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The Essential Perrey & Kingsley
"The Essential Perrey & Kingsley"
Perrey & Kingsley, 1970

     Back in the day when electronic music was a newborn, a few brave souls gathered around their primitive synthesizers and banged out beeps and pops, splicing together futuristic worlds of bubble gum terrain and happy little martians.  The best among these were musical partners Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley. They started making music together in 1965, and by the early 1970's they were masters at the synth pop, easily listening genre. Instead of going for an "art for arts sake" aesthetic, they went straight for the pop/lounge appeal. Their main instrument was the Moog synthesizer, the weapon of choice for early electronic music makers (see the review of the "The Plastic Cow Goes Moooooog" by Mike Melvoin). But rather than just relying on the Moog, they also brought in traditional instruments and other natural world sound elements. Within the walls of their experimental recording studio in New York, Perrey and Kingsley created music that had honestly never been heard before. Even though the music was new, Perrey and Kingsley made sure their music touched on and worked with sounds that people would know--i.e., barnyard sounds, babies crying, swans honking, bees buzzing. What good was electronic music if it couldn't be enjoyed and easily understood by everyone? They created landscapes where jungle and farm animals went into orbit ("Barnyard in Orbit," and "Jungle Blues from Jupiter"), were the space aliens were quirky and friendly ("The Little Man From Mars," and "Girl From Venus"), and where toys came to life with the cogs of giant electronic machines ("Computer in Love" and "Toy Balloons). In the last few decades, artists such as Perrey and Kingsley have readily been accepted into the lounge genre as being the talented grandchildren of artists like Esquivel (following his unconventional arrangements) and Martin Denny (because of the natural tropical sounds he included in his exotica music). As fun as Perrey and Kingsley are, be warned that a little goes a *long* way. 

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