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Moog Power - Hugo Montenegro

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    Most people know little about the Moog synthesizer except that it's electronic, it makes weird sounds and actor James Coburn owns one. Actually, the Moog does nearly everything but rob banks! It can simulate familiar sounds, musical and otherwise, as well as create new sounds. In case you want to impress your friends, say that the Moog (rhymes with vogue) is an electronic instrument of almost limitless acoustic flexibility noteworthy for its method of direct voltage control. Get it?

    Anyone can play around with a Moog (particularly if he has the ten to fifteen thousand it takes to buy one), but only a musician with the skill and adventurousness of Hugo Montenegro could make as much music out of one as you will hear in this remarkable album. It was a gargantuan task. Montenegro did all the writing in only one week. The recording was done in layers - the rhythm section one day, later strings, voices, and so on. This method was chosen, Hugo explains, "so that we could get cleaner perspective of each musical segment and have complete control on remix."

    What is the point of the album? "People already know that the Moog can make odd sounds," says Hugo. "I was interested in the Moog's musical values. I wanted to use it as part of an orchestra - and also make commercial sense, if possible."

    That's just what he did. While the album is both contemporary and intriguing, it is, above all, musical. Credit must be given to master engineer Mickey Crofford, as well as to Paul Beaver,* the man who "programmed" the Moog. As for the singers, headed by Ron Hicklin, they're as exciting as the Moog itself. Listen to their vibrant sound on Aquarius, or Gene Morford's solo on My Way. In many places, such as Dizzy, the voices were run through the Moog. And let us not forget that an instrument - even an electronic one - is only as good as its player. In this case the superskilled player is Mike Melvoin.

    But this is Hugo Montenegro's album. Because the Moog is such an experimental item at this point, Hugo had ten decisions to make for every one demanded on most projects. That the album presents such an entertaining balance of music is a tribute to the arranger's talent, craft and inventiveness. That Hugo got excited about writing for the Moog in the first place is attributable, perhaps, to just the right touch of musical madness.

    MORGAN AMES

    * Paul Beaver - courtesy of Limelight Records
    Artist Name(s):
    Hugo Montenegro - Moog
    Paul Beaver - Moog Programming
    Gene Morford - Vocals
    Muzzy Marcellino - Whistling
    Producer(s):
    Jack Pleis, Joe Reisman
    Release Date:
    No value
    Style:
    Progressive, Synth-Pop
    Album Type:
    Studio
    Formats:
    LP 33 1/3
    Cover & Packge Design:
    Betül Arkök
    Studio Name:
    RCA's Music Center Of The World in Hollywood, California.
    Engineer(s): Hank McGill, Mickey Crofford
    Liscense:
    Copyright
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    RCA Victor
    Catalog Number(s):
    LSP-4170
    Location:
    New York City, NY USA
    Synthesizers Used
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
    [+] Amoeba
    [+] Discogs
    [+] Ebay
    [+] Google
    [+] YouTube


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