RARE PSYCH MOOGS AND BRASS 1969-1981-MUSIC FROM THE SONOTON LIBRARY.

RARE PSYCH MOOGS AND BRASS 1969-1981-MUSIC FROM THE SONOTON LIBRARY. 

Mention KPM, De Woife, Amphonic, Conroy and Sonoton to most people, and they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. However, mention it to several generations of sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs, and their eyes will light up. Their eyes will also have lit up at Buried Treasures’ recent release of Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library. It’s the latest compilation of library music to be released.

Ever since the birth of hip hop, library music has proved a source of inspiration for sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs alike. For producers and DJs alike, library music is musical gold. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Library music has proved to be, a veritable feast of musical riches.

Especially for sample hungry producers. After the birth of hip hop, many samples had been used extensively. Producers were always on the look out for something new. No longer was the Amen Break, Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band or James Brown seen as innovative. They’d been overused. Then there were a whole host of samples that were off-limits. Clearance was never going to be granted. If it was, it would be prohibitively expensive. So, producers had to look elsewhere. 

Often this was back street record shops, thrift stores, junk shops, dusty basements and warehouses. That’s where many producers discovered the delights of library music. They came across library music from KPM, De Woife, Amphonic, Conroy and Sonoton. Little did they realise that they’d just struck gold.

This was also the case for many crate digging DJs. They were determined not to play the same music as other DJs. Nor would they become one of these DJs whose sets hardly ever changed. So, they became passionate and persistent crate-diggers. 

Their raison d’être was unearthing hidden gems. Their quest in unearthing those elusive hidden gems, saw them head where other crate diggers fear to tread. Whether it’s dusty basements, thrift stores, warehouses or record shops, nowhere is off limits. As a result, and unlike many other DJs, they don’t focus on one genre of music. Instead, no genre of music, it seems, is overlooked. As a result, they built up a collection that was eclectic and appealed to those with the most discerning of musical tastes. During one of their many crate digging expeditions, the crate digging DJ is sure to have come across library music. 

Especially the music of the biggest music libraries, including KPM, De Woife, Amphonic, Conroy and Sonoton. Library music was meant to be used by film studios or television and radio stations. It was never meant to be commercially available. The music was recorded on spec by music libraries. 

To do this, they hired often young unknown composers, musicians and producers. Once recorded, record libraries sent out demonstration copies of their music to production companies. If the production companies liked what they heard, they’d license it from the music libraries. Many of these music libraries also released singles and albums. 

Given many of the releases were written, recorded and produced by young unknown composers, musicians and producers, it’s no surprise that they weren’t a commercial success. Especially since the music libraries didn’t have large promotional budgets. So, just like so much of the music dissevered by the crate digger, it’s lain unloved and discovered for years. That’s until the music became part of the DJs sets. As a result, library music was given a new lease of life. 

That’s thanks to sample hungry producer, crate diggers or music lovers with eclectic and discerning tastes. They all have one thing in common, their ongoing and never-ending search for new music. It’s a thirst that can’t be quenched. Each and every day of their lives the search continues for that elusive hidden gem. Always, there’s the hope that you’ve unearthed the record that transforms your life. Maybe that’ll be found within one of the Sonoton music library.

The Sonoton music library was founded in 1965, by Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz. Nearly fifty years later, it’s one of the biggest independent production companies in the world. Its back-catalogue is best described as eclectic. There’s a myriad of cult classics, hidden gems and rarities awaiting discovery. I say awaiting, because for some reason, many sample hungry producers and crate diggers have managed to overlook the Sonoton music library. Hopefully not any more. Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library will whet your appetite to the delights awaiting discovery within the vaults of the Sonoton music library.

Opening Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library is Walter Rauxel’s Vision Receiver. Walter Rauxel is just one of a number of aliases used by Sonoton cofounder Gerhard Narholz. The music is variously dramatic, moody, haunting and trippy. Later, it’s pulsating and funky. No wonder. Everything from funk, jazz, psychedelia and rock are combined by seamlessly by Walter.

Gerhard Narholz returns with UFO Invasion, whichIt featured on the 1974 album Wildlife-Themesets. It was released by the Conroy music library, and also featured tracks from Sam Sklair and Robert Sharples. Swathes of dramatic, futuristic music are unleashed. Partly, this comes courtesy of stabs of soaring brass. Then later, the music becomes understated and melancholy. The result is a  track full of contrasts and constant surprises. Towerstreet 17 is another track from Gerhard. It’s a slow, slinky, sultry and swinging slice of horn driven jazz.

Sammy Burdson is another of Gerhard’s aliases. Using that alias, he contributes a quartet of tracks. Action One is a track from his 1986 album Drum Punch Volume 2, which was released on Sonotron. It has a pulsating beat where rolls of tom toms assert themselves. The result is a track thats uber funky and psychedelic. O Mane features has a joyous Afro-beat influence. Upbeat, funky and cinematic describes New Design, a track from Dramatic Action-Dramatic Sound, a 1977 compilation released by the Conroy music library. Moog and Brass is Sammy’s last contribution. Futuristic, rocky-tinged and dramatic, it’s a genre melting track from a musical innovator.

Walt Rockman drops the tempo on the funky Newcomer. It’s a track from the compilation Brassbound Background, which was released on Conroy in 1976. A fusion of funky, futuristic and bursts of dramatic brass, Newcomer sounds like track to a 21st Century Blaxploitation film.

John Fiddy and Sammy Burdson also feature four times. Moving Along and Powerdrive feature on the 1980 compilation Industrial Themes and Underscores. The best of the two tracks is Moving Along. It’s best described as funky, moody and interspersed with drama. Add to that, a vintage, cinematic, jazz-tinged sound. Life In The Fast Lane has a real seventies sound. For people of a certain age, it’ll bring back memories. It sounds like the theme to many a seventies thriller. Spaces In Time is the last collaboration between John and Sammy. They’ve saved the best until last, given the track’s ethereal beauty.

Otto Sieben is another of Gerhard Narholz’s pseudonyms. He features twice. 70s Fun Pop (A) lasts just twelve seconds and 70s Fun Pop (B) seventeen seconds. They’re a tantalising taste of what might have been.

Helmut Brandenburg’s Big Brother Is Watching You might have an ominous introduction, but soon, things liven up. Stabs of horns, a Hammond organ, and an uber funky rhythm section spring into action. They combine rock, funk, jazz and sixties pop. Just under three minutes later, the track reaches its glorious, dramatic crescendo.

Sven Penner’s High Tension featured on the 1975 compilation Sounds Funky-Pop Brass Background. Released on Conroy, this guitar driven track has a sixties sound. Especially when the stabs of horns and keyboards join forces with the guitars. Despite that, it’s hard to resist its vintage poppy delights.

My final choice from Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library is Hermann Langschwer and Wolfgang Killian’s Crime and Glamour. It explodes into life. What follows is a driving fusion of rock and jazz funk. Screaming rocky guitars are sprayed above the driving, dramatic arrangement until the track reaches it dramatic ending.

Much of the music on Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library was written by mainly anonymous, young composers. It was then played and produced by musicians and producers who were yet to experience fame and fortune. Many of them were at the start of their careers. Others, well this was as good as it got for them. However, listening to the music on Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library, there’s some seriously talented composers, musicians and prodders involved in the eighteen tracks. This includes Sonoton’s cofounder Gerhard Narholz.

He’s responsible for eleven of the tracks. Gerhard Narholz either under his own name, or using a couple of aliases, contributes seven tracks. He then collaborates with John Fiddy on another four tracks. Whether it’s on his own, or with John Fiddy, the music Gerhard Narholz produced oozes quality. It’s variously dramatic, funky, psychedelic, rocky and ethereal. That’s the same as the other seven tracks on Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library, which was recently released by Buried Treasures.

As compilations go, Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library, is best known as all killer and no filler. For sample hungry producers, cutting edge DJs and music lovers with discerning taste, are Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library will be a veritable musical feast.

Its back-catalogue is best described as eclectic. There’s a myriad of cult classics, hidden gems and rarities awaiting discovery. I say awaiting, because for some reason, many sample hungry producers and crate diggers have managed to overlook the Sonoton music library. Hopefully not any more. Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library will whet your appetite to the delights awaiting discovery within the vaults of the Sonoton music library.

RARE PSYCH MOOGS AND BRASS 1969-1981-MUSIC FROM THE SONOTON LIBRARY.

R-5853055-1404501626-4323

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