alestairIn the meantime, another individual who cited playing records backwards as a useful tool was Aleister Crowley, the infamous magician and theatrical occultist. He bought it into the public arena when he extolled his students who wished to become highly skilled in the art of the occult to learn and “do many things backwards”, including listening to phonograph records backwards, thus, attaching very negative connotations towards satanic rituals. This attracted some bad publicity and also added fuel towards his detractors who felt their justification in accusing him of practicing deceit at the very least and at the very worst, worshipping in Satan. What is so contradictory about him, was the fact that despite these negative associations he, nonetheless, 8maintained ties with the world`s most powerful figures of that time, including M15, the British Intelligence Agency.

This then was the first evidence of experimentation with playing music backwards and it had little significance at the time other than demonstrating how new sounds could be created, albeit through a very cumbersome and time-consuming process – this could be one of the reasons why there was no further developments in this field until the invention of the reel to reel tape players in the 20th century.