With a deep understanding of electronic music’s roots and a passion for its future, Electronic Sound places the music in a wider context of culture and technology. This unique blend of high calibre music journalism and lifestyle content makes it the essential music magazine. In-depth coverage of the current scene, the pioneers, the machines, and the current thinking of the electronic music world.
Hannah Peel / Mogwai / Jane Weaver / Goldie / Mouse On Mars / Clark / Nitin Sawhney
This month's Electronic Sound cover star is Hannah Peel, whose latest album is a superb reimagining of 'Electronsonic', a 1972 library music collection on KPM Records featuring The Radiophonic Workshop. To accompany the issue, we also have an incredibly special seven-inch release, for which Hannah Peel has incorporated excerpts from a previously unknown interview with Delia Derbyshire into a brand new composition called 'Unheard Delia'.
As regular readers of Electronic Sound will no doubt know, we've been big fans of Hannah Peel for a long time, so our cover story has been coming for a while. Her new album, 'Fir Wave', sees her rewiring some of Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson's early 1970s work for radio, television and film, and the results are terrific, more than fulfilling the promise of her previous releases. Although we're only three months into 2021, 'Fir Wave' is certain to be one of the essential records of the year. Hannah is a totally engaging interviewee too, as you will quickly discover.
We’ve not been slacking elsewhere this month. Continuing with the Delia theme, we talk to Cosey Fanni Tutti and Caroline Catz about collaborating on the ‘Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes’ movie, and catch up with Mogwai, who are increasingly occupying our world. We also have Mouse On Mars, Jane Weaver, Goldie, Clark, Nitin Sawhney and Classix Nouveaux, plus Late Works and their hand-made instruments. This one really is a feast of an issue! ||||Our exclusive Hannah Peel seven-inch is 'Unheard Delia', which includes extracts from an interview with Delia Derbyshire conducted by writer Jo Hutton in early 2000, around 18 months before Delia died. The 10-minute piece is split into two parts for our seven-inch, which is pressed on lime green vinyl.
"The most striking thing about Delia was her voice," notes Jo Hutton. "It rose and fell with crystal clarity in a way that was absolutely musical, while her laugh was a ripple of high-pitched giggling that interjected every other sentence." ||||“Delia had a wonderful laugh and you can hear her giggling throughout Jo’s interview, as she constantly darts back and forth in time with her stories," says Hannah Peel. "There was a beautiful narrative thread I found in there that really honours her love of music in its simplest form – playing with and being absorbed by sound." ||||As with all of our seven-inch releases, this record is strictly limited and exclusive to readers of Electronic Sound, so make sure you grab your copy while you can.
Telex / Sleaford Mods / A Winged Victory For The Sullen / Clay Pipe Music / Yuri Suzuki / Ralph Lundsten
This month's Electronic Sound cover story details the highly entertaining exploits of Telex, the maverick Belgian trio whose early synthpop records were a major influence on the American and European club scenes that followed a decade or so later. And to accompany the magazine, we have an exclusive yellow vinyl seven-inch boasting two of the band's best-known tracks.
With tracks like ’Moskow Diskow’, ‘Euro-Vision’ and their stripped-down version of 'Twist A Saint Tropez', Telex were at the forefront of the late 1970s electronic revolution. Marc Moulin, the journalist and label owner who came up with the original idea for the band in 1978, is sadly no longer with us, but we’re delighted to have spoken to the two surviving members, frontman Michel Moers and synth virtuoso Dan Lacksman. More than 40 years on from their biggest records, the pair have lost none of their love for all things electronic. Or their wry sense of humour.
We've lots of other good stuff this month, including interviews with Sleaford Mods, whose latest album is a fitting soundtrack to these dystopian times, and Ralph Lundsten, the Swedish keyboard legend who held court at a 19th century pink palace near Stockholm for many decades, playing host to everybody from ABBA to Led Zeppelin. You will also find Blanck Mass, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Add N To (X), Hattie Cooke, Cristian Vogel, Ultramarine, Yuri Suzuki and Cobalt Chapel elsewhere in the magazine, plus Francis Castle from the ace Clay Pipe Music label. And that's without even mentioning all the pretty colours...
Our exclusive yellow vinyl seven-inch features the English language versions of Telex's 'Moskow Diskow' and 'Euro-Vision'. The former rhymes "super-chic" with "fantastique" and namechecks Brigitte Bardot, but is probably most notable for its pacy locomotive-esque rhythm. “I remember thinking it sounded like a train, so we put the flanger on it and then made a whistle with a few cylinders and an envelope," says Dan Lacksman. 'Euro-Vision' is another superb synthpop track and was performed by Telex at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, the group having agreed to represent Belgium with the intention of coming last. They weren’t happy when Portugal awarded them “dix points” as the event drew to a close, pushing them just ahead of Finland and Morocco at the last minute.
Steven Wilson / John Foxx / Langham Research Centre / Polypores / Add N To (X) / Malcolm Garrett / Beautify Junkyards
We've been talking to Steven Wilson about his new album for the latest issue of Electronic Sound and we have a special limited edition cover based on the artwork concept of the record for our subscribers and our webshop. To accompany the magazine, we also have a red vinyl seven-inch boasting exclusive edits of two tracks from the album.
Steven Wilson's 'The Future Bites' is a significant milestone for the former Porcupine Tree man and celebrated sound architect. Following on from his highly praised 5.1 surround sound remixes of artists such as Tangerine Dream, Roxy Music, Simple Minds and, in the last few months, Ultravox and Tears For Fears, 'The Future Bites' is a truly outstanding collection of electronic and art-rock tracks. The lyrics of the album meanwhile explore how we're being constantly prodded by the internet's mercilessly efficient and ever-evolving alogrithms, telling us what to buy, where to go, what to think, and who to vote for. Was the future meant to be like this? Probably not.
Elsewhere in this issue, we have a short story by one other than John Foxx, examine the electro-acoustic stylings of Langham Research Centre, chat with the masked mystery that is Lambert, catch up with Ghost Box outfit Beautify Junkyards, and salute the work of record sleeve design legend Malcolm Garrett. We have Add N To (X), Polypores, Hattie Cooke and Kit Monteith too. And as ever, there’s also the groaning shelves of our review section to get stuck into. Not that we are telling you what to buy, you understand. Shop ’til you drop.
To accompany this issue, we have a superb red vinyl Steven Wilson seven-inch featuring edits of 'King Ghost' and 'Eminent Sleaze', two of the highlights of 'The Future Bites'. There is a strong sense of emotional resonance to the former, a gorgeous electronic track about how people present themselves on social media. "It's about this ghost version of yourself, without all of the failures and neuroses and insecuritites," notes Wilson. 'Eminent Sleaze' is a heavier affair, the slap delay on pretty much every element giving the track what Wilson describes as "this subterranean quality, this slightly surreal otherness".
Daphne Oram / Review of the Year / Olafur Arnalds / Young Marble Giants
We're going in search of Daphne Oram in the latest Electronic Sound. And to accompany the magazine, we are reissuing her 'Electronic Sound Patterns' EP as a limited edition pressing on turquoise vinyl.
For our cover feature, we take a road trip from the hallowed halls of the BBC's Maida Vale Studios to the leafy environs of rural Kent, where Daphne Oram lived and worked in a converted oast house for some four decades, before we head back up to London again to see her Mini-Oramics machine in action. Along the way, we dig into Oram's archives to help us tell the fascinating story of the founder of the Radiophonic Workshop and try to fill in the gaps in what we know about the first lady of British electronic music.
Elsewhere in this month's magazine, we profile the six winners of the recently announced 2020 Oram Awards and interview Ólafur Arnalds, Young Marble Giants and A Man Called Adam. Public Service Broadcasting frontman J Willgoose Esq introduces us to his new solo project, Late Night Final, and Andy McCluskey gives us the lowdown on the making of OMD's 'Enola Gay'. As it's our last issue of 2020, we also have our ever popular Review Of The Year, which weighs in at a very chunky 14 pages. How many of your favourites are in our Best Albums list? There's only one way to find out...
To accompany the issue, we're reissuing Daphne Oram's 'Electronic Sound Patterns' EP, which was one of the releases we picked out for our History Of Electronic Music In 75 Records special earlier this year. Featuring 10 minutes of experimental electronica across 14 short "bands", this seven-inch first appeared in 1962 and was essentially an aid for teachers of music and drama. “The ‘sound patterns’ are intended for children to enjoy and may lead them into movement of a dance-like character or involve them in imaginative situations,” declares the back cover. Our reissue is pressed on turquoise vinyl and comes in a replica of its original sleeve.
We're celebrating the return of Cabaret Voltaire in this month's Electronic Sound. And to accompany the issue, we have an exclusive Cabaret Voltaire seven-inch, which is a limited edition pressing on purple vinyl.
Our cover star is Richard H Kirk, who is now the sole member of Cabaret Voltaire. Inside the magazine, Kirk gives us the lowdown on 'Shadow Of Fear', the first new Cabs album for 26 years and one of the most significant releases of 2020. He also talks about playing live, Sheffield, Salvador Dali, how he feels about working alone, and lots more besides. As well as our in-depth conversation, we document the countless names Kirk has recorded under over the decades. Some of them you will recognise, Sandoz and Sweet Exorcist for example, but the likes of Frightgod and Ubu Rahmen may be unknown to you.
There’s plenty of other good stuff elsewhere in this issue, including interviews with Sigue Sigue Sputnik top man Tony James and San Francisco synth maestro Doug McKechnie. McKechnie was one of the first people to make music on a Moog, beginning in 1968 on a machine with the serial number 004. We also strongarm Norman Cook into revealing his influences, share bamboo shoots with The Lost Stoned Pandas, get serious with Tunng, and wonder if Working Men’s Club are the best new band in Britain at the moment. The answer, by the way, is yes.
This month's magazine and vinyl bundle includes a fantastic Cabaret Voltaire seven-inch. The record is pressed on purple vinyl and features Daniel Miller edits of two tracks from the 'Shadow Of Fear' album, 'Vasto' and 'The Power (Of Their Knowledge)'. Both are prime Cabs cuts – dark, gritty, abrasive and remorseless. Richard H Kirk named 'Vasto' after a town on the Italian coast, but he is quick to point out that "it's not exactly a seaside song", while 'The Power (Of Their Knowledge)' builds on the line, "You start with nothing and you end with nothing". Kirk says the track is "about the shadow of death, which is something looming over us all nowadays". Dark stuff indeed.
We're marking 100 years since the invention of The Theremin in this month's Electronic Sound. We have a fantastic yellow vinyl EP featuring four tracks by some of the world's leading thereminists too.
Russian boffin Leon Theremin was meant to have been constructing a sonar system when he came up with his iconic electronic instrument. Goodness only knows how audiences reacted when they first heard its ghostly wail, which had no real precedent in music. What’s more, you didn’t even have to touch the instrument to play it. You seemingly just had to wave your hands around somewhere in the vicinity.
We have interviewed a host of contemporary thereminists for our in-depth cover feature, including top players such as Herb Deutsch, Gaudi, Dorit Chrysler, Bruce Woolley, Carolina Eyck, Charlie Draper, Javier Díez Ena and more. We also have a piece about the incredible double life of Leon Theremin by his biographer Albert Glinsky. As well as being the inventor of a bizarre musical instrument, Theremin was a key figure in the Soviet Union's espionage activities, his other creations including a device that snooped on the American Embassy in Moscow for many years.
Elsewhere this issue, we've interviews with Roísín Murphy, Global Communication and A Certain Ratio, while Kris Needs pays tribute to Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples, who sadly died last month. We talk to Annie Nightingale, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Jane In Palma and C418 too. The latter is the man responsible for the music of 'Minecraft', the best-selling video game of all time. Yes, it's sold even more copies than 'Pong'.
To accompany this issue, we have an exclusive seven-inch EP featuring four tracks of top quality sonic voodoo by some of the world's foremost theremin players. On one side of 'Theremin – One Hundred Years' we have Herb Deutsch, a close associate of Robert Moog in the mid-1960s, and Dorit Chrysler, co-founder of the New York Theremin Society. Flip the record over for Gaudi, who has pioneered the use of the theremin in dub music, and The Radio Science Orchestra, an outfit formed by songwriter Bruce Woolley, whose credits include The Buggles' 'Video Killed The Radio Star'. And if all that's not enough for you, the EP is on sunny yellow vinyl as well. Sunglasses at the ready.
This month's cover feature tells the astonishing story of Joe Meek, the king of space age pop and one of the most extraordinary characters in British music history.
With his unorthodox and intense working methods, Joe Meek's late 1950s and early 1960s productions signalled the start of a fascinating new era in music. Using peculiar electronic instruments such as the Clavioline and wonky sounds made with tape effects, he injected all manner of weirdness into mainstream pop. Add in a spate of gangland threats, a bit of black magic, and a pill-popping climax of rapidly escalating paranoia, rapidly declining fortunes, and a brutal murder, and this really is a tale unlike any other.
Elsewhere this issue, we have interviews with Cerrone, Squarepusher, Ulrich Schnauss, Steve Hillage and Kl(aüs). We've also gone "John" crazy, talking to John Rocca about the making of Freeez's electro-boogie classic 'IOU', while Graham Fellows, the man behind John Shuttleworth and Jilted John, reveals his influences. Plus, of course, our regular columnists Jack Dangers, Kris Needs and Fat Roland, and a gazillion new album reviews, including the latest from Wrangler. Astounding sounds and amazing music all the way!
To accompany the magazine, we're reissuing Joe Meek & The Blue Men's 'I Hear A New World' EP, a four-track seven-inch originally released in 1960. It's the first time that this extremely rare and highly sought-after record – good quality copies of which usually sell for £250 or more – has ever been reissued. The tracks are certainly experimental, packed with weird noises and special effects, but there are some terrific space age pop tunes in there too.
We're celebrating 40 years since the first UK Independent Chart in this month's issue of Electronic Sound. Independence Day – 19 January 1980 – was a key step in the unfolding DIY revolution that followed in the wake of punk, as Ian McNay from Cherry Red and Geoff Travis from Rough Trade, two of the most important independent label bosses, explain in our cover story. Ian McNay is the man who originally came up with the idea for the chart.
We also have a very lively interview with Spizz, the man behind Spizzenergi's 'Where's Captain Kirk?', the record that topped the first indie chart. 'Captain Kirk' was Number One for seven weeks and stayed on the chart for the whole of 1980. As well as recalling the making of his famous track, Spizz talks about growing up on sci-fi TV programmes, drinking tea with Mick Ronson's mum, playing guitar in Heaven 17 (just for a few days), riding his bike with a broken leg, and having injections into his eyeball. You really don't want to miss this.
Elsewhere this issue, we have other interviews with Nicolas Godin (from Air), Patrick Moraz (ex-Yes), Money Mark, Hula, The Home Current and Mark Radcliffe, while one-time Tangerine Dream legends Peter Baumann and Paul Haslinger introduce their Neuland project. Plus, of course, all of our regular columnists and more album reviews than can possibly be good for you.
To accompany this month's issue, we are reissuing the seven-inch single that took the Number One spot in the first Independent Chart chart – Spizzenergi's unforgettable and totally awesome 'Where's Captain Kirk?'. The record, which topped the indie chart for seven consecutive weeks, comes with its original B-side, 'Amnesia'.
Note: this media for this issue is a CD and the bonus bag is included free with the magazine+CD bundle and is unavailable otherwise.
We are looking back at the highlights of 2019 in the latest issue of Electronic Sound. And what a great year it has been. No wonder we had trouble choosing our favourite records of the last 12 months.
As you will have probably already worked out from this month's cover, one of our top picks is Anna Meredith, an artist who has brought her classical training and sensibility to electronic music, adding in her own various obsessions and coming up with something entirely fresh.
Other names that feature heavily in our 2019 review include krautrock legend Michael Rother, the former Neu! and Harmonia man, and folktronic pioneers Haiku Salut. And as well as presenting our Top 30 albums of the year, we've also selected our recommended reissues, compilations, soundtracks, books and gear. We're talking a feast of goodies here!
Elsewhere this issue, Thomas Leer tells the story of 'Private Plane' and Nurse With Wound's Steve Stapleton explains the thinking behind the band's famous "weird music list". We also chat to Richard Fearless, No-Man, Marconi Union and Irmin Schmidt from Can. Plus, of course, there's our jam-packed reviews section, our regular columnists, and much more besides. Happy Christmas!
We've put together a fantastic 14-track CD of some of the highlights of 2019 to accompany this month's issue. 'Bulletin F' features 14 choice cuts, with material from Anna Meredith, Michael Rother, Haiku Salut, Amon Tobin, Paranoid London, Stephen Mallinder, Alice Hubble, Eric Random, Jane Weaver, The Anti-Group, Blanck Mass, Fader, William Doyle and Daniel Davies. Phew. We also have a special Christmas bonus for you this month – a very splendid Electronic Sound record bag. Carry with pride!
Issues not listed above our sold out and out of print.