One Album Wonders: White Noise's An Electric Storm

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 22, 2014 01:43pm | Post a Comment
Here is an additional edition of my series of great, mostly obscure, one album wonders. In the album era (roughly the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s), the album was the dominant format of recorded music expression and consumption. It seems that most musicians from that era, if able to scrape together the funds for the recording of one studio album, generally returned with at least one more.  Some, like Sun Ra, somehow released more albums than I've had hot dinners. Even most excellent bands, in my opinion, would have done well to find something other to do with their time rather than keep making records after their fifth album or twelfth year (although there is the Go-Betweens Exception). The following acts mostly date fromthe Golden Age of the LP -- and yet were unable or unwilling, in all cases, to record more than one. 



White Noise - Electric Storm

If White Noise sound a bit like a rock record made by The Doctor backed by The Tomorrow People that's probably because it was a project of BBC Radiophonic Workshop members Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson and their friend David Vorhaus. Debyshire, although uncredited at the time, is now well known for her groundbreaking recording of the Doctor Who theme. Before White Noise, Derbyshire and Hodgson had also performed in the electronic act, Unit Delta Plus, with Peter Zinovieff.

White Noise formed in London in 1968 and released An Electric Storm the following year on Island Records. Island has released their sole album several times over the years on both vinyl LP and compact disc. Six years after the dissolution of White Noise, Vorhaus began recording and releasing solo works on Virgin as White Noise but are White Noise in name only. 

Because they were under contract at the BBC, after the break-up of White Noise, Derbyshire and Hodgson composed (as "Li de la Russe" and "Nikki St. George") the electronic scores for ITV's series, The Tomorrow People and Timeslip. Hodgson eventually left the BBC and formed Electophon with John Lewis and they were sometimes joined by Derbyshire.

In 1974, Derbyshire composed the music for Circle of Light and the Dutch short, Een van die Dagen. After years away from music Derbyshire began working with Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom as MESMA(Multisensory Electronic Sounds Music & Art) but she died soon after, in 2001.

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White Noise (3), Delia Derbyshire (4), Brian Hodgson (2), Electronic Music (62), One Album Wonders (63)