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.
And don’t worry! Those KPM stickers aren’t stuck directly on the sleeves!
Mile High Swinger (Vers. A)
Mile High Swinger (Vers. B)
Be With has worked with the hallowed KPM to re-issue ten of our favourites from across the KPM 1000 Series and the Themes International Music catalogue, currently under KPM stewardship.
Whether it’s killer soul-funk, sweet jazz-samba, skuzzed-up guitars or accidental Balearic beauty, these records include some of the most innovative work from some of the most talented composers and musicians of the 20th century.
These records were never readily available, being originally released as a ready-made, affordable alternative to commissioning music for television and radio. Consequentially the originals have been unobtainable for decades by all but the most dedicated collectors.
The audio for all ten re-issues 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. And don’t worry! Those KPM stickers aren’t stuck directly on the sleeves!
But we didn’t just get a bit giddy and find ourselves re-issuing classic work from Alan Parker, Alan Hawkshaw, Brian Bennett, Nick Ingman, James Clarke, Francis Coppieters, Keith Mansfield, David Snell and John Fiddy. In the middle of the project KPM also asked Be With to be responsible for the vinyl version of Full Circle, an entire LP of new material from Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett. Who were we to refuse.
So that makes eleven records in total, all released on the 16th of November, and available for pre-order ordering now.