JEAN-JAQUES PERREY: A SMILE, A SONG AND A WHOOOOO!
21st August 2017
Title: Musique Electronique du Cosmos
Label: Wah Wah
Perrey loved electronic music but, despite his pioneering status and despite the fact that he has been rather lumped with the more avant-garde electronic music composers of the time, Perrey was actually a man apart. He didn’t actually want to be part of the serious set. He wanted to popularise electronic music. He wanted the happy go lucky, skipping-through-the-daisies type of approach to synths rather than the discordant, angular rather foreboding application of many of his contemporaries.
Working in collaboration with Gershon Kingsley, Perrey released a series of albums in the 1960s. He focused on Moog synthesisers and magnetic tape but he also utilised the Ondioline. Thus was a French invention, created in 1941 and was a sort of proto-synth, created by George Jenny. An electronic, pressure sensitive keyboard that could create a host of sounds via a bank of 15 filters, it offered a natural vibrato because the keyboard was suspended on springs. The vibrato could be induced by moving the keys from side to side. Perry loved the thing.
The music on this LP was primarily recorded around 1962 on the MusiCues label. The B-side includes very rare music from Musique Electronique A Caractere Special Pour Illustrations Sonores Et Effects Speciaux. There apparently is only one copy of the latter record in existence. Other rarities and demos are also included.
The music itself could be described as otherworldly, in a spooky 30s film type of way. The space-like darkness, depth and space is portrayed well by Perrey and with a sense of fun and whimsey that will please anyone interested in vintage synthesisers. There are plenty of tracks here: 25 in all and most are played for only a minute or so while the longest spans just under three. Perrey refuses to dwell on any one theme.
The mastering is sympathetic to the music and period with a warming and almost sepia-tinged tone. A beautifully constructed vintage synth extravaganza that is both relaxing and innovative, experimental but also fun. That’s Perrey for you.