Fantastic synthesists never mentioned on the VSE Pt.1

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Post by Jack Spider » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:51 am

Dave Greenfield from The Stranglers gets my vote. Recommended listening (I've left off their earlier material to keep with the 'synthy' theme):

The Raven
The Meninblack
La Folie
Feline
Aural Sculpture

All heavy on the Oberheim and Minimoog.

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Post by splitpoint » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:06 am

Synthesists that never get mentioned.... How 'bout Tony Carey - AKA Planet P. Not just a good synthesist but a good writer/arranger and multi-instrumentalist.
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Post by tim gueguen » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:42 am

I actually asked if anyone knew what was used on the first Planet P record a while back, but no one seemed to know.
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Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:20 am

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Post by masstronaut » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:14 am

Who that bunch of old codgers? ;)

When Oscar Sala did a presentation at the Goethe Institute in London some years back he had a (the?) (Mixtur)Trautonium in tow but he pretty much avoided playing it for us. I think it was probably not working very well. :(

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A tribute to Oscar Sala by Pete Namlook - http://www.furious.com/Perfect/ohm/oskarsala.html

Well that's put me in mind of the INA-GRM crew.

So here's Bernard Parmegiani:

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And some mental animation by Piotr Kamler. Youtube is rad sometimes.

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Post by Mooger5 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:00 pm

Irmin Schmidt & Bruno Spoerri. Only work I know of featured in an album called Machines from the Virgin label. Titled Rapido de Noir, a remarkable dark ambient track.

Global Communication. Produced a very enjoyable ambient album called 76:14.

Lemon Sol. Some obscure project from 1993. A brilliant CD called Environmental Architecture is the only work I know. A fusion of old-school trance and ambient. Heard it a thousand times.

A dutch trio called Nova. One of the musicians was Rob Papen, father of the Albino VSTi. Two albums, easy tunes with spacey arrangements. Akin to the lighter side of TD. Terranova was all Korg (Polysix, Monopoly and all the MS range, KR-55 and a Soundmaster DM). Quo Vadis was all Roland (all the Jups and the Promars, all the black SHs and a TR-808).
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Post by masstronaut » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:13 pm

Mooger5 wrote:Irmin Schmidt & Bruno Spoerri. Only work I know of featured in an album called Machines from the Virgin label. Titled Rapido de Noir, a remarkable dark ambient track.
I've heard 'Toy Planet' by these two, can't say it has all that many memorable moments though.

On some Can albums Irmin Schmidt is credited as playing Alpha 77 and Zurich keyboards. What are these? His tones generally sound more like organ things, it's quite rare to hear him using any dynamic filtering for instance, especially before 1976.

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Post by tim gueguen » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:53 pm

I saw a comment someplace that the Alpha 77 supposedly came from a firm in Zurich run by a friend of Schmidt's, which someone apparently conflated into him playing something called a Zurich. As to what the Alpha 77 actually was I've never seen a completely clear description. Some make it sound like a collection of filters, ring modulators and so on, while others imply its a rhythm machine. However I suspect any drum machine type sounds on Can recordings were from a Farfisa rhythm box. Much of what you hear keyswise on Can records is actually Farfisa Professional Duo organ and Professional Piano. Apparently the first "proper" synthesizer on a Can record was a Polymoog he used on the last album before they broke up. The two Farfisas were the core of his live setup as late as 1977 as you can see in the following vid from German TV.
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E.A.R.

Post by Slowchimes » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:34 am

I'd like to mention Sonic Boom's Experimental Audio Research project - Heavy on Serge stuff and Synthi AKs, the 1st 4 or so albums by these guys (or that guy, depending on the given group configuration on any particular album) were my gateway into the analog synth soundworld, having previously been a guitar only sort of guy....

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Pere Ubu

Post by Slowchimes » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:39 am

Oh, and best synth work in a rock band has hands down got to be Allen Ravenstine manic EML mangling in early Pere Ubu... sounds like nothing else..... Theres nothing better than hearing someone play synth in a rock band and not taking the 'its just an organ with some extra knobs' route....

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Post by masstronaut » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:48 am

Yes great stuff on both counts Slowchimes.

Re: "...nothing better than hearing someone play synth in a rock band and not taking the 'its just an organ with some extra knobs' route....", I refer you to Simply Saucer as mentioned up thread, just in case you've not had the pleasure.

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Post by shaft9000 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:26 am

meatballfulton wrote:Image
CRIPES, that's some serious brainpower right there.....like 30,000 IQ points or something like that
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Post by splitpoint » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:56 am

tim gueguen wrote:I actually asked if anyone knew what was used on the first Planet P record a while back, but no one seemed to know.
I read an interview years ago, I don't remember much but I do remember that Tony used a big pile of Roland gear to make that album. I'll poke around and see if I can find the interview.
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Post by Sexor » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:59 am

Joop Stokkermans is one of my heroes! He's a completely obscure Dutch guy who made a great ARP 2500 album:

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Apparently he also wrote the Dutch Eurovision song in 1971.
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Post by masstronaut » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:15 am

Brilliant, thanks for that.
Sexor wrote:Apparently he also wrote the Dutch Eurovision song in 1971.
Not to mention in 1962 and indeed 1968 when his creations received respectively nil and un point from the judges!
But yes, in 1971 this was the entry that reached No.6.

Saskia & Serge perform "Tijd" -

Oh what the heck - here are the earlier efforts too.

1968 -

1962 -

Nil Point! ;) (seems a bit harsh to me). CAUTION: there are no synths involved in the above videos. They are provided for entertainment purposes only and should not be used in mission critical situations.

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