Ask any hip-hop producer about the Moog analogue synthesizer, and you’ll likely hear reverence, sometimes even a gasp. Not surprising since the instrument, the undisputed gold standard of synthesizers, has had a lasting influence on the hip-hop sound over the decades (think ’90s G-funk, a direct descendent of the Parliament sound). Now, Moog Music, the maker of the Minimoog Voyager analogue synthesizer, is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the instrument with a limited edition 24 karat gold plated synth. To mark this occasion, we got DJ Nu-Mark, member of the gold-selling hip-hop crew Jurassic 5, to talk about what the Moog has meant to him.
URB: When did you get your first Moog?
NU-MARK: I started using a Moog in 2000. I remember looking for the sounds used on Junkyard Band’s “Sardines” record and finding something close, but there are so many eras of the Moog that I wasn’t sure if that was the sound or just a good version of the pad I was looking for.
URB: What part has Moog played in creating your sound?
NU-MARK: Moog has set the bar as far as sonic dynamics is concerned. I usually use the Moog as a benchmark to match the bass sounds in my production. So if the bass in one of my tracks doesn’t hold up to a recorded Moog sound or software moog, then I know I need to either use a Moog or work more on my sound to give the track a larger sonic presence.
URB: The quintessential Moog track?
NU-MARK: It’s gotta be Jean Jacques Perrey’s “E.V.A.” I think he captured the entire feeling of the Moog in one track. He did an incredible job of combining other instruments that meshed with the Moog as well.
To watch the making of the gold plated Moog, click here.