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Thursday, August 25, 2005

RIP, Robert Moog

A great name in music has passed on. Robert A. Moog created the first commercially successful synthesizer, one playable using a keyboard interface. Wendy Carlos used it to demonstrate that synthesizers could perform serious music, with Switched On Bach. It brought new sounds to popular music. One favorite Moog composition is Hot Butter's Popcorn, a #9 hit in the United States in 1972 (and also used as the background music in one version of the classic video game Pengo!).

As a huge fan of synthesizers, particularly for the wider range of music they produce versus standard instruments, I honor Robert Moog's contribution to the music I love. Most synthpop bands use digital synthesizers, but there's just something special about an analog synthesizer that attracts my attention. For example, it's what made The Rentals stand out from the rest of 90's alt-rock. And I couldn't resist the two albums by The Moog Cookbook, which featured 90's alternative and 70's classic rock, respectively, performed on a variety of analog synthesizers.

I'll put this album on in his memory.


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