THE WORLD of 60s’ and early 70s’ electronica was full of fascinating, creative mavericks: scientists, polymaths, creatives, all deeply fascinated by the weird things that were happening with the pure and random sound of circuitry.
Foremost among them was the Canadian Mort Garson, who began his career with the fantastic space age astrological trippiness of The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, which is about as hippy era-stupendous as you’re ever gonna get. It examined all the dozen star signs in heavily-scented smoke and incantation. It’s brilliant. I happen to be Aquarian, so that’s the track you get to hear if you click through.
He went on to Moog up the hippy musical Hair on Electronic Hair Pieces; refashion the Wizard of Oz story for the synthesiser age as The Wozard of Iz; even record an album for your plants to listen to – Mother Earth’s Plantasia, which the lovely Sacred Bones have already reissued, and which is up for a further repress and even an eight-track issue.
And now that very same label has announced it is lovingly bringing a further trio of Mort Garson LPs out to play in the light after too long lounging in the whispered side alleys of big-bucks collectability.
The three albums, by turn fiendishly quirky, conceptually odd and hugely listenable for anyone who’s ever dipped into the world of Stereolab, Add N To (X), Broadcast, etc, will be shipping on November 6th.
They are the original soundtrack, Didn’t You Hear; Black Mass, by Lucifer; and The Unexplained, by Ataraxia.
And even more, there will be a first-time issue for a compilation of (even rarer) rarities from the vault, Music From Patch Cord Productions.
Take a listen to the taster track for Music From Patch Cord Productions, “This Is My Beloved”, below.
This compilation delves into the archives and features alternate takes of Plantasia tracks, music for never-aired radio advertisements, themes for science fiction films, erotic oddities and much more. This deluxe edition includes new liner notes by Andy Beta, of Pitchfork; there’s a one-per-customer-strictly violet and lime splash vinyl pressing. Pre-order here.
The original soundtrack Didn’t You Hear predates Mother Earth’s Plantasia by six years. It was a collaboration between Mort and experimental film director Skip Sherwood. Little else is known, but the film did feature an early appearance by a young Gary Busey (Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).
Fantastically obscure, this soundtrack was only originally available at Seattle screenings of the film. Order yours here – there’s a silver and black splash pressing, first come, first served.
Black Mass, which Mort released under the name Lucifer in 1971, is an eerily melodic set of supernatural electronica, esoteric, dark and majestic, it interprets the Satanic black mass, exorcism, witchcraft, more. The deluxe edition restores the original liner notes. Pre-order here; there’s pink splash wax on this one.
The Unexplained treads a similar path – this time under the name Ataraxia. Subtitled Electronic Musical Impressions of the Occult, it explores the tarot, astral projection, seances, and more in sound, and is the first official reissue since 1975 release. Pre-order here.
This quartet of Mort Garson nuggets is the a real absolute gift for all aficionados of electronica; really, get on these.
Now Sacred Bones, any plans for Ruth White?