George Martin always maintained that it was his early career experimentation, including Ray Cathode, that helped him in his work as The Beatles’ producer to meet the band’s constant need for new sounds and effects…These Ray Cathode tracks heralded the dawn of electronic music!!
It’s so interesting retrace some of the paths George Martin took that led him to his ground breaking work with the Beatles! The song you hear above is a stepping stone that helped pave the way to this new world of sound for him! During his seven-decade career, George Martin actively nurtured his lifelong fascination with sound. From his first hit recordings, he would experiment in the studio, using the room and its equipment, playing with different tape speeds, acoustics, reverse echo, backward recording, music concrète, and other forward-looking techniques.
In early 1962, producer, composer, and music executive George Martin collaborated with BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Maddalena Fagandini to create and record two pioneering electronic instrumental tracks, Time Beat and Waltz in Orbit. Under the artist pseudonym “Ray Cathode”, the tracks were released in April 1962 as a Parlophone single and B-side, just weeks before Martin met and recorded The Beatles for the first time! Sounding like nothing else of the time, both of these tracks drew a great deal of interest when they came out and were the first commercially released recordings from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop!
These quirky, wonderful and pioneering Ray Cathode tracks heralded the dawn of electronic music.
In March this year, LA’s Dublab radio station (who also produce original art exhibits, films, events record releases) reissued both tracks on a remastered release, so if you fancy grabbing a copy, this you can do from here. Enjoy!