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[CP 282 CD] Gerhard Narholz, Sammy Burdson, Otto Sieben, Tony Tape; Chappell Mood Music Vol. 15, Electronic Studio Orchestra, Space Age

Creel Pone

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April 2023; here & for the next few "dots" are a couple of long-in-the-works collections of the more experimental & outré works by a series of Library / Production music-aligned figures working across different monikers / regionalities. Starting with the prolific Austrian composer Gerhard Narholz, aka Electronic Studio Orchestra, Walt Rockman, and virtually dozens more. Known primarily for his peerless string of outings for Conroy, Sonoton, & Colorsound covering his sub-aquatic / "Underwater" stylings along w/ an eye-watering selection of global modes, it's across this particular pair of libraries that he let his nascent extra-terrestrial Electronic/Tape-Studio chops flourish.

Issued in 1967, Narholz' Chappell Mood Music Vol. 15: Electronic Studio Orchestra covers a gorgeous array of "Classical" Early Electronic techniques, opening with the usual "Brass Fanfare With Electronic Flourish for News Headlines" (to throw us all off, sure) but quickly getting into gear via a particularly appealing set of proto-free-drum-machine bonk & scatter studies recalling Gil Mellé's "Percussotron" work on the Andromeda Strain OST ([CP 028 CD]). Many of the sparse cues remind simiarly of Giorgio Carnini's proto-Industrial work as Zanagoria and there's a certain jouissance that similarly recalls the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, albeit with a more jazz-inflected hue. 

Seemingly unrelated, yet executed entirely by the same lone figure close to a decade later, the 1976 Conroy library "Space Age" (credited in a dovetailing fashion to Tony Tape, Sammy Burdson, & Otto Sieben) the 12 mid-length cues here apply a battery of transformative processes (Ring Modulation seems to be a touchstone) to a string of minimal instrumental & synthesized studies, often wildly gain-staged beyond recognition yielding a woolly, gnarly morass of timbres intended, presumably, to soundtrack the horrors of space disaster.

This C.P. edition comes as a six-panel full-color booklet offering every stray ounce of context & design present on the original non-commercial private issues, with both titles (just) fitting handily on a single 80-minute disc.