Released in the same year as Synthesis over on KPM, 1974’s Synthesizer and Percussion is its essential companion piece. “This record features the many distinctive sounds of the ARP Synthesizer plus percussion in various moods and tempos” is the even more underwhelming than usual library record sales pitch for Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett’s second collection of what is basically minimal G-funk, with overtones of primitive acid house. This is ridiculously good.
This is one of Hawkshaw and Bennett’s wilder joints and aeons ahead of its time. Bennett’s tough drums provide the underpinnings for the prominent bass, keys and bubbling synths high up in the mix, alongside Hawkshaw’s deranged clavinet-funk-rock. There are heavenly break loops galore.
Opener “Mon Amour” is ultra-smooth funk, all inter-weaving melodic lines whilst the seminal “Oddball” is an incredible hard electro strut with a knocking break. “Mile High Swinger” is a tranquil Spaghetti Western whistling theme over double tempo rhythmic movement and the pulsating “Auto Pilot” has a percussive groove elevated by electric piano and synthesizer. Check “Driving Force”, “Home Run” and “Pacesetter” for electroid prog-funk dripped in acid squelch.
All five final tracks are beatless synth workouts because they can.
As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Synthesizer and Percussion comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.
A1 Mon Amour
A4 Mile High Swinger (Vers. A)
A5 Mile High Swinger (Vers. B)
B2 Home Run
B3 Driving Force
B4 Action Man
B5 Funky Chicken
B6 Jolly Roger
B8 Plain Song