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BEHIND THE BEAT Podcast: Folge #26 with Girts von Erica Synths

Published 7:42 am on Wednesday 2nd August 2023 by Beat Magazine

Depeche Mode masterming Martin Gore and art pop icon Lady Gaga. IDM pioneer Aphex Twin and the late Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Superstar Jean-Michel Jarre and underground noise master Merzbow. Their music may seem very different. But they all have one thing in common: They love to work with the modular instruments by Latvia's proudest electronic export, Erica Synths. Jarre even referred to the brand as a perfect example on what electronic craftsmanship should be like.

For founder Girts Ozolins the success story of Erica is a personal triumph. At the heart of the company is a burning passion for music. On the Erica website, visitors are treated to interviews with some of his heroes, conducted by Girts himself and filled with plenty of insightful questions and responses. These are not product placements in disguise – they are part of his journey.

Since day one, Erica has had its celebrity followers. And so, sounds made in Latvia have made it to some of the world's best selling records. Curiously, this instant and ongoing recognition has not lead the brand to search for exclusivity or keep the audience at bay. Quite to the contrary. Erica recently branched out into education through the introduction of its “mki x es.EDU” product line – DIY kits allowing users to familiarise themselves with the process of building their own synths. Jean-Michel Jarre referred to this hands-on quality when he said that these synthesizers are “a combination of the digital age and us - analogue animals made out of blood and bones” who “need buttons and knobs to touch.”

That is a nice compliment. But it doesn't seem like there is a complicated concept behind Erica Synths. These are simply great sounding devices built for intense use and live performances. If there is a philosophy behind them, then maybe it's this: Technology is not a threat to creativity. It is a conduit to more of it - unlocking new gateways every step of the way.

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Probably many musicians feel the same way: What plug-ins do others like to use, what do they look for when producing their music, what's really important to them when making it, and how do they approach new songs? In the BEHIND THE BEAT Podcast we talk about all these things and much more.

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