Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Microtonal Youth

In the late 70s I worked briefly for Europadisk, a small Manhattan company that brought German stamper technology to record manufacture in the US. Since premium prices applied, most of the work came from audiophile and specialty labels like Artists House along with a few big stars like Neil Young from the majors. One day I heard unearthly sounds from the owner's quality control listening station that were not Ornette Coleman. The product being tested came from a New Jersey client who would make a concert recording of your school's orchestra in your auditorium and deliver you a finished fundraising LP. Why such a modest operation had chosen Europadisk was unclear. Portsmouth Sinfonia is an easy reference for these field recordings, since English intellectuals struggling to control the unfamiliar instruments in their hands sound pretty much like Garden State middle school kids doing the same. Instead of Portsmouth's classical warhorses, the local repertoire mixes pop favorites like The Syncopated Clock (ubiquitous Afternoon Movie theme in ages past) with unfamiliar* tunes, maybe band director originals, played and received with great enthusiasm. I ended up taking home around twenty of the label's one-sided lacquers that were due to be tossed and this is the stuff I saved on cassette.

01 This Is It!*
02 Whistle While You Work
03 Elephants*
04 Hall Of Horn*
05 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001: A Space Odyssey)
06 White Christmas
07 Beatle Expo '79 
08 Caravan
09 Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)
10 The Syncopated Clock
11 Jellybean Sunday*
12 More (Theme From Mondo Cane)
13 Earth Man Discotheque*


Lucky said...

Ah, reservatory!

A NEW post at Dusty Psychic Hut is a reason to pay attention!! And what an interesting post!! Portsmouth Sinfonia and the title are hints enough for me to go for it. Thanks a lot for collecting and sharing this. Sometimes I get sentimental and think about the times when four of us posted on this blog, inspiring each other...


reservatory said...

Thanks for the thanks! I am sorry I could not transport all the too large heavy fragile lacquers themselves when I moved across the country and can only dream of what treasures from the same label might have come through before and after me. Young and innocent days indeed.