It’s Afrorack become Switzerland! Afrorack aka Brian Bamanya has a fantastic video sweeping the biggest collection of synths in the world. And there are other ways to discover this collection on your own, from home or, if you’re lucky, in Fribourg.
Brian’s trip is not to be missed and really gives you a sense of the ladder Of the place. And he visits the maintenance department, a big part of that effort – and linked to Afrorack’s own DIY and recovery practice in Uganda, one everyone should take the time to check out. (Also, he points to Toto’s “Africa,” so that’s him, not me. Hey, that’s a banger.)
Afrorack’s residency was made possible thanks to the work of the Swiss Council for Culture – Pro Helvetia, which works to promote artistic creation and exchanges in Switzerland and around the world. They also have regular rotating calls and centers around the world, so to our Swiss and international audience, check them out:
SMEM’s collection is deep – early Ace Tone drum machines and combo organs, the 1968 CEI Bauer Carnaval electronic piano, Crumars and DK Synergy, Elgam, Elka, Fairlight CMI, Grundig tape recorders… okay, I don’t made that AG. You get the picture.
How did it all end up here? It all started with collector Klemens Nilkaus Trenkle, who worked for decades and grew with a supportive organization, volunteer efforts and donations from manufacturers and other benefactors. There was even a Kickstarter and efforts from Legowelt, Novation, Focusrite, Erica Synths, Teenage Engineering and Mutable Instruments. It’s all part of an innovation cluster called BlueFactory – compelling proof that vintage can be innovative, and that history and repair chops can help build the future.
If you can get to Freiburg, you can visit on your own. (Synths and fantasy of Swiss ski holidays!)
If you can’t make it to SMEM, they’ve worked with Google Arts & Culture to bring a number of interactive exhibits online. These are both a treat for gear enthusiasts – ranging from 808s and Temperament to newer stuff like the Monomer Bow and VCV Rack – and beginner-friendly, so useful as teaching tools or to explain your obsessions. to some friends.
Moreover, they come with 3D models that you can also rotate:
Still not enough pr0n material for you? Here is another presentation video:
Check out more work from Afrorack, if you missed it here on CDM – and maybe find some projects to try for yourself: