If this video doesn’t make you want to own your own analogue synthesiser, nothing will !
David Vorhaus will forever be part of my own musical history for creating the album “An Electric Storm” as part of legendary band The White Noise – along with Delia Derbyshire, of “Doctor Who Theme” fame. This mad, tuneful collage of tape loops, analogue synths and sound effects was released in 1969, and provides proof, if you needed it, that the Beatles weren’t nearly as cutting edge as they thought they were.
I discovered this seminal work while at college, around the same time that I created my first (and only) piece of genuine tape-loop “musique concrète” – namely a sheep singing the tune of – wait for it – “Ba Ba Black Sheep”. (The great thing about this was that the “Baa” that I took from my BBC Sound Effects LP and recorded onto reel-to-reel drooped in pitch throughout it’s length, with mildly amusing results)
Ah, they don’t teach music technology like they used to…
The album took on a new light in my estimation when regular customer John McCoy (Gillan, Mammoth, Azeebra etc) described how his fellow band-mates once spiked his drink with ten times the normal dose of LSD and locked him in a room with nothing but “An Electric Storm” for company – with understandably terrifying results. John has never been the same since.
This would be a very different perspective than most people would have of one of the album’s songs “Here Come The Fleas”, which many would recognise after Kenny Everett used as it a jingle on his radio show !
For more information on David Vorhaus and his use of analogue synths and technology, including creating a modern version of the Maniac sequencer using Native Instruments’ Reaktor check out this great article on the Sound On Sound website.
Finally, here is the first track from “An Electric Storm”, along with images from the sleeve and of Delia. While you listen, ask yourself – are you making the most use of the technology available to you ?