I have a piece in the latest Uncut about 60s electronica pioneers Silver Apple. If you’ve never heard them before, you should. Their main instrument is The Simeon, a bank of nine oscillators mounted on plywood and played by 86 different colour-coded buttons and pedals.
Here is their amazing country-electronica jam from 68, “Ruby”, on which they also play a banjo.
After forming by accident – everybody else in the previous band left, leaving just singer and oscillator-player Simeon Coxe and drummer Danny Taylor – the band had to split in 1970 when they created an LP cover that featured the pair in a Pan Am cockpit on one side, and with a plane crash on the back. Pan Am sued and that was that.
The band reformed in the mid-90s, however, although now it’s Coxe on his own after Taylor died of a heart attack in 2005. Silver Apples play Corsica Studios in Elephant on October 27. Check them out.
I feel quite embarrased never to have heard of them. I’m quite interested in early electronic music – a personal favourite is Tonto’s Expanding Headband, who heavily influenced some of the sounds that Stevie Wonder used (in fact Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff produced several Wonder albums, which feature the TONTO synthesizer, an ‘expanded series 3 moog’). The link below is to a track from their first album.