Perhaps one of library music lovers’ dearest darlings, this is one exciting example of mood music from behind the Iron Curtain. The A side consists of productions from the Budapest Radio Orchestra, the B side comes from the Polish Radio Orchestra. The two orchestras have contributed a lot of material to the Apollo Sound music library. Some of the tracks are featured on CD albums that can be bought on the Apollo Sound website along with other test card music. (I wonder why they don’t reissue these albums, they would probably sell much better than the somewhat arbitrary and generic compilations.) The recording quality is rather poor, but the very peculiarities of the recording technique may also add to the atmosphere, depending on the listener. These two orchestras have featured music with strange and intriguing arrangements that seem to defy musical conventions we are used to – therefore probably being all the more satisfying to many library music enthusiasts looking for those strange sounds. »The Lights Of Hong Kong« is one of the most impressive mood music pieces I know of, and it is closely followed by »Prayer And Passion«, with its dreamlike arrangement. The Polish B side is more of a disco compilation, with a polka track and other obscure fusion.
In a way, this is a proto-MPS record, since the SABA record company was the predecessor renamed to MPS in 1968 – that is, Musikproduktion Schwarzwald, later reverently »Most Perfect Sound« or even »Magic Purple Sunshine« by a certain blog… »Das Tanzorchester des Südwestfunks« was a radio orchestra of the South-West German regional television SWF, nowadays SWR. Some parts of the record sound older than 1968, other parts are delightfully over-the-top sophisticated radio orchestra arrangements seldom encountered elsewhere, including the typical sleek wall of brass. Wonderfully 1960s-artsy cover. This record should fit in neatly with any MPS collection.