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Mort Garson - Signs of the Zodiac: Cancer CD (album) cover


Mort Garson


Progressive Electronic

3.23 | 4 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Obviously inspired by the 1967 Elektra album The Zodiac Cosmic Sounds, Mort Garson (which he hand a hand in that album) released a 12 LP set (each sold separately) called Signs of the Zodiac, in which Cancer was one of them. This was the first in the series I bought. Imagine if Cosmic Sounds was recorded exclusively with synthesizer and narrators, this is what you get. It's really not much different from Mort Garson's previous project, The Wozard of Iz, except the music does not give this electronic psychedelic Broadway play vibe as sometimes that album did. What you get is a more relaxed, spacy vibe. Narrations are from Nancy Priddy, mother of Christina Applegate of Married... With Children, John Erwin, voice of Morris the Cat (I can tell it's him on this album, and the others in the series, of course), and Michael Bell, who did voice overs for computer games. So obviously you'll be hearing their narration throughout, describing, in the case, the personality traits of Cancer, how a Cancer behaves at work, how they handle personal relationships, and so on. Of course, many listeners might have trouble with the narrations, as it can come across as dated, but what really matters is the synth scores that go with it. He proves that he was able to make some great, original electronic music at a time when the Moog synthesizer was basically a new invention, and the likes of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, and Klaus Schulze were some years away (well, maybe not Tangerine Dream, they did release Electronic Meditation in 1970, but it was Krautrock, but their full-on synth-dominated electronic phase didn't start until 1974 with Phaedra). I can understand that some people would like it better if the narrations were removed, but of course that would defeat the purpose, since these albums were on the Signs of the Zodiac, but on the other hand, I can understand why some would want to hear just the music and not the narration. But I don't find the narrations any worse than The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds or The Wozard of Iz. "I Know You Cancer" shows that nice relaxed spacy vibe. "Cancer at Work" is more melodic, although some might find it a bit cheesy, but I like it. "Where Was Your Moon?" sounds more like electronic snippets, but I like the timbres he gets off the Moog, a lot of it spacy. "Cancer - Numbers, Gems, and Colors" starts off with a blues-like riff played off a Moog, before getting into more spacy territory. "Those Who Knew" is the closing, and it's used on each and every LP, making me wished it was used only on one of the LPs, on the other hand, it sounded like there wasn't enough material to fill up the whole LP so "Those Who Knew" was tagged on.

To me, it's a nice album to have, and glad to own it.

Progfan97402 | 3/5 |


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