Electroscope – Homemade Electroscope (Wurlitzer Jukebox, 1997)

Homemade Electroscope

CD Wurlitzer Jukebox WJ27 (UK, 1997)

01. Virtual Vega
02. Listen to Prowlers
03. Fusee Chain
04. Night Flight to Nowhere
05. Tunguska
06. Roter Kamm
07. December Woods
08. Battle Lines Are Redrawn
09. Joe Heard a New World
10. Swan Song Sung
11. Mesmeric Underground
12. Space Travel 103
13. Earth Loop
14. The Trumpet from Outer Space
15. Dunwich

Composed by Gayle Harrison & John Cavanagh.
Recorded at Globbot Sound on 3M 400 series 8 track except ‘Tunguska’ and ‘Dunwich’ which were recorded in glorious mono at Pink’s Attic Chamber on Series 4 Ferrograph.

The first Electroscope album full of hushed minimalism, spacey wonder, subdued melodies and songs about 1000 year old swans, crumbling villages and Joe Meek. (Boa Melody Bar)

The photo of British production legend Joe Meek on the inside cover art is the perfect hint as to what this Scottish duo is doing on Homemade. Rather than trying to recreate Meek specifically or his galloping, energetic side (though they do title one track « Joe Heard a New World » in homage to his early concept album about aliens on the moon), Gayle Harrison and John Cavanagh instead mix many different strands of music into their brew. Instead of the chug or crisp lounge of, say, Stereolab, Electroscope lurks in shadowy corners to come up with their understated sound of the space age tinged tunes. Thus, what would normally be the straightforward lo-fi of « Listen to Prowlers, » with Harrison’s soft vocals and electric guitar touched with mysterious keyboards and just a hint of otherworldliness. Hints of the playfulness that Meek liked do crop up as well, from the gentle bells on « Roter Kamm » to the goofy keyboard tones on « Mesmeric Underground. » Brass is actually somewhat prominent, with solo trumpets and saxes tracing out lonely, mysterious lines over sometimes minimal backing, sometimes slightly more fleshed out, as on the moody « Battles Lines Are Redrawn. » « Tunguska » is a great example, with just trumpet and wheezing keyboards sounding out a plaintive, melancholy tone, while « The Trumpet From Outer Space » is almost self-explanatory. Some tunes are a touch on the longer side, as with the five-minute trumpet and percussive chime of « Fusee Chair, » but most are quick, making their quiet point and moving on. Cavanagh’s deep, not quite portentous voice nicely offsets Harrison’s singing. His narrative lyrics on a number of songs — the plane crash scenario of « Night Flight to Nowhere, » the amiable tribute « Joe Heard a New World, » and more — fit the overall air of mystery quite well. (Ned Raggett, Allmusic)

Quand Movietone affichait sa vénération pour le Velvet Underground, Electroscope allait voir du côté d’un certain Joe Meek. Pas accrocheur pour un sou, dans le petit monde indie-pop de son temps le duo était au mieux incongru, au pire incompris, suscitant surtout une indifférence gênée. Aujourd’hui, leur musique serait accueille avec une oreille plus bienveillante, sauf qu’aujourd’hui c’est dix ans trop tard.

Visit Electroscope
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2 commentaires pour Electroscope – Homemade Electroscope (Wurlitzer Jukebox, 1997)

  1. docteurorlof dit :


    (Believe it or not, copies of this CD are still available at the Boa Melody Bar.)

  2. philll dit :

    find gayle here – http://www.apexonline.com/melodybar – so many good things!!!

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