J. Matthews – Electronic Music
The moment time travel will be made available to the general public, this is the kind of record I will be ordering, in retrospect, from 1965. Those who love vintage record oddities will agree this disc has a lot going for it. First, the very format is peculiar. It’s a 10″ microgroove record, but it plays at 78 rpm. I have no idea why records were manufactured like this, but many records that were released outside the consumer market – like this library one – were.
Looking at the titles of the tracks, you can safely assume the music will be quite something too, consisting of several permutations of the words “Electro”, “Twist”, “Exotic”, and “Suspense”, words that are among my favorites in the world of track titles. I can only guess how the music was actually made, but I think it is a combination of taped and manipulated sounds and vintage synthesizers. Apart from the suspense track, the music is very percussive and all are very well suited for, say, a documentary on the science of small particles.
I don’t know anything about the composer J. Matthews (which might of course be a pseudonym) but I’m very impressed by the man’s sense of timing, as well as his ability to conjure up original sounds as there are many here that I’ve never heard before. Especially the track Electro Twist has sounds that remind of tuned percussion or the sound of very heavy, tightly strung cables. To me it kind of foreshadows the sound of Kraftwerk, also because the beat is very rigid. The other stand out track is called Electro Exotic, which was featured on the library compilation The Barry’s 7 Connection years ago. Here the beat has more swing to it, with weird sounds boldly thrown in.
Anyone who has a clue why 78 rpm records like this one were used well into 1968, please let tell. Any information on J. Matthews would also be appreciated.