A pioneer of electronic music, Paris-born Jean Jacques Perrey became fascinated with the possibilities of futuristic music early in life. While studying medicine he met Georges Jenny, the inventor of the Ondioline, a precursor to the synthesiser. He immediately quit college and travelled around Europe demonstrating the instrument. In 1959, at the age of 30, he moved to New York. Influenced by the theories of musique concrète, he developed an experimental studio where he made music with tape loops and other manipulations. He also met Robert Moog, becoming one of the first to play the Moog synthesiser.
A collaboration with Gershon Kingsley, utilising what he had learned over the previous couple of years, led to two of the most influential experimental albums of the period. Released by Vanguard, “The In Sound From Way Out” and “Kaleidoscopic Vibrations” presented a manifesto for creating the music of tomorrow. After splitting with Kingsley, he released several albums under his own name, each defined by his comedic take on electronic music.
He made his definitive statement with the album “Moog Indigo”, featuring the space age ‘EVA’ which mixed synthesisers with a funky beat. ‘EVA’ became a club anthem and was much sampled in hip hop and dance music. Its re-release on BGP saw the rediscovery of Perrey, reinstating him to his rightful place on the international concert circuit.
By Dean Rudland