Subtitled “The spacey folk electro-horror sounds of the Studio G Library,” this 26-track compilation (20 on the vinyl edition) gathers excerpts from the 48 albums from the mid-60s right through the 90s that advertizing man John Gale released through his Studio G label. Many of these tracks will be familiar to regular viewers of 60s British television shows like “Vision On” or darts and snooker championships or crown green bowls on BBC TV. Along with other music libraries like DeWolfe (famous for contributions from The Pretty Things), Studio G provided the background soundtrack to many TV programs, films, etc. and were renown for their daring experimentation with the cutting edge of music technology. Musical cues assembled from tape loops, echo devices, and EMS synthesizers ran the gamut from psychedelic freakbeat to space rock with occasional forays into lush orchestration and modal jazz. All of these can be sampled herein, including source material for modern day samplers, UNKLE and the Chemical Brothers, who raided some of the more obscure offerings from the Studio G library.
Some of my favorites include several Douglas Wood contributions: the creeping synth stalker, “Icicles,’ the gnarly, Bert Jansch-styled acoustic guitar stomp of “Folk Ghost,” the soulful jazzy strutting on “Silhouettes,” the bubbly “Five To A Bar” and his frothy, playful “Kids Stiff.” And I challenge anyone to listen to “Romantic Sway” and not be convinced that the guitar line was rolling around in the back of David Gilmour’s head when he composed “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond.”
I also dug the smooth, space age bachelor pad cocktail jazz of Paul Lewis’ “Waiting For Nina,” which is awash in flute flurries and sexy, wordless female vocals, as well as James Harpham’s organ groove fest, “Moving Parts.” American listeners may recognize Vic Mizzy’s “Addams Family Theme” in Harry Pitch’s “Elephant Dance,” and fans of the avant garde will enjoy the otherworldly electronics of Eric Peters’ “Deformed Theme,” along with the spacey, Tangerine Dream-ish electronics on his aptly-titled “Space Service” and the playful synth blasts of “Freak Blues.”
P. Willsher and T. Kelly take us on a funky “Dangerous Voyage” that wouldn’t be out of place on one of Isaac Hayes’ soundtracks, James Asher offers a gorgeous waterfall of cascading synthesizers on “Cosmic Dust” and F. Afzelius’ farting synths on “Cosmic Blues” adds a lighthearted touch. It all adds up to a wet dream for DJs (who could use most of this for snappy “bed music”), fans of electronic music (particularly the essential "OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music compilation"), and Space Age Bachelors and swinging soirees everywhere. This is important music that should not be lost and we thank Jonny Trunk for rescuing it from oblivion. Now where’s that second volume! 9/10 -- Jeff Penczak (15 April, 2009)