Petition to the BBC to release Delia Derbyshire’s music

Delia Derbyshire

Amazing that Delia Derbyshire’s music has been hidden away for so long…her work has had the odd compilation appearance but unlike the others in the Radiophonic Workshop she’s never had officially an album of her own, a box set or ‘best of’ of her massive back catalogue.

She’s arguably the most famous Radiophonic workshop via her theme for Doctor Who. Her legacy is indeed mouldering away, with only a very select few, such as academics and those who made a career out of keeping her music quiet, allowed to hear it. Very sad….

I’m also disappointed with University of Manchester, who after all that fanfare mostly sat on the tapes and provided the minimum academic-only public access to them. No online archive, no way of listening unless you physically go to their faculty in the outskirts of Manchester where I’ve heard they might let you listen to their laptop (!!!) while chaperoned by a member of staff? But I see a few (faculty?) DJing these works at electronic music & arts festivals including ones abroad? This does not sound like ‘public access’ to me – and seems like more feathering of people’s nests by keeping her work under wraps.

If Trunk Records can manage it with two volumes of John Baker’s work, David Cain’s albums can be re-released, even Daphne Oram got props recently – so why not Delia? So hence this petition to the BBC to release her work ending on what would have been her 77th birthday. Please sign it. If you don’t know about Delia, then a good place to start is my Radiophonic at 50 podcast or Soundhog’s Delian mix. I’ve been planning a special Delia D podcast for digital debris for years…

Little Boots (Tensnake Remix) and Record Store Day

Yes I did Record Store Day, I travelled down to Rough Trade East (there aren’t any record stores near me anymore apart from another smaller Rough Trade in the west!) and found I had to queue (see picture – oh by the way I’ve sold my photographic soul and joined Instagram). Also they inflicted two members of Keane on us, which apparently I missed Little Boots who were on earlier and the place was deluged by the Guardian Coffee Table set (thankfully without the 4x4s or McLaren strollers) loving the renditions of Bedshaped et al while I cringed by the hardcore section. Interestingly the one that Kirk described accurately as ‘a four year old on a man’s body’ was slagging off MTV and the current charts as being ‘just noise’. Funny, I have the same response to their aural bilge…

Talking of Little Boots, as it was also my birthday (nice of them to put on parties and special records on just for me, although a cake or a card would’ve done fine) I treated myself to this 12″ with Tensnake – a man who cannot do no wrong after his amazing Little Dragon remix from last year, probably my favourite remix this side of Psychemagik’s Everywhere, which also has Joe Smooth remix on the flip which I’ve not heard yet. Also my gaydar must’ve been working, since I knew nothing about this limited 12″ but bought it on spec, turns out it’s co-written with Andy Butler from Hercules and Love Affair. RESULT! It sounds like late 80’s/early 90’s soul, very Orange Juice Jones / Jackson slinky electro-soul. Very cool.

I also treat myself to this:

Out of This World re-issue

I had this on original cassette from the 80’s or late 70’s – forgive the cheesy sound effects for Super 8!!!!!1111 packaging, it has tracks from the likes of John Baker, Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and all the greats – it’s because of this and other BBC Sound Effects records I had (there’s also another with natural disasters I have on record somewhere) that when I watch 70s-80s Doctor Who and Blake 7 I get severe deja vu on the sounds used…and reused. It’s cos they all got repackaged into these hobbyist-friendly records. Although how much someone using an early video camera or Sound-8 was going to use that TARDIS sound or ‘Andromedan War Machine’ the mind boggles…almost bought the companion, the Doctor Who Sound Effects on blue vinyl (rather than amber in the case of Out Of This World) but cashflow and all that…that’s remastered by Mark Ayres, no less.

More treats were a signed Graham Coxon A+E, the Jubilee EP from King Creosote looking rather queenly and Jon Hopkins (plus download code, I do prefer that since my vinyl deck is pretty shit), Rough Trade Counter Culture & Electronic 11 compilations which are always good, and this book which is after my own Streetise heart:

Shit London book

The New Sound of Music

Well for 1979…this BBC documentary is a really good explaination about how sound synthesis works and where the technology has come from – and as well as featuring David Vorhaus and Peter Zinovieff aka founder of EMS, it also includes the Radiophonic Workshop with the likes of Malcolm Clarke. Peter Howell and Paddy Kingsland (and is that an uncredited Elizabeth Parker?). Fascinating look at their work too including Doctor Who, and it does go into earlier pieces such as from John Baker and Delia Derbyshire, although not by name:

I miss BBC documentaries that were as clear and educational as this – the principles of synthesis explained in the program still is in use today in the latest VST if rather differently implemented…although of course in 1979 sampling hadn’t hit the mainstream, and the computer used in the studio is laughably is a mainframe with a teletype machine – the microcomputer revolution was rather missed, which only 7 years later Micro Live was covering Cheetah Specdrum and suchlike on the home computer, just to show the rapid pace!

Also a lot of that early computer music sounds like 8bit computer game music to me!

If you can watch Part 3 and Part 4 I’d recommend it as that includes the genesis of the classic “Greenwich Chorus” and David Vorhaus in his studio playing a gigantic penis Kaleidophon. ;-)

Bah Humbug II

It’s been 5 years since the original Bah Humbug (the event and the CD – still up!) hit the world…in fact Kirk has repeatedly told me he plays the CD every year…so I thought in the sake of giving him another CD to play (it must be the only one he has) I’d create BAH HUMBUG II! *dramatic music*

Following the first it’s another dose of antidote to the usual sickly cheesy Xmas tunes we hear year after year…so here’s a journey into the stranger side of Xmas tunes, the extremely rude (yes this is NSFW and not for children, or anyone really), the perverted, the strange, the outsider, the silly, the misfires, mashups, the Xmas protest songs and parodies – strange, silly, bizarre and terrible – it’s all here but actually hypnotically and strangely quite good. And hopefully it’ll spread some real Scroogemas Cheer to you all! Should fit onto a 80 minute CD, and includes printable artwork in the zip.

Thanks and cheers goes to these paragons of Xmess strangeness who either were included here or nearly were – consider buying/checking them out if you like what you hear here (do you?):

  • Santastic
  • An American Song Poem Christmas
  • A Punk Rock Christmas
  • Christmas In The Stars
  • A John Waters Christmas
  • A Very Bootie Christmas / Dan Phillips
  • WFMU Beware of the Blog
  • The Vandals Christmas LP
  • Dr. Demento Presents: Greatest Christmas Novelty CD Of All Time
  • Tales From The Crypt: Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas
  • Merry Creepmas
  • It’s a Red Peters Christmas!, Vol. 1
  • Music for Maniacs probably since I steal so much from there and then forget where I got it!
  • Kinsey Sicks ‘Ov Vey In A Manger’
  • and in case Cthulu gets annoyed: A Very Scary Solstice

So rifle through Santa’s Sac here (184Mb, Zip)

Santa’s Got A Tracklist: (more…)