G- Spots Studio G
And so the postman came a trundling with our daily stash of sounds and grooves among them a twelve inch sized cardboard mailer. That’ll be the latest Trunk release we thought. Tearing it from its packaging it was on the turntable in a flash. Much merriment abound there was an abundance of frivolity and dancing in the streets as we all celebrated the kooky sounds of Jonny Trunk’s latest raid of the vintage vinyl vaults. Then the fuzz come to move us along and so we did only we’d moved along to far and couldn’t hear the sounds piping from the house hi-fi. We sighed, someone cried another broke wind. On that note we agreed to call it a day.
Of course incidental music obsessive’s, fans of retro TV and those small number of you who assume strange identities once a month usually a Sunday and prefer on that day to be called Gilbert, Cedric, Hetty and Gertrude and meet up in the crookedly unsafe confines of a tree hut somewhere in Wiltshire adorned in matching tank tops and flashy looking snake belts for an afternoon’s japery (and young folk that isn’t a euphemism for the exchange of bodily fluids) and the guzzling of lashings of pop and ginger beer may well recognise or at least have a strangely knowing familiarity of these sounds given that for a post space age generation weaned on early 70’s children’s TV most of this type of stuff was as standard a fair for the day as spangles, long hot summers, weird wallpaper and ‘watch out there’s a Humphrey about’ adverts (younger readers might like to ask your ma and pa about those).
‘g-spots’ is a brief glimpse into the wonderful world of Studio G a library facility set up for the supply of jingles and incidental motifs. Called into being by a certain John Gale (who incidentally scored ‘Dr Phibes Rises Again;) in the 60’s who at the time employed as an advertising music finder was finding it increasing frustrating trying to source sounds of an out of the ordinary flavour and more in keeping with the then current trends of forward thinking modernism. Deciding to set up his own library music company Gale surrounded himself with an in house team of composers, engineers and producers alike – among the roll call Frederick Judd, Douglas Wood, Harry Pitch and Cliff Johns. Initially starting out with the issue of 7 inch EP’s the libraries release roster soon expanded to incorporate full length albums wherein over the course of the next decade and a half over 40 plus titles would be released individually covering various aspects of advertising / film and TV requirements and employing all manner of generic species (as far and wide as night music made up of dinky piano suites – to religious – replete with choirs and organ solos – and powerhouse – not quite a la Raymond Scott c.1930‘s but impact tuneage used mainly for sports and news network shows) as well as heavily focusing on the use of electronics and studio wizardry to do with tape loops and sound manipulations.
It’s a good chance that you’ve happened upon the sounds of Studio G at some point or other, both children’s TV shows from the 70’s Doctor Who and Vision On frequently made use of Gale’s catalogue in fact both ‘Goofy’ and ‘elephant dance’ used on the latter feature here as did the back dropping score to the Chesty Morgan soft porn / comedy flick ‘double agent’ – the one – I believe – where she suffocates the bad dudes with her over ample and voluptuous assets – mind you we will have to get a copy to check – the score that is – purely research you understand.
Given the range of sounds provided by the Studio G company Mr Trunks’ ’G-Spots’ admirably covers all the bases giving you more than apt a teaser in order to wet your appetite and have you happily venturing out to seek and source more. Here you’ll find cheesy moments (I mean would a Trunk release be worth its salt without at least some curio slices of kitsch – try Ivor Raymond‘s ‘wild cat walk‘ – dig that fat funk struck double bass man – far out), children’s stuff (see above), horror things, future peaks via sci-fi avenues (the aching ambient overtures of Eric Peters‘ ‘space service‘), ethereal sophistication (say no more than the demurring cocktail coolness of waiting for Nina’) and weird gear (the smoking jazz head psychotropics of ’moving parts’ and the proggy psyche stew of the minimalist atmospherics of ‘foggy dock‘ – for admirers of Add N to X perhaps).
Included within the excellent ’icicles’ by Douglas Wood which some of you may well remember featuring on the Trunk compilation ’now we are ten’- a lulling symphony of ascending and descending tip toeing plinky plonky key reverbs that sound like a strange waltz for an eerie nocturnal toys at play montage that’s best filed under lounge tinged monochromatic psyche. In fact on this collection (featuring 20 on the vinyl version and 26 – we believe on the CD) Mr Wood services approximately a third of the groove space, all the time his mood arrangements doing exactly as the title hints so that ‘moon nightclub’ is a softly chilled slice of lights out bossa-nova noir laced amour while ‘boy on space’ is a dinky slab of orbiting cosmic kookiness. One for the Plone fans among you methinks. Elsewhere the fried ethnic fractures of ‘voodoo tronics’ frankly just needs to be heard to be believed given we suspect some strange tobacco was being smoked that particular night. Those of you much loving your lunar styled ambience will do well to check out the brace of cosmic scores – Ashers’ ’cosmic dust’ very much a starry eyed glassy variant of Tangerine Dream helped out by a mellowing and youthful Mr Jarre and Mr Vangelis while Afzelius’ ’cosmic blues’ sounds ripe to have its own ’Tomorrow People’ styled TV show commissioned around it (though obviously some wit will now email me saying ’in fact bollocks it was the theme tune to…..’) – we are but hapless and useless in such matters. Though all said and done we’ve happily spent the day making strange shapes to the fat and wobbly whirring sounds of Mr Peters ’freak blues’ which has resulted in us incapacitating ourselves and no doubt being the subject of the complaints letter page in next week’s local village herald. Ah well such is life. Purchase on sight – preferably the vinyl version if only to truly savour the striking retro cover artwork.
For further information about Studio G and a chance to sample that 48 part catalogue go to http://www.studiog.co.uk/
first aired April 2009