Tape Leaders – A Compendium Of Early British Electronic Music Composers
For years independent researcher Ian Helliwell has been excavating the early decades of electronic and tape-based experimental music, with a particular focus on the British story. He’s displayed his discoveries via a radio series, The Tone Generation, the F.C. Judd documentary Practical Electronica, through an irregular series of in-depth features in The Wire, and he also published a book in 2016: Tape Leaders – A Compendium Of Early British Electronic Music Composers, now available again in a deluxe coffee table edition.
Featuring over 100 composers active with tape and electronics in the analogue era, the book contains information never previously uncovered and shines a fresh light on many sound experimenters unacknowledged in the history of 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.