Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mort Garson - Didn't you Hear [1969]

[Get it here]

This is an astonishing work by Mort that totally slipped under my radar. It's practically my born duty to know all the full synth albums by Mort Garson. I always knew of his other works like zodiac cosmic sounds and sensuous woman by z, but those were always more grounded in traditional live music, which just never floated my boat as much as his fully synthesized masterpieces. I swore up and down I had all such full synth albums, but boy was I wrong! Did a search one day on Soulseek and came across "Didn't You Hear" by Mort Garson. I could not wait to get my hands on this download and after hours of trying I finally got my hands on it. Right up there with the other albums. You constantly get hit with long spacial synths setting off the most phenomenal ambience. Listening to this album is like taking a stroll through a steel jungle full of fiber-optic vines, the sounds of the most wild and lush lands captured marvelously on a synth. Aside from the really deep tracks, there's also some very beautiful and upbeat works on the album. Tracks full of life and loving companionship expressed as accurately as you can on an electronic instrument. Solid album from beginning to end and the opening vocal track is really something else. It has an almost 30's pop ballad sort of vibe and at the same time, he has a then current, masculine Kate Bush appeal to his voice and style of singing. This album is a soundtrack for a movie of the same name starring a young Gary Busey that has an emphasis on dreams, pleasure, and despair. I'm not certain if Mort made this album for the movie, or if it was something he just had lying around that he lent to the producers, but this work was made long before the movie is said to have been released in 1983. The movie was made in 1970 or 71, perhaps it wasn't until 1983 that it was released in it's current form and that's why it has that much later date listed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Past Is Present!

Perspex: Satan's Come Bang the Drums Listen to it here!
I know I gave off the impression newer stuff would be fairly rare, but this album just takes the cake! Where the previous album was a great classic inspired album, this is a truly classic effort done in modern times. I actually came across the artists marketing themself as having "Mort Garson sounds of the 60's". While this album is no Ataraxia or Black Mass, it is incredible in it's own right. Every track is dedicated to either a bizarre phenomena or some ancient locale or practice. The songs fits the themes very well, my personal favorite is Von Daniken's Chariot. Every time I hear this one all I can think of are massive wooden ship pulling up on shore bouncing against the shallow waters spraying massive blasts of mist, seriously the experience from this album is just that rich. Another great one is Temple of OBO, the track really gives off such a breathtaking feel for the ancient world. It's as if you're right there in some ancient palace looking up out of a window at some massive spacecraft flying by. This album uses more of a acidic style of classic synth in many of it's tracks. It's like a combination of many of Mort's albums with the more out there stuff like Head to Head. You can listen to nearly the whole album on the site, but I really recommend getting this as you definitely won't regret it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Great Elders Make Awesome Descendants....

Tycho - Sunrise Projector(Click Music)
You'll probably never see too much modern music here, but when I do write about some you'll definitely see what I'm on about. Like Boards of Canada, this music has a great ambient downtempo vibe that is wonderfully accented with some superb sounding vintage synthesizers. This album actually has cooler sounding synth hooks than some of my favorite classic electric albums. While the whole album has the vibe, like many albums, it's the first 3 or four tracks that really get you going. The opening track should be a complete vindicator if there's any doubts as to why I'd share this wonderful piece of art. One of coolest tracks actually has PBS in it's name as in a possible ode to the same public television short soundtracks that may very well have gotten us all hooked to these freaky sounds. Like so many great albums I've run across, there's always that one track that is just painfully short and that track is "Phoenix Cylinder". An incredibly fast and smooth track that speaks right to the soul. This track is only rivaled by BoC's "Kaini Industries". I'd kill for an album that sounds like these two tracks throughout, but alas as they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can snatch up this wonderful album though, it's worth every penny and I'm a very proud owner.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mort Garson - The Wozard of Iz [1968]

Mort Garson - The Wozard of Iz [1968]
Thanks to my early synth whorism, it really took me a while for this album to grow on me. Like Bruce Haack, these albums I almost considered deleting are now my favorites. Another insane spoken word album and it's by Mort! Not just spoken word, but some incredible singing tracks and even some awesome early house-esque tracks are present as well. The whole album is this incredible socio-political satirical journey into the then current state of society and politics. The album is so general with it's stabs at the current issues then that most of everything on this album can be easily applied to current public figures and issues from today. Almost every twisted character from Dorothy's party should remind you of someone in tv or politics you're sick to death of. Every single track on this album is it's own unique audio-licious experience that's worth the price of admission on this crazy ride. Incredibly moody and dark tracks like the prologue and blue poppy will make you laugh and freak out at the same time. Then there's amazing character introduction tracks like Lying Coward and In-Man that will speak volumes about the way people still haven't changed in ounce since 1968. Here's the truly amazing, some of the very first foundations of house/dance music as we know it today are laid down in this album. Tracks like Never Follow the Yellow Green Road and Leave the Driving to us at some parts in the songs, sound freakishly like the fast moving tracks of today. Especially Yellow-Green Road, there a part in that song that has to be one of the first repeating electronic choruses in the history of the genre. One of the classic staples of electronic music and Mort Garson has it used on the album like a pro all the way back in 1968, talk about ahead of your time! Finally we have the beautiful singing tracks, High On Big Sur, Off to see the Wozard, and my personal favorite, I've Been Over the Rainbow, one of the most touching and southing ballads I've ever heard in my life. It was after this song that I became interested in finding a whole album of the guest vocalist who plays Dorothy's wonderful work. There's a rumor going around that her name Suzi Jane Hokum is an alias for Nancy Sinatra. This isn't true, after much research I came across her forum and it's already been confirmed by the moderators that this is not her work. After much consideration I find it kind of obvious. The girl featured on Iz has a very soft, soothing, and very high voice range where as Nancy Sinatra always had more of a sexy baritone type of thing going on. Even in her ballads her voice is just a little stronger than what this girl from Iz is capable of. Overall, you want this album in your collection if you're a big moog fan, the more you listen to this the more priceless all the bits and tracks will be.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Leonard Nimoy - Presents Mr.Spock's Music From Outer Space (1967).

What a great 'electronica' album! That word has always been so dirty in some places, but I think this album defines it. Electronica is an overall generic term for any type of electronic music, hardcore, light pop glittered with some synths etc., but to me I've grown to feel electronica is it's own unique genre of stuff that is just the right mixture of mainstream pop, electronic inspiration, and a type of alternative vocal direction that you generally find nowhere else. Cool songs that always direct the energy towards the actual music itself and not the artist, the artist vocally, is just a prop that keeps things going, in incredible ways of course mind you. Don't get me wrong. I came across Nimoy's album in an electronica group section. It was funny how the writer grouped the albums in a way I always thought I was insane for doing myself. Of the albums I knew, I pretty much agreed with every one of the eletronica sectioned listings. Looking at this album, how fun and quite playfully danceable alot of it is, I'd say Nimoy without really trying, is probably one of the premier pioneers of the electronica genre. Awesome spoken word tracks, wonderful remixes of classic tunes and songs including the Star Trek theme. Quite a bit of this album seems to be inspired by the theme and general state of late 60's pop, lots of high-pitched "waaahhhhh" type of feminine vocals and much life knowledge to live by from Nimoy. Very cool, out there album, I plan to check out more of his works after this one. This one is nowhere near as cheesy as the infamous Bilbo Baggins track......which I also shamefully dance to from time to time.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Song of the Second Moon

Tom Dissevelt/Kid Baltan [Get it Here]

Finally the full album for two of the greatest synth pieces of all time. Song of the Second Moon and Sonik Re-Entry. Probably the Batman and Robin of this scene, the duo put together a great song, and a wonderful album. Not many know much of Tom Dissevelt past the same "Song of the Second Moon" that's everywhere unless you're familiar with his jazz and experimental pianist works. Even more, it wasn't until I did some digging that I thought "Kid Baltan" was Tom's non-existant alter ago like some kind of electronic 'synth shady' or something. No though, Kid Baltan a.k.a. Dick Raaijmakers was very real. In this scene calling someone a pioneer can get a little redundant, but these two seriously were. They were some of the 50's originators playing around with the even by the 50's classic sound collage techniques that guys had been playing with since the 1920's. As you can clearly see from Song of the Second Moon, their efforts were a bit more listenable and even danceable I'd say. This album is an incredible mix of smooth synth composition, abstract pieces that are very loud, freaky, and random, and some tracks towards the end that show the creators jazz and pianist roots. There's one track towards the end where you can really see Tom's later experimental piano stylings making a surprising appearance. Excellent, history making album, it's an absolute crime for the title song to be the only thing known of this album when equally great songs are already on it. Don't leave without this one!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ruth White - The Flowers of Evil
[Get it Here]

Wonderful spoken word doused in delicious synth from the electronic goddess Ruth White. This album while having an incredibly eerie satanic vibe, is actually based on book of somewhat grim poetry book by Charles Baudelaire. Controversial author and poet of his mid 19th century era, his works were banned multiple times and released in several censored forms. Uncensored for ages, Ruth White reminds us even further through her wonderful and quite sexy readings of Charles works just how wonderful uninhindered creative expression is. You don't need to be a literature buff to enjoy this album, be you a casual listener, some goth who wants to impress some pals, or a real satanist, this is the album for you. I never knew how much I loved spoken word albums until I started playing this almost more than my other stuff. If you've been paying attention, you get the point I love the readings, but what about the synth? It's just excellent! This album uses stuff I haven't really heard in any of the other synth albums out there. Really deep echoey keys that sound incredibly enchanting. When you're listening to this album, thanks to the synths setting up such a wonderful ambience, you may very well be in the 19th century at the most beautiful victorian mansion imaginable. Good albums make you happy, great albums make you ecstatic, but wonderful albums take you places you've never been. Flowers of Evil is a wonderful album.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beaver and Krause - Electronic Funk(1969)

Get it here!
I've been scouring the web looking for this one for a long while. I saw this album way back on a moog albums listing when I was so new to the genre I didn't even recognize the signifigance of the artists who made this. Even when I did, this was still so hard to find and I was sidetracked by tons of other albums to locate and check out. Really prominent contributers to the early electronic music scene, and some of the pioneers of krautrock. I've sifted through quite of a few of the duo's albums and some of the many side projects mainly from Paul Beaver. What really had me flying back to this album was my hearing in a really lively moog discussion that this album was very similar in style to the Garson Ataraxia and Plantasia albums. I've heard this before, and all I've gotten was typical 60/70's rock with some light electronic instruments. Still worth the search to find more of what I consider outright godliness. Search all the different blogs and random sites and had no luck, while Soulseek works great, I had all but given up on trying more specific stuff like this. After managing to find this on Soulseek after all, almost hidden, I think I need to give the devs some feedback about their search method. I could search "Beaver and Krause" and different variations 100 times and almost nothing would come up, then I search "ragnarok" and their album pops up. Nothing seemed odd about the listing, everything was labeled just right, artist, album name folder, etc. but Beaver and Krause just would not come up.

Anyway, I finally got the dang album! As soon as I heard it, my first impression was somewhat surprised, but not really blown away. This album is some of everything as far as classic electronic goes. You have the weird random noise tracks, full blown vocal tracks with back up synths, cool spoken word tracks reminiscent of the Wozard of Iz in the track "Dr. Fox". Finally though, we have the tracks that really must have inspired the post I originally read. There's some tracks on here that are just excellent and really are very much in the spirit of the Garson albums. Not surprising, since I've read Paul Beaver did work on Mort's many albums. I get the feeling this may be a random compilation album, which makes me wonder the really beautiful tracks like "as I hear it" and "fountains of the dept of water & power" are from their own great albums. If I find out such, I certainly will post it. These guys have made dozens of albums together and apart I've heard, stay tuned!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Get it here!
Electronic Hair Pieces, as I sort of complained about a little in the previous post, these moog pop covers are still extremely good. Here's a full blown cover of the classic rock album hair, it seems to be one of dozens that were made by various synth artist back in the day. Mort's covers are insanely good, some are so out there they almost become totally different songs in the most awesome way, but you can say that about almost all these Hair tribute albums floating around.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome to Synthasia!

Get it here!
Welcome to Synthasia, a place dedicated to classic moog and all other kinds of synth albums. The first post ever is obviously dedicated to what I consider to be the greatest moog record ever by Mort Garson, Plantasia released in 1976 under Mort's belief that this album was specially made to help "warm earth plants" grow thanks to it's very soothing tunes. It also came with a special booklet, I would be most grateful if someone could scan it and send me the pics so I could add them to the post. Another interesting thing you'll notice on the cover is Mort is going by "Mother Earth". Since many of his sadly too few moog albums were considered concept albums, he always went by different monikers on several albums. Not sure if that was his quirky thing to do since the 60's and 70's were a pretty wild and creative time, or if he really was just embarrassed. Regardless, this album is incredible and I doubt there's anything to not be confident about in the least. If you love the sounds of vintage 70's synth this and his other works are cream of the crop. When everyone else was doing the same electronic covers of "hair" over and over, he was putting out serious compositional pieces of electronic music. I've much more ground to cover digging through all these old albums, but so far this is the guy! As always since it's always love for this stuff, please by all means feel free to show me who you think the "guy" is.