Martyn Ware (The Human League) asked the Radiophonic Workshop to produce a live piece for the launch of a Picasso exhibition at the national portrait gallery. This is a live recording featuring improvisations and pieces based on those works. The second side features a reworking of the performance by Rupert Clervaux (collaborator of Beatrice Dillon, Charles Hayward).
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- / Limited Cassette tape on Room 13, featuring re-work of “Picasso” material by Rupert Clervaux
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Yup, believe it or not, the Workshop is still working, decades upon decades after its creation, but you already knew that seeing as they released Burials in Several Earths earlier in the year. No BBC now as it's unlikely that corporation would fund left field synth experiments when there's the XX records to rely on. This release has been billed as a companion release to that, but was actually commissioned as a piece for the launch of the Picasso exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Well, whaddaya know. It also features a rework on the B side by Rupert Clervaux, of Beatrice Dillon collaboration fame.
The main event combines Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Mark Ayres and Kieron Pepper with a truckload of electronical music gear, the list of which is too big to name. It throbs pleasingly, keeping things pretty melodic with an edge of melancholy, but the synth sounds couldn’t be more old-school particularly once pressed to cassette. It’s sparseness at the beginning reminds me of Thomas Koner with the classic vibe of The Advisory Circle. The entrance of krautier rhythms signals some spookier elements begin to drift in as the thing builds, the layers growing and the synths becoming more bold, and those imaginative layers of reworked recordings that the ‘Workshop has become famous for in the early days start to take hold. There’s even some guitar in here. Unbelievable.
Onto the B side, Rupert Clervaux extends the kraut themed section of the A with a slow and steady rhythmic groove that takes the mouthwatering textures of the previous side and makes them Sunday morning friendly. The radio edit, if you will. I actually had a really good time with this.
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