Synth Gems 1 - Mike Metlay

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Synth Gems 1 - Mike Metlay

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By Mike Metlay. Foreword by Vince Clarke

A 320-page hardcover art book celebrating vintage synthesizers, the people who created them, and some of the people who made them famous.

Authored and curated by “Dr. Mike” Metlay, Synth Gems 1 (we must anticipate a Synth Gems 2 in due course) takes you on a chronological journey looking at some 60 synthesizers—some popular, some rare, some wonderful, some frankly rather strange (the Lord Skywave, for instance, which Julian Colbeck in his Keyfax Omnibus Edition describes as “Not sufficiently interesting to propel users along even a gentle learning curve, much less the Skywave’s Himalayan trek.”).

But no matter, Synth Gems 1 will be your trusty Sherpa through synth history’s purple patch of 1970-2000, complete with beautiful pictures, many of them taken in Switzerland's Alladin's cave, 'Syntherama,' and articles that explain each instrument's history, technology and legacy.

While the text is admirably clean, clear and accurate, the pictures are what makes this a must-have. Many of the entries are so obscure you are simply never going to clap eyes on one in the flesh - the Yamaha GX1, the Elgam Carousel, the Soviet Mural Aelita, the Gleeman Pentaphonic Clear - and most vintage pics you'll have come across will be tiny, low res. and probably black and white. The photography in this book (principally by Peter M. Mahr) is an absolute visual tour de force.

“We provide a guided tour of an incredible synth exhibition—curated from different museums around the world—that could never exist in one location,” says author Mike Metlay. “Readers can walk around these beautiful instruments, examine them in detail and learn about how they influenced the world of music.”

If you are a synth nut, this is a book you will definitely find yourself drooling over. And, thanks to it’s glossy nature, your long-suffering partner can always wipe it down after..

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