Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Animals and Children V. 2


OK sorry, this post is going to be extremely nerdy. Seriously. The record you're looking at isn't a BBC Radiophonic Workshop album, but it sounds like it could be. It's one of my very very favorite records ever! I've been wrestling with my conscience over whether to share it or not, but then I figured ONLY LIKE FIVE PEOPLE READ THIS BLOG ANYWAY SO WHO CARES. I remember finding it forlorn and ignored in a San Francisco record store several years ago. The titles and "remarks" on the back sleeve seemed promising: "electronic fiction," "junior laboratory," "sonic march." Still, I braced myself for disappointment as I approached the listening booth. Library records are a cruel mistress, I reminded myself. The balance between radiophonic fuzzy folk and lame loonytunes rests on a knife edge of nuance and stylistic difference.

But as I needle-dropped a few tracks a funny thing happened. I found myself borne up on a magic carpet of wyrd plinky plonky vintage electronic music, of cacaphonous "zoo atmospheres," twinkly percussion and haunting homespun witchy children's folk. A real time capsule of early 70s Britain and the weird utopian meanings then (and perhaps still) invested in the figure of the "child." And speaking of fuzzy folk, it's worth mentioning how perfectly this album would fit into Jonny Trunk's Fuzzy Felt Folk or Studio G compilations. (I believe the yellow-sleeved first volume of the Animals and Children series is represented in the latter, but not the second nor the equally excellent third). Eric Peters, who contributes four tracks here, is the guy behind "Electro Mind" from that one yellow Chappell library record, along with a few fantastic electronic records on the KPM label. An auxiliary member of the radiophonic workshop if there ever was one. And James Harpham, the guy responsible for the "Witches and the Grinnygog" soundtrack excerpted here, is something like the Gandalf of British film music. He's in fine form here. It's a wonder that he's not better known, although selfishly I must say shadowy obscurity suits him better. Below is a clip of my favorite track from the album, Harpham's "Oriental Dolls."

15 comments:

  1. Always give Studio G the benefit of the doubt!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! Why oh why did I sell my Studio G's??

    Why must I cry?

    ReplyDelete
  3. 5 people ? Hey, dont do yourself down, your blog is the first thing I check on each day. You've made fantastic posts and mixes and as someone who used to scamper around in black plimsols and become a tree in the wind on hard wooden floors, who watched in fascination and counted the seconds as the schools and colleges clock ticked around before settling down to watch Look and Read, whos eaten cherries on the Hogs Back and stared at John Pipers stained glass window, all these sounds and images mean so much to me. Anyway, I care, so thanks...cheers, flinty

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's 4 comments from 4 readers, 1 to go !

    ReplyDelete
  5. SIXTH!

    Another great post. Can't wait to hear the rest of this record.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seven! I didn't have a blogspot account before, but signed up to let you know how much I've enjoyed your posts. Animals and Children was the coup de gras.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just popped back to say that if anyone is as thrilled as I was with this lp, then they will no doubt be happy to know that the first Animals and Children lp is available from this blog :

    http://pornotrond.blogspot.com

    Also,will the other side of Vol.2 be posted sometime? The side you posted is simply beautiful...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Heh heh, thought I might sneak that by you! The first side of the record is kind of meh. I'll give it a listen tonight and see what I think. Cheers for all the feedback, everybody. Flinty, more childhood reveries please.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Absolutley lovely, stand out track on that mix! ....and satisfying the hunter gatherer instinct among some of us. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Count this regular visitor too.

    Puzzled though by a Yank being so stuck on this very-parochial-UK stuff.(I'm from the Unmann-Wittering generation)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have many many studio G records. Not this one, but I am an avid library hunter and havent heard this album. Thank you very much! As always, a very great blog. Studio G is fantastic.

    Sceanic and Romance, is incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another request from me - any possibility in re-upping this one? The sample is fabulous.

    ReplyDelete