The MOOG & the Birth of Electronic Dance Music
Robert Moog. In 1965 he spearheaded a radical paradigm shift in music and its creation by inventing the Moog music synthesizer. Others had created computer based syths, but Moog was the first to create a modular keyboard instrument that allowed the musician to adjust timbre, pitch, intensity and fade, and it cost $11,000, a tenth of the price of RCA’s binary code run synthesizer. Then, in 1971, he invented the Minimoog, a portable synthesizer one easily could take on the stage and the road. Here is BBC video footage of the Moog’s 1965 world premiere.
Giorigio Moroder & Donna Summer. Leap forward six years to 1977. Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer craft a hit dance single almost entirely created on Moog synthesizers and what was to become known as the first completely electronic song: “I Feel Love.” Brian Eno is known for infamously bursting into David Bowie’s recording session for his Berlin Trilogy with Summer’s song.
Bowie says, “One day in Berlin … Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ … he puts on ‘I Feel Love’, by Donna Summer … He said, ‘This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ (From Bowie’s Sound and Vision CD liner notes.)
But why bore you with my writing about the significance of the Moroder/Summer collaboration. Here, Alison Goldfrapp narrates an amazing BBC Radio 2 documentary of the birth and significance of this song – Well worth a download and listen.
And if you wish to fully immerse yourself in electronic dance music history, download BBC’s four part series, The Great Bleep Forward: Presented by Andrew Collins. In 2004 along with BBC 6 Music, Collins explores the development of electronic music. Though the video isn’t anywhere online, the audio for the entire four part series is available for free from the Internet Archive. Why not download and listen to these truly intriguing intriguing and fun electronica history lessons on your way Home?
Then, perhaps you’ll find new appreciation for the epic pilgrimage the genre has made while your sparkly booty shakes to those incredible beats out on the playa. Oh, and, if you happen to be hitting decks out there, I’d sure looooove to be surprised by creative samples of Donna Summer’s monumental track.