moogmemory plus EP by Matthew Bourne
Formats: Digital (DOCK 63)
Release Date: 4 November 2016
The Memorymoog Plus was the last instrument produced by Moog Music before its bankruptcy in 1986. It came hot on the heels of the Memorymoog, adding basic MIDI functionality to Moog’s flawed masterpiece, a concession of sorts to the digital revolution threatening the company’s existence. The Memorymoog Plus update served a purpose. It also marked the end of an era.
The first three tracks that make up moogmemory plus were composed during the rehearsals for the tour Bourne undertook with visual artist Michael England to promote the album. Spontaneous improvisations in response to England’s work evolved into integral parts of the live show. ‘Dave’ and ‘Bob’ exhibit a playfulness only hinted at on the album, while ‘Keighley’ is a beautiful Lynchian tribute to the Yorkshire countryside that plays a leading role in its accompanying video. There are also reworkings of ‘Sam’ and ‘Daniziel’, revisited to capture the electricity developed through playing them live.
‘Emerson’s Lake’ was written and recorded in spontaneous tribute to synth icon Keith Emerson following his death earlier this year. Bourne shared it on SoundCloud within hours of hearing the news. “Emerson was a true pioneer - and something of a background inspiration for me,” explains Bourne. “Anyone who has the courage to tour with a mighty Moog modular, despite the obvious concerns of tuning and reliability under ever-changing atmospheric and temperature conditions, has my total respect.”
The gnarled cover of Phil Collins’ ‘Sussudio’, a track Bourne describes as “one of the greatest pop songs ever”, started out as an attempt at faithful recreation but finished somewhere altogether darker and more twisted. ‘Meniscus’ and ‘Jacqueline’ are also included, recorded as part of the album sessions and previously only available as secret bonus tracks on the Bandcamp download of moogmemory.
moogmemory plus draws the moogmemory project neatly to a close. If you’re expecting Bourne to embrace the digital revolution next, you’re likely to be disappointed. If you’re expecting Bourne to retread old ground, you haven’t been paying attention. He thrives on challenging himself and expectations. Watch this space.