Delia Derbyshire / Ron Grainer / Matt Berry / David Butler / Radiophic Workshop

Those of you fortunate enough to be on the Electronic Sound subscription list should have, by now, received issue #59. A Delia Derbyshire special, which alas, we’ve scarcely had time to read yet, safe to say it focus’ on her time with the Radiophonic Workshop, her work and involvement with White Noise and the wilderness years following her departure from the BBC in ’73. Aside the usual cool to know gubbins featured in the magazine there’s also the small detail of an accompanying 7-inch record, this one pressed on yellow vinyl features on its lead side the original iconic theme for Dr Who, indeed yes, the creepy outerworldly one responsible for children of a certain age, parents alike, diving backwards for the momentary safe haven promised by the rear of the settee. How those hollowed reverbs spooked this impressionable youngster, it was to me at least, the soundtrack to the nightmarish unknown. Over on the flip you’ll find and unique and exclusive mix. ‘Strange lines and distances’ assembled by Dr David Butler of Manchester University with the assistance of the Workshop. It features a collection of intricately woven tape edits / loops / idents arranged by Delia Derbyshire during her post BBC period over the top of which floats the voice of Matt Berry reciting pieces from Francis Bacon’s ‘New Atlantis’. It makes for a disorientating experience, more dream like than nightmarish, much like one of those meditative / hypnosis programs you often see around to aid with stress / depression etc….. typically radiophonic ear wear, it manages to sound at once, remote, distant, alien and strangely disconnected, that’s not to say eerily charming.

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