San Francisco Moog: 1968-72: The Missing Link In The History Of Electronic Music #MusicMonday

Here’s a great surprise for electronic music lovers. Doug McKechnie was a legend in the San Francisco Bay Area. He lugged around his modular system built around one of the very first Moog Modular Series III’s, improvising psychedelic epics that would make the Grateful Dead green with envy. This seminal, exploratory work has gathered dust for 50 years. Here’s more from VG+ Records:

San Francisco Moog documents for the first time a critical missing link in the history of electronic music. In 1968, a young singer named Doug McKechnie got hold of one the very first Moog Modular Series III synthesizers ever made—serial number 004—and began experimenting with it. Soon, he was hauling its many components around the Bay Area, performing improvised concerts for audiences whose minds had been opened by psychedelia but whose ears were often unfamiliar with electronic sounds. Working outside of academia and traditional recording studios—the only places one could find Moogs at the time—he invented his own way to play the instrument on the fly. He recorded many of his performances….

The music on San Francisco Moog captures McKechnie eschewing the somber rigor of the academic electronic music of the era for a more free-flowing, melodic sound that nonetheless explores the limits of the instrument’s plastic sonic possibilities. Using the keyboard and two 24-step sequencers that came with the deluxe Moog, he created music that wove together multiple electronic voices in the moment, an innovation typically ascribed to later pioneers like Tangerine Dream (who would end up the owners of the very same Moog—but that’s another story).

See and hear more!


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