PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969

Waveshaper Media's Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969 is designed to highlight the exploration and playfulness of the early Moog practitioners.

Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969
Various Artists

Waveshaper Media

14 June 2019

"Greetings to all of you... uh... from me... and the rest of us," says Robert Arthur Moog at the beginning of the new archival release Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969. It's called an 'audio letter' in the product description, but its initial impression is that of a dispatch from a distant land. Being in 2019, we know the massive impact that Moog's invention had on popular culture, from supplying psychedelic music its infamous tonality to building the tonal foundation for the far-out progressive rock of the 1970s. But, back in the early 1960s, Moog had no idea about the future of his instrument, so it turns out he was sending messages from someplace distant. Waveshaper Media's Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969 is designed to highlight the exploration and playfulness of the early Moog practitioners.

Moog's instrument became well-known mostly through two specific avenues: Pop indebted rock and roll and Wendy Carlos' masterful interpretations of Bach works. It's refreshing then that this release mostly exempts all that and focuses on lesser-known works, and in the process, it puts more focus on the instrument instead of the idols.

It starts with the 'audio letter' described above, where Moog talks to one of his students, explaining the different tonalities of the instrument. It's dry, and it's truly not all that pleasant, but it is low-key and, because of that, delightful. From there we get said student Herbert Deutsch's work, "Jazz Images, a Worksong and Blues". In spite of it being a vehicle for the musician to try out as many functions as possible on the instrument, it is also stuffed full of excellent turns and phrases. Personally, the crispy percussion that occurs a third of the way through snagged me fully.

From here to the end of the release, it's truly a mix of two types of works. The first type could be called "Way Out Art Pieces" like Lothar and the Hand Peoples "Milkweed Love", where the instrument is being used as a wild atmosphere to help the artist towards their goal. The second type of song presented here are songs like Joel Chadabe's "Blue's Mix", which come off as sound collages of the Moog's abilities at the time. There's a lot of burps and squeaks in these tracks, so your interest level in the instrument will determine your interest in the majority of this release.

At the end of the 'audio letter' of at the beginning of the release, Moog is telling his music muse, Howard Deutch, about some news. He just pulled some strings to get a booth at an electronics conventions. He's excited, yet nervous. "You can see it's sort of a two-faced deal. It's a tremendous opportunity for me to get this stuff going, but on the other hand, it's a tremendous opportunity for me to make an ass of myself." Listening to these early recordings and noticing how much these squeaks and squawks, squiggles and smears have been fully absorbed within our current musical landscape, only one conclusion is clear. We're not sure about that specific convention day, but it's obvious that Moog won in the end. He became the face of a generation of music makers.

6

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.

Music

Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Music

'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Music

Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.

Television

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Nudges Out Conscience in Our Time of Crises

Avatar shows us that to fight for only the people we know, for simply the things that affect us personally, is neither brave nor heroic, nor particularly useful.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.