Fresh off the press from Bjooks, comes their new 320-page hardcover book which sits nicely alongside PUSH TURN MOVE, PATCH & TWEAK, and PEDAL CRUSH tomes and takes readers on an awe-inspiring ride through the world of vintage synthesizers.
Authored and curated by well-known synth expert and music technology writer 'Dr. Mike' Metlay, SYNTH GEMS 1 takes readers on a chronological journey through a unique selection of over 60 synthesizers — some popular, some rare, all beautiful. Meant for newcomers to synthesis as well as experienced electronic musicians, SYNTH GEMS 1 spans the critical historical period from 1970 to 2000 with stunning photography and detailed articles that explain the history, technology, and legacy of each instrument.
Featuring a foreword by renowned songwriter Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure), SYNTH GEMS 1 takes readers on a visual voyage through dozens of synthesizers that shaped the last three decades of the 20th Century. Fittingly, the book opens in 1970 with the remarkable story of the Minimoog, including high-quality photos of the prototypes that led to its final design. From there, the reader will encounter historical milestones like the Yamaha GX‑1, Korg PS‑3300, and Oberheim Matrix‑12, and rare and unusual treasures like the RSF Kobol, Gleeman Pentaphonic Clear, and Waldorf Wave — ending in the year 2000 with the Alesis Andromeda.
“I think of the SYNTH GEMS series as a set of exhibition catalogues, like the ones sold at art galleries that allow visitors to take home the essence of the works on display,” Metlay explains. “In each volume, we provide a guided tour of an incredible synth exhibition — curated from different museums around the world — that could never exist in one location.”
Each instrument is stunningly photographed, and the accompanying text gives readers a detailed breakdown of its historical context, sonic design, visual aesthetics, and impact in the contemporary music world. These articles — meticulously researched and verified by industry authorities, including many of the instruments’ original creators — turn SYNTH GEMS 1 into an unprecedented reference volume.
SYNTH GEMS 1 will be available through authorised resellers, and at bjooks.com beginning on 01 October 2021 in the EU and from 01 November in the US. Pricing is as follows: 450 DKK / $69.95 USD / €59,95 EUR / $89.95 CAD.
Click here to read an early-bird SOS review of Synth Gems 1 (to be included in our January 2022 issues) .