DAPHNE ORAM was a truly seminal figure in the music of the 20th century. She was instrumental in founding the legendary BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP, whose work for film and television gave us classics like the DR. WHO theme and laid the aesthetic groundwork for later artists including BOARDS OF CANADA, LEYLAND KIRBY and BROADCAST, to name just a few.
She also invented her own Oramics synthesizer, which created richly organic sounds from hand-drawn waveforms on 35mm film and influenced the development of similar technologies such as the Variophone and the ANS in the Soviet Union.
She was also sadly under-appreciated and little-celebrated in her lifetime.
Enter Kompakt-signed duo WALLS, who for their new album Sound Houses were given unprecedented access to Daphne Oram’s very extensive sound archives. The resultant collaboration is by turns ominous and oddly refreshing, using technologies both old and new (effects pedals, modular synths, a 60’s-era drum machine) to create something that seems to exist outside of time altogether. The whole package was then sent along for mastering by the legendary SONIC BOOM (SPACEMEN 3/SPECTRUM), adding a whole other level of collaborative goodness to the proceedings. On the whole this feels like a very special project, a stark departure from Walls’ otherwise more clean, melodic pop techno stylings which is unlikely to be duplicated.
Sound Houses is out now in a limited run of 500 copies on clear vinyl from Ecstatic Records.