Matthew Bourne – Moogmemory

A couple of weeks ago I was rooting around in the smallest vinyl section in my local store, ‘Classical’, when I saw this front cover:

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This was intriguing as it seemed rather out of place. I was feeling quite adventurous and so, without researching it or listening to any of it, I bought it. The first thing to say about it is that it doesn’t belong in the Classical section at all, at least I don’t think so, it’s more Ambient Electronic I would think but I suppose I can see why they put it there, there isn’t an ambient section of any kind and the Electronic section is Dance/Electronic, so it doesn’t go there. No matter, it’s not there anymore, it’s on my turntable.

Here it is, from Bandcamp where it appears the vinyl is sold out but CD’s are still available:

Having never heard of Matthew Bourne I did a bit of digging around and ended up back at the Bandcamp page as Graham Massey of 808 State says pretty much everything I could have said but better:

“Moog is a regal breed of synthesisers that are slightly untamable, which is why we (musicians) love them. Always on the edge of boiling over; taming one’s Minimoog was like riding a wild mustang, and bringing it to heel. When the polyphonic Moog Memorymoog first appeared in 1982, it was like having a team of six mustangs pulling a stage coach, its power was thrilling, and everybody had better get off the road to let it through…

“Its name was derived from the Apollo-era, onboard computer memory needed to save patches – once one had laboured with its 18 oscillators, modulation possibilities, and the gorgeous ‘Mooginess’ that lives within its filter circuits. The sheer amount of electronics under the hood of a Memorymoog made it literally pump out hot air; making her prone to pit stops and custom updates as the years went by.

“I first met Matthew Bourne, a prodigious improvising pianist, who was fascinating to watch as he took that conventional instrument ‘off road’ in an emotional sweat. Post-gig, and still wild-eyed, he made a beeline for me, having heard that I also owned a Memorymoog. Matt was keen to compare notes, and to discuss the fact that he was having the Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog (LAMM) conversion done to his (this is the Memorymoog equivalent of open heart surgery, which replaces 1,300 components over eight weeks of bench time, costing as much as a new machine). I immediately thought that Matt was insane. Some years later, moogmemory is Matt’s paean to this living, breathing machine. No other instruments are used on the album, and its capabilities are drawn out by this extremely empathetic musician: beautiful, brooding landscapes of thick impasto to translucent sunbursts; Dr. Bob would be proud!”

I’ve listened to the album several times now and the more I listen the more I like it and will probably have to take a look at another piece of his that I read about which is a celebration of Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk, which is all I read about it but it sounds worth investigating.

Vinyl Tracklist (There are a couple more tracks on the CD)

A1 Somewhere I Have Never Travelled (For Coral Evans)
A2 Nils
A3 Horn & Vellum
B1 Alex
B2 Sam
B3 Andrew
B4 Danizie

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