Doug McKechnie ‘San Francisco Moog 1968-72’ (VG+)

“Doug McKechnie And His Moog Synthesizer” was a regular billing on late 60s concert posters around the Bay Area. The sound of pulsing and sequenced oscillators must have felt like it was being beamed in from some future radio broadcast through a split in time itself to the LSD enthusiasts of Haight-Ashbury.

The four years McKechnie lived with the Moog Series III saw him performing live improvisations and making tapes in his studio, the entire third floor of a building in downtown San Francisco where he also lived. This album is made up of those tapes, plus a 13-minute live performance at Berkeley Art Museum, all released here for the first time.

It’s astonishing stuff, pure early Moog electronics, the likes of ‘The First Exploration’, ‘Baseline’ and ‘Crazy Ray’ vibrating with the joy taken in the discovery of the new sounds this machine was capable of. The live gig is particularly evocative, as you hear McKechnie wrestling with the Moog and winning, the coughs and shuffling of the audience adding to the atmosphere of wonder. 

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