Tuesday, August 18, 2009


First let me say that I doubt any of you know who Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001) is right off the bat, but I bet alot of you have heard her work. She's the genius behind the original DR.WHO theme. She didn't write the track but she remade it and tweaked it into the electro monster that it is. I loved the sound of this theme when I was younger and have gone back to it several times and I always hear something different. Delia composed electronic music and was a master at tape cutting and looping. She worked for the BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP for years and churned out tons of sounds for their sound library. In 1959 she applied for a position at Decca Records only to be told that the company did not employ women in their recording studios, Their fucking loss dude! Thankfully she didn't give up and found a home at the BBC some years later. This album called DREAMS, really creeped me out the first time I heard it. I was listening to it on headphones and had just smoked a big ass joint. I went from intrigued to frightened in about 2 minutes. The track "Running" has got to be my favorite and sometimes little snippets of it get stuck in my head for days. I also included a link for the album "An Electric Storm" by WHITE NOISE which featured collaborations with Derbyshire and BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP alumni Brian Hodgson and is now considered an important and influential album in the development of electronic music, many would say it was 20 years ahead of its time. She left the BBC in 1972, She still maneged to contribute to soundtrack here and there, like The Legend of Hell House soundtrack. There is an amazing fucking documentary about the BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP called "The Alchemists of Sound", look for it if you get a chance. You can watch it on you tube I think, It;s very interesting and informative. I was surprised how many random TV and movie sounds I take for granted and the fact that someone spent there life making this kind of shit is out of this world. This is for the adventurous listener only. This is music, but not the kind your use to. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to blogs like yours and the t'internet in general, Delia Derbyshire's profile is expanding and more than that, she is finally getting (along with Daphne Oram) the long over-due recognition as one of the pioneers of modern electronica.

    For fans and people new to her work, I highly recommed the recent "Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Derbyshire" Radio 4 programme which showcased tracks and snippets from her archive. There is one track on it called "The Dance" which completely anticipates techno by nearly 20 years, absolutely mindblowing...also recommend the "Blue Veils & Golden Sands" CD which features a great fictional radio play on her life as well as some great DD tracks...

    Do you know if the 'The Legend of Hell House' soundtrack has ever been released officially or as a bootleg...I have never come across the film for that matter but it seems this is as good place to ask! Culturally and sonically speaking, the world is finally catching up to the unique mind that was Delia Derbyshire, its so sad that she is not around to see it.



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