Those of a certain vintage or / and a keen ear for strange sounds surely need no introduction to the Elektra released ‘the Zodiac : cosmic sounds’ set put out in the late 60’s, I happily stumbled across this curio courtesy of John Peel playing it in full over the course of several Saturday afternoon shows in the early 90’s (if that is I recall rightly). An album or more so an aural experience of its time that in these enlightened times and the internets want for dredging the archives and giving a second life to the lost and forgotten of yesteryear, still manages to hold its own and stay the test of time. A brave and eccentric move by Elektra at the time, the albums authors Mort Garson and Jacques Wilson would go on repeat the formula a year later relocating ‘wizard of Oz’ into a head warping hippy idealistic 60’s freak beat electro opera entitled ‘the wozard of iz’ (his landmark release incidentally was ‘black mass’ under the pseudonym Lucifer – which admirers of Goblin / bebe and Louis barron et al should check out sooner rather than later). Several years on however ‘mother earth’s plantasia’ appeared, now getting a much deserved repackage via fifth dimension it affords listeners and strange sound completists the chance to reappraise the work of this oft unheralded electronic pioneer. Described as ‘warm earth music for plants…and the people who love them….’, ‘plantasia’ originally appeared in 1976, by that time the advent of electronic sounds where not nearly as much of an novelty / oddity as they had been in the 60’s but were now seen as making sizeable creative footprints and shifting popular sound into new spheres (kosmiche, progressive rock et al). ‘plantasia’ is essentially easy listening groove providing a lulling dream draped collage of Moog’s in various lunar configurations, dinked in shimmering swirls and seductively teased in lounge exotica (‘Baby’s tears blues’ being the highlight here sounding as it does like pirouetting promenade recitals orbiting strange moons while a strange noir attachment to the mellower mosaics cut by Stereolab ooze lazily through ‘a mellow mood for maidenhair’) the sounds are delicate and lush not to say minimally murmured in the kind of twinkling sparseness that those admiring of the early visitations of ISAN (c. ‘digitalis’) may find much to adore.
Incidentally for those previously unaware of its existence here’s ‘black mass’ in it full entirety….
….and ‘the wozard of iz’…..