Budget Mattress Superstore
Datassette plays Misc. 2nd Birthday on 20th July. Tickets available here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1273143
1. Pierlo Umiliani - Lavoro Nero (1975)
Crunchy percussive plodder from the prolific library composer also known as Moggi. Also responsible for the 1968 super-kitsch easy listening novelty smash 'Mah nà mah nà' which would be made infamous ten years after its recording by The Muppet Show.
2. Peter Thomas & Sten Clift - Galaxy Fall-Out (1973)
One of those incongruous weirdo tracks that leaps out from an otherwise unremarkable library music album of sub-par Tijuana Brass style lifestyle themes and cheesy interludes. From that elusive 16mm-camera-on-a-yellow-background Movie Makers Music series.
3. Andres Lewin-Richter - Pulsations (1977)
From an album of wonderful electro-acoustic weirdness - one of those collections where it's almost impossible to tell how each sound was made. Very few synths on this despite it being called Electronic Mystery, this track sounds like it's probably an oboe or contrabassoon going through a filter and a couple of delay lines. Vast!
4. Robert Painter & Terence Jenkins - Moleculum (1983)
Not quite suitable for a horror film, not quite suitable for the disco, this is the best sort of library music - odd, uncategorisable and only in existence because two people were paid to sit in a room and make something that sounded like Industry and Tension and didn't know what else to do.
5. Pierlo Umiliani - Jingle No.1 (1975)
Another Moggi classic. An unstable synth gnaws at you like a rabid dog while a percussion party kicks off in the background, wild!
6. Teddy Lasry - Metallopolis (1975)
7. Roger Roger & Nino Nardini - Super Flash 7 (1982)
Sounds like a drunken James Stinson outtake, sprawling synths fall about the place like an injured moth while a steady 808 kick n' rim pattern clicks away.
8. Chris Swansen - Snow (1972)
Chris Swansen was appointed 'composer in residence' at Moog in 1968, and after several years of intense twiddling came up with the album 'Pulaski Skyway'. Every part on the album is hand-played and painstakingly multitracked, even the white-noise drum bursts. Wholesome stuff (not strictly library music though).
9. Mort Garson - Ode To An African Violet (1976)
Not library music either, but an absolutely sublime piece of moog work with enough of a weirdo vibe to sit in the library category in my head. Sentimental, wistful and creamy. Recently reissued, this album is supposed to be played to houseplants to help them grow!
10. Stringtronics - Dawn Mists (1972)
Discogs price war insanity classic (there's an original up there now for £700, LOL), but this album is revered for a reason, it's just so luxurious. Goosebumps ahoy.
11. Paul Williams & Andrew Grossart - Shining Ice (1986)
If you're a FSOL fan, you'll recognise this instantly from one of the best bits of Lifeforms. The whole album has a great Look Around You vibe but this is clearly the winner. Sciencey and super smooth.
12. Frédérick Rousseau - A.D.S.R. (1988)
A library album released the same year as Jean Michel Jarre's Zoolook, by someone credited as 'technician' on that album, probably made in the same room with the same gear. It sounds exactly like something off Zoolook, better, even. Urgent, exotic, dramatic, tropical! This about as 1988 as it's possible to get, complete with Jill Dando holiday flutes.
13. Pierre Dutour - Pop Fiction (1979)
A glistening ambient gem, but one of those library pieces that I can't imagine was ever used. It has been sitting awkwardly for all these years on an album of run-of-the-mill, easy-listening fodder with smatterings of unpleasant trumpet - destined only to be heard in a budget mattress superstore.
14. McAlea / Jackman - Legend 2 (1983)
Corny slow motion romance / sporting prowess. Don't fight it. Glorious.
15. Sam Spence - Cosmetic (1972)
So sweet, so fleeting, so mysterious... I can totally imagine this being used in a slightly sinister low budget cinema ad for a beauty salon.
16. Georges Rodi / Dave Sarkys - Rodispot 3 (1982)
From a jingles and cues record full of short 30-60 second nuggets called Super Flash on French library label Crea Sound, this already sounded so much like early Boards Of Canada I couldn't resist slowing it down to 50%, looping it a couple of times and adding some FX.
17. Claude Larson - Calibration (1987)
ROMpler-heavy sequencer workout, fit for a Japanese construction timelapse, or an all-night deadline-busting montage sequence. Sounds like something Oneohtrix Point Never might've attempted a few years ago.
18. Anne Dudley - Bubblegum (1984)
Colourful repeat-patterns from one of the Art Of Noise founding members. Mental to think she made this stuff for her day job in between appearing on The Tube and Top Of The Pops with top ten hits.
19. Robert Painter & Terence Jenkins - Fantastic Voyage (1983)
A fine example of what can only be described as a Science Arpeggio.
20. Giovanni Christiani - Dancing For Diletta (1985)
A whole album of 100% percussion. As far as I can tell. Marimba, gongs, shakers, chimes, glockenspiel, xylophone, and a traditional drum kit covered in pots and pans. At times the production gets hectic and textural enough to sound not too far off being a Flying Lotus interlude. Recently reissued - tip!
21. Datassette - Overtone Crystal (Raw Version) (2017)
I'll often end up liking the tracks that took me 15 minutes to make much more than the ones I've laboured over for weeks. This is just one synth with its on-board sequencer and 2 effects units, no computer faffing. An alternative version of this (with added computer faffing) was released recently on Frequency Domain's Partials Volume 2 compilation.