The Wozard of Iz
March 25, 2011 1:24 PM   Subscribe

The Wozard of Iz "is a psycho-electronic re-working of "The Wizard of Oz" that sounds like the soundtrack to the greatest LSD/freak-out/moog/synth/electronic musical that never was. This oddity is a hysterical and typical leftist/hippie commentary on the socioeconomic human condition of the average American in 1968, and uses the analogy of Dorothy taking a "trip" from Kansas for a brighter and better world where one can really be "free." With music by electronic music/moog pioneer Mort Garson: Prologue - Leave the Driving to Us :: Upset Trip - Never Follow Yellow-Green Road :: Thing a Ling - In Man - Man with the Word :: They're Off to Find the Wozard - Blue Poppy :: I've Been Over the Rainbow :: High on Big Sur :: You can listen/download Mort's other moog masterpieces, including Black Mass/Lucifer, Music for Sensuous Lovers, and Plantasia here.
posted by puny human (19 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, this is indeed one of the stranger sonic experiences to come out of the late 60s. I can't say it's actually ever GOOD, but it has a lot of great concepts which are developed interestingly.

Are the final two tracks "Killing The Witch" and "Finale" not available on YouTube?

Some samples from this were used to great effect on the Amorphous Androgynous mixtape album, A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding In Your Mind, Vol. 2: Pagan Love Vibrations. (Which is not only one of my favorite albums, but also one of the best album titles of all time. OF ALL TIME!)

Another interesting (yet I won't necessarily say good) sonic experience album from around the same time is A Revolutionary Revelation. While Mort's album seems to come from within the counterculture, A Revolutionary Revelation seems to come from outside it.

Ah, I love the 60s sonic experience albums. If for nothing else, they gave us that most immortal of all fabulous things, The Firesign Theatre.
posted by hippybear at 1:39 PM on March 25, 2011 [5 favorites]

The Dark Side of Oz always does it for me.
posted by not_on_display at 1:50 PM on March 25, 2011

I'm melting... melting...
posted by functionequalsform at 1:56 PM on March 25, 2011

I just got Black Mass/Lucifer recently. It is groovy, spooky, and moogy, for sure.
I'll check the Oz thing out this weekend. Thanks!
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 2:00 PM on March 25, 2011

Needs more Woz.
posted by Madamina at 2:14 PM on March 25, 2011

It's so moogy! SO MOOOGY! And so good!

I went straight for the Black Mass/Lucifer album, and find it light and not really that menacing. For example, Witch Trial is the least threatening trial ever. But so good! Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:25 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Great find. I'll be doing chores this weekend and mooging out.
posted by benzenedream at 2:30 PM on March 25, 2011

Yeah, thanks for the Mort download links. I have 5 albums streaming my way now. What a great way to round out an odd collection.

Those who like such things may also really like Larry Fast's Synergy, the first couple of albums of which have followed me around since I bought the Cosmos soundtrack back in the early 80s. You can find his first album (and links to others) here.

(And the quadraphonic version of that first album... oh man. If you have the equipment to play it and want it, memail me and I'll dropbox it for you)
posted by hippybear at 2:32 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Those who like such things may also really like Larry Fast's Synergy, the first couple of albums of which have followed me around since I bought the Cosmos soundtrack back in the early 80s. You can find his first album (and links to others) here.

Wow, thanks for that site...I remember Synergy, and I think Nektar, from Laserium at Griffith Park, but other musical memories don't entirely jibe with their music list.

All of this music is going to demand some old school, lying-with-headphones-on-the-rug listening. Also may need to pull out my Ommadawn and toss it on my Thorens1, perhaps flash back to some D&D playing, and...what decade is this? where am I? when am I?

1 My Thorens is a 3-speed, though...
posted by foonly at 3:03 PM on March 25, 2011

Also, one to look out for Visions of Dune by Zed.

it's not as whimsical as Synergy and Garson this but atmospheric and seriously fuggin cool.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:06 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

More fun with Mort: DJ Shadow sampled Garson, heard here on the Cancer LP from Mort Garson's Signs of the Zodiac project. Each sign has a similarly formatted LP, featuring 8 tracks about the specific sign. They're not exactly lively listening parties, but great for sampling, if you can find them.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2011

In regards to the Amorphous Androgynous mixtape album (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding In Your Mind, Vol. 2: Pagan Love Vibrations) that hippybear mentioned upthread, eMusic is selling the first and second 2CD-sized mixes with both individual tracks and as complete mixes, each for $5.99! And they're high quality encodings (V0 MP3s, if you care about that kind of stuff).

I wouldn't hawk goods in the thread like this except ... it's really good stuff, and legit. Thanks hippybear, this is really good (along with the hours of mooginess I have queued up)!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:57 PM on March 26, 2011

filthy light thief: I just discovered that they released a third volume late last year (subtitled : The 3rd Ear). It's more of the same, which means it's another 2+ hours of insanely mind-bending, well-curated psychedelic tracks from across 40-50 years of music making, nicely blended and interspersed with sound samples designed to help warp reality.

And I don't feel at all bad about linking to the free Mojo Magazine giveaway CD they made a while back, for those who want to sample without doing anything possibly ethically compromising.

(For those who don't know, The Amorphous Androgynous is also known as The Future Sound Of London. They tend to use TAA more for their psychedelic explorations (of which they have many, including some VERY fine albums of original music -- not just mixtape explorations). TFSOL seems to be reserved for more electronica stuff, although don't quote me on that.)
posted by hippybear at 2:15 PM on March 26, 2011

Oops! I linked to a page with dead links on it. I'll seek out ones that work and put them here soon.
posted by hippybear at 2:21 PM on March 26, 2011

That didn't take long. Here is a page with a working link.

Seriously folks. This series of albums is pretty much the creme de la creme of psychedelic music exploration which covers all possible sources of the material and serves it up in a delicious package with fantastic presentation. I've been collecting / exploring / tripping to psychedelic music for nearly 25 years now, and haven't ever encountered anything like what TAA has created with these offerings. I usually don't push not-for-free things on MetaFilter, but I really do recommend these sets, and they're worth the money if you're the music-purchasing type. Especially for the totally sweet price filthy light thief has scouted out above!
posted by hippybear at 2:27 PM on March 26, 2011

hippybear - thanks for the bonus material!

Correction to my prior comment: I now realize that eMusic has the 2nd and 3rd volumes as unmixed tracks along with the complete mixes, not the 1st volume. Other online shops (including Rhapsody) have volume 1 mixed and not as MP3s.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2011

I really do have to thank the author for this FPP once again. I've enjoyed hearing these other albums by Mort, which I had never really tracked down before. Great stuff, and I'm happy for it.

I hope I didn't derail your post too much. It wasn't my intent. My brain tends to work through connections, and sometimes I get so excited about that I get a bit off topic.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 AM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I always say, if you must own just ONE psychedelic Wizard of Oz-themed record, this is it! Suzi Jane Hokum (Dorothy)'s voice is a rare, adenoidal elixer. (And no, she's not Nancy Sinatra under a fake name, though Suzi Jane also worked with Lee Hazlewood.)
posted by Scram at 11:34 PM on March 27, 2011

"I hope I didn't derail your post too much'

Dude, not at all. Thanks for the excellent links and discussion!

I noticed one of those compilations included Donovan's Three Kingfishers, which is a great song on its own, but becomes an amazing song if you have been herbalized :)

And yeah Scram, I couldn't agree more, Suzi Jane Hokum probably deserves an fpp all her own.
posted by puny human at 9:51 AM on March 28, 2011

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