Album Review

Garson, Mort – “Black Mass Lucifer” – [Uni Records]

Jack Diamond   2/3/2009   12-inch, A Library

Each track on the album is an electronic musical impression of some aspect of the occult. The music is at times eerie and sinister, but never truly terrifying. There’s a tremendous amount of “old school charm” in this record as there is with several electronic albums before and/or around 1975.
While not explicitly a Halloween album, Black Mass Lucifer has enough spookiness and references to the occult to merit inclusion in anyone’s Halloween collection. The liner notes, which are printed on the inner sleeve are written by a UCLA Professor of Folklore and Mythology, are an interesting read. Mort Garson passed away in January 2008.

This LP is very much in style with his previous album from 1971, which is mainly less sinister but more melodic. Each title was named after an occult phenomenon or theme, and this time the titles seemed to suggest that the lighter side of occultism was in focus. Even the cover featuring a mystic but calm “aura” face was very fitting to the album’s content. Very cool and of tripping substance, whatever that may be, your choice.

According to a Robert Moog (inventor of the Moog and pronounced MOGE with a hard G) interview, he said that when he was showcasing his instrument at an expo, Garson (then in his mid-40’s) and an assortment of crazed geniuses decided to use it (Paul Beaver of Beaver and Krauss) among other electronic instruments to make a psychedelic pop / rock / spoken word concept album which turned out to be the first usage of the Moog on a commercial pop record from the West Coast. This was the album “Zodiac Cosmic Sounds”, recorded together with Jacques Wilson featuring Cyrus Faryar on male voice and was released in 1967. The Moog synthesizer became commercially available in 1966.?? Garson was on it, like white on rice.

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