Boomkat Product Review:
A big look for early synth and Moog geeks: ‘Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969’ collects rare and groundbreaking examples of the classic machine in use by Bob Moog, Ruth White, Max Brand, Herbert Deutsch, Intersystems and more in advance of a full length Moog documentary ‘Electronic Voyager’ from the same folk behind ‘I Dream Of Wires’
As you probably know all too well, Moog were one of the first companies to commercially manufacture and sell portable synthesisers in the U.S. Their kit was instrumental in shaping popular and modern music from the late ‘60s onwards, when everyone from the like of Wendy Carlos to The Doors, Stevie Wonder and Sun Ra would use Moog models to shape shed loads of pop cultural classics. This LP however focuses on lower key uses of early Moog models, ranging from a piece by the system’s maker Bob Moog, replete with his own vocals, thru to pulsating rock and psychedelic experiments by Paul Conly and co’s Lothar and The Hand People, Herbert Deutsch, Joel Chadabe, Max Brand and Intersystems, a.o., all displaying the machine’s formative application beyond the aforementioned mega classics.
In 2019, Moog’s cultural capital surely precedes it as one of the definitive music making machines of the 20th century, and equally it carries a lot of loaded connotations to wigged-out cats in the late ‘60s and coked-up prog-stars in the ‘70s. To be honest, a lot of Moog recordings sound corny to these ears, but that’s probably due to overexposure to its warm, wobbly tonalities, and not really the machine’s fault. This set probably won’t change our perception much, but it does contain some fine, inventive examples of the machine put thru its paces, ranging from Bob Moog’s playful 1964 demo, to the wispy alien abstraction of Joel Chadabe’s ‘Blues Mix’ (1966), and in more psychedelic style on ‘Changing Colours’ (1968) by Intersystems, the dreamy voices-in-your-head vibe of Ruth White’s ‘The Clock’ (1969), and a one brilliant exploration of the machine’s dissonant qualities on ‘Triptych’ (1969) by Max Brand.