While Moog is a household name, the UK’s Electronic Music Studio is a kind of "forgotten chapter" of electronic music history, as the documentary above suggests. EMS is significant not just for technological innovation, but musical experimentation — not to mention their cheeky British sense of humor and topless nude women crawling toward synths in their ads. (That and the best synth slogan of all time, "Every Nun Needs a Synthi.") For whatever reason, there’s likewise very little online documentation regarding the late Tristram Cary — even though the likes of Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, and King Crimson made use of the VCS3 synth he co-designed.

Above is a brief trailer for the provocatively-titled documentary "What the Future Sounded Like." (As seen on Music Thing and recommended to us by Christian Haines, lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adeleide.) Tristram and others are featured in this film; I haven’t seen the 27-minute documentary yet but definitely will be picking up a copy whenever I can (it doesn’t appear to be availale yet).

The documentary has a page on MySpace, which has more background on EMS for us Yankees who know so little about it. If you’re really lucky and at SONAR in Barcelona in June, you can catch a live screening. And EMS itself lives on.

What The Future Sounded Like Documentary

What The Future Sounded Like @ MySpace


  • Koen

    Ah, that picture shows the EMS Synthi 100 at the right. When I was still working at IPEM, I played with the machine once in a while, and it's a real beast: fat sounds, huge patching opportunites wth that matrix, but also some frequency drift due to the machine's warming up đŸ˜‰

  • EMS had by far the coolest-looking corporate studio back in the old days.

  • I definitely want to see this movie.

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