Boomkat Product Review:
Ecstatic offer a deeply arresting and definitive collection of Works by erstwhile Serbian factory worker-turned-synthesist Abul Mogard; containing selections from two cassettes released in 2012 and 2013 on Steve Moore and Anthony Paterra’s VCO Recordings, as well as a cassette only release last year on Ecstatic, never before available on vinyl. RIYL Alessandro Cortini, The Caretaker, Fennesz, Tangerine Dream, Brain Eno, Tim Hecker...
Abul Mogard’s relatively unusual path to releasing music is well documented, but bears repeating here. Upon taking retirement from a job at a factory which he held for decades, Mogard craved the mechanical noise and complex harmonics of the industrial workplace, and found that the best way to fulfil that need was through electronic music - using a limited set-up of Farfisa organs, voices, samplers and a self-built modular system to realise a peaceful yet haunting, sweetly coruscating sound that resonates uncommonly with music from Leyland Kirby to Alessandro Cortini, or Fennesz and Tim Hecker.
The nine tracks on Works are soused in an emotional richness that’s hard to forget once experienced. Broad daubs of distorted bass and naturally glorious harmonic progressions paint panoramas of wide open, grey-scaled skies whilst equally conveying the intimate feel of a person with their nose to the machine, toiling for a sound or feeling that really means something to them, and by turns, us.
The fact that Mogard hails from an area hardly well-known for its synth music, and that he’s of an age where most people take up gardening or lawn bowls, rather than synth music, only helps to aid the enigma and magick surrounding this remarkable artist and his layered, emotional music.