Release Date: Mar 4, 2016
Record label: The Leaf Label
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance
The improvisational pianist, composer and winner of 2001's Perrier Jazz Award takes a step aside from his multiple collaborative projects to immerse himself in Moogmemory. It's the first album to be recorded entirely on the 1982 classic Moog Memorymoog, the infamously unruly polyphonic synth. Hardcore electro nuts will enthuse at the enterprise and logistics but there is much for the broader audience here.
Quickly following the release of Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited, a 40th anniversary reimagining of Kraftwerk's 1975 classic Radio-Aktivität in collaboration with French experimental musician Franck Vigroux, British improvisational pianist Matthew Bourne furthered his exploration of vintage synthesizer music with an album recorded entirely on the Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog. Moogmemory, Bourne's second solo full-length for Leaf, originated in 2013 when the musician was commissioned to perform a set of solo synthesizer music at the Marsden Jazz Festival. Dubbed the Matthew Bourne Synthesizer Show as a nod to Annette Peacock and Paul Bley's Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show, he improvised on several analog electronic instruments, including a faulty Memorymoog dating from 1982.
Substituting ivories for retro circuitry, jazz pianist and composer Bourne’s recent projects have seen a switch of focus to analogue synth. While 2015’s Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited collaboration with sound artist Franck Vigroux cannibalised the canon of Kraftwerk to great and sometimes sinister effect, here he embarks on a solo series, drawing on his resources as an improviser to explore the curious capabilities of a mutant strain of Memorymoog. The gamut of textures and patterns he produces might be surprising, even off-putting, unless you’ve heard Bourne’s treatments of piano and cello on his beguiling debut studio effort, 2011’s Montauk Variations.