Suzuki to re-release Omnichord for 70th anniversary
The spike in interest in the Omnichord caused by its use on the Gorillaz track Clint Eastwood has prompted Suzuki to reproduce it for their 70th anniversary.
Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing first produced the kidney-shaped Onmichord in 1981. The idea was that it was a strumable electronic instrument that sat somewhere between a guitar and a button accordion. The Omnichord had a “Sonic Strings” touch plate that you would drag your fingers across to trigger chords defined by the buttons you held down.
It had features like those found on an automatic home keyboard with built-in rhythms and an auto-bassline. It was these elements that were used on the Clint Eastwood track, as recently revealed by Damon Albarn in an interview for Apple Music.
Of course, Suzuki may have been planning to reproduce the Omnichord for ages. It says on the website that people have been asking ever since they stopped production in 1999. But there’s a rather lovely synergy here with the obvious affection Damon has for the device. And he’s not the only famous musician to strum an Omni. It’s also been used by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Eurythmics and David Bowie.
Suzuki hasn’t yet announced which model they will reproduce or if it will be the same or an updated version. The OM-27 is the original, whereas Damon is rockin’ the OM-300. It’s planned for release in the autumn of 2023. Mr Manji Suzuki established the company in 1954 to manufacture harmonicas, which have sold over 13 million.
- Suzuki website.
- Suzuki Omnichord OM-300: Suzuki
- Suzuki Omnichord OM-27: Suzuki
Good news! I hope they release something closer to the OM-300 (in white).
i hope with programmable beats n bass!
brian eno playing an omnichord live on miss sarajevo is pretty relevant. spot the ribbon controller flub at 2:46 😀 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWXQdw-YvVM
Best news of the year so far!!!
Under 200 USD please so that everyone can afford it. If you think you cannot make it call Behringer for help.
Eyeroll. The way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of a company isn’t to make a cheap Behringer piece of junk. The original OM-27 was over $200 when it came out. If a person wants one and can’t afford it, they can do what people did back then – save up for one.
yeah, because who cares about music being accessible!