2003   DECEMBER 9   #343

The Explorer - Mr. Bach Meets Batman

Every once in awhile you pick up an album and you know that it will be as good as it looks, even if there is only one tune that lives up to the promise of the cover. The record is apparently a promo piece to advertise a 1967 product called the EXPLORER.

From the liner notes:

"What is Explorer ?

EXPLORER II is a new musical instrument weighing approximately 85 lbs. While this instrument physically resembles some of the so-called combo organs which have appeared on the market in recent years, it is not really an organ. When a key is depressed, electronic circuits are actuated in the manner of an electronic organ. However, when you hear the EXPLORER perform, you will know that is a different "breed of cat".

EXPLORER can simulate many of the solo and ensemble sounds which are normally associated with an electronic organ, however ....... depress a certain combination of tabs and EXPLORER will produce the sound of several flamenco guitars playing simultaneously...and with the sound of each instrument playing just a bit out of time. The result, a total kind of sound quite unlike that ever before heard from any electronic musical instrument.

In order to most clearly demonstrate the capabilities of EXPLORER in this recording, only two musicians are involved. EXPLORER and an Allen Electronic Organ were played simultaneously by Tom Hazelton, while drums and other accompanimental rhythm effects were played by Gene Ciszek."

The liner notes don't even hint at what creative process led to the combination of Bach and Batman, but we do know this: it really doesn't matter.

- Bob Krasner

TT-3:10 / 3.6MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
Rocky Mount Instruments, Inc. (1967)

(Image courtesy of Bob Krasner)