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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wavemaker, England

Wavemaker - Where are we Captain? 1975 Polydor
Wavemaker - New Atlantis. 1977 Polydor

As I was buying a handful of LPs from a certain dealer recently, I noticed he had both albums by Wavemaker. Now most assuredly I must have run into this name numerous times in my past. But having "wave" in the name of an electronically oriented group is like putting the word "heavy" on a metal band (or "jester" in a prog band. Oh wait...). There's Wavemaker, Waveshape, Wavestar (Wave Ball, Microwave....). Well anywayve, because of this, I just flat out missed these until now. No one has ever recommended these albums to me in person or for me to cover on this site. After some careful research, it seemed "New Atlantis" was best left alone. But "Where are We Captain?" was getting high marks indeed. Well the price was right, and I asked him to throw it into the pile.

Wavemaker are an instrumental group made up of two keyboard players dedicated to synthesizers, with guests on percussion and tympani. This is definitely not a Berlin School sequencer fest ala Tangerine Dream, nor a rock based drum-fueled electronic album along the lines of Klaus Schulze's "Moondawn" or Wolfgang Bock's "Cycles". It is, in fact, a progressive rock instrumental album - but all played on big... fat... analog... synthesizers. Works for me. Some truly wonderful sound textures are created by these massive beasts of wires. And the music is most certainly composed, with care given to both melody and complexity. It's nice to find a good album amongst the more common stock every once awhile. Like Guns and Butter in that way (referencing availability not musical style).

Priority: 3 (for "Where are We Captain?")


Wallace said...

Of course,Brian Hodgson of BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the cornerstone White Noise.
Performed on the Electrophon synth.
I have the Electrophon lps "Zygoat" and "In a Convent Garden".

Also, though not sure its Brian, the electronic/keys lp , "Through the Glass Darkly".

If you like this music its a must to look into the David Vorhaus lps as David ,Brian and Delia Derbyshire all came out of this "school" and were of the first White Noise band.

Tom said...

Yep - that's correct Wallace, all on the Electrophon Synthesizer. I didn't mention it, but it seems the album may have even been sponsored by them. Thanks for the recs!

Wallace said...

Okay, "Through the Glass Darkly" is not Brian, but Peter Howell & BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

It is on BBC Radiophonic own label.

Has 3 members on it - one is timpani player like on the Wavemaker.


I would like to hear some of Vorhaus' library records, especially "Sleight of hand"

bas janssen said...

Slightly off-topic: there's a 3 hr radio documentary about the Radiophonic Workshop on the BBC iplayer site at the moment (a repeat from 2008 apparently, available until Saturday). Haven't heard it yet myself, so I'm certainly going to have a listen.

strawbsfan said...

Definitely the more interesting album of the two although New Atlantis does have moments :)