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Scott, Raymond / Manhattan Research Inc.
Album:Manhattan Research Inc. Collection:General
Artist:Scott, Raymond Added:06/2000
Label:Basta 

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Album Review
The Dead Kenny-Gs
Reviewed 2001-11-19 
Step inside the laboratory of the mad scientist, mad musician, and mad composer Raymond Scott. Scott began as a composer who's jazzy madcap tunes were very popular from the 30s through the 60s. His compositions (for example "Powerhouse") were frequently used by Carl Stalling in Warner Brothers cartoons. Scott was also an inventor. Frustrated with the imperfections of human musicians, Scott created a whole range of electronic devices to bring music into the space age. This book and 2 CD collection is an archive of the retro-futuristic, atomic powered tunes created by Scott and his Manhattan Research Inc. for films, commercials, and just plain fun. There is a wide range of stuff, all produced by his wonderful machines.

So, why write such a long review for a CD that already has a 144 page booklet for liner notes? It is because this stuff is FACINATING. There is a tremendous range of electronic sound produced in Scott's sonic laboratory, all interesting. I really enjoyed the old commercials, they really project a sense of the future, even though they're 30 to 40 years old. Every track deserves comment (see below). Explore the booklet, there's tons of information about Scott and his devices and collaborators (Robert Moog, Jim Henson, and others). Also, check out the descriptions on pages 110-139 for more information on each track. It is obvious that Raymond Scott had a great love of machines--look at how he racks up his equipment so nicely in pictures of the lab (pages 8, 21, 24, 41-45, 47, and especially 66-67). This love combines with Scott's wacky musical sense to create some unusual music.

CD1
1) Spoken intro, copyright notice
2) *Funky rising bass line, spacey synth
3) *Great narration from commercial--"Bendix: the Tomorrow People"
4) *Female vocals, low futuristic samba
5) Abstract, bass notes, starts in left channel only, fades into syncopated stereo thing
6) Non-sequitous advertising slogans and musical emphasis
7) *Tribal percussion and what sound like horror movie soundtracks samples put together by an early, tape based sampler Scott invented
8) Housewife dialog and earnest Cleanser narration with sparse bell like music
9) Sheet-metal sounds and electric beeps and boops--like satellite telemetry
10) Cheerful electric ditty with sound effects
11) Same as above with goofy male and female vocals
12) Almost ominous, brief piece
13) Psychedelic journey into the brain narrated by Jim Henson (Yes! Jim Henson of Muppets fame) illustrated by Scott's sound effects
14) Up-tempo electronic lullaby
15) Crazy circus tune advertisement for County Fair Bread
16) Rollicking jazzy tune for toy mechanical basset hound
17) *Tango based jingle--hilarious cure for "odorosis" (Odorosis?!?!?!)
18) *Soundtrack for IBM promotional film for the first "word processor" (the IBM MT/ST--Magnetic Tape/Electric Typewriter). Edited dialog makes a sample collage.
19) Brief instrumental featuring synthetic improvisations of Bandito the Bongo Artist
20) Ad with illustrative sound effects and percussion
21) Starts with Studio dialog, futuristic fills
22) *Nice--Electronic groove of Scott Classic
23) *Spoken Scott intro--great view into process followed by hilarious polka jingle-played on a device he called "Karloff" (see inside liner notes for details)
24) *Woah-crazy Vicks 44 ad in español--This is some thick stuff
25) Electrified jingle with a cappella like chorus and percussion free static-y music, creepy
26) *Percolating electronic percussion
27) Commercial for orange drink
28) Marching, strange-backwards music
29) Using the Jim Henson brain ("Limbo") dialog to sell analgesics
30) Fuzzy synth jamming with the heuristic percussion of "Bandito"
31) *Cole Porter standard, done in Scott's unique electronic style
32) Gas & Electric commercial for the nuclear age
33) Brief female vocal electronic jingle.
34) Beepy electronic tune.
35) Electronic improv--beepy and boopy
36) *Playing with Scott's sequencer, each new sequence is introduced by studio voiceover.

CD2
1) Brief, buzzy demo
2) *Classical influenced upbeat piece with Electronium and keyboard
3) *Futurerama! Narration over electronic sounds
4) Electronic lullaby (longer version of CD1#14)
5) Semi-lucid song with crazy electronic string noises, buzzes, and feedback
6) Up-tempo rhythmic beeping
7) Soundtrack for 1 minute film about ripples, sort of dark
8) *Relaxed electronic tone
9) Sound experiments for ripple film (track 7)--some great sounds
10) Futuristic commercial for the wing thing with appropriate musical effects
11) Demented electronic carnival song followed by electronic clonks and bonks
12) *Up-tempo humming electronica followed by more stucato stuff
13) Sound effects
14) *Another space age commercial for Twinkies
15) Instrumental of Twinkies commercial
16) Gangling synthesizer machine noise with urgent narration
17) Music, varied tempo and tone--all very synthetic
18) Narration for Gas Company commercial
19) Gas Co. commercial with electronic fanfares
20) *Slowed down version of Lightworks song--dark and atmospheric
21) Instrumental experiments for IBM film, grooves and fanfares
22) Spark plug ad with audio logo
23) Instrumental experiments for spark plug ad
24) *Faster instrumental with interesting spoken intro by Scott
25) Aspirin add with Jim Henson narration and flowing music
26) Montage of atmospheric musical effects
27) Electric electronic song
28) Reversed tape of bleeps/tones
29) Scott intro demonstration of Circle machine (early sequencer) musically illustrating an ad depicting a battery running out with narration
30) *Tango like instrumental (Lightworks)
31) Song with choppy rhythm
32) *Another futuristic Bendix commercial
33) *Electronic Audio Logos with loop of copyright statement

Track Listing
1.Manhattan Research Copyright 35.Gmgm 1A
2.Baltimore Gas & Electric Co 36.The Rhythm Modulator
3.Bendix the Tomorrow People 37.Ohio Plus
4.Lightworks 38.In the Hall of the Mounti..
5.The Bass-Line Generator 39.General Motors: Futurama
6.Don't Beat Your Wife Every.. 40.Protofino
7.B.C. 1675 41.The Wild Piece
8.Vim 42.Take Me to Your Violin Teacr
9.Auto-Lite: Sta-Ful 43.Ripples
10.Sprite "Mellonball Bounce" 44.Cyclic Bit
11.Sprite "Mellonball Bounce" 45.Ripples
12.Wheels that Go 46.The Wing Thing
13.Limbo: the Organized Mind 47.County Fair
14.Portofino 48.Cindy Electronium
15.Founty Fair 49.Don't Beat Your Wife(Instr)
16.Lady Gaylord 50.Hostess: Twinkies
17.Good Air 51.Hostess: Twinkies (Instr)
18.Ibm Mt/St "Paperwork Expl." 52.Ohio Bell
19.Domino 53.The Pygmy Taki Corp
20.Super Cheer 54.Baltimore Gas & Electric
21.Cheer: Revision 3 55.Baltimore Gas & Electric
22.Twilight in Turkey 56.Lightworks
23.Vicks Medicated Cough Drop 57.Ibm Mt-St
24.Vicks Formula 44 58.Auto Lite: Ford Family
25.Auto-Lite: Spark Plugs 59.Auto Lite: Ford Family
26.Nescafe 60.Auto Lite: Wheels
27.Awake 61.Bufferin: Memories
28.Backwards Overload 62.Space Mystery
29.Buffrin Memories 63.The Toy Trumpet
30.Bandito the Bongo Artist 64.Backward Beeps
31.Night and Day 65.Auto-Lite: Sta-Ful
32.Baltimore Gas & Electric Co 66.Lightworks
33.K2R 67.When Will It End
34.Ibm Probe 68.Bendix 2: the Tomorrow Peop.
 69.Electronic Audio Logos, Inc