Matthew Bourne recorded moogmemory using 80’s synth oddity the Memorymoog, and nothing but the Memorymoog. That means that the idiosyncratic sequencing within each track is a product of the memory banks of the vintage machine. Better known as a pianist, it seems Bourne has a knack for old electronics. Released by the Leaf Label.
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Something of a departure for Bourne, this; in that, as a hitherto unquestionably supreme tinkler of the ivories especially within the arena of improvised jazz, this album consists of him playing solely on a vintage electonic instrument, the oddity that is the memorymoog. It's a sound that oscillates, frequently if not wildly. You couldn't really call Matthew Bourne's music "wild". Or so I thought.
Opening track "Somewhere I Have Never Travelled" is very mellow; sparse, even. There's a surprising variety of sonic palette which MB impressively coaxes from his 1982-born instrument of choice. "Alex" could have been taken from a forgotten Brian Eno album circa "Apollo"; it's all soft electroacoustic hums, thrums, tinkles and spaceship ambience. "Nils" - a tribute to Nils Frahm, maybe? It certainly bears comparisons with the great man's work, in places - starts very prettily and sleepily, with Pete Namlook / reagenz type ambience, as if awakening on a rainy Sunday in April, with darker textures added halfway through in the form of more ominous synth bursts.
Elsewhere, as on "Rivock Edge" and on "Horn and Vellum", there are passages of foreboding tones, droning thrum and chiller soundtrack ambience; Plaid-ish spiralling and playful electropop-type arpeggiators on "Sam"; Screeching church organ-type sounds, chimes and dial-tones on "Andrew", like an abstract Orbital; beautiful, melodic and warm pulses and oscillation on "Daniziel" which threatens to resolve itself into Holden-type grandiose techno, but doesn't quite. It's a tranquil, affecting piece. The closer is Eno-in-space on the sorrowful reminiscence "I Loved Her, Madly".
An impressive, richly rewarding, surprisingly soulful and emotional record which frankly exceeded all my expectations.
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