Folktek is a slightly mysterious artistic collaboration who erratically produce extraordinary instruments and Eurorack modules that are works of art. They seem to pop up from time to time with something amazing and then fade away leaving you feeling like they may never surface again. But this time they are about to return with a whole lineup of modules the likes of which we’ve never seen before designed by artist Arius Blaze.
There are 6 new instruments in the range and they are not quite ready to go but they have just posted the details on the website. And this is the thing; they all look stunningly complex and intense and yet often have simple and normal functions.
It’s an envelope, an AR envelope that’s re-triggerable and there’s two of them. It’s a bit like the Rise and Fall of the Make Noise Maths but realised in this black and gold of mysterious things. It has touch plates to select clock speeds with multiples and divisions and can be trigger by both the clock and the trigger input so you can retrigger at any point in the cycle, not just on the release which is what you have with Maths and other envelopes. It has an end-of-cycle output and an inverted envelope output. You can also feed it an audio signal for synchronisation. This is essentially all I ever use Maths for in a smaller and more beautiful space.
It’s a multi-mode filter but not in terms of filter type but rather in different configurations of a low pass filter. It uses those lovely hexagonal touch plates to switch modes. There’s Normal, Noise CV Integration on the cutoff, Square Wave Replication at the input, Extreme Resonance Overdrive and All Modes Combined. That’s going to be nuts! The gain control hits 100% at 12 o’clock and everything to the right of that is to crush the incoming signal and turn everything to distortion.
There’s a vactrol on the output which acts (when plugged) as a voltage controlled gate adding further character and becomes a VCA when the filter is pushed into self-oscillation.
It’s a great name for a filter. It says that this will form part of a Kickstarter campaign for the Anthesis X, Y and Z complete systems.
A duophonic synth voice with two detunable analogue oscillators that can work together or independently. The waveforms of both can be faded between the usual shapes on a single control and there are FM and sync inputs. There’s also a sine wave sub-oscillator and a noise source with its own bandpass filter. There’s a three waveform LFO and four envelopes for modulation. There are all sorts of controls and switches over triggering, looping, direction, shapes and everything is pretty much CV controllable. They say it’s a “deep, rich development of sound with enormous possibility.”
It’s an extraordinary-looking thing and will also form part of the forthcoming Kickstarter campaign. Note the lack of filter – that’s where the Sift comes in.
It’s kind of a hybrid oscillator that uses the two oscillators section from the Anthesis, can be used together or independently. The oscillators are musically paired which sounds interesting. It has the sub-oscillator, FM and Sync but not the noise circuit. At the end is a vactrol so you can use Voices without an additional VCA if you wish.
This looks like a version of the Anthesis that’s a bit simpler, calmer and easier to understand. They say that this will also be part of a Kickstarter campaign for a “Voices” system.
It’s a mixer and 4 channel VCA. Its special power is to let you fade between all the signals on a single control – that’s the “fusion” part. Or it just mixes like a regular mixer with knob controls over each channel. If you send it a sequence it can jump between incoming signals like a triggerable 4-track.
And finally, we have a reverb and delay module. It uses seven pt2399 delays to create hugely complex patterns and systems of chaos. They can be reconfigured in a number of ways to move from regular delays to something strange and bonkers. They added a harmonic distortion to create a dirty pitch-shifted version of the original. They’ve also stuck a vactrol at the input, which is a stroke of genius, to gate the incoming signal before it hits the delays.
It looks like all these modules are part of a large Kickstarter campaign that’s scheduled for the summer. Exactly how they all fit together is not known at this point, neither is the pricing. But probably most importantly we don’t know how these sound – yet. According to Instagram, which is the best place to keep up with Folktek happenings, it’s not quite ready yet but it could all happen at any time. Once it launches we’ll bring you all the news.
I would love some Folktek in my rack, in fact, I’d love a whole rack of Folktek. Maybe this will be the right time for that.