RELEASES 2016 / 2017

VOD145.RB: Ron Berry Where Dark Forced Meet (Flowmotion, 1982) (1Lp) ltd.111 15,99 Euro (13,44 for Non-EU buyers)

Born in Manchester, UK 1947 Ron became interested in electronics as a child in the mid fifties making radios and other electronic projects.
His first musical instrument was a home-made electric guitar made out of scrap wood with pickups fashioned from magnets and coils found in old headphones. He played in his first band at school 1962 and then in various groups as lead guitarist in and around Manchester during the Beatles led Mersey beat era.

Ron got involved with electronic music around 1972-3 when he heard popular synthesiser based acts of the day. He built my first synthesiser from a magazine article, but the performance wasn’t that great so he started to modify it. One thing led to another and he slowly got hooked. Before too long he’d built a modular system of his own design. Microprocessor boards became affordable (just) at the end of the seventies. These things seemed well suited to sequencing control voltages so he saved up hard and bought one. The outcome of the experiments was a fully programmable sequencer, and electronic percussion unit.
A songwriter friend of Ron and fellow band member Phil Clogg became interested in it. The result of this was to form an electronic duo called “Out of Control” around 1979.  It was based around 2 modular synthesisers, guitar, vocals and a further synthesiser and electronic percussion controlled by my unique microprocessor based sequencer. The microprocessor generated all the basic rhythmic backing control patterns for the synthesisers and electronic percussion during the whole of the gig.  Phil played guitar, sang vocals plus playing a pedal board for some extra bass depth. He also wrote the songs which we jointly arranged. They must have easily been the first band in the UK to employ a computer for a band’s live music creation and generation. As it was controllable interactively and just produced control voltages and trigger signals, it was live. For them this was so much better than using a fixed backing on a tape recorder as some were doing. Today computers sequence nearly all recorded popular music! The duo was a huge turning point for Ron. They just gelled from the start. Ron enjoyed working with Phil on this more than I can say. We gigged regularly and even managed to get a resident gig at a local pub alternating with a young up and coming band called “Prefab Sprout” who we became good friends with. It was a great experience Ron will never forget. He owes Phil a great deal.
 
After OOC Ron produced his first electronic music album, “Where Dark Forces Meet”, released on cassette on the independent “Flowmotion”. It was and, as this release shows, it still is quite popular. There are echoes of Out of Control in some tracks but all tracks are his own compositions built around his experiences of life at the time. The album is basically a 4 track multi-track recording, with extra atmospheres and effects flown in using a couple of additional two track tape recorders. The mixing desk at the time was 6 channel plus the mixers on Ron's synthesisers.
 
From the success of this he really wanted to develop his own solo electronic rock-ambient music live, so he concentrated on expanding the sequencer to produce polyphonic control patterns and added a Godwin string synth so I could produce a full sound playing solo. Ron used this setup for quite a while. Using this system the first big gig Ron did was supporting “Hawkwind” at the “ UK  Electronica” event in Milton Keynes, which naturally got me some useful publicity too. By this time he was composing the third album “Osiris”. Ron met up with Kevin Raddy at this gig and he did the wonderful art work for the original LP version of “Osiris” released by “Projects UK” (previously the much admired  “Spectro Arts”).
            After Osiris Ron experimented with acoustic or physical modelling, uniquely with special analogue modules he’d designed and built. The next 2 albums featured these strange sounds heavily. Over the years, when time away from earning a living has permitted, Ron has continued to produce electronic music. To date Ron has produced 14 albums of solo electronic music, ranging from rock to more ambient experimental styles. Ron has continued to experiment and build stuff when he could. Since then analogue has largely given way to digital. He has embraced and exploited much of this technology along the way but in some respects he remained ‘old school’ as a lot of today’s highly compressed digital earplug music is not exactly to his taste. However it is very comforting to know that after all these years there has recently grown a massive wave of interest in analogue modular synthesisers, with a huge number of small manufacturers producing a wide range of modules that fit in a standard rack. The likes of Bob Moog and Don Buchla must have got something very right. Long may it continue!
15,99 € incl. MwSt plus shipping
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