The Moog Minimoog has turned 40 years old. I got to write the cover story for this month’s Keyboard Magazine, following the history of the keyboard. I chronicled the details of the original Minimoog’s evolution largely through the accounts of Bill Hemsath, the man who built the first prototype of a synth imagined and developed by Hesmath, Bob Moog, Jim Scott, and Chad Hunt.
Whatever you make – music, hardware, software – the tale of the Minimoog’s birth through accident is especially compelling. Through Hesmath’s eyes, I revisited that genesis for Keyboard.
The future of the synth may have been determined by just which junked and cannibalized parts lay in storage. “There was a five-octave keyboard that [Bob] would steal key caps off of to replace chipped and broken ones,” Hemsath remembers. “Then there was an upper console case—it was four feet long but the end was broken out. So I got to work on the keyboard. The number of remaining keycaps determined its size, which turned out to be three octaves. So I hacksawed that down. There was a smashed keyboard case, and I cut it down to match. Originally, [Bob] had the portamento control on the left cheek. That was missing, so there was a little notch in the left cheek. And I needed something there. Well, how about a slider? That’d fit. So the forerunner of the wheel was that slide pot, just to fill that space.”
The result was the shell of what would become the Model A, the first Minimoog prototype. Hemsath bolted together modules from spare and rejected parts. “I’d sit down at my desk and take an apple out of one drawer and a module out of the other,” he says. By his count, just one model 901A oscillator was fresh stock; everything else was salvaged from Moog’s junk bin.
Actually, to me, it’s partly Hesmath’s story that badly needed telling – Bob Moog is a household name, but only the biggest synth history gurus know Hesmath. I’m deeply indebted to the Moog Foundation for allowing me to transcribe an interview with him they did just this summer; this is exactly the kind of work the foundation is doing to preserve the history of synthesis in general – Moog and beyond – and another reason why you should support their work.
Michelle Moog-Koussa, without whom I couldn’t have written this story, also has a must-read article from the same issue:
Bob Moog Lives
She details her father’s legacy, and the work the foundation does to reach out to students, their plans for a dream laboratory and museum, and more.
Of course, Moog isn’t just history, so for the we follow the parallel lines: Minimoog, Bob Moog, and the 70s, and then the ability of Dr. Moog to return to his vision with a reborn Moog Music company and the Voyager.
You can read the full story online:
The Minimoog at 40: From the Dawn of the Synth Age to New Voyages [Keyboard Magazine]
– but if you can get the newsstand copy, it’s well worth it for the nearly-pornographic foldout cover of the new Minimoog XL. Yes, we know your rational problems with the price or functionality of this instrument. No, it doesn’t change the visceral emotional reaction it inspires.
Thanks to Steve at Keyboard for the dream assignment, and to Emmy, Chris, and the crew at Moog Music, and Michelle at the Moog Foundation, for helping us put this together.
Sir David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan has been announced as the next in a long line of illustrious Dj’s and producers who have been invited to contribute a Fabric mix CD.
Rodigan will be mixing Fabriclive 54, which will be an education in roots, reggae and dancehall, marking a slight deviation form the usual forward thinking electronic mixes the label is known for. However with dub’s pervasive influence in modern club music and Rodigan’s high standing amongst music lovers it’s no surprise to see his inclusion in the series.
Rodigan’s career began in the late 70’s as one of the early propagators of sound-system culture and has since gone on to provide his music end energy on radio shows such as Kiss 100, Radio London, Capitol FM and BFBS Radio One, as well being in demand as a live artist.
Rodigan’s DJ sets are jam packed with energy and the finest selection of Roots, Dancehall and reggae known to man. We are sure this latest instalment to the Fabric series will not disappoint.
01. Augustus Pablo – King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
02. Big Youth – Waterhouse Rock
03. Alborosie – Kingston Town
04. Etana – August Town
05. Chezidek – Borderline
06. Romain Virgo – Live Mi Life
07. Cham – Ghetto Story
08. Super Cat – Don Dada
09. Pinchers – Bandelero
10. Prince Alla – Bucket Bottom
11. King Tubby – Roots Of Dub
12. Joe Gibbs & Errol T – He Prayed (Dubbed)
13. Tenor Saw – Ring The Alarm
14. Mr Vegas & Konshens – Help Me Praise Jahoviah
15. Bitty McLean – Plead My Cause
16. Beres Hammond – Can You Play Some More
17. Cadenza – Stop That Train
18. Sly, Robbie, Lenky & The Maximum Sound Crew – Black Board
19. Shaggy – Church Heathen
20. Collie Buddz – Come Around
21. Million Stylez – Police In Helicopter
Until then, check the video of Rodigan in action.
City Slang will release an album of remixes from Caribou‘s smash hit album Swim, this November. Featuring the great and the good from Fuck Buttons to Junior Boys, Ikonika to Gavin Russom, Swim Remixes pulls together a dizzying array of artists form across the musical spectrum. DJ Koze even manages to shoehorn three(!) mixes into the 15 strong track-list.
Swim was one of this year’s biggest albums and anyone who is wondering what the fuss is all about should be going to buy a copy right about…. now.
Caribou will be performing at Electronic Beats Ten Year Anniversary Party in Berlin alongside Barbara Panther next month. You can check out how to win tickets here.
In the meantime, check out his rather wonderful Radio Session for Electronic Beats Radio below.
Swim Remixes Track Listing :
1. Odessa (Junior Boys Mix)
2. Leave House (Motor City Drum Ensemble Remix)
3. Sun (Altrice’s "Only What You Gave Me" Remix)
4. Jamelia (Gold Panda Remix)
5. Bowls (Holden Remix)
6. Kaili (Fuck Buttons Remix)
7. Leave House (Ikonika Remix)
8. Found Out (DJ Koze Remix)
9. Jamelia (DJ Koze’s Alarmclock)
10. Bowls (Gavin Russom’s Rework)
11. Sun (patten Remix)
12. Odessa (David Wrench’s Drumapella)
13. Odessa (Nite Jewel Remix)
14. Kaili (Walls Remix)
15. Odessa (DJ Koze’s Campfire)
City Slang will release Swim Remixes on November 1st 2010
Well that's it. FILTER Magazine's First Annual Culture Collide Festival is officially over. After four days of live music, food truck foodstuffs, free drinks and giveaways at Happy Hour at TAIX Restaurant, and lots and lots of Redbull, Culture Collide ended tonight. Of course we had to go out with a bang!
Toyota Antics hosted a massive block party to mark the end of the festival and it was wild to say the least. Tons of music, free giveaways, specialty clothing tents, and of course, more FOOD TRUCKS!
Antics had a few specialty cars on site including a photo booth car, a candy handout car, and a video game car complete with a legitimate Galaga arcade console! Attendees played games, got their pictures taken, ate candy, and got free tee shirts and tote bags courtesy of Toyota Antics.
Continue reading at FILTERmagazine.com