Mixes I by I 24.12.18

FACT mix 686: The Radiophonic Workshop

The legendary Radiophonic Workshop turn in a mix of quirky electronic music just in time for Xmas.

The Radiophonic Workshop shouldn’t need any kind of introduction on these pages. Established in 1958 thanks to the hard work of creatives like Daphne Oram and Desmond Briscoe, the Workshop would go on to define the sound of the BBC – Great Britain’s state television station.

The Radiophonic Workshop was tasked with creating unique sounds for some of the BBC’s original programming and with their work for one particular show, they made history. Using a limited selection of tools – tape loops, rudimentary oscillators, spring reverb – the Workshop, led by Delia Derbyshire, reworked Ron Grainer’s theme for sci-fi kids show Doctor Who and transformed it from a cheap TV tune into a culture-shifting meme.

Derbyshire’s treatment was soon heard across the world, with its whooshing white noise and pinging string sounds confusing, inspiring and terrifying children everywhere. And since 1963, when the very first episode of Doctor Who aired in the UK, the Radiophonic Workshop have been hard at work continuing to nurture their legacy.

Earlier this year, the Radiophonic Workshop debuted their very first movie score, for Matthew Holness’s cult horror film Possum. Containing remastered material found in Delia Derbyshire’s attack, the soundtrack is packed with woozy Radiophonic goodness and can be streamed or purchased from Bandcamp.


Paddy Kingsland & The Radiophonic Workshop – ‘Radiophonic (excerpt)’
Mark Shreeve – ‘Storm Column’
Bebe & Louis Barron – ‘Forbidden Planet (Main Title)’
Aphex Twin – ‘Alberto Basalm’
John Hyde – ‘Coral’ (Theme from Chocky)’
Chemical Brothers – ‘Hanna’s Theme’
Morton Subotnick – ‘Silver Apples Of The Moon’
The Notwist – ‘Close To The Glass’
Ligeti – ‘Lux Aeterna’
XIII – ‘Dark Horses’
Les Paul & Mary Ford – ‘How High The Moon’
Joe Meek & The BlueMen – ‘I Hear A New World’
Richard Norris & Delia Derbyshire – ‘Blue Drift (excerpt)’
Hans Zimmer – ‘Tears In The Rain’
Eurythmics & Chris & Cosey – ‘Sweet Surprise’
John Peel and The Radiophonic Workshop (Delia Derbyshire & Brian Hodgson) – ‘John Peel Presents Top Gear
Kieron Pepper – ‘Spire Of Hope’
Paddy Kingsland & The Radiophonic Workshop – ‘Radiophonic (excerpt)’

Read next: The best film and TV scores of 2018



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