SYNTHESIZERS AND HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM
by Maurice Doubleday
Somewhere in my brain i am relieved by the oddest things. Synthesizers. Kill me with triangle waves. I live for pitch bend....sustained bleats. The prog rock synthesizer solo is often a retreat call for the hip and usually with just cause. I am a loyal proggie who would love to bitch-slap Rick Wakeman a good deal of the time. But there are tasteful moments. Amongst them the nine minute proto techno jam when ELP performed “Tarkus” live. Then of course Pink Floyd's loopy interludes on the first side of DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. Then there's even a Yes moment or too. Namely the moog rape of the Anglican pipe organ in “Close to the Edge”
Moogs saved infinite amount of empty space in prog. Something that many modern rockers are slowly integrating. The sustained whirl that baritones below the tribal rhythms of Tool's “Reflection” being the finest example. Not necessarily a weapon for orchestral grandstanding that often gave the critics tons to laugh at...the best prog is often appreciated by people who take the time....and these moments of harsh beauty show a bravery no-one rightly understood. It was ruined like any good cult since Christ.
Digital killed the analog star. Its sad. Mini-moogs went out of production. It was a time when keyboards were the tambourine of rock. Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran. Lol from The Cure. Terrible stuff. Then in the 90s...someone dusted off Tori Amos' piano and little Goth girls finally got their Kate Bush. Sure it wasn't a bank of synthesizers with ice capades but it brought Liszt back to the Centrum....
Tony Banks from Genesis