Song Of The Day 5/27/2016: Beaver & Krause – “Fountains of the Depth of Water and Power”

Moog In Vogue – If you're looking around for key figures to credit for bringing the synthesizer to rock music -- or, alternately, scapegoats to blame for emasculating the guitar -- you might want to consider putting Paul Beaver and Bernie Krauser on the certificate. Separated by twelve years in age, the two of them met through Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman. They worked on a couple of records together. They were among the first to realize how much of an impact the Moog could have on the rock world, so Beaver wormed himself into essentially becoming Moog's West Coast sales rep.

It was slow going for awhile until -- after demonstrating Moog's most expensive model via a booth at the Monterey Pop Festival -- they released an album which showed off the Moog's compositional potential. The record was, somewhat cumbersomely, entitled The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music. Essentially a glorified demonstration record, it got people like the Doors, Simon & Garfunkel, the Stones and the Byrds interested in the Moog. The Monkees corralled Beaver into playing the Moog on their song "Star Collector." Krause found an audience with a spellbound George Harrison (recounted here), which kind of led to Harrison's Wonderwall Music album, and may be why you heard a Moog all over Abbey Road. Soon they were extraordinarily busy in the L.A. and U.K. recording scene, which made them very tired.

They released three albums in the 1970's for Warner Brothers, which Wikipedia audaciously claims "effectively (created) both the electronica and New Age musical movements." (Like I said, you'll either want to hug 'em or slug 'em. Or laugh at Wikipedia, I don't know.) They are exceptional records. But before all that, between the Nonesuch album and the Warner Brothers trilogy, they made an album for Mercury in 1969 called Ragnarök (Electronic Funk), the only time you'll ever hear the words "Ragnarök" and "funk" within shouting distance of each other. This album gave us today's delicate but firmly-stated instrumental.

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