Korg UK has displayed these interesting little Japanese made REON desktop synths at shows in the UK for a couple of years and they seem to have been around forever. Now, finally, they can announce that they’re able to import and sell them officially through the Korg UK website.
REON Drift Box
They are quite striking little boxes in the flesh, not beautiful exactly but fun and kinda serious-looking all at the same time. And then once you start having a go you realise that these are very cool indeed and you’re going to need at least one of each.
REON synths are hand-crafted in Japan using thru-hole components and offer a pleasingly familiar analogue experience. They are designed to be semi-modular revealing a bunch of CV ports for modular integration with other REON drift boxes or with a larger setup.
Each Drift Box shares much of their design but differs in key areas of filter or unique “drifting” abilities. Because these are all about warping and pushing themselves to the edge of possibility while clinging on for dear life – the “drift” bit is trying to reflect the idea of the motorsport drifting. But in reality what you get is a fun synth that likes to operate on the edges of analogue noise and loveliness.
Disappointingly they have crap names when they should have names based on imaginary and terribly cool drifting drivers. So the REON RE501RM Drift Box (Or shall we call it “Rude Mod”?) is the blue one which features a MIDI input and CV/Gate along with cross-modulation, FM and triggerable envelope. The REON RE501S (or perhaps “The Wanger”?) focuses hard on the drifting joystick, external input and filtering. No MIDI input on this one.
There are a lot more in the range yet to come. Exactly what the pros and cons are of each is difficult to tell but hopefully these things will become clear in time. At £399 for the Rude Mod and £389 for The Wanger they are not exactly cheap but are nicely engineered and could add an interesting dimension to your desktop.
REON page on the Korg UK website.