-77 has 6 faders for Tempo, Fade Time, Volume, Bass D, Snare D, Guiro & Hi-Hat/Cymbal/Maracas. Bass, Percussion, Vocals, Phil Shutt; Bentley Rhythm Ace, Vocals, Arthur Brown; Electric Guitar, Vocals – Andy Dalby; Mellotron, Synthesizer [Arp 2600, Vcs3], Piano, Theremin, Percussion, Vocals, Victor Peraino.
  3. Kraftwerk, “Radioactivity” from Kraftwerk – Radio-Activity (1975 Capitol).Electronics, Florian Schneider, Ralf Hütter; Lyrics by Emil Schult, Florian Schneider, Ralf Hütter; music by Florian Schneider, Ralf Hütter; Electronic Percussion Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür; Vocals, Florian Schneider, Ralf Hütter.
  4. Schoolly D, “P.S.K.-What Does It Mean? (instrumental version)” from‎ P.S.K.-What Does It Mean? / Gucci Time (1986 Schooly D Records). A remix of this track that features only the drum sounds of the The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer. This drum machine was one of the first Roland instruments to be equipped with MIDI, and was the first analog/digital hybrid machine, combining analog circuits for its drums with digital samples for its cymbal and hi-hat sounds. You can hear how Schooly D isolated the cymbals and drums on this track.
  5. Pixie Ninja, “Leng Plateau” from Colours Out Of Space (2020 Apollon Records). Another recording using the Chamberlin Rhythmate in the Roth Händle Studio in Stockholm. Roth Händle studios is run by producer and musician Mattias Olsson who collects, restores, and offers vintage musical gear for use by visiting bands. There is so much to listen to here with Pixie Ninja’s hard-driving and somewhat deranged mix of vintage, cranky electronic instruments and modern guitars and synthesizers. You can hear the Chamberlin Rhythmmate in this track, a Bandmaster Powerhouse Drum Machine (the one that used 8-track tapes), and an Electro-Harmonix DRM-16 Drum Machine. Godin Shifter 4 Bass, Korg Krome 61, Korg Volca Keys, Korg Monotribe, Nord Lead A1, Glockenspiel, Polar Circle Bells, Kalimba, Marius Leirånes; Drums, Percussion, Mother Modular System, Mellotron M400, Philicorda Organ, Chamberlin Rhythmate, Fender Rhodes, Hohner Clavinet, Blind Typemachine, EMS VCS3, Casio PT-88, Roland JV-8080, Roland SH-101, Electro-Harmonix DRM-16 Drum Machine, Moog Taurus, Korg MS-10, Optigan, Roland VP-330+, Bandmaster Powerhouse Drum Machine, E-Bow (Bass Gizmotron), Jenco Celeste, Grand Piano, Mattias Olsson; Fender Stratocaster, Gretsch G5320T, TC Electronic AEON Infinite Sustainer, Korg Krome 61, Korg microKORG, Nord Lead A1, Arturia Microbrute, Stylophone 350s, Glockenspiel, Jostein Haugen; Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, Fender Rhodes, Philicorda Organ, Mellotron M400, Hampus Nordgren-Hemlin.

Background Sounds

Opening: Negativland, “Side 1, Track 3” from Negativland (1980 Seeland). An unidentified drum box is heard throughout this track. It sounds a lot like the Wurlitzer Swingin’ Rhythm. Recorded Dec. 1979-April 1980. This privately release album had a hand-made sleeve made of cut-and-paste artwork assembled with xerox, wallpaper, black construction paper, and magazine photos. Beneath these pasted portions, the cover itself is spray painted and stenciled with parts of the band name, as well as hand-numbered. Synthesizer, edited by, voice, tape, David Wills; Tape, Electronics, drum machine rhythms, Booper (an electronic oscillator), Clarinet, Organ, Viola, Loops, Guitar, Mark Hosler, Richard Lyons.

Description of previous way of producing drum sounds: George Wright, “Happy Talk” from Goes South Pacific (1958 HiFi Records). George Wright on the Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ, an electronic organ popular in the 1950s.

Introductory dialog: Johnny Kemm “I Say a Little Prayer” from Latin Days (1970 Concert Recording). This album was created using the Lowrey Theater Console Deluxe organ model H25R-2 equipped with the built-in Automatic Rhythm drum machine feature.

Description of Chamberlin Rhythmate: Audio track demo of the  Chamberlin Rhythmate  from the YouTube video posted by instrument collector Dan Hicks (aka Peahix), a collector in California.

Description of Wurlitzer Side Man: Audio track demo of the Wurlitzer Side Man from the YouTube video posted by instrument collector Dan Hicks (aka Peahix), a collector in California.

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

 

The Sound of Sport—Tennis in the Wind

The Sound of Sport—Tennis in the Wind

September 16, 2021

Episode 53

 

The Sound of Sport—Tennis in the Wind

 

Playlist

  1. The Athletes Foot – The Official Munich Olympic Games Theme 1972 ? (1972 UK Records). This is from a UK single, the purpose of which I have no idea. The label states, “Demonstration sample not for sale to the General Public.” One side features this apparent anthem for the 1972 Munich Olympics played normally while the reverse side plays the same track in reverse. It was released in November of 1972, after the closing of the summer games and before the opening of the winter games. The Athlete’s Foot was a pseudonym for one Jonathan King, a British record producer, singer-songwriter, music entrepreneur, author and former television & radio presenter born in London. For this podcast, I’ve decided to play both sides of the 45 RPM single simultaneously. Enjoy. 2:04
  2. Robert Jung & Familie, “Gedanken beim Tennis” from the single Tennis Ist Toll/“Gedanken beim Tennis (1979 RCA Victor). ““Gedanken beim Tennis,” or “Tennis Thoughts” in English, is a 45 RPM single released in Germany. Jung was a German songwriter and for this single he apparently brought his family together to record some sounds of tennis to be mixed into the music. I appreciate that he uses the rhythm of tennis here as well as a number of synthesizers to act out his tennis thoughts. 2:53
  3. Heatsick, “Willie Burns Remix” from Dream Tennis Remixed (2013 CockTail d'Amore Music). This track began as a Heatsick project and was remixed by Willie Burns of the UK. What I like about this track is that although it does not contain any tennis samples, it is clearly scored in a rhythm that is reminiscent of the trancelike state one enters while watching a match. 6:17
  4. FL-Project, “First Serve: Tennis Becker--Nijssen Hamburg '88” from Sporting- Sounds Of Sport (1988 TITAN Schallplatten), There are some very brief samples of crowd sounds and line calls used in this track. Otherwise, it’s an example of smooth jazz with synths. 4:52
  5. Armin van Buuren, “Ping Pong (Radio Edit) from Ping Pong (2014 Armada). I know that this is not tennis, but it is a racket sport. Written and produced, Armin van Buuren, Benno De Goeij. All electronic trance beats and synths. 2:58
  6. Thom Holmes, “US Open 2021.” From field recordings made during the first week of the US Open tennis tournament in NY, on route to the tournament via NYC subways, and sounds from the streets of the East Village in NY during Hurricane Ida. The sounds have been modified electro-acoustically using a variety of tools, including MetaSynth CTX 1.0 among others. The edited mix includes 59 individual sound files of tennis, rain, and subways sounds. 31:02.

Background music:

Alive and Well, introduction and three opening tracks from “Tennis: Subliminal Tape Program” (1987 Mind Communication Inc.). Part of a series of cassette released in the mid-eighties featuring new age and soft jazz styled music. Billed as “Your subliminal Life Improvement Program!” They had other tapes on concentration, mystic moments, Stop sugan addiction, etc. The opening features some dialog explaining the series and how to use the tapes. They are supposedly (I say supposedly because there is no way to audibly detect them) laced with time-compressed subliminal messages. In this case, cassette program provides encouragement for playing tennis. A list of “Your Subliminal Affirmations” included on the back side of the cassette case wrapper lists such things as: I relax; I am important; I can do it; I play net well; I love myself; I warm up fast; My backhand scores; I swing smoothly and powerfully; and I am a winner.” I am using this for background during my opening thoughts for this podcast.

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

Dub Electronic

Dub Electronic

August 22, 2021

Episode 52

Dub Electronic

Playlist

  1. Herman Chin-Loy, “Heavy Duty” from Aquarius Dub (1973 Aquarius). Recorded in Jamaica. Backing Band, The Now Generation Band; Bass, Val Douglas; Drums, Mikey Richards; Guitar, Geoffrey Chung, Mikey Chung; Keyboards, Augustus Pablo, Earl "Wire" Lindo, Robbie Lyn; Melodica, Augustus Pablo; Producer, Herman Chin Loy. 2:56
  2. Herman Chin-Loy, “Jah Jah Dub” from Aquarius Dub (1973 Aquarius). Recorded in Jamaica. Backing Band, The Now Generation Band; Bass, Val Douglas; Drums, Mikey Richards; Guitar, Geoffrey Chung, Mikey Chung; Keyboards, Augustus Pablo, Earl "Wire" Lindo, Robbie Lyn; Melodica, Augustus Pablo; Producer, Herman Chin Loy. 2:31
  3. Upsetters, “African Skank” from Upsetters 14 Dub Black Board Jungle (1973 Upsetter). Recorded in Jamaica. Produced by Upsetter L. Perry. 3:16
  4. Upsetters, “V/S Panta Rock” from Upsetters 14 Dub Black Board Jungle (1973 Upsetter). Recorded in Jamaica. Produced and Arranged By Lee Perry; Engineer, King Tubby, Lee Perry; Bass, Aston "Family Man" Barrett; Drums, Benbow; Melodica, Augustus Pablo; Organ, Touter, Winston Wright; Trombone – Ron Wilson; Trumpet – Bobby Ellis. 3:33
  5. Derrick & The Crystalites, “Lion Dub” (theme from Shaft) from Derrick Harriott Presents Scrub A Dub Reggae (1974 Crystal Records). Recorded and mixed in Jamaica. Engineer, Brother George; Produced and written by Derrick Harriott. 3:39
  6. Augustus Pablo, “The Big Rip Off” from Ital Dub (1974 Starapple). Recorded in Jamaica. Engineer, King Tubby, Ronald Logan, Sylvan Morris; Mixed By King Tubby (Dub Master); Produced by Tommy Cowan, Warrick Lyn; Written by, Melodica, Augustus Pablo. 3:14
  7. Augustus Pablo, “Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House” from Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House (1980 Shanachie). Recorded in Jamaica. Backing Band, Rockers All Stars Bass, Bugsy; Junior Dan, Michael Taylor, Robby Shakespear; Drum, Albert Malawi, Leroy Wallace; Mickey Boo; Horns, Deadly Headely; Lead Guitar, Dalton Brownie, Earl (Chinna) Smith; Mixed By, Augustus Pablo, King Tubbys; Prince Jammys; Organ, Piano, String Ensemble, Melodica, Augustus Pablo; Percussion, Jah Levi, Jah Teo, Sticky; Arranged By, Augustus Pablo, H. Swaby; Michael McGeachy Rhythm Guitar, Cleon; Fazal Prendergas. 4:36
  8. Jah Shaka, “Verse 6” from Commandments Of Dub (1982 Jah Shaka Music). Recorded in Jamaica. Bass, Hughie Issachar, Shaka; Drums, Errol Drummie, Wazair (Black Brother); Effects, Shaka; Lead Guitar, Hughie Issachar, Tony Benjamin; Mastered By, John Hassall; Melodica, Hughie Issachar; Mixed by, Jah Shaka, Neil Frazer (Professor); Organ, Errol Drummie, Wazair; Percussion, Bongos, Dan, Shaka Joseph, Wazair; Piano, Dudley, Shaka, Wazair, Produced by Jah Shaka; Rhythm Guitar, Hughie Issachar, Tony Benjamin; Xylophone, Joseph. 4:46
  9. Mad Professor, “Beyond The Realms Of Dub” from Beyond The Realms Of Dub (Dub Me Crazy! The Second Chapter) (1982 Ariwa). Produced by Mad Professor; Bass, drums, piano, Garnett Cross; Organ, Synth, Errol Reid; Percussion – Jah Shaka. 7:13
  10. Love Joys, “All I Can Say” from Lovers Rock Reggae Style (1983 Wackies). Recorded in Jamaica. Written by, Vocals, Claudette Brown, Sonia Abel; Backing Band, Wackie's Rhythm Force; Bass, Jah T.;Bass, Guitar, Jerry Harris; Bass Keyboards, Clive Hunt; Drums, Clive Plummer, Fabian Cooke Engineer, Levy, Barnes, Delahaye; Executive-Producer, Lloyd & Lloyd Prod. Inc.; Guitar, Keyboards, Barry V.; Horns, Rolando Alphonso; Keyboards, Owen Stewart; Percussion, Ras Menilik; Producer, Bullwackie. 8:33
  11. Love Joys, “One Draw” from Lovers Rock Reggae Style (1983 Wackies). Recorded in Jamaica. Written by, Vocals, Claudette Brown, Sonia Abel; Backing Band, Wackie's Rhythm Force; Bass, Jah T.;Bass, Guitar, Jerry Harris; Bass Keyboards, Clive Hunt; Drums, Clive Plummer, Fabian Cooke Engineer, Levy, Barnes, Delahaye; Executive-Producer, Lloyd & Lloyd Prod. Inc.; Guitar, Keyboards, Barry V.; Horns, Rolando Alphonso; Keyboards, Owen Stewart; Percussion, Ras Menilik; Producer, Bullwackie. 7:21
  12. Jah Shaka, “Zion Chant Dub” from Commandments Of Dub II (1984 Jah Shaka Music). Produced, Arranged by Jah Shaka; Synthesizer Mark Victor; Bass, Byron Duce, Ras Elroy; Bongos, Brother Joseph; Drums, Errol The General, Jah Bunny; Guitar, Mike Dorane, Tony Benjamin; Mastered By Felicity Hassell, John Hassell; Mixed By Mikey Campbell; Percussion, Jah Bunny, Shaka, Norman Grant; Piano, Organ Sgt. Pepper. 4:55
  13. Jah Shaka, “Roaring Dub” from Commandments Of Dub II (1984 Jah Shaka Music). Produced, Arranged by Jah Shaka; Synthesizer Mark Victor; Bass, Byron Duce, Ras Elroy; Bongos, Brother Joseph; Drums, Errol The General, Jah Bunny; Guitar, Mike Dorane, Tony Benjamin; Mastered By Felicity Hassell, John Hassell; Mixed By Mikey Campbell; Percussion, Jah Bunny, Shaka, Norman Grant; Piano, Organ Sgt. Pepper. 4:03
  14. Wayne Smith, “Under Me Sleng Teng” from Sleng Teng (1982 Greensleeves). Recorded in Jamaica. Musicians, Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson, Cleveland "Clevie" Browne, Super Power All-Stars*, Wayne Smith; Producer, Arranger Prince, Jammy. 4:07
  15. Prince Jammy, “Synchro Start” from Computerised Dub (1986 Greensleeves). Recorded in Jamaica. Performers, Steelie & Cleavie, Super Power All-Stars, Wayne Smith; Producer, arranger, Prince Jammy. 2:09
  16. Prince Jammy, “Interface” from Computerised Dub (1986 Greensleeves). Recorded in Jamaica. Performers, Steelie & Cleavie, Super Power All-Stars, Wayne Smith; Producer, arranger, Prince Jammy. 2:59
  17. Jah Shaka All Stars, Ites Green & Gold” from Jah Shaka Presents Vivian Jones Featuring The Fasimbas, Jah Shaka All Stars ‎– Jah Works (1987 Jah Shaka Music).Producer, Bass, Arranged By, Mixed By, Composed By, Jah Shaka; Bass, Jerry Lions; Bass, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Guitar, Black Steel; Bongos, Percussion, The Fasimbas; Drums, Drumton; Mixing, Calvin; Recording Engineer, Leon Marsh; Guitar, Jerry Lions; Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Gregory; Synthesizer, Organ, Piano, Pepper; Vocals, Vivian Jones; Vocals [Background], Sis Nya. 5:01
  18. Steely & Clevie, “At The Top” from At the Top (1988 Black Solidarity). Recorded in Jamaica. Arranged By, Musician, Programmed By Steely & Clevie; Engineer, Bobby Digital, Chris Lane, Dave Kelly, Patrick Ayton, Paul Davidson, Anthony Kelly; Mixed By D. Kelly, P. Davidson; Producer, Ossie Thomas, Phillip Morgan; Saxophone, Dean Fraser; Trumpet, David Madden. 4:01

Background music:

  • Derrick & The Crystalites, “Dubbing the Chariot” from Derrick Harriott Presents Scrub A Dub Reggae (1974 Crystal Records). Recorded and mixed in Jamaica. Engineer, Brother George; Produced and written by Derrick Harriott. 3:57
  • Derrick & The Crystalites, “Medley (Train To Herbsville & Crash Dub)” from Derrick Harriott Presents Scrub A Dub Reggae (1974 Crystal Records). Recorded and mixed in Jamaica. Engineer, Brother George; Produced and written by Derrick Harriott. 3:05

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

The Laughing Space

The Laughing Space

August 7, 2021

Episode 51

The Laughing Space

Playlist

  1. Laughter in Theatre/Applause in Theatre (1935 Columbia), 78 RPM UK disc.
  2. Applause from Spotlight On Sound Effects (1962 Design Records), US disc.
  3. Laughter and applause from Sound Effect Record No. 20 (1968 EMI), UK disc.
  4. Vocal effects from BBC Sound Effects (circa 1968 BBC Sound Effects Centre), UK disc.
  5. Fanfares from Limited Edition: Production Music (circa 1968 Mark Century Corp.),
  6. Crowds, applause, audience from The New CBS Audio-File Sound Effects Library (1977 Columbia Special Products), US disk.
  7. Restless crowd from The New CBS Audio-File Sound Effects Library, No. 16 (1977 BBC Records), UK disc.
  8. Applause effects from Sound Effects Volume 23 (1979 Major Records), US disc.
  9. Applause, various size audiences from Living Sound Effects Volume 5 (1983 Bainbridge), US disc.
  10. Laughter and applause from Comedy Sound Effects No. 28 (1983 BBC Records), UK disc.
  11. Tags and Stingers from Limited Edition: Production Music (circa 1968 Mark Century Corp.), US disc.
  12. Announcements, Openings, Endings, and Intros from Limited Edition: Production Music (circa 1968 Mark Century Corp.), US disc.

Plus a few misc. clips from broadcast and online sources.

Software used to process sounds: VirtualDJ, Serato DJ Pro, MetaSynth CTX (Pitch and Time effect for creating tonal patterns from laughter).

Background music:

  • Misc. laughter and sound effects taken from the above sources.

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

 

Reggae Loves Electronic Keyboards

Reggae Loves Electronic Keyboards

July 27, 2021

Episode 50

Reggae Loves Electronic Keyboards

 

Playlist

  1. The Wailers, “Lonsome Feelings” (sp) from The Wailers, The Mighty Vikings ‎– Lonsome Feelings/There She Goes (1964 Wincox). 45 RPM. Combo organ.
  2. Glen Adams, “Warming Up The Scene” from Roy Shirley/Glen Adams ‎– Warming Up The Scene/Lonely Girl (1968 Giant) 45 RPM. Combo organ.
  3. The Mellotones, “Uncle Desmond” from Sir Lord Comic & The Upsetters/The Mellotones ‎– Bronco (Django Shoots First)/Uncle Desmond (1968 Upsetter). 45 RPM. Combo organ.
  4. Lester Sterling, “Reggie In The Wind” from Lester Sterling/The Soul Set (3) ‎– Reggie In The Wind/Try Me One More Time (1968 Gas). 45 RPM. Combo organ riffs. A reggae version of Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” by Jamaican saxophonist Sterling.
  5. The Upsetters, “Soul Juice” from Dave Barker/The Upsetters ‎– Prisoner Of Love/Soul Juice (1968 Upsetter) 45 RPM. Piano and combo organ.
  6. Eric Barnet, “The Horse” from Eric Barnet ‎– The Horse/Action Line (1968 Gas). 45 RPM. Combo organ, chords and riffs.
  7. Winston Wright and King Stitt, “Fire Corner” from The Dynamites ‎– Fire Corner (1969 Trojan). LP featuring keyboardist Wright. Likely a Hammond organ.
  8. The Upsetters, “Medical Operation” from The Upsetters ‎– Night Doctor/Medical Operation (1969 Upsetter). 45 RPM. Produced by Lee Perry. Probably a Hammond organ.
  9. Reggaeites, “Harris Wheel” from Derrick Morgan/Reggaeites ‎– Moon Hop/Harris Wheel (1969 Crab). 45 RPM. Combo organ.
  10. Upsetters, “Drugs And Poison” from Upsetters ‎– Stranger On The Shore/Drugs And Poison (1969 Upsetter). Probably a Hammond Organ. Winston Wright? Produced by Lee Perry.
  11. Ansel Collins, “Night Of Love” from Derrick Morgan/Ansel Collins ‎– Copy Cat/Night Of Love (1969 Beverley’s Records). 45 RPM. Hammond organ.
  12. Ansel Collins, “Staccatto” from Pam Brooks/Ansell Collins ‎– Oh Me Oh My/Staccatto (1970 Big). 45 RPM. Hammond organ.
  13. Joe Gibbs, “Common People Reggae” from Nicky Thomas/Joe Gibbs ‎– Don't Touch Me/Common People Reggae (1970 Jogibs). 45 RPM. Produced by Joe Gibbs. The B side is a Hammond organ instrumental of “Love Of The Common People” by Nicky Thomas.
  14. Lord Comic, “Rhythm Rebellion” from Lord Comic/Roy Richards ‎– Rhythm Rebellion/Reggae Reggae Children (1970 Coxsone). 45 RPM. Hammond organ. I love the rap-like rhymes in the vocal.
  15. Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Soul Rebel” from Soul Rebels (1970 Trojan). LP. Produced by Lee Perry. Maybe Glen Adams on combo organ.
  16. Zorro Five, “Reggae Meadowlands”from Zorro Five ‎– Reggae Shhh!/Reggae Meadowlands (1970 Decca). 45 RPM. Combo organ.
  17. Lee Perry & The Upsetters, “Son Of Thunder” from Bob Marley & The Wailers/Lee Perry & The Upsetters ‎– My Cup/Son Of Thunder (1970 Upsetter). 45 RPM. Produced by Lee Perry, with lots of reverb for the voice and a bubbling organ part.
  18. The Maytals, “Peeping Tom” from The Maytals/Beverley's All-Stars* ‎– Peeping Tom (1970 Beverley’s Records). 45 RPM. Combo organ. This piece plays twice but is part of an original single—the second part is instrumental and the organ is prominent.
  19. Robert Lynn & Sound Dimension, “Zip Code” from Robert Lynn & Sound Dimension/Carl Bryan & Sound Dimension ‎– Zip Code/Cover Charge (1971 Banana). Hammond organ, around the time that the reggae synthesizer appeared.
  20. Vulcans, “Joe Kidd” from Star Trek (1972 Trojan). LP. Guitar, Trevor Starr; keyboards, Joe Sinclair; Minimoog and ARP synthesizers, Ken Elliot.
  21. Vulcans, “Journey into Space” from Star Trek (1972 Trojan). LP. Guitar, Trevor Starr; keyboards, Joe Sinclair; Minimoog and ARP synthesizers, Ken Elliot.
  22. Vulcans, “Star Trek” from Star Trek (1972 Trojan). LP. Guitar, Trevor Starr; keyboards, Joe Sinclair; Minimoog and ARP synthesizers, Ken Elliot.
  23. Colonel Elliott & The Lunatics, “Guns Of The Martian Giants (Guns Of Navarone)” from Interstellar Reggae Drive (1973 Rhino). LP. Synthesizers, Ken Elliot.
  24. Jimmy Cliff, “World of Peace” from Unlimited (1973 EMI). LP. Hammond organ, Winston Wright; Mellotron, Flute, Strings, Cello, Synthesizer, Leslie Butler; Bass, Jackie Jackson; Drums, Winston Grennan; Piano; Gladstone Anderson; Lead Guitar, Hux Brown ; Percussion, Bingi Bunny, Bongo Herman, Denzil Laing, Sticky; Rhythm Guitar; Hux Brown; Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Tommy McCook Trombone, Alto Saxophone, Ron Wilson; Trumpet, Bobby Ellis; Backing Vocals, Bob Taylor, Glenton Taylor, Jean Watt, Judy Mowatt, Nora Dean, Ralston Webb, Rita Marley, Tesfa McDonald, The Heptones, Zoot Simms.
  25. Jimmy Cliff, “I've Been Dead 400 Years” from House Of Exile (1974 EMI). LP. Bass, Jackie Jackson; Hammond organ, Synthesizer, Clavinet, Winston Wright; Guitar, Hux Brown, Dad (Duggy) Bryan; Piano, Gladstone Anderson; Saxophone, Flute, Tommy McCook; Trumpet, Bobby Ellis.
  26. Ansel Collins, ‎”Far East Special” from The Admirals/Ansel Collins ‎– Natty Should Be Free/Far East Special (1975 Angen). This sounds like a synth and a Clavinet using a Wah Wah and echo. Very cool, Ansel.
  27. Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Positive Vibration” from Rastaman Vibration (1976 Island). LP. Backing Vocals, I Threes; Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Aston "Family Man" Barrett; Drums, Percussion, Carlton Barrett; Engineer, Alex Sadkin, Errol Thompson, Jack Nuber; Keyboards, possibly a Wurlitzer Omni 6500 dual keyboard synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Tyrone Downie; Lead Guitar, Donald Kinsey; Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Percussion, Earl Smith*; Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Bob Marley; Mixed By, Aston Barrett*, Chris Blackwell; Percussion, Alvin "Seeco" Patterson; Producer, Bob Marley & The Wailers.
  28. Third World, “Sun Won’t Shine” from Third World (1976 Island). Bass, Richie; Drums, Cornel; Keyboards and synthesizers, Ibo; Lead Guitar, Cat; Lead Vocals, Prilly; Percussion, Carrot.
  29. Culture, “Two Sevens Clash” from Two Sevens Clash (1977 Joe Gibbs Record Globe). Alto Saxophone; Herman Marquis; Arranged by Errol T., Joe Gibbs; Bass, Lloyd Parks; Drums,  Noel Dunbar (Sly); Guitar,  Eric Lamout, Lennox Gordon, Robert Shakespear; Keyboards,  Errol Nelson, Franklyn Waul, Harold Butler; Percussion,  Sticky; Producer,  Errol T., Joe Gibbs; Tenor Saxophone,  Tommy McCook; Trombone,  Vin Gordon; Trumpet,  Bobby Ellis.
  30. Babatunde Tony Ellis, “Ire” from Babatunde Tony Ellis ‎– Disco Baby/Ire (1980 MNW). Backing Vocals, Monica Bring; Bass, Backing Vocals, Virimuje "Willie" Mbuende; Drums, Performer [Siren], Backing Vocals, Bosse Skoglund; Guitar, Minimoog, Hammond Organ, Clavinet, Piano, Percussion, Vocals; Tony Ellis; Percussion; Per Cussion; Trombone;  Anders Nordkvist, Renzo Spinetti; Trumpet, Tomas Sjögren.
  31. Delroy Wilson, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” from Reggae Classics (1984 top Rank). ; Synthesizer, Robert Lyn; Backing Vocals, Dean Fraser, Dessie Roots, Junior Chin, Rudy Thomas; Bass,  Derrick Barnett, Lloyd Parkes; Drums,  Sly Dunbar; Horn,  Dean Fraser, Junior Chin; Lead Guitar,  Willie Lindo; Lead Vocals,  Delroy Wilson; Organ,  Robert Lyn, Winston Wright; Piano,  Robert Lyn; Rhythm Guitar,  Willie Lindo.
  32. Burning Spear, “Resistance” from Resistance (1985 Wea International). LP. Synthesizer; Richard Johnson, Robby Lyn; Written-By, Co-producer, Vocals, Drums [Akete]; Winston Rodney; Bass;  Anthony Bradshaw; Lead Guitar;  Lenford Richards*; Percussion;  Alvin Haughton; Piano, Organ, Keyboards [Casio Mt40 & Fender Rhodes];  Richard Johnson (2); Rhythm Guitar;  Devon Bradshaw; Saxophone;  Dean Frazer*; Trombone;  Nambo Robinson*; Trumpet;  Bobby Ellis, David Madden.
  33. Keith Sterling & The Turbos, “Computer Broom” from Computer (1985 Sunset Records). LP. Synthesizers, Keith Stirling. Collection of cover versions using the “Sleng Teng Riddim,” originally a Rock preset on the 1985 Casiotone MT-40 keyboard. It helped bring reggae into the digital era. This is an entire album of variations using the preset.

Background music:

  • The Dynamites, “John Public (Tom Hark)” from Trojan Records Instrumental Reggae Volume 1 (2015 Trojan). Originally released as a single in 1969.
  • The Beverley's All Stars, “The Monster” from Trojan Records Instrumental Reggae Volume 1 (2015 Trojan). Originally released as a single in 1970.

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

Computer Music Murmurs in the UK: Peter Zinovieff and EMS

Computer Music Murmurs in the UK: Peter Zinovieff and EMS

July 11, 2021

Episode 49

 

Computer Music Murmurs in the UK: Peter Zinovieff and EMS

 

Playlist

  1. Peter Zinovieff, “Agnus Dei (Excerpt)” from Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes (2015 Space Age Recordings). Early sound sampling, circa 1968. Note the briefness of the digital samples of the voice. 5:33
  2. Peter Zinovieff, “January Tensions” from Cybernetic Serendipity Music (1968 ICA). Zinovieff’s notes, from the album: “Computer composed and performed. This piece is very much for computer both in its realization and composition. The rules are straightforward. The computer may begin by improvising slowly on whatever material is firs chooses. However, once the initial choices are made then these must influence the whole of the rest of the composition. The original sounds must occasionally be remembered and illustrated but a more and more rigid structure is imposed on the randomness. The piece was electronically realized and composed in real time by an 8K PDP8/S and electronic music peripherals.” 9:48
  3. Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Zinovieff, “Chronometer” (1975 Argo). "Chronometer", for electronic tape, was composed in 1971, and realized by Peter Zinovieff at EMS Putney. From the liner notes: “Chronometer is entirely made up from the sounds of clock mechanisms which have been computer-analyzed and regenerated onto 8 tracks (reduced in this recording to two.)” Air and contact microphones were used to collect sounds from widely different sources, Big Ben being a primary one. The program used to reinterpret the graphic and numerical music score was MUSYS by EMS. 24:19
  4. Audio Past Present & Future - Presented with Audio Magazine (1972, IPC Magazines flexi-disc). A flexi-disc narrated by Richard Baker that was produced in EMS studios and includes a snipper of “A Lollipop for Papa” by Peter Zinovieff, various synthesized instrumental examples, and an excerpt of “Ultra-Vivaldi” by Francis Monkman of Curved Air. 6:48
  5. Curved Air, “Ultra-Vivaldi” from Phantasmagoria (1972 Warner Brothers). Francis Monkman playing the EMS Synthi 100. Recorded at EMS studios. 1:31
  6. Curved Air, “Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway” from Phantasmagoria (1972 Warner Brothers). Francis Monkman playing the EMS Synthi 100. Recorded at EMS studios. This track consists of tapes of Sonja's voice analyzed and processed by a PDP8/L computer and a Synthi 100 synthesizer. The final tapes were edited and prepared for performance by Francis Monkman and Robert Carvell. This is a good example of sound sampling that is more advanced than heard on the earlier track, “Agnus Dei.” 3:31
  7. Peter Zinovieff, “A Lollipop For Papa” from Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes (2015 Space Age Recordings). From 1974. 6:26
  8. Peter Zinovieff, “Raasay Digitised” from Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes (2015 Space Age Recordings). Even more voice sampling, blended deftly with electronic sounds. Circa 1975. 2:20
  9. Peter Zinovieff, “Now’s The Time To Say Goodbye” from Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes (2015 Space Age Recordings). . Circa 1975. 4:11

Background music:

Peter Zinovieff and Alan Sutcliffe, “ZASP Parts 1 To 3” from Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes (2015 Space Age Recordings). A more sophisticated example of early music programming by Alan Sutcliffe using a Dutch computer, the ICL 1905 made by International Computers Limited (ICL). 5:11

 

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

An East River Park Sound Walk in New York

An East River Park Sound Walk in New York

July 4, 2021

Episode 48

An East River Park Sound Walk in New York

 

Playlist

  1. East River Park Sound Walk, New York City, June 26, 2021. The sound of a single recording made while circling the park. It is heard simultaneously on three tracks: 1) the unadulterated recording; 2) the recording played through a transducer and an antique gasoline can; and 3) the recording played through a transducer and a one-gallon ceramic preservation crock. Each of the versions has its own character of sound that highlights different frequency bands.
  2. Peter Kilham and Alfred L. Hawkes, Side 2 of The Swamp In June (1964 Droll Yankees Inc.). Monophonic LP. Recording by Peter Kilham, narration (side 1) by Alfred L. Hawkes. Recorded on Joe Ranger's swamp, North Pomfret, Vermont. From the liner notes: “On this recording you will hear the sounds of swamp citizens ranging from the buzzing of flies through the pained groaning of pickerel frogs to the mewing of baby beavers in their lodge, and the startling splashes of their parents. Birds provide the melody in the background, while insects add rhythm and continuity. The narrator identifies the sounds, and comments on swamp life on one side of the record. The bizarre swamp chorus is heard alone on the reverse side.”
  3. RCOA Stereo Systems Test Record, side 1 (1974 Yorkshire Records). Art Direction, Lucie Leniston; Producer, Harold L. O'Neal Jr. From the liner notes: “The Ultimate High-Fidelity Test Record.” Side 1 includes: Reference Tone 1kHz; White Noise For Channel Identification; Left & Right; Channel Identification; Channel Balance Test; Left Channel Frequency Test 50, 100, 200, 400, 700, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 6,000, 8,000, 10,000; Spot Checks; 30Hz - 2kHz Sweep; Right Channel Frequency Test (Same As Left Channel); Cartridge Tracking Test (Tone Bursts With Specific Frequency With Noise); Anti-Skating Test.

Background music: A mix of Shirley Bassey singing “Light My Fire” (1970 United Artists Records) and city sounds recorded by Thom Holmes, including sounds of the handball court at First Avenue and Houston St. and the sounds of the fountain area behind Village View apartments on First Avenue.

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

The French Love Their Synthesizers

The French Love Their Synthesizers

June 20, 2021

Episode 47

The French Love Their Synthesizers

Playlist

  1. Roger Roger (Cecil Leuter), “Duetto (La Concierge Et Le Monsieur Du Premier)” and “Rondeau Cucu” from Musique Idiote (1970 Neuilly). I believe this is the first library music record that he composed for Moog Modular synthesizer. The tunes are pretty simple, either one track or two tracks recorded in a multitracked sequence. 1:33 and 1:41
  2. Jean-Pierre Ferland, “It Ain't Fair” from ‎Jaune (1970 Barclay). This song has English lyrics on an album that includes tunes in both French and English. This album was recorded in Montreal during the early days of synthesizer use at Andre Perry’s studio. Perry’s uncredited Moog Modular synthesizer adds little touches throughout, especially on this song. Ferland was a widely popular French-Canadian singer/songwriter. 2:03
  3. Heldon, “Zind” from Electronique Guerilla (1974 Disjuncta). Bass Guitar, Pierrot Roussel; Drums, Coco Roussel; Guitar, Alain Renaud; Piano, EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Patrick Gauthier; EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Georges Grumblatt; Vocals, Gilles Deleuze; Written by Richard Pinhas. 2:18
  4. Heldon, “Back to Heldon” from Electronique Guerilla (1974 Disjuncta). Bass Guitar, Pierrot Roussel; Drums, Coco Roussel; Guitar, Alain Renaud; Piano, EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Patrick Gauthier; EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Georges Grumblatt; Vocals, Gilles Deleuze; Written by Richard Pinhas. 8:31
  5. Heldon, “Ouais, Marchais, Mieux Qu'en 68 (Ex : Le Voyageur)” from Electronique Guerilla (1974 Disjuncta). Bass Guitar, Pierrot Roussel; Drums, Coco Roussel; Guitar, Alain Renaud; Piano, EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Patrick Gauthier; EMS VCS 3 Synthesizer, Georges Grumblatt; Vocals, Gilles Deleuze; Written by Richard Pinhas. 4:22
  6. Philippe Grancher, “Birds, Birds” from 3000 Miles Away (1975 PÔLE 0014). Composed, Arranged by, Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer (String Ensemble), Mellotron, Organ, Effects, Philippe Grancher; Synthesizer, Jean-Louis Rizet; Bass, Gérard Bouquin; Drums – Pascal X; Electric Guitar, Arnaud Chevalier. 8:27
  7. Henri Roger, “‎Asyle Cosmique” from Images...(1975 Pôle Records). Composed and performed by, instruments, Mini Korg Synthesizer, Elka Rhapsodie, Yamaha YC 45 D organ, Electric Guitar, Henri Roger. 10:25
  8. Michel Madore, "Stanley” from Le Komuso À Cordes (1976 Barclay). Another product of Montreal. Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Piano, Cimbalom [Cymbalom], Ocarina, Producer, Arranged By, Written-By, Michel Madore; Drums, Tubular Bells, Gong, Percussion, Mathieu Léger; Electric Bass, Contrabass, Errol Walters; Electric Piano, Piano, Phillippe Beck; Saxophone, Synthesizer, Ocarina, Percussion, Arranged By, Ron Proby. 3:52
  9. Space Art, “Psychosomatique,” from Trip In The Center Head (1977 IF Records). Music by Dominique Perrier, Roger Rizzitelli playing the following Instruments: Polymoog, Minimoog, Hammond Organ, Fender Piano, Piano, Drums, Clavinette, Arp Odyssey, Eminent, Violon électrique Flanger, Guitare électrique, Vibraphone, Bell-Trees, Gong, Timbales, Grosse caisse symphonique, Korg, Mellotron. 10:38
  10. Jean Michel Jarre, "Oxygène Parts 1, 2, 3” from Oxygène (1977 Polydor). Composed By, Producer, ARP Odyssey synthesizer, EMS A.K.S. and V.C.S. 3 Synthesizers, R.M.I. Harmonic synthesizer, Farfisa organ, Eminent organ, Mellotron, Rhythmin' Computer, Jean-Michel Jarre. 18:41
  11. Clearlight, “Spirale D'Amour” from Visions (1978 Polydor). Arranged by Clearlight, Cyrille Verdeaux; Bass, Philippe Melkonian; Drums, Percussion, Jacky Bouladoux; Electric Bottleneck Guitar Cosmique, Christian Boule; Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Didier Malherbe; Grand Piano, ARP Odyssey Synthesizer, Gong, produced by Cyrille Verdeaux; Synth Programmed by Francis Mandin; Minimoog Synthesizer, Luc Plouton; Violin, Bass Violin, Didier Lockwood. 7:33
  12. Richard Pinhas, “Iceland Parts 1 and 2” from Iceland (1979 Polydor). Composed By, Performed By, Electronics, Guitar, Richard Pinhas. Pinhas was also a member of Heldon, whose music combined rock and electronic. 10:43
  13. Tai Phong, “Thirteenth Space” from Last Flight (1979 Warner Brothers). Piano, (Acoustic, Electric), Synthesizer, Celesta, written by Pascal Wuthrich and Michaël Jones; Drums, Stephan Caussarieu; Engineer, Khanh; Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Michaël Jones. 4:56
  14. Tai Phong, “Last Flight” from Last Flight (1979 Warner Brothers). Piano (Acoustic, Electric), Moog Synthesizer. EML synthesizer, Pascal Wuthrich; Vocals, Electric Guitar, and written by, Khanh; Drums, Stephan Caussarieu; Engineer, Khanh; Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Michaël Jones. 9:58
  15. Szajner, “Brute Reason” from Brute Reason (1983 Island). Composed By electronics, keyboards, Bernard Szajner; Bass, Felipe Maujardo; Drums, Kirt Rust. Guitar, Xavier Geronimi; Saxophone, Schroeder; Vocals, Percussion, Joji Hirota. Szajner is also the man who invented the laser harp, used by Jarre in performance. 5:18

 

Background music:

  • Space Art, “Speedway,” from Trip In The Center Head (1977 IF Records). Music by Dominique Perrier, Roger Rizzitelli playing the following Instruments: Polymoog, Minimoog, Hammond Organ, Fender Piano, Piano, Drums, Clavinette, Arp Odyssey, Eminent, Violon électrique Flanger, Guitare électrique, Vibraphone, Bell-Trees, Gong, Timbales, Grosse caisse symphonique, Korg, Mellotron. 2:54
  • Szajner, “Without Leaving” from Brute Reason (1983 Island). Composed By electronics, keyboards, Bernard Szajner; Bass, Felipe Maujardo; Drums, Kirt Rust. 3:46

Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

For additional notes, please see my blog Noise and Notations.

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