Mort Garson was the master of the moog and a pioneer in electronic music from the late 60s and 70s where he participated in some unforgotten projects such as Lucifer, The Zodiac, Ataraxia and Plantasia. The following review centers on his album “Electronic Hair pieces” from 1969 on which he tickles your senses with instrumental adaptions of the songs from the musical “Hair”. He performs all the tunes on a contemporary moog synthesizer system even with electronic percussion. Since you might recognize the one or another melody even if you have never experienced the original musical but all in all these adaptions may feel slightly bizarre to you.
There are these simple but beautiful pop melodies upfront, a ticking rhythm and then it gets weird with a few layers of chirring moog lines and some hissing and threateningly droning sounds far in the back. But all these little components are there. Most wicked tune on side A is the melancholic “Three – Five – Zero – Zero”, a mixture of proto industrialistic metallic noises, reverberant electronic percussions and rather gentle melodic parts where the moog carols away. It leaves you in a disturbed mood. And even though the well known musical songs are mostly lightweight in nature, the creaking and pulsating main melodies, pinging accompaniments and static rhythms take you far away to the belly of an intelligent machine. You may find yourself onboard of a giant spaceship or drifting through a colorful synthetic dream world. Somehow the music still bears a warmth that became unusual later when synthesizer music developed further by the late 70s and early 80s. Mort Garson knows to perform his adaptions with passion and a depth that is an exciting joy to explore. It works with his own compositions you can find on “Black mass” by Lucifer for example and it works here with a bunch of pop melodies rearranged for a battery of synthesizers. Still this is definitely a bizarre trip and may feel scary to “Hair” aficionados but venturous lovers of the more experimental late 1960s music territories will dig it due to the great backing compositions and the outstanding performance.