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Ian Helliwell

TAPE LEADERS: A COMPENDIUM OF EARLY BRITISH ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMPOSERS

velocity press



hardback book

£25.00


A richly illustrated reference guide of UK electronic music pioneers.

An A-Z compendium featuring over 100 composers active with tape and electronics in the analogue era. Containing information never previously uncovered, it shines a fresh light on many sound experimenters unacknowledged in British electronic music history. First published by Sound On Sound Magazine in 2016, this is the first time it’s been available outside their shop. In the form of a richly illustrated compendium, Tape Leaders is an indispensable reference guide for anyone interested in electronic sound and its origins in Great Britain. For the first time, a book sets out information on practically everyone active with experimental electronics and tape recording across the country to reveal the untold stories and hidden history of early British electronic music. With an individual entry for each composer, it covers everyone from famous names like William Burroughs, Brian Eno and Joe Meek to the ultra-obscure such as Roy Cooper, Donald Henshilwood and Edgar Vetter. There are sections for EMS and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and amateurs, groups and ensembles that experimented with electronics, including The Beatles, Hawkwind and White Noise. Reviews “For anyone with an interest in the early years of electronic music, Ian Helliwell’s book takes the reader on an enthralling tour of the pioneering British contributors to this genre.” Sound On Sound “Until now, the Radiophonic Workshop has somewhat eclipsed other players in British early electronic music history. The extent of this is laid bare in the revelatory book Tape Leaders - a landmark survey by the composer, film-maker, instrument-builder and researcher Ian Helliwell, who has uncovered hitherto unacknowledged independent electronic music composers.” Fortean Times “The work of computer music pioneer Peter Zinovieff, home-build guru FC Judd, UFO-believer and Spitfire pilot Desmond Leslie, and Tristram Cary - have all been reissued. Ian Helliwell’s new book, Tape Leaders goes further. It reveals that these figures collectively represent the tip of a hitherto unimaginably vast iceberg submerged for decades. Profiling dozens of composers, amateur and professional, it truly is a portal into a lost world.” Shindig

TAPE LEADERS: A COMPENDIUM OF EARLY BRITISH ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMPOSERS