Thursday, July 6, 2017

If There's a Hereafter, He's Jamming with Delia

In today's news, there was an obituary for electronic music pioneer Pierre Henry, who was an instrumental (heh) figure in the development of Musique Concrète, in which recorded sounds (often 'found' sounds from nature or industry) were incorporated into the production of music 'from the bottom up'. The use of tape loops as raw materials allowed for all sorts of distortions and sound manipulations:

Henry's most 'accessible' track was Psyche Rock, a fun number which starts out in a 'Morricone-esque' fashion, then morphs into a fun garage-rock number punctuated with bells and flute trills until finally channeling a bit of Guantanamera:

It's hard to believe that the song was recorded back in 1967, it really has a timelessness about it... making it an appropriate inspiration/foundation for Christopher Tyng's Futurama theme:

I always love listening to these paleo-electronic tracks from the 1960s, and admire the musicians who had to splice together loops of tape and program unwieldy synthesizers to achieve their effects. If there is a hereafter, I have no doubt that Monsieur Henry is jamming with my beloved Delia Derbyshire.

EDIT: There seems to be some ambiguity over whether or not the long version I posted is a remix, so here's a more concise 1967 version of Psyche Rock:

The song is so fun, betcha listen to both versions back-to-back.


mikey said...

Hmm. Unfortunately, my musical tastes have never been sophisticated enough to embrace so-called 'Electronic' music. I just like melodies and lyrics - anything more complex than that just sounds like noise to my uneducated palate. About the only electronic/sample based music I have in any of my playlists is Fatboy Slim's Rockefeller Skank.

That one makes me smile...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Fatboy Slim is great, he got his start with the almost folksy Housemartins. Like everything, Sturgeon's Rule applies, but there are some great electronic artists, like Ryuchi Sakamoto and Gary Numan. I guess the key to producing great music is having that grounding in melody.