The children’s TV series The Moomins, broadcast in the late 70s and early 80s, is as strange and charming as the Tove Jansson stories on which it is based. The stop-motion animation may have been made in Poland, but its wonky soundtrack was composed and recorded by a couple of post-punk theatre performers from Leeds. Accordingly, a maverick DIY feel pervades. Graeme Miller and Steve Shill’s synths sound as primitive as the most rudimentary 8-bit computer games, while Partytime shares a bass guitar break with Nick Lowe’s 1978 new wave gem I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass.
Like Jansson’s stories, the music can also be eerie. Midwinter Rites’ percussion is unsettling, and Comet Shadow could have graced one of Brian Eno’s ambient albums of the era. The leitmotifs of The Moomins Theme and Woodland Band will give anyone who saw the series as a child a Proustian rush, but amazingly, it’s the first time this remarkable soundtrack has been issued.