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F.C. JUDD: Electronics without Tears
Another of the generally ignored and forgotten British makers of concrete and electronic music working outside the music community in the 1950s and ‘60s, Judd built his own studio before the BBC radiophonic department opened, wrote a number of books including Electronic Music and Musique Concrete - one of the first on the topic – designed his own voltage controlled electronic keyboard - before commercial synthesisers appeared on the market - and edited Amateur tape recording until it closed in 1967. In the absence of any interest from the world of music, Judd made TV soundtracks (one of these, Space Patrol, 1963, was the first British TV series to have a fully electronic score) and concentrated his attention on the rather specialised (and now forgotten) community of Tape Enthusiasts. Following the belated recognition of Cary, Oram and Derbyshire, it’s good that Fred Judd is also rediscovered in this interesting collection, though much has been lost - most of his master tapes having disappeared. Part lecture/demonstration and part composition collection, this CD is both informative and good to listen to. Well organised. And it offers an invaluable alternative narrative to the artworld orthodoxy of the high art history of concrete and electronic music. With excellent notes by Ian Helliwell.