countrymanAfter two collaborations with electropop legend Jean-Jacques Perrey, retro-synthesizer whiz Countryman finally finishes the debut album he started eight years ago.

As he states in his liners, the all-instrumental “Moog-Tastic!” is not an album made up of “mere sequences, disco rhythms, self-running patches, New Age-ish chord washes and rambling transitions,” but rather real melodies composed for electronic music.

And a few choice covers like “Day Tripper,” a throwback to the ’60s when Moog albums typically featured a Beatles tune or two or three. Toward the end of the track, Countryman deftly interweaves references to several Fab Four songs. Real drums are played by Rick Bowen, and there’s a banjo harmonium solo by latter-day Mott the Hoople keyboardist Morgan Fisher.

Also covered are Ennio Morricone’s theme to the 1971 film “La Califfa,” which Countryman rearranged for synthesizer with an ear toward solos for the Ondioline and three-time world champion Dutch whistler Geert Chatrou; and “Storm Over Beethoven,” a bombastic rock duet for synthesizer and drums based on the third movement of “Moonlight Sonata.”

Other highlights include the originals “Have Mersey on My Moog” (with a tasty harmonica break); “Vinnie’s Theme” (featuring stellar turns by session guitar great Vinnie Bell on electric sitar and electric “Water” guitar, both of which Bell invented); “Cocktails in Space” (sporting a jazz guitar solo by eclectic L.A. musician/producer Skip Heller); and “Farewell Mr. Rota” (a nod to another Italian film composer, Nino Rota, that makes extensive use of a controller allowing Countryman’s modular synthesizer to be played like a Theremin).

Lending support elsewhere are Dutch singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Fay Lovsky, who plays a real Theremin on the hybrid 18th-century classical/1950s sci-fi “Deserted Planet”; and Jean-Jacques Perrey, who contributes some of his famous “crazy tape loops” to “Jean-Jacques’ Theme,” a song that could accompany a Mack Sennett one-reeler — if they had synthesizers in 1937!gnm_end_bug

1. Lovesick Martian Boy
2. Have Mersey On My Moog
3. Day Tripper
4. Vinnie’s Theme
5. Deserted Planet
6. Ragtime For Robots
7. Memories Of Paris
8. Cocktails In Space
9. Farewell Mr. Rota
10. Halloween At Moog Manor
11. Jean-Jacques’ Theme
12. La Califfa
13. Storm Over Beethoven
14. hidden track

Total time: 49:24

External links
artist’s website
iTunes Store