High Voltage!

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 13 May 2013

“Lovingly compiled...the scope here is impressive” Mojo
“Its Hard to think of a better compilation than this”  Record Collector
“Someone somewhere may well one day chance upon this release and find that it changes their life” WIRE


CAT No: FVTD162UPC TEXT: 5055311001623

Full details

Giant Steps & Flashpoints In 20th-Century Experimental & Electronic Sound

High Voltage! salutes the fearless electronic trailblazers and groundbreaking composers of the last century, who paved the way, sometimes against all odds, for futuristic sounds, music which knew no outer limits and advanced recording techniques which would later become the essential norm.

Rather than presenting a cold selection of tracks, writer-DJ  Kris Needs has tried to capture the spirit of adventure, mischief or discovery which gripped these boffins, obsessives and mad sonic scientists, tracks carefully selected to represent one of the most exciting periods in aural innovation while sequenced to simulate a roller coaster through the unknown. In keeping with the spirit of reinvention, running the tracks as a new joyride in its own right.

High Voltage! presents highlights from the last century’s most influential musical movements, including European classical tradition-annihilators (Olivier Messiaen, Edgard Varèse, Iannis Xenakis), avant-garde technology  manipulators (John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Halim El-Dabh, Vladimir Ussachevsky), musique concrete layers (Pierres Schaeffer and Henry), intrepid explorers (Sun Ra), synthesiser pioneers (Herbert Eimer & Robert Beyer, Otto Luening, Bülent Arel, Milton Babbit), atmospheric exotica foragers (Les Baxter), those who incorporated electronic music into film soundtracks (Louis & Bebe Barron, Miklós Rózsa) and ultimately used it to bring the pop mainstream into the space age (Joe Meek, Sweden’s The Spotnicks).

In 2013, advanced technology defines and shapes the way music is heard, from the autotuned voices of top ten pop to deepest minimal techno explorations being carried out in bunkers from Berlin to Detroit. TV programmes and films are emblazoned in synthetic cuts and swirls, while down in the underground whole cultural substrata have sprung up around the increasingly infinite possibilities of noise creation, old school turntables traded in by laptop-toting DJs who now look like they’re checking their e-mails as they slide in the next track with corner-cutting nonchalance. The music here comes from a time before electronic circuits ruled the art of music and film, when furthering the creation of sound was not so easy, ranging from spookily desolate to cacklingly bonkers.

In the accompanying booklet, compiler Needs provides exhaustive background on the individuals responsible for the remarkable sounds featured here, while saluting the artists who ventured where no one had dared go before. Enter the Globbots…



  1. Entry of the Globbots (The Blue Men)
  2. Turangalîla-Symphonie: VI Jardin du sommeil d’amour (Olivier Messiaen)
  3. Intègrales (Edgard Varèse)
  4. Spellbound: Prelude (Miklós Rózsa)
  5. Deep Purple (Sonny Blount and Stuff Smith)
  6. Studie I (Karlheinz Stockhausen)
  7. Klangstudie II (Herbert Eimert and Robert Beyer)
  8. Fantasy in Space (Otto Luening)
  9. Imaginary Landscape No. 1 (John Cage)
  10. Cinq études de bruits: Étude aux chemins de fer (Pierre Schaeffer)
  11. Cinq études de bruits: Étude aux tourniquets (Pierre Schaeffer)
  12. Cinq études de bruits: Étude violette (Pierre Schaeffer)
  13. Cinq études de bruits: Étude noire (Pierre Schaeffer)
  14. Cinq études de bruits: Pathétique (Pierre Schaeffer)


  1. Metastaseis (Iannis Xenakis)
  2. Ionisation (Edgard Varèse)
  3. Williams Mix (John Cage)
  4. The Forbidden Planet (Louis and Bebe Barron)
  5. Interferenzen (Giselher Klebe)
  6. Gesang der Jünglinge (Karlheinz Stockhausen)
  7. Le Voile d'Orphée (Pierre Henry)
  8. The Feathered Serpent of the Aztecs (Les Baxter)
  9. Leiyla and the Poet (Halim El-Dabh)
  10. Gargoyles (Otto Luening)


  1. Creation - Prologue (Vladimir Ussachevsky)
  2. Tweeklank (Dick Raaijmakers)
  3. Stereo Electronic Music No. 1 (Bülent Arel)
  4. Evolutionen (Henk Badings)
  5. Composition for Synthesizer (Milton Babbitt)
  6. Whirling (Tom Dissevelt)
  7. Orient-Occident (Iannis Xenakis)
  8. The Sun One (Yochannan with Sun Ra and His Arkestra)
  9. Magnetic Field (The Blue Men)
  10. Telstar (The Tornados)
  11. The Rocket Man (The Spotnicks)