Friday, November 5, 2010
The Secret 7 Raymond Scott
Top Rank Records RS 635
This was an "unexpected" find in the discount bin today. First, what do you make of a jacket cover like this with a mysterious title and a guy sitting behind a microphone like he was about to do the nightly news in the 60s? I looked over the back cover notes and the album appeared to be music, which it is.
The first few tracks are bouncy jazz tunes and then the third track, The Cow Jumped Over The Moon, started playing and I heard high pitch voices. I thought that I had been listening to the record at 45 instead of 33... but no... There are "Martian-like" vocals on this track. Wonderfully odd.
After reading Scott's wikipedia profile I found that he was an "early electronic music pioneer and adventurous sound engineer". Scott apparently recorded futuristic compositions for television and radio along with Soothing Sounds For Baby (1964) which today sounds uncannily similar to the ambient work of Tangerine Dream or Brian Eno.
He developed his own (synth) machine that he dubbed "The Electronim" (spending 11 years and close to a million dollars working on) and patented a large number of consumer electronic products such as telephone ringers, alarms, chimes and sirens.
Can you say genius?
The wikipedia article goes on to say that Scott became reclusive and secretive about his inventions in the late 60s. He eventually did do some work for Jim Hendson (Muppets) under the name Ramond Scott.
Later still he was hired by Motown to serve as their electronic music and research department head. However no Motown/Scott inventions have yet been publicly identified.