white noise is an experimental electronic music band formed in london, england, in 1968 by american-born david vorhaus, a classical bass player with a background in physics and electronic engineering. he was initially joined by bbc radiophonic workshop composers delia derbyshire and brian hodgson, who had formerly both been members of electronic music project unit delta plus.

in june 1969 white noise released the groundbreaking album an electric storm on island records. the album was created using a variety of tape manipulation techniques, and used the first british synthesizer, the ems synthi vcs3. amongst many oddities, the first track on the album, love without sound, employed sped-up tape edits of vorhaus playing the double bass to create violin and cello sounds.

"i use voices a lot too, but not as conventional vocals. i always use a lot of voices, and if somebody having an orgasm in the background is used as part of one of the waveforms, it makes the sound more interesting, without the listener actually knowing what they're hearing."

- interview with david vorhaus

although not initially commercially successful for island, it has over the years proved to be a cult classic, going on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, namechecked by contemporary artists like the orb and julian cope, influencing contemporary acts such as broadcast, add n to (x), and secret chiefs 3.

 

 

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