White Noise An Electric Storm

Proper Records
26th July 2024

Format Info

LP Vinyl

Its capitalised rear sleeve message told prospective listeners all they needed to know: MANY SOUNDS HAVE NEVER BEEN HEARD BY HUMANS: SOME SOUND WAVES YOU DON’T HEAR – BUT THEY REACH YOU. ‘STORM TECHNIQUES’ COMBINE SINGERS, INSTRUMENTALISTS AND COMPLEX ELECTRONIC SOUND. THE EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IS AT A MAXIMUM. Derbyshire and Hodgson worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Vorhaus, a student at North London Poly, attended a lecture by them and wanted to fuse his ideas with their pioneering sound capabilities.

By blending electronics, tape loops and vocals with live percussion, future sounds of the strange are embedded here – Hawkwind, Tangerine Dream and avant garde noise collagists Throbbing Gristle all owe a debt. The vocals, delivered by three unknowns (Annie Bird, John Whitman, Val Shaw) are like untutored folk singers offering lullabies to the unknown, against beds of cries – of ecstasy and pain – distant thunder, car crashes and more.

While the first side offers moments of Beach Boy-harmony and lightish relief (Here Comes The Fleas for example), Phase II of the album – The Visitation and The Black Mass: An Electric Storm In Hell is a bleak, chilling and exhilarating listen. White Noise: An Electric Storm was the sound of the underground, a soundtrack to an unmade turn-of-the-70s horror film; a secret collection for insiders that continues to unnerve well into the 21st century.

Originally released on Island Records in June 1969, this re-issue faithfully replicates the original UK release and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl.