Monday, August 4, 2008

Genuine and Persuasive

Our favorite thing about Richard Hayman’s Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine album is the use of the word “genuine.” As if there were a slew of fake “electric latin love machines” flooding the market. And who better to offer a maraca-shaking Mexican robot in a sombrero as genuine than a Jewish arranger who started off as a harmonica guru before heading for the Boston Pops. Maybe that’s why the LP was subtitled “Persuasive Electronics.” There was some convincing to do. Hayman recorded this gem of Moog antics well after his stint with Borrah Minevitch’s Harmonica Rascals, a group which also produced Johnny Puleo, the harmonica shortie who would go on to do his own Jewish-hits-on-harmonica album. Love Machine was a first (and a last), a contribution to two crazes at once: the Moog craze and the Latin craze. As far as I know, it was a one-of-a-kind analog electro experiment, applying the tonal kaleidoscope of Moog oscillations to “The Peanut Vendor,” “La Comparsa,” and why not, “Hare Krishna.” Hayman lulls us with a version of “Scarlet Ribbons” writer Evelyn Danzig’s “Melody #2″ and goes hardcore on his own “Samba de Victoria”. Flip the album cover over, though, and you learn that even the latin love machine has limits, not to mention a whole history of stereotype to uphold. Unplug the robot and all you’re left with is another sleeping Mexican.

1 comment:

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