10 June 2008

Caldera - 1970 - A Moog Mass

Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Continuing on the religious themed albums for the day, we find Caldera with their Moog Mass. This album hits me in a couple of soft spots. I'm typing these reviews out accompanied by my trusty Moog Voyager on the table, so obviously I've got a yen for hearing that sort of instrument. I also receive an irrational amount of enjoyment from the Electric Prunes' Mass In F Minor (admittedly even more that the legitimate Prunes releases), which this disc just seems to beg comparison with,.

Now for those of your coming in for your Moog fix, this isn't necessarily the best place to find the signature space-defying filter sweeps. Much of the synthesis seems to be relegated to a somewhat annoying vox/vocoder sort of sound (I guess you'd run the mic through the filter and max out the resonance) while some of the harpsichord, strings, and organ sounds seem to be organic; that or these guys were master synth programmers, which I sort of doubt. "Who is the Man" does introduce us to a nice ball-busting synthetic brass sound that will continue through the album though, so you'll find something here to like. When the Moog does take on the organ parts, it's a lot of fun too.

Ditching the rock and roll approach of Mass In F Minor, A Moog Mass stays relatively true to a solemn old school Catholic service, albeit filtered through a, uh, Moog filter. There's occasional narration from a fellow with a nice cultured accent who keeps making me think that we're going to slip into Moody Blues territory (this never happens if you're wondering). I guess it does approach a sort of 'Switched On Gregorian Chants' vibe, but the couple of acoustic instruments present fill up the sound and keep that from happening.

Once again, like the Mass In F Minor this is an amazingly short album not quite topping out at 25 minutes. But it does provide a welcome contrast with that earlier disc. If your overly pious aut and uncle show up for a pious radish dinner while you're having a great booze-up in the next room, playing this will hopefully make everyone happy.

P.S. - I think I hate this album cover.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks! Bruce

michael said...

ty you made my week

Anonymous said...


Once again you've taken me on a trip thru my youth, reliving sounds from my past, long forgotten but quickly remembered.
THANKS for letting me listen and remember!.

Unknown said...

I love that album cover. It looks like Monty Python!