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MORT GARSON

Progressive Electronic • Canada


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Mort Garson biography
Born in New Brunswick Mort Garson was a classical trained musician and electronic researcher. During his career he was mainly known for his original sci-fi space agey soundscapes. He started his career back in the 60's and was among the first to experiment the Big Moog synthesiser. In 1967 he recorded his first album "The Zodiak: Cosmic sounds". It features sonic analog based compositions. Released during the late 60's "Electronic air pieces" contains supernatural electronic moods, pulsating hypnotic effects and moving synthesised textures. Mort Garson's musical universe is closed to Cecil Leuter, Jean Jacques Perrey kitchy moog pop soundscapes but within more mystical-cerebral-adventurous proportions. Published in 1971, "Black Mass" is without any doubts his most progressive album: lysergic electronic modulations meet dark epic timbres. Among the most notorious canadian space electronic artists with David Pritchard and Philip Werren.

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Wozard of IzWozard of Iz
Import
El Records 2008
Audio CD$8.45
$17.55 (used)
Electronic Hair PiecesElectronic Hair Pieces
A&M
Vinyl$27.00 (used)
Signs of the Zodiac: CancerSigns of the Zodiac: Cancer
A&M
Vinyl$18.99
$9.99 (used)
Taurus- Signs of the Zodiac: narrated by Nancy PriddyTaurus- Signs of the Zodiac: narrated by Nancy Priddy
A & M Records
Vinyl$9.99 (used)
drum tango / gas light village 45 rpm singledrum tango / gas light village 45 rpm single
TODD
Vinyl$5.00 (used)
love sounds LPlove sounds LP
LIBERTY
Vinyl$25.00 (used)
Wozard of Iz by Garson, Mort (2008) Audio CDWozard of Iz by Garson, Mort (2008) Audio CD
El Records
Audio CD$33.34
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MORT GARSON discography


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MORT GARSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
The Wozard of Iz: An Electronic Odyssey
1968
3.58 | 5 ratings
Electronic Hair Pieces
1969
3.15 | 4 ratings
Black Mass [as Lucifer]
1971

MORT GARSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MORT GARSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Electronic Hair Pieces by GARSON, MORT album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.58 | 5 ratings

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Electronic Hair Pieces
Mort Garson Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 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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 Electronic Hair Pieces by GARSON, MORT album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.58 | 5 ratings

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Electronic Hair Pieces
Mort Garson Progressive Electronic

Review by Sheavy
Collaborator Progressive Electronic Team

3 stars As far as early 60's/70's Moog explorations go, this is an average release. Mort Garson is an early electronic muscian from Canada that didn't seem to be able to concentrate on one project before he went to another. This is technically his sole release, as Black Mass, An Electronic Journey, and Plantasia were all released under a different moniker.

All the songs here are very "shiny" and "bright", but not in the same way as Kraftwerk's work. Theres plenty of lttle bleeps and Moog washes and some very spacey sounds are conjured up here and there. It sounds terribly dated, which doesn't tend to bother me at all, but it hurts this record greatly. It sounds more suited to being used in a movie than being listened to. some of the songs are somewhat catchy, like the song Hair, with some lines that really get stuck in your head. But aside from the songs Hair, Walking In Space and Let The Sunshine In, this is a good but unexciting record.

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 Black Mass [as Lucifer] by GARSON, MORT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.15 | 4 ratings

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Black Mass [as Lucifer]
Mort Garson Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars Yeehaa! good old Mort - hey wait a minute , Mort means 'dead' doesn't it?

Garson produced this super Moog album which sounds no-where near as bleak and black as the title and cover may suggest. You've got to love him... Did he seriously think this was Satanic in any way? It's almost like the soundtrack to a kid's 7th birthday party. Jelly, ice cream and a glass of milk anyone?

An accessible purely electronic album from '71 that sounds quite a lot like many other artists who were going bananas with this new fangled Moog instrument. Mine's an old crackly record and I don't even think it's ever been released on cd.

The great thing is - these are all his own recordings, unlike most Moog players from the era who stole and plagiarised other peoples tunes at that time.

Slightly boring in parts, but things always quickly pick up. One of the better Moog albums which always remains on the correct side of cheesiness . I should know, I've heard plenty of them and most are embarrassing beyond belief.

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 The Wozard of Iz: An Electronic Odyssey by GARSON, MORT album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.00 | 5 ratings

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The Wozard of Iz: An Electronic Odyssey
Mort Garson Progressive Electronic

Review by clarke2001
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars ''Kansas City (...) a place where people throw rocks at dreams, and the dreams shouldn't be stoned... only the dreamer.''

The most spaced-out hippie stuff you can encounter. In many ways, this record is astonishing.

Down to the bone, it's some sort of a radio-drama (spoken words) with layers of synth-generated sound effects and melodies, with a few musical numbers. But it would be injustice to dismiss it easily, since it's groundbreaking in many ways.

First of all, the story itself is a skewed version of ''The Wizard Of Oz'', overloaded with hippie angst, political recourse, drug allegories and humour. Several people participated in the roles, the narrator being Jacques Wilson, the author of the whole concept (Garson did the music, but not the actual plot).

Musically, there's a plethora of noodlings, bleeps and burps to back up the narration. All sounds are exclusively produced with a synthesizer, if there are any traces of other instruments, I was not able to trace them.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the record (apart from being ahead its time) is its musicality. Those sound effects are not thrown in randomly as unsubstantial piles of various tones and noises. Yes, there are moments that can be compared to academic avant-garde musicians of the century - such is Stockhausen - but I'm wondering from which of those old maestri Garson picked influence, if at all. This is rooted in rock and marked with a lysergic mark all over the place. There are melodies - moreover - some incredible hooks, and a couple of tunes in a strict sense. There are bits that remind me of THE RESIDENTS and their works few years later; there's 'Never Follow The Yellow Green Road', which fuses funky electronic bass hook with a choir of female vocals in 60's soul style -- transfer this one into the early 2000's and you got an instant four-to-the-floor electronic dance hit!!! There are also beautiful (if a bit underdeveloped) 'I've Been Over the Rainbow' and 'Big Sur'; lovely songs with synth arpeggio emulating bassoons and electric organ and female vocal that came straight from the mellowest, dreamiest depths of West Coast, dream pop and psychedelia!!

I must point out Garson's skill great skill in producing the sound out of the synth: those big old bulky Moog Modular systems were beautiful and versatile machines, but unstable: it was a hell to keep them in tune. Garson is brilliantly avoiding such problems applying all sorts of bendings and resonances, glissandi, running sequences with smooth pitch shifts, and clever application of noise bursts (hiss) on sequencer to produce rhythmical patterns. Such an approach won't became old-fashioned until the dawn of useful drum-machines in late 70's/early 80's. He's also avoiding the monophonic properties of his machines by stacking oscillators on various frequencies, producing a one-key chord (a thing often used by Emerson, Wakeman and others), but he is never overdoing it. As for the more MUSICAL moments of the record...it's bordering on unbelievable.

This record struck me deeply - remember it was done in 1968 - the electronic pioneers in Europe won't reach a degree of coherency for a couple of years more. Now I'm deeply interested to further check pioneers of electronic music from the New World - the place where the very concept of the synthesizer (as we know it today) was born.

Well-deserved four stars. Highly recommended. Far out, man.

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