As regular readers of Electronic Sound will no doubt know, we've been big fans of Hannah Peel for a long time, so our cover story has been coming for a while. Her new album, 'Fir Wave', sees her rewiring some of Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson's early 1970s work for radio, television and film, and the results are terrific, more than fulfilling the promise of her previous releases. Although we're only three months into 2021, 'Fir Wave' is certain to be one of the essential records of the year. Hannah is a totally engaging interviewee too, as you will quickly discover.
We’ve not been slacking elsewhere this month. Continuing with the Delia theme, we talk to Cosey Fanni Tutti and Caroline Catz about collaborating on the ‘Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes’ movie, and catch up with Mogwai, who are increasingly occupying our world. We also have Mouse On Mars, Jane Weaver, Goldie, Clark, Nitin Sawhney and Classix Nouveaux, plus Late Works and their hand-made instruments. This one really is a feast of an issue!
Our exclusive Hannah Peel seven-inch is 'Unheard Delia', which includes extracts from an interview with Delia Derbyshire conducted by writer Jo Hutton in early 2000, around 18 months before Delia died. The 10-minute piece is split into two parts for our seven-inch, which is pressed on lime green vinyl.
"The most striking thing about Delia was her voice," notes Jo Hutton. "It rose and fell with crystal clarity in a way that was absolutely musical, while her laugh was a ripple of high-pitched giggling that interjected every other sentence."
“Delia had a wonderful laugh and you can hear her giggling throughout Jo’s interview, as she constantly darts back and forth in time with her stories," says Hannah Peel. "There was a beautiful narrative thread I found in there that really honours her love of music in its simplest form – playing with and being absorbed by sound."