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30/08/2005
Nothing corny about electro pop pioneer by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook
FILED UNDER DAILY JEWS >> Music
Gershon Kingsley
Gershon Kingsley

With the recent sad death of synthesiser pioneer Robert Moog, it’s all the more timely that a New York non-profit record label is set to release an album, God Is A Moog.

Reboot Stereophonic has the rights to the latest work by legendary musician and composer Gershon Kingsley, best known for the 1970s electronic hit Popcorn, who worked with Moog on a number of occasions. God Is A Moog: The Electronic Prayers of Gershon Kingsley is an abstract, experimental work, and follows his trademark evoking sound.

In 1969, Music To Moog By was released, which featured the first appearance of Popcorn as well as covers of The Beatles’ Nowhere Man and Paperback Writer and children’s classic Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, all done on the influential synthesiser.

Gershon, who is now 82, describes himself as a “religious composer who doesn’t like religion”. Born Goetz Gustav Ksinski in Germany, which he left as a teenager in 1938 (relocating in Palestine), he then emigrated to the US. He’s still going strong – in 2004, he finished an opera based on the life of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved Jews during the Holocaust. He has also worked as musical director for a number of Los Angeles shuls, and recorded several albums of music for religious ceremonies.

The In Sound From Way Out, in which Kingsley collaborated with French composer Jean-Jacques Perry in 1966, inspired the Beastie Boys to create their own The In Sound From Way Out thirty years later. More recently he has inspired the likes of German electro pioneers Kraftwerk and other electro acts. His pioneering electro-pop track Popcorn has been covered by a diverse range of artists from funky rocker Ben Folds through to ringtone sensation Crazy Frog.

There’s even a website dedicated to the song – popcorn-song.com. Here you can check out Kingsley’s original version, as well as the version which Hot Butter took up the charts in the 1970s – and there’s some bizarre versions, including a Japanese punk rendition, a metal version, ska version, latino version and even a version with made-up lyrics sung by native Americans.

If you want to hear it for yourself, God Is A Moog: The Electronic Prayers of Gershon Kingsley is out in November – but you can get a sneak preview of one of the tracks, The Jewish Experience Part 2, by clicking here.

Reboot Stereophonic is online at: http://www.rebooters.net/rebootstereophonic/index.html

 
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