It was late May 2009 when I was awakened by a phone call from an unidentified number. A man, who didn’t introduce himself, said that he has some rare music material that may interest me. An hour later, he picked me up from home and took me to what seemed to be his house in Tzur Hadassah, a small town near Jerusalem.
On the way he told me a story about a band that used to practice at his neighbour’s house back in the late 1970’s. They rehearsed almost every day for nearly two years, but they had never performed on stage. A few years later, when the house had been sold to someone else, a box of magnetic tapes was found in the basement. My mysterious stranger (who still refused to reveal his identity) had taken these tapes to his place, where he discovered that these were raw unfinished 8-track recordings of some rather extraordinary music, inspired by European library and electronic composers of its time.
When we arrived at his house, he took me to the cabinet and showed me the box with the name “Mordy Laye” written on it. I asked if he was going to give me the tapes. “No,” he replied, “I’ll give you these recordings in digital format. I’ve made a copy of each channel separately. And you will make an album out of all this material. I like your style and your dedication to the 60’s and 70’s sound and I think I’m putting Mordy’s music in the right hands”. When I pressed him for more details on the band and the recordings, he only said, “Give me your flash drive – I’ll make a copy for you”. In 7 minutes we were already on our way back.
Back home I realized that I had forgotten to get his phone number. I had no pictures of either him or the box of tapes; I didn’t even know his name. I knew how his house looked like, but later, when I tried to find him in Tzur Hadassah, my friend and I spent 3 hours searching across the entire area to no avail. Curiously, nothing looked familiar. All I had now were Mordy’s raw recordings from 30-odd years ago- and a mission.
What you’re now holding is a result of collaboration between Mule
Driver and me. We fell in love with Mordy’s music from the first hearing and did our best to fulfill his vision. We couldn’t find any information about him, so this record is probably our last chance. We hope that the man, who once called himself Mordy Laye, will hear this record, based on his music, and reach out to us.
Listen/purchase: The Mystery of Mordy Laye by Mordy Laye and the Group Modular
Buy it at discogs