B.E.F. ‎– Music For Stowaways (Vinyl, LP)

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B.E.F. ‎– Music For Stowaways (Vinyl, LP)
Label: Cold Spring ‎– CSR310LP
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, Black vinyl
Country: Europe
Released: 01 Apr 2023
Style: Experimental, Ambient

In October 1980, Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh left Human League to form The British Electric Foundation, joining forces with vocalist and fellow Sheffielder Glenn Gregory to form Heaven 17. The two projects ran simultaneously.

"Music For Stowaways" is a collection of stark, moody, cinematic-sounding material that took its title from an early Walkman design called the Sony Stowaway, one which allowed owners to "design a soundtrack for your everyday life for the first time and have it playing while you walked around".

"[That] became the theory behind [Music for Stowaways]", explained Martyn Ware. "It was about how you could play your music and change your mood wherever you were. Basically, the Walkman liberated music. And there we were at the sharp end with this cassette-only release".


"When the highly acclaimed and innovatory Human League lost their two resident synthesiser players, there was much speculation as to what the departing duo, Ian Marsh and Martyn Ware would be up to when they promised to set themselves up as a production company. The ambitious production project eventually manifested itself as The British Electric Foundation, with the stated purpose of being involved in a variety of different production and recording ventures, the first of which is Heaven 17.

Heaven 17 is Marsh and Ware with vocalist Glenn Gregory, and next Friday (13) Virgin releases a 7" single '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang' together with the simultaneous release of an extended 12" version. An exciting electro-funk number, it heralds an intriguing change of direction from the familiar sound of The Human League. An album is currently being recorded by the band.

Under their own British Electronic Foundation banner, B.E.F. also release on the same day their debut album, although it is only being released on cassette. Appropriately it's titled 'Music For Stowaways'. Both these projects show that Marsh and Ware, with the assistance of various outside musicians, are moving into a unique field of recording and producing which could well act as an inspiration for other musicians with similar aspirations. Just as the original Human League proved such a pacesetter for people like Gary Numan and Orchestral Manouvres [sic] In The Dark". (original press release, 5 March 1981).


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