Friday, January 12, 2018

Mort Garson - 1969 - Electronic Hair Pieces

Mort Garson
Electronic Hair Pieces

01. Aquarius 2:15
02. Frank Mills 1:47
03. Be In (Hare Krishna) 3:21
04. Good Morning Starshine 2:42
05. Three-Five-Zero-Zero 3:38
06. Hair 2:17
07. Easy To Be Hard 2:45
08. Where Do I Go ? 2:44
09. Walking In Space 3:19
10. Let The Sunshine In 3:00

Recorded at EmGee Electronic Studios

- Mort Garsen / all electronics & effects

Since this was released in '69, Electronic Hair Pieces' heavily dated sound is understandable and passable, but most people nowadays I'm sure would mistake this as the long lost soundtrack to the original Pokemon games on Gameboy. To be fair, those soundtracks were fairly awesome.
In an era where a lot of electronic music was inaccessible with strong leanings toward the avant-garde side of things (Shostakovich, Schnitzler, Parmegiani, etc.), Mort Garson had created this reasonably accessible and poppy collection of synth tunes that is comparable to Cluster's pre-electro-pop masterpiece Zuckerzeit.

Each track on this album is short, averaging between 2 and 4 minutes, and display a very mechanical, robotic sense of melody but can be easily hummed. To be honest, considering that this album predates a lot of electronic pop music, I'd say that the melodies and overall structure of these catchy songs are rather sophisticated, even if the time period's technology results in a cheap, outdated sound.

Electronic Hair Pieces is relatively diverse too. Some tracks are lightly jazzy like "Walking in Space" and "Easy to Be Hard", some are forceful pre-dance music tunes such as "Hair", there is even an exotic quality like found on "Let the Sunshine In", but most of the album sounds like electronic-noir pop compositions.

It's a shame that Mort Garson remains relatively obscure because I'm confident that fans of electronic music or general instrumental pop music would find this album to be both accessible and sophisticated enough to warrant repeated listens. Especially, for anyone out there who enjoys Cluster's Zuckerzeit, then Mort Garson's Electronic Hair Pieces is a must have.

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