In this new section of I♥SYNTHS we’ll be talking to some of our favorite musicians and synthesizer collectors from around the world. We’ll take a peak at their collections, talk about their writing processes, share synthesizer stories and much more. This section will be updated on a weekly basis so, keep checking back for more interviews.
Inspired by 80’s synth pop, disco, new wave music and a love for analog synths, musician/producer Shawn Ward created FM Attack and released the debut album “Dreamatic” in 2009 on Tonite Records. The album was received with critical acclaim, leading to remixes for artists including Pnau, Edwin Van Cleef, Super Mal, Sally Shapiro, Tesla Boy, Visitor, Trans-X and Richard Marx. Fm Attack recently signed a worldwide publishing deal with Chrysalis Music and released a new album “Deja Vu”.
RetroSound is the German-based musician and vintage synthesizer geek, Marko Ettlich. He is a publisher of a popular vintage synthesizer channel on YouTube and an author for different music magazines.
Dallas Campbell: is a synth nerd and general gear fanatic from West Virginia, USA. He has been in many music project over the years, usually playing bass and or vocals. Over the past 12 months, he has focused more on making electronic music. Drawing influence from the sounds of the late 70s and early 80s, Dallas continues to obsess about hardware and sometimes even finds the time to record a track or two.
Richard Devine is an electronic producer/sound designer based from Atlanta GA. His focus is on musical composition, sonic mnemonics, field recording, sound effects and specialized sound design for T.V/Film, web media and video games.
Michel van Osenbruggen also known as Synth.nl is a producer, composer and synthesizer collector from the Netherlands. Developing software, installing computer networks and repairing electronics led to his obsession with synthesizers. With influences from Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis, Synth.nl creates beautifully melodic synthesizer electronica.
Soft Lighting is the solo music project of Brian Cox. I picked the name at a time when I was really getting into photography and learning about lighting. I thought it fit the kind of chill sultry vibe of the music. I first started making electronic music when I was in high school and Radiohead’s “Kid” A came out. That was around the same time music editing software was becoming easily available.
Kebu is a composer and keyboardist, who creates melodic synthesizer music, common to the sounds that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s. He’s attracted a lot of appraisal for his captivating live performances and over one million views on his YouTube channel. Playing in numerous bands through the years, touring and recording awesome studio videos, he’s had some time to acquire a pretty nice collection of synthesizers.
Custom Synth is a custom equipment builder from the UK that specializes in refinishing high-tech equipment for celebrities and musicians from around the world. From purple Korg MS20s to chromed-out Moogs, there isn’t anything Custom Synth can’t do.
In 1989, Shawn Rudiman started production work with Ed Vargo as part of the seminal Industrial group T.H.D. (Total Harmonic Distortion). This EBM/Elektro unit became quite popular in the EBM/Industrial music scene of the early to mid 90′s. They released 4 full-length albums, countless remixes and compilation releases on both European and domestic labels. During these formative years, Shawn developed a fascination with vintage music machines. In 1997, he decided to stray from his Industrial-EBM roots to explore the depths of pure rhythm and sounds in Techno music.
Rudiman’s all live sets of non-stop, improvised techno became his trademark. His innate understanding of hardware drum machines, sequencers, samplers and synthesizers gave his performances the fluidity and smoothness of any DJ set, but entirely flexible in direction and tempo (well before the introduction of software live applications). These performances gained international attention throughout the Techno community and became the stuff of legend.
Today he resides in the Midwest, still releasing records and remixes. Always a consummate studio enthusiast, Shawn maintains, repairs and builds analog and vintage synthesizers while keeping a busy international touring schedule.
Tiny Wight has been composing electronic dance music for over 20 years with his dark electro-shock band The Deadites. Best known for their outrageous live performances and their annual “Halloween Extravaganza”, The Deadites have also received considerable critical acclaim for their recently released EP “The Big, Scary Monster Hunts at Midnight”.
In late 2013, Tiny eschewed the ease and flexibility of composing with VST instruments for the real-life, hands-on satisfaction of creating music with vintage and modern analog synthesizers and electric pianos. Since then, his collection has grown to include some of the coolest synths from the 70′s until today.
Betamaxx is a 27 year old producer out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA. His current focus is on an 80′s synthpop and movie soundtrack music. With a slew of retro synthesizers he takes you back in time while maintaining a fresh contemporary new electro sound.
pulsewidthmod is the solo project of Maeghan Donovan. Her set is emotive and the sounds are constantly evolving sequences that vary from ethereal to abrasive percussions. The result is an eclectic mix of tones and textures with an underlying beat that you can tap your foot to or hopefully … to move you into action.