Check out the (primitive) psychedelic visuals from this ‘trippy’ 1979 Betamax tape
10:25 am

VHS edition of “Electric Light Voyage”—the uploaded version is from a Betamax source.
Here’s an interesting find from the early days of home video.

This Betamax format tape, titled Ascent 1 from Astralvision, was released under the title Electric Light Voyage for its videocassette release from Media Home Entertainment. The tape consists of “trippy” computer-generated visuals set to experimental music. These visuals would have been STATE OF THE ART in 1979, but seem quite primitive by today’s standards—a lot of them look like old Windows screensavers.

Aside from some of the music sounding rather frightening, the lysergic visuals on this tape seem tailor-made as a late ‘70s “trip toy” to be enjoyed under the influence of one’s favorite hallucinogen. The liner notes on the box indicate that it’s “great for parties or individual contemplation” (emphasis added): 

“This 60-minute electronic fantasy featuring computer animation can control and change your moods of elation and tranquility. To change or enhance your mood, simply play a musical selection that accompanies your present feeling – its mesmerizing! The abstract colorized computer animated visuals are artfully paced with their complimentary soundtrack. Images explode with color while soothing with flowing shapes and rhythms, Great for parties or individual contemplation.”


Copies of Electric Light Voyage I’ve seen online are boxed in Media Home Entertainment packaging, but the logo at the beginning of this upload indicates “Meda”—which was the original name of Charles Band’s video company before the name was changed to “Media.” This was one of only a handful of titles available from Meda/Media at the time—a roster which included the first videocassette release of John Carpenter’s Halloween, which is, among collectors, one of the most sought-after and valuable videocassette releases of all-time.

As primitive as this seems today, it’s still really cool. The music, which varies from dark creepy soundscapes to proto-new age, is mostly pretty great and I imagine the visuals would still “work” under the influence of your favorite research chemical.


Posted by Christopher Bickel
10:25 am