paddy kingsland

Another essential pick up from the not so recent RSD event was the first full vinyl issue of Paddy Kingsland’s television soundtrack accompanying the mid 70’s serial ‘the Changes’. Only 500 of these all numbered and pressed upon two slabs of heavy duty white wax, an immense looking set but something that compliments perfectly a listening diet whose courses stray into Ghost Box (see the delightful pastoral posy ‘leaving shipton’), the Heartwood Institute (see the heraldic vibe of the closing titles and ‘Merlinus Sum’) and those Villa9 studios imagined soundtrack terrains. Based on a trilogy of novels by Peter Dickinson, it concerns matters very much under the suspicious shadow of Nigel Kneale that deal with techno-phobia, originally aired in the mid 70’s for children’s viewing, the series has only been repeated once since in the mid 90’s on the satellite network UK Gold. Unusual in its tracking, the sound track is divided into episodes therein explaining the tiny variations of the core theme as it travels through the storylines development, ensconced at the Radiophonic Workshop, Kingsland was able to bring to the plate a whole host of new age electronic gimmickry most notably the EMS synthi 100 as well as a live mini orchestra playing sitars and horns, more about that later. Once done with the opening titles themselves quite zippy and jiggy (remember the opening moments of Squeeze’s ‘slap n’ tickle’) not to mention jazzy and frenetic, ‘the Changes’ slips sublimely to settle into its surroundings, very much of its time, Kingsland creates a beautifully whimsical sonic palette that’s very much of the land or more the rural aspect of the land. Free flowing and tranquil, the subtle baroque toning (best evidenced on both the airy delights that are ‘the Quarry’ and ‘Mr Furbelow’) is set off superbly by the bucolic sprays, something that largely recalls the likes of Belbury Poly and Vic Mars, part reflective yet hitherto proggy folk. That of course changes fairly early in the cycle, Episode 2 ‘the bad wires’ as it happens, where apart from a brief moment of eerie portent within ‘a special kind of people’ (it’s this brief down turn in mood to which comes into full haunting effect on the sets parting shot, the oblique ice drone monolith ‘the noise’ to stark chilling effect), the palette begins to free up assumed of a lusher and dreamier daubing with the introduction of the sitars themselves adding a sense of mystique to the proceedings (see in particular ‘life ion the farm’) not to mention a tad playfully kooky (the drunken ‘the barns’ and the quite wiggy ‘the village court’), the union of eastern mystics and the English idyll cementing perfectly at the advent of the magisterial ‘a journey and arrival at Henley farm’.  Essential as though you needed me telling you. Via Silva Screen.      

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