Widely dismissed as a passing novelty in its formative years, New York inventor Robert Moog's electronic synthesizer eventually evolved into the most revolutionary instrument of the past century. While the sonic burblings of the original Moog are too often associated with 60's/70's kitsch, musician/documentarian Hans Fjellestad ably frames his film/soundtrack around a more contemporary mix of styles that better showcase the instrument's enduring, nearly boundless potential. Fjellestad's own "Abominatron" intersperses samples of Moog himself discussing the instrument, while Stereolab and Meat Beat Manifesto offer the synth a compelling spotlight within their own band contexts and Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins give it some overdue funk/r&b props on "When Bernie Speaks." The bonus disc of non-film cuts haphazardly documents the instrument's historical contributions to rock/pop forms that range from prog (ELP, Yes) to new wave (Devo, Gary Numan, New Order) and mainstream kitsch (They Might Be Giants cover of the Disney Electrical Parade's "Baroque Hoedown") even as it shortchanges Moogphiles of the classical and soundtrack contributions of Wendy Carlos and the bold, inventive excursions of veteran jazz pianist Dick Hyman. --Jerry McCulley
The "hits" disc wasn't as interesting, but a nice bonus. I thought the TMBG track of the Disneyland Electric Parade was inspired, worth the price of admission. I didn't know anyone could ever be so stoned that they could listen to an 18 minute Yes song, though.
A lot of these songs really need time to develop, which is why the samples are nice, but not enough to show why you should get the album. The instrument lends itself to further development in the song, so when you hear a 30 second clip, you're really only getting a very small piece.
Overall, a VERY interesting look at what's going on in music these days (even if it is an older disc) and how Moog is still a big part of it.