Martin Hannett is the producer who did all your favourite Manchester post-punk records, but check this out: he also created his own work. Homage to Delia Derbyshire is unreleased material from 1982, made with various synths and electronics. This music feels very intimate and personal, partly because it was not made with public release in mind. Really interesting stuff, released at last by Ozit Dandelion.
Limited Vinyl LP £23.99 OZITDANLP9991
Limited indies only orange coloured vinyl LP on Ozit Dandelion. Edition of 300 copies.
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- Coloured vinyl
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CD £11.49 OZITDANCD9991
CD on Ozit Dandelion.
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Martin Hannett, then: Factory Records’ in-house producer that made some amazing, iconic records with OMD, Durutti Column and most famously, Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’, of course. He was at Factory until 1982. A less known fact about Martin was his fascination with the developing world of electronics and synthesisers at the time, particularly the work of Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Hannett had been excited by science fiction and electronic music as a child... then eventually Dr Who came along, inspiring him to ensconce himself in Strawberry Studios, Stockport and record his own sound effects and synth sounds to tape. This album is the result; a document of collected pieces that Hannett made with his favourite things: synth, bass guitar, echo effects and snare drum. Often within the same track.
The first track on the CD / LP is simply entitled: ‘Homage To Delia Derbyshire 1’ (so it continues through 18 tracks); it’s a three-minute exercise in synth experimentation -- low, throbbing, buzzing oscillations, as lo-fi as it gets. Second track in is a surprise, then: Moog / mellotron picking out a lovely melody based upon ‘Amazing Grace’, simple piano harmony, stylophone-like electronic effects. Naive, delicate and beautiful. And a definite Radiophonic nod or two. Third track features lovely keyboards and toms, the percussion stepping carefully as a detective following a suspect in a ‘70s police action-drama. Such is the atmosphere on the track, calling to mind some of the library music of the era.
Hannett was clearly still fascinated by both the bass guitar and the AMS1560 delay unit, built by former aerospace engineers at Burnley in his early Factory days. Both used to fine effect on track 4. Moogs and ARPs take the lead in the delightfully childlike and new-space-age melodies found throughout, from track 5 onward. Drums are surprisingly tight and funky. Hannett plays joyously on his synth keyboards, revelling in the polyphony.
A surprisingly fascinating work, revealing a little-seen side to an already deeply interesting and sometimes shadowy figure. It will delight fans of Martin, the Factory sound, Delia / the Radiophonic sound and early electronic experimentation.
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