An underrated album i took the liberty to remaster and upload for the good of the people of the world.
All the sounds in this album were generated by the MCS70, a monophonic analog synthesizer designed, built and programmed by the Italian engineer Mario Maggi.
Automat was Musumarra’s initiative – after learning about the new instrument, he proposed to EMI Italy that he produce an album of electronic instrumental music. Although at the time such a project was considered risky, the answer was positive. EMI suggested, however, that Claudio Gizzi, a more experienced composer that already worked with them, also participate in the project.
The composition work was divided: Gizzi contributed to side A, who filled it with a long suite with 3 movements, and Musumarra contributed to side B, who composed three shorter pieces.
They had very little time to complete the project with only four weeks in the studio. As a result, the last track, Mecadence, was left somewhat incomplete.
The condition imposed by Mario Maggi to participate on the project was that the MCS70 were the only synthesizer used in it. All the sounds had to be obtained from it, even the drum sounds. The MCS70 would be presented in the 1978 Frankfurt Musikmesse and, for Maggi, the album would be a demonstration of the capabilities of his new synth.
MCS means “Memory Controlled Synthesizer”. It was common for synths at the time to need the manual adjustment of every control in the panel to get a desired sound, a task that often took a considerable amount of time. In the MCS70 a sound, once programmed, could be stored in memory and quickly recovered later. Mario Maggi filled the 64 available memory positions with sounds created by him and these were the sounds used in the album.
Only one MCS70 was ever built. Before going into production, polyphonic synthesizers like the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 arrived at the market and, all of a sudden, monophonic synths were considered obsolete. Mario Maggi then dropped the MCS70 project and started what would be his most famous synthesizer project ever: the polyphonic Elka Synthex. In many regards, though, the MCS70 was superior. The MCS70 was bought by Patrizio Fariselli, member of the Italian Progressive Rock band Area, and used extensively in the band’s 1980 album Tic-Tac.
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