"Basta Records unveils Manhattan Research, Inc., a 2 CD, 69 track edition of over two hours of Raymond Scott's unreleased electronic recordings from the 1950s and 60s. These works feature such homebuilt Scott music machines as the Electronium, Clavivox, Circle Machine (early sequencer), Bandito the Bongo Artist, and more. The album includes maverick (and decidedly 'non-kiddie') collaborative works with pre-Muppet-era Jim Henson, and comes packaged in a 144-page, full-color, hard-bound book. The text features interviews with those who knew and worked with Scott (e.g., synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog, wife Mitzi Scott, electronic music authority Tom Rhea), along with countless previously unseen photos, lab notes, US patents, and scrapbook items. In 1946, Scott formed Manhattan Research Inc. (MRI), billed as 'Designers and Manufacturers of Electronic Music and Musique Concrète Devices and Systems'. His colleague Robert Moog said, 'Scott was definitely in the forefront of developing electronic music technology and in the forefront of using it commercially as a musician.' Soothing Sounds For Baby was just a warm-up. With MRI, prepare yourself for something beyond the pleasant parameters of pop. Scott's electronic experiments took him to uncharted netherworlds. The results are intriguing, compelling, and occasionally diabolic. Where SSFB offers relaxing ambience, the grotesqueries of MRI promise a sonic excursion to the realms of weightlessness, moon-craters, and six-armed aliens with twittering antennae. The 'personnel' on MRI consists of such Scott inventions as the Clavivox, a keyboard theremin that was later modified to produce an array of sounds similar to a synthesizer; the Electronium, an instantaneous composition-performance console (conceived in the '50s, developed in the '60s, used at Motown in the '70s); polyphonic sequencers, including his 'Circle Machine"; the Rhythm Modulator; and the Bass Line Generator; along with existing sound devices (e.g., the Ondioline and tone generators). The recordings range from detergent jingles to decidedly non-commercial -- uncommercial, even -- experimental adventures in sound sculpture. Aside from several samples of Scott re-tooling old titles (e.g., 1937's "The Toy Trumpet" and "Twilight in Turkey"), the remainder is new material. Also included, for the first time in commercial release, are several mid-1960s film soundtrack collaborations between Scott and Jim Henson."
item # 22036