Back in the old days, in the late eighties and early nineties, when I was a struggling young musician with more talent than money, all I wanted was a KORG synthesiser. The other spotty oiks and I would linger longingly in music shops before we were tazered out of the door by surly assistants, wishing we could scrape together the thousands of pounds the beautiful big KORG keyboards cost. The M1 was, and still is, the biggest-selling digital keyboard of all time, bigger even than the Yamaha DX7. Successive KORG keyboards introduced staggering new levels of sonic wickedness - every synthesised sound was like the opening of the soundtrack to Bladerunner, or Dune, or, hmm, Never Ending Story.
The trouble was that each sound was so distinctive that you could only really use it once. Which meant that, 128 songs later, you'd pretty much rinsed your keyboard.
While other companies pursued higher and higher fidelity samples (i.e. recordings of actual instruments) KORG pursued synthesising excellence. They got excited about manipulating sounds rather than emulating them. And they starting making weird new electronic instruments that didn't look like instruments, but looked like a table-top Pong game, or possibly a Magna Doodle. They took synthesising technology, effectively stuff from the sixties and seventies, and found new ways to present it. Hence the return of bleepy Moog sounds and fat analogue basses to dance music.