“It isn’t natural.”
2005’s ‘Moog’ documentary introduces us to the sacred world of Robert Moog’s relationship to Sound, and, along the way, to crucial developments that would shape the birth of Electronic music decades later. Mr. Moog and other descendents of strange-eyed men in scruffy lab-coats were stumbling across aural epiphanies, inaugurating worlds of music previously unimaginable. Sounds stripped of the cosy media of strings and skins and wood, which for a small eternity had shaded it into its dialects.
Inventions like the Theremin, and later the Moog synthesizers, seemed to tap directly into raw, alien sound. So foreign and startling were these naked sounds, oscillations and wave-intersections, that for years critics accused him of perverting music. Through Moog’s eyes and ears the petty argument (tellingly still with us) that Electronic music is somehow less emotional, is cold and aloof, is turned upside-down: Through synthesizers and analogue techniques sound could be explored in an unprecedented way; and – for Moog at least – attain an intimacy far beyond the plucking of strings or tapping of skins.
Through extensive interviews we are exposed to the near spiritual dimension of Moog’s experience of music, and the delightful, hit-and-miss glitches and triumphs of a fledgling, wild technology. Joining Mr. Moog via exclusive performances and interviews are some of the first to jump onto his psychedelic dream machine – Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Funk whiz Bernie Worrel and UFO-Jazz savant Sun Ra, along with postmodern devotees Luke Vibert, DJ Spooky and Stereolab. Intergalactic stuff! Lovers of sound tuck in…