From acid house to prog-rock, there is no form of modern popular music that hasn’t been propelled forwards by the synthesizer. As a result, they have long been objects of fascination, desire and reverence for keyboard players, music producers and fans of electronic music alike. Whether looking at an imposing modular system or posing with a DX7 on Top of the Pops, the synth has also always had an undeniable physical presence.
Synthesizer Evolution: From Analogue to Digital (and Back) celebrates their impact on music and culture by providing a comprehensive and meticulously researched directory of every major synthesizer, drum machine and sampler made between 1963 and 1995. Each featured instrument is illustrated by hand and shown alongside its vital statistics and some fascinatingly quirky facts.
From its invention in the early 1960s to the digital revolution of the 1980s right up until the point that analogue circuits could be modelled using software in the mid-1990s, this book tells the story of synthesizers from analogue to digital – and back again.
Tracing that history and showing off their visual beauty with art-book quality illustrations, this a must for any self-respecting synth fan. The book has 128 pages, is 23cm x 17.4cm in size and printed on high quality 130gsm matt art paper.
Author Oli Freke says: “This book has grown out of a life-long obsession with synthesizers and electronic music, and it’s fantastic to be able to share this with my fellow synth obsessives and music fans who celebrate the synth’s role in modern music. I’m eternally grateful to Velocity Press for going with me on this journey and supporting the project so keenly.”
Synthesizer Evolution is in shops on 8 January 2021 but you can pre-order it now and receive it in November, signed by the author and with your name in the book.
Oli Freke is a London based musician, artist and author who has had a life-long passion for analogue synthesizers and electronic music. He has spent twenty years in the music industry, variously supporting the Human League on tour with his electro band Cassette Electrik, writing music for television and recently seeing success with a string of dance tracks. His Synth Evolution posters, launched in 2017, have become a popular product among synth fans and he was commissioned to produce a version for the London Design Museum’s exhibition, Electronic – from Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers in 2020.
Original blog post on Matrixsynth