For a satisfying mix of lost film music, experimental synth collections and cosmic library jazz, you need look no further than Trunk Records, a website run by 38 year old Brit, Jonny Trunk.
A whole decade of ecclectic releases speak for themselvesâ€¦
Soundtrack albums from The Wicker Man, Dawn Of The Dead and Blood On Satanâ€™s Claw, The Walt Rockman Moog Moods (described by Jonny himself as â€˜almost insaneâ€™) and Desmond Leslieâ€™s Music Of The Future are just a few examples of Trunk's unusual output.
But this strange world of nostalgia and thrift shop mentality is about to get a whole lot more intriguing with their latest project.
The release of 2 CDâ€™s by Radiophonic Workshop composer, John Baker.
Baker joined the BBC as a studio manager in 1960 and moved to the Delaware Road studio in 1963. There he pioneered many techniques based on pitch shifting and analogue tape editing. This he fused with a love of jazz to create his wholly unique recordings for BBC TV and radio programmes of the early 1960s.
By mid decade he was in great demand as a composer of library and production music creating soundscapes and rhythms with a blend of acoustic instruments, synths and Musique Concrete.
His often tragic story is simpathetically told by his brother Richard as sleeve notes on Volume 1 of this new collection of his work. The Volume 2 sleeve notes feature an obituary that appeared in The Times in 1977.
The John Baker Tapes â€“ Volume 1
The CD opens with a BBC announcement, â€œthe time is half past seven. Newstime.â€� Followed by Bakerâ€™s 23 second newstime ident. Weâ€™re then treated to themes from Tros Y Gareg, Vendetta, Dial M For Murder and various idents from Look North, Radio Nottingham and Womenâ€™s Hour. Thereâ€™s an intriguing interview where Baker explains a few of his techniques. Describing a low pass as â€œmuffling it a bitâ€�! The extent of his editing prowess becomes apparent when he describes an effect achieved by cider being poured from a bottle that builds into an arpeggio.
Thereâ€™s the sublime Submarines and the themes and idents from Tom Tom and Diary Of A Madman.
With over 73 minutes and 49 tracks in all, thereâ€™s certainly value for money and the CD closes with a variety of Radiophonic spot FX; C, A and B.
The John Baker Tapes â€“ Volume 2
This features soundtracks, library, home recordings and electro ads from the period 1954 to 1985. Thereâ€™s a swathe of jazz edged renditions here with Get Happy, Out Of Nowhere, Brass Bandied and Brass Widow. These are complimented by a large amount of electro cues, as Baker branches out into advertising jingles for the likes of Giro and Omo washing powder.
Thereâ€™s a track of tape FX from the 1980â€™s and even an 8 second test tone!
The CD ends with a touching solo piano piece, All The Things You Are which highlights Bakerâ€™s chops as a conventional musician.
Sure, getting on for half a century later itâ€™s difficult to distinguish this music from itâ€™s many imitators. It may even appear a little naÃ¯ve. But viewed as the first major retrospective of a Delaware Road composer, itâ€™s a testament to the pioneering influence of the Radiophonic Workshop and in particular the hugely innovative work of John Baker.
The John Baker Tapes â€“ Volume 1 is released by Trunk Records on July 28, followed by Volume 2 on August 25.
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