It’s never failed to fascinate me how in everything – especially music and fashion – history truly does repeat itself.
Yesterday, as my blinking cursor landed in the Google search engine as most people’s do before the first sip of their morning coffee – I was curious what the significance of the synthesizer doodle on the front page was. After scrolling over the tiny keyboard buttons (to hear they simulated a cute chime) and clicking through, I found that the cool doodle symbolized Robert Moog’s birthday – the man behind the Moog synthesizer.
Originally just an experimental contraption with knobs and handles, Moog saw the value in adding keys to the instrument, therefore making the spacey sounds more playable for composers. What he admittedly didn’t like, or expect, was how pop artists relished in the birth of this experimental instrument and the ease of playing it on stage. And so happened the 70s and 80s, when the synthesizer – a pop concept consisting of wonky riffs and sonic sounds to accompany the neon-clad bands, their teased manes and drug-induced song writing – became a studio staple.
And here we are, back at the beginning of the musical cul-de-sac, with the same hip heads of hair, tight and bright costumed, experimental kids writing tunes that pull from Moog’s explorative idea book of atmospheric keyboard noises – putting equally weird lyrical spins on their tunes and seeming just as (if not more) radical than the 80s subculture that made the synth-pop sound famous.Something about the robotic noise genre known as synth-pop or electronica has always managed to represent an alternative movement in music; something that’s youthful, strange, limitless and not fit for the status quo.
Although the retro noise has re-infiltrated airwaves (everything from David Guetta to Rihanna to LMFAO) after a major decline in popularity during the 90s and early millennium, we can’t forget that Mr. Moog first heard his little toy played – in nearly the exact same way – as far back as 50 years ago; always in a slightly eccentric and rebellious way.
Let’s take a look back at some of the more historical Moog sounds – and then check out how the strangely catchy electronic keys have made their way back onto the scene:
(LOVE this new tune)