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Matthew Bourne (Keyboards): Moogmemory [Slipcase]

Track List

>Somewhere I Have Never Travelled (For Coral Evans)
>On Rivock Edge
>Horn and Vellum
>I Loved Her, Madly

Album Reviews:

Clash (magazine) - "Here the Moog, which is capable of pleasant R2-D2 bleeping and cutesy sounds like most analogue synths, is pushed into the realms of gravelly, gritty patterns, buzzing away with dark intensity and unsettling, cloying atmospheres..."

Album Notes

Audio Mixer: Sam Hobbs .

Quickly following the release of Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited, a 40th anniversary reimagining of Kraftwerk's 1975 classic Radio-Aktivität in collaboration with French experimental musician Franck Vigroux, British improvisational pianist Matthew Bourne furthered his exploration of vintage synthesizer music with an album recorded entirely on the Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog. Moogmemory, Bourne's second solo full-length for Leaf, originated in 2013 when the musician was commissioned to perform a set of solo synthesizer music at the Marsden Jazz Festival. Dubbed the Matthew Bourne Synthesizer Show as a nod to Annette Peacock and Paul Bley's Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show, he improvised on several analog electronic instruments, including a faulty Memorymoog dating from 1982. In order to make the instrument fully functional (and then some), he sent it off to German synthesizer technician Rudi Linhard, head of the synthesizer design and modification firm Lintronics, who replaced the machine's 1,300 components over an eight-week period, making it more stable and easier to operate. Bourne used the improvised performance as a starting point for the material included on this album recorded with his modified instrument, and the release ends with a piece taken from the festival performance, the lengthy "I Loved Her, Madly." Generally, the compositions are soft, shimmering, and sparse, and many of them take a long time to gently unfold. As minimalist as the album may seem on the surface, listening with headphones reveals that a lot is going on; the sounds are constantly evolving and darting between the speakers, giving the feeling of pulling up a microscope and observing thousands of tiny living organisms. The busiest tracks, such as "Sam" and "Daniziel," flicker with pretty, sparkling melodies, while the ten-minute "On Rivock Edge" perfectly encapsulates staring in awe at a magnificent panoramic landscape. The album's most thrilling moment occurs during "Horn and Vellum," which takes four minutes to calmly build before flicking the switch, activating trippy neon waves that form a beatless rhythm, ending up in a mess of playfully scrambled signals. The album seems to come closer to the lineage of synthesizer innovators like Raymond Scott rather than most techno or ambient artists, even if there's a relaxed, meditative feel to a lot of these pieces, and it showcase's Bourne's skill for exploring the vast capabilities of his instrument. ~ Paul Simpson


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