This is how you announce a synthesizer. Begin with a startling product, add a beautifully crafted website oozing with charm and personal detail, and project a sense of craftsmanship and desirability. Polivoks, the legendary Soviet-era synthesizer, is being reissued in terribly small numbers.
There’s still lots we don’t know, particularly around the pricing and availability but we do know that they are only making 100. So this is not a synth for the people, it’s for the bourgeois elite.
I recently posted an article about the music behind the reboot of Doom. Composer Mick Gordon used an original Polivoks to create some of the head splitting synth sounds. It brings a unique edge to the sounds and he found that everything was pretty much accidental due to all the controls being labelled in Russian. You can read all about that here.
So what do we know about the reissued Polivoks?
It’s been made considerably smaller. They’ve dispensed with the keyboard and got the weight down from 20kg to 3kg. They are hand built in Moscow using 85% Soviet-era components as used in the original. The Russian labels remain (which of course it would be ridiculous without) but they’ve put a handy translation on the bottom of the unit. Although, where’s the fun in that? There’s MIDI In and Thru on the back along with a bunch of Russian labelled audio jack sockets. These don’t seem to have translations on the bottom but along with a regular output I think I can spot cutoff and modulation amongst the labels.
The best to get a feel for the Polivoks is to absorb the YouTube videos of the synth in action. There are plenty on their website. To be honest it sounds a bit mental!
For more information and to register your interest in acquiring a legend, head over to the gorgeous Polivoks website.