Electrospective is an EMI campaign tracing the development of electronic music since the late 50s, which sounds like a worthy notion. Shame it’s so ill-served by this budget set.
The launch of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop provides the rationale for setting this chronicle’s year zero at 1958, though the album actually starts five years later, with the venerable Dr Who theme. Then it’s a jump of nine years to Roxy Music’s Virginia Plain, which is hardly electronic music, though there are synths on it.
From there on, Electrospective charges through the decades, grabbing handfuls of krautrock, synth-pop, and songs by artists as diverse as Soul II Soul, Moby, Radiohead, Swedish House Mafia and Daft Punk. Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware provides perfunctory sleevenotes that fail to provide an over-arching narrative and, while there’s much excellent music to be heard, as a compilation purporting to tell a story, this doesn’t hold up.