Skip to main content

Synth and electronic music pioneer Janet Beat to release debut album, aged 83

'Pioneering Knob Twiddler' takes in recordings captured in the '70s and '80s

Pioneering early synth musician Janet Beat is to officially release some of her music for the first time, at the age of 83.

'Pioneering Knob Twiddler', out now on Trunk Records, features seven electroacoustic recordings made by the artist between 1978 and 1987. The release is available both digitally and on vinyl.

Born in Staffordshire in 1937, Beat graduated from Birmingham University with a Bachelors degree in music. She's known to have owned the first synth to be made commercially available in the UK, and also made early experiments with tape manipulation and musique concrète in the early 1960s. 

Throughout her career, however, she came up against various forms of resistance, from men. One of those was her father, who insisted that a career in music was not a suitable path for a woman. Hindering her development, he used her original tapes to hold up his tomato plants in the garden, destroying them in the process.

'Pioneering Knob Twiddler' is made up of some of the recordings that survived beyond that era, with Beat reporting that a number of male musicians would also often sabotage her equipment when playing shows in her later years as a musician. 

Find out more about the release via Trunk Records here, and listen to 'Dancing On Moonbeams' from the album below.