29 October - 17 November
THE RECORD BOOKS: IF BEST-SELLING ALBUMS HAD BEEN BOOKS INSTEAD - An Exhibition by Christophe Gowans
18 November - 31 December
Album Of The Year Exhibition 2013
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
November 25, 7:00pm
BUY BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP'S REMASTERED ALBUMS ON VINYL NOW AT ROUGH TRADE EAST AND COLLECT YOUR WRISTBAND AT THE SAME TIME OR ORDER THE BBC RADIOPHONIC MUSIC BUNDLE OR THE BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP BUNDLE ONLINE NOW
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, set up in 1958, was originally created as a sound effects unit for BBC Radio and TV programs. Pioneering new forms of drama during the late 1950s and early 60s demanded innovative and original use of music and sound.The art of what became known as sounddesign began in the cramped underground studios of the Radiophonic Workshop at the BBC Maida Vale complex in London. Their early explorations into sound drew on the principles of musique concrete, early tape manipulation techniques and primitive oscillators and tone circuits built by technicians at the workshop. As technology developed and the synthesizer, tape technology, computers and early digital sampling emerged the Radiophonic Workshop maintained an their position at the leading edge of electronic music and sound design.
The vast body of work that emerged between 1960 and 1997 has influenced generations of musicians both within electronica and more widely in the Rock, Progressive and Pop field. Groundbreaking work such as Delia Derbyshire's 1963 Doctor Who Theme (still the high water mark of experimental music), sound effects albums, works of early electronica and popular favourites such as Blake's 7 and The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy have ensured the RWS a place at electronica's top table. From the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Vangelis to Orbital, The Chemical Brothers and beyond, their legacy lives on in the sounds and textures of so much contemporary music. But it isn't just musicians who have drawn on their work.
The technical development of the studio and modern recording techniques owes them a great debt too. Sound engineer Roger Mayer, who supplied effects pedals to Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, is just one of many engineers for whom their work proved inspirational. He described the Workshop as, "the great unsung heroes of British electronica."
These two records, recorded in 1968 and 1975 respectively, were released at the height of The Radiophonic Workshop's influence. They showcase the dawning of processed sound, treated sounds and sound design.
Quirky and irreverent BBC Radiophonic Music was originally put out as a specialist demonstration library disc for BBC drama producers. In 1971 the BBC released it commercially. This is the first time it has been made available on vinyl in its first and original form.
The Radiophonic Workshop from 1975 was a compilation of the best-known of the Radiophonic Workshop's output to date. This is the first time it has seen a vinyl reissue in its original form.
Both albums have been remastered for vinyl from the original tapes by the Radiophonic Workshop's archivist Mark Ayres. Pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl.