From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Jean-Jacques Perrey (January 20, 1929 – November 4, 2016) was a French electronic music producer and was an early pioneer in the genre. He was a member of the electronic music duo Perrey and Kingsley and is perhaps best-known for his composition "E. V. A.".
Perrey was born in France in 1929. He was studying medicine in Paris when he met Georges Jenny, the inventor of the Ondioline, a type of electronic keyboard. Quitting medical school, Perrey travelled through Europe demonstrating this precursor of the modern synthesizer. At the age of 30, Perrey relocated to New York, sponsored by Caroll Bratman, who built him an experimental laboratory and recording studio. Here he invented "a new process for generating rhythms with sequences and loops", utilising the environmental sounds of "musique concrète." With scissors, splicing tape, and tape recorders, he spent weeks piecing together a uniquely comique take on the future. Befriending Robert Moog, he became one of the first Moog synthesiser musicians, creating "far out electronic entertainment". In 1965 Perrey met Gershon Kingsley, a former colleague of John Cage. Together, using Ondioline and Perrey's loops, they created two albums for Vanguard — The In Sound From Way Out (1966) and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations (1967). Perrey and Kingsley collaborated on sound design for radio and television advertising. Perrey returned to France, composing for television, scoring for ballet, and continuing medical research into therapeutic sounds for insomniacs. He died at the age of 87 on November 4, 2016, from complications of lung cancer.
- The rap group Beastie Boys released an instrumental CD titled, as a tribute to Perrey and Kingsley, The In Sound from Way Out!
- Two themes from Perrey, "The Elephant Never Forgets" and "Baroque Hoedown", were used in Mexico by the writer/ comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños "Chespirito", as the main and ending themes for his comedy shows El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulin Colorado respectively. In 2009, the composers sued Mexican multimedia conglomerate Televisa. The case was settled in 2010. A previous lawsuit by Vanguard Records was settled, with plaintiff Vanguard receiving a sum of one million dollars in damages for unauthorized use of Perrey's recordings on the Mexican network, without permission or payment.
- A cover version of "Baroque Hoedown" was the main theme for Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade. Ironically, Disney was not sued for the use of the tune (unlike Televisa), because Perrey did not know it had been used:
- In the 1970s, Walt Disney Productions chose this tune to be the theme for the Electrical Parade. It was extraordinary, I didn't know about it because the publishers said nothing to me. It was by chance, in 1980, that I went there and was so surprised to hear Baroque Hoedown arranged for a full orchestra.|author=Jean-Jacques Perrey, text from English subtitle
A theme from Perrey, "Gossipo Perpetuo", has been used in Sweden by the comedians Anders och Måns in their self-titled comedy show on Swedish television. His 1970 song "E.V.A." was sampled by several rap artists, most notably Gang Starr on "Just to Get a Rep" (1991) and House of Pain on "Fed Up (Remix)" (1996).
- Perrey's 1968 song "Brazilian Flower" went viral and became popularly known as the "Rainbow Bunchie Song", along with a looping animated gif.
- Perrey's return from obscurity began in 1997, when he started recording in Bordeaux, France, with David Chazam. Their album Eclektronics was first released on vinyl in France only, in 1998. A CD version of the album was released in the Netherlands on the BASTA label, with several additional tracks added. In 2000 his collaborative CD with Gilbert Sigrist was released. "Circus of Life" was first released as a "library" recording, for TV and radio (France only), then released on Perrey's own PHMP label.
- 2006 saw the release of the album The Happy Electropop Music Machine on Oglio Records, of Los Angeles, California. The album was a collaboration with musician/arranger Dana Countryman. The two toured the West Coast of America to promote the album.
- Also in 2006, Perrey began collaborating with producer Luke Vibert for a CD on England's Lo Records: Moog Acid. The result is a blend of retro and modern analogue house synth-pop, encapsulating many genres and the two respective styles of the artists. The CD was released in 2007.
- Perrey's release Destination Space is also a collaboration with Dana Countryman. The duo performed concerts in New York City and Montreal in October 2008 to promote its release. The album is notable for Perrey's being almost 80 years old when it was released.
- Perrey's 1974 moog track "Boys And Girls", on which he collaborated with Gilbert Sigrist, is used for the closing credits music in the Nickelodeon cartoon series, The Mighty B!
- Perrey co-wrote "The Savers", which was used as the intro theme music to the popular 70s/80s game show The Joker's Wild from 1972–1978.
- Perrey's song "Chicken on the Rocks" was used in the TV Series South Park. It played as Randy Marsh and friends bounced on their oversized testicles while consuming medicinal marijuana. The tune of the song, which derives from the folk song "Chicken Reel", has also appeared as the theme song for Astro Chicken and Ms. Astro Chicken in the Space Quest games by Sierra.
- His 1968 track "The Little Ships" was featured in the viral YouTube video "going to the store" and "The Mexican Cactus" in the sequel "late for meeting".
- In 2016 Perrey and Kingsley's song "Computers in Love" (from their 1966 album) was used on The Simpsons ' couch gag (episode "Orange Is the New Yellow").
As Perrey and Kingsley
- The In Sound From Way Out! (1966)
- Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out (1967)
- Re-Release of 1967 LP: Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight on the Moog (1971)
- Incredible Synthesizer (1975) [Compilation]
As Jean-Jacques Perrey
- Prelude au Sommeil (1957) [France only]
- Cadmus, Le Robot de l'Espace (1959) [France Only]
- Mr. Ondioline (1960) [EP]
- Musique Electronique Du Cosmos (1962)
- The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of Jean Jacques Perrey (1968)
- The Happy Moog (with Harry Breuer) (1969)
- Moog Indigo (1970)
- Moog Sensations (1971)
- Moog Expressions (1972)
- Quadraphonic Demonstration Album - Program 2 (1972) [2 themes]
- Moog Generation (1972)
- Moog Mig Mag Moog (1974)
- Moog Is Moog (1977)
- Dynamoog (with Gilbert Sigrist) (1978)
- Kartoonery (1980)
- Good Moog - Astral Animations & Komputer Kartoons (1998) [Compilation]
- Circus of Life (with Gilbert Sigrist) (1999)
- Eclektronics (with David Chazam) (2000)
- The Happy Electropop Music Machine (with Dana Countryman)(2006)
- Moog Acid (with Luke Vibert) (2007)
- Destination Space (with Dana Countryman) (2008)
- Froots (with Cosmic Pocket) (2010)
- ELA (with David Chazam) (2015)