Spooked sounds 2: more lost albums and forgotten performances for Halloween

Pub date October 31, 2007

Pussy Galore – and scares galore.

By Erik Morse

Let’s pick up where the first installment of “Spooked sounds” left off: here are a few more notorious sonic “events,” which constitute a spectral and alternative history in recorded music’s century long canon. The more cryptic, the more incredible and the more emphatic the anecdote, the scarier the sounds. Try playing some of these at your next Halloween party and see just how spooked your guests will get.



Unit Delta Plus and the Beatles – Million Volt Light and Sound Rave, London, 1967

Founded as a cooperative of sorts by electronic musicians Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, and Peter Zinovieff as early as 1965, Unit Delta Plus was an experimental adjunct to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop during the height of “swinging” London’s musical and multimedia explorations.

Using their knowledge and gear from the BBC days and marrying it to a more edgy, psychedelic sensibility, Unit Delta Plus hoped to accomplish an aesthetic saturation of sight and sound not unlike that being similarly developed at New York’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable or San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. With Zinovieff’s Putney townhouse as their headquarters, the members of UDP began experimenting with complex tape music and primitive EMS synthesizers. By ’66 they held a music festival in Berkshire, reputedly the first ever dedicated solely to electronic music. Although the crowd was composed mainly of academics and musicologists, the festival was a major success and catapulted Unit Delta Plus into the center of the London underground.