Moogtastic! – Electronic Sound Issue 49

Here’s the info on Electronic Sound Issue 49:

Issue 49

In our Moogtastic new issue we take a look at how Dr Bob’s famous early machines defined the sound of the 1970s. The tale of how Moog took hold in the States has been well told on our pages via the adventures of Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause, less known is the story of the British invasion. In our cover feature, we meet Mike Vickers, formerly of Manfred Mann, the proud owner of one of the first Moog IIIC’s to arrive on UK shores. Vickers was hired by The Beatles to help with the making of ‘Abbey Road’ following which the synth genie was well and truly out of the bottle.

Elsewhere in our cover feature, we examine the influence of Moog and chart the under-the-radar connections that shaped the sound world of an entire generation. We take a trip from those first Moog adventures with Mike Vickers as our guide, we talk to KPM composers Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett about the heyday of library music and discuss the lasting legacy of their work with Matt Berry who celebrates the classic TV theme tune.

Elsewhere, we meet Sheffield’s rather excellent International Teachers Of Pop, who does what their name promises, we tell the unheard story of Scottish synthpop almost-rans Secession and catch up with the trailblazing Ultramarine as they prepare to release an excellent new album.

More? You’ll find Stephen Mallinder telling us the tale behind Cabaret Voltaire’s epic ‘Nag Nag Nag’, Hacienda legend Graeme Park talks us through some of his favourite things in Under The Influence and we relive the birth of Pan Sonic in a Brixton backstreet club in the early 1990s in Time Machine.

We start the year as we mean to go on by packing our Back section with reviews of the essential releases coming your way this month and filling up our Front section with all manner of synths, hi-fi, books, toys, gadgets and events that’ll have you wondering how we do it. How do we do it? That would be telling.

Limited edition seven-inch single

Taken from 1972’s ‘A Moog For All Reasons’ album recorded for the KPM music library, our limited edition seven-inch single features two tracks by Mike Vickers. Formerly of Manfred Mann, Vickers was transfixed by the idea of Robert Moog’s magical machines and, without even having been near one, ordered a monstrously pricey IIIc modular, figured out what it could do and quickly became the go-to producer for your more adventurous artistes, working with The Beatles on ‘Abbey Road’.

“I did a lot of library music,” says Vickers, “but I became someone who went out for hire with the Moog. The next thing I knew I was in some studio or other, with someone wanting it to sound like strings or a French horn, which wasn’t the way I wanted to think, I just wanted to play around with it.”

And play around he most certainly did. On the two extraordinary KPM tracks featured on our seven-inch, Vickers really was able to let his imagination run riot with the Moog. Example? The lead track on our seven-inch is ‘The Adding Machine’, an intense five minute Moog workout.

“I remember that,” says Vickers. “It was just one note and I gradually add more and more until it’s a huge jumble at the end. I was quite impressed with that one!”

Here’s the link..



XOYO Live Review

Tonight, XOYO is undergoing a blood transfusion, and a steady influx of people whom it might not regard as its usual clientele: synth heads, smart-goths and thin men that look strangely related to William Burroughs are strolling through the shadows and into the club, eager to see what the overlord of synth-pop has to say to them in 2011.
But first there’s the matter of some excellent support acts: Tara Busch sings like Judy Garland in some twisted Disney movie; she appears on stage alone, and she manipulates her Moog, so too does she manipulate the crowd, until they’re eating out of her psychedelic space-hands.
Next up two ogre-sized creatures is Islamic robes hobble onto the stage, followed by an even weirder frontperson who resembles both a Hindu Goddess and a Doctor Who monster from 1975. This is Gazelle Twin, and their songs sound like Portishead having been kidnapped, time-travelled to 3029, then beamed back via hologram. It’s an incredibly sacred-feeling performance, which borders on having a meditational effect, and while our mystical singer howls faceless from behind her widow’s mask, the two robed minions head bang in slow motion, intoxicated and doomed.
Where were we? Ah yes. After much screaming and hysteria, a certain Ultravox founder takes to the stage looking like a handsome but braced-for-duty space captain from a 1950s sci-fi movie. He is surrounded by his space crew – who are armed with computers of course – and all of a sudden, John Foxx & The Maths are GO!
The climactic ‘Shatterproof’ (from the band’s 2011 album, Interplay) kicks things off on an appropriately alien-disco note, with Foxx staring straight-ahead, unshakeable from his mission. Later on, ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ and ‘Underpass’ deliver the kind of dystopian visions most of us grew to love him for, all set to 3D laser-noises and glow in the dark beats.
You can’t help but notice, but whenever Foxx finishes off an absolutely storming song (such as ‘Burning Car’), he pulls a very subtle cat-that-got-the-cream face. It’s almost a Roger Moore-style eyebrow, but not quite. This is not only endearing, but entirely justified: the man is still an incredibly dramatic performer, chilling and struck with terror one moment, warm and reassuringly
glowing the next.