Exhumed 1977 ground breaking electronic score, by The Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge, was composed on synthesisers which were developed in collaboration with Denys Irving (the man behind the mysterious and controversial 1970s band Lucifer). An endlessly inviting and hypnotic listen masterpice, set the controls for the stem of the brain and be sure you’re securely fastened in!!! Composed on Moog, ARP and VCS-AKS synthesisers, Ratledge’s ten “Sequences” are firmly rooted in late 1960s minimalism – closer in spirit to Terry Riley’s soupy works for organ than the staff-wielding pomp of the New Age and prog brigade. The results sound like an album-length collage of Geogaddi‘s spookier nooks – a fever dream of trilling synth motifs, playground chatter, sex poetry and automatic writing. Genuinely essential listening for enthusiasts of Delia Derbyshire’s The Dreams experiments and the Ghost Box aesthetic, and highly, highly recommended for everyone else too.
Ratledge’s minimalist work is beautifully repetitious and uniform here, lulling the viewer into a peaceful trance and allowing them the space to consume the visuals, sound and dialogue without overbearing and distracting musical accompaniment. Most of the time it’s even possible to allow the music to seep into the subconscious and disallow awareness of its presence – which I’d guess was Ratledge’s primary intention—but one would surely notice immediately if it was suddenly removed, key as is it to the mesmerizing tone of the whole production.
Soundtrack to the feature film "Riddles Of The Sphinx" by Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen (UK 1977).