One of the most essential collections of early electronic music ever compiled!! Raymond Scott's 'Manhattan Research Inc' boxset from 2000 is one of the finest reissues to have appeared in the last ten years. This new set from Basta is the unofficial follow up, easily their most perfectly realised project to date consisting of 4 cd's, seven booklets, posters, stickers, transcriptions and a time chart all contained within a high gloss stiff card box. It focuses on the early electronic music works from the Dutch company Philips electronic music research facility (Natlab) in Eindhoven and later at the STEM laboratory at Utrecht, tampering with their glowing wires around the same time as Raymond Scott was doing the same across the Atlantic. The artists featured are Henk Badings, Tom Dissevelt and Dick Raaijmakers also known as the electronic pop originator Kid Baltan. In the early days of electronic music exploration many musicians passed through these Dutch theatres of sound including Edgard Varese who in 1956 composed his classic 'Poeme Electronique' there. GRM supremo Pierre Schaeffer was also known to pay a visit to compare notes. Musically this is complete magic, from the seriously advanced for it's time work of Henk Badings whose truly next world level 'Kain en Abel' is a blast of seriously contemporary music composed in the most laborious way possible, you need to hear this music.
Rusted live piano over glowing drones, hands on tape manipulation and beautifully abstract noises, amazing. Next up is the first reported instance of electronic music being made solely for the populous. From 1957 Kid Baltan includes his reading of 'Colonel Bogey' aka the main theme and famous wartime song from Bridge On The River Kwai, this particular artist's music is a massive influence on Jean-Jacques Perry who writes the forward to this set. 'Night Train Blues' for three ondes martenots' is hilarious but also check Dissevelt's spooky rewiring of 'Waltzing Matilda' later on in this set, wow. Tom Dissevelts numbers sound like a rawer advancement of Raymond Scott's poppy electronic works, check 'Drifting', sublime and 'Intersection' whose blasts of sound are revelatory. The second CD is arranged into concert music, film music and sound scenery. The third CD contains all of Tom Disselvelt's classic and hellishly rare 'Fantasy In Orbit' album, one can easily imagine this being a massive influence on Brian Eno's early work. The fourth CD features alternate versions, television soundtrack music and even a Gil Evans styled big band jazz track. The eight 'STER tunes' each lasting nine seconds each are like early works in progress for Wendy Carlos' 'A Clockwork Orange' soundtrack. Also featured on the fourth CD are the individual parts for certain tracks, completely fascinating. One can't imagine a more worthy reissue this year maybe except for the imminent Ilhan Mimaroglu CD on Locust.
This box set includes 7 booklets (titles: Introduction, Philips Natlab, Henk Badings, Dick Raaijmakers, Tom Dissevelt, Film Music & Track Notes), 4 compact discs, 2 stickers & reprinted matter like a newspaper article & musical sketches.
CD1: Ballet music by Henk Badings: 'Kain en Abel' & 'Evolutionen' and various compositions by Kid Baltan and Tom Dissevelt.
CD2: Concert music, film music & stage music.
CD3: Tom Dissevelt's 'Fantasy in Orbit'.
CD4: Previously unreleased material.