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Twenty Systems

1 Mar 2008
4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Hi everyone,
I'm quite surprised that 4 years after its release there hasn't yet been a review of this excellent musical offering, so I'll give it a go!

Twenty Systems is an album which will very much appeal to and inspire fans of a) ambient music, b) vintage synth sounds, or even c) music producers looking for a quick history lesson in the world of synths.

The album contains 20 tracks featuring vintage synthesizers in ascending years from 1968-1987 (full track listing of synths at bottom of review page).
In nearly all cases, the album's British producer Ben 'Benge' Edwards has provided minimal composition or post-production effects, instead just letting the synthesizers speak for themselves for a couple of joyous minutes.

Now, whilst synth sounds from a bygone era might sound a tad geeky, I can assure you that most of the sounds are actually rather lovely and calming (though there are a couple of tracks where the synths sound like spooky 70s sci-fi film music instead - which is maybe no bad thing!).

I'm a fan of ambient music: I bought the album in 2008 and it is easily one of my most-listened to albums when I just want to relax, as the music takes you into a different and beautiful world.
(In addition, the CD version contains excellent liner notes which describe in good and easily-understandable detail the characteristics of the synthesizer whose track you're listening to).

And, for what its worth, the highly-respected ambient musician Brian Eno has praised the album highly, calling it 'a brilliant contribution to the archaeology of electronic music'.
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Interesting endeavour to capture the sounds of classic modular synths, one track per system. Could have given us a broader range of sounds of each system, but it gives an impression. The booklet gives a nice concise description of each system. Great addition to the modular / analogue synthesizer library, to complement books by Mark Vail and Mark Jenkins.
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Benge has been very subtle in his use of the instruments by not programming them with their signature sounds.

Beautiful
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Well if you have a love of synths from the classic period this should hit all the right spots and the sleevenotes are geeky too.
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