New album, Half Mirror
, out now on Western Vinyl
“a mesmeric collection of electro-folk ... gorgeously sparse”
-ELECTRONIC SOUND MAGAZINE
"... a stark, reflective listening experience, with nature as a focus, rendered with zen-like clarity”
“spare and seductively lonesome pooling of bluesy folk and electronics ... nods to Martyn, Hollis, Crosby and Jason Molina.”
Balsam is a digital modal synthesizer designed by Matthew O'Connell. Named after the thick, resinous sap that flows from fir trees, the instrument’s sound dwells in the tension created by slow, sliding note bends and the release of gradually resolving chords.
Inspired by the playful experimentation of 1960’s west coast synthesis and the earthy feel of Bob Moog’s designs, Balsam features a curved walnut cabinet (built by designer Mike Newins) and an experimental slider interface designed to break the conventions of chromatic keyboards while still remaining harmonically musical. The sliders allow each individual voice to be pitch bent and modulated independently, creating an array of possibilities for building and resolving harmonic and timbral tension. The instrument is also equipped with MPE functionality, so it can be used in tandem with newer analog polysynths such as Black Corporation’s Deckard’s Dream.
O’Connell is planning a 25-unit, limited production of the instrument in 2022. If you would like more information, please visit galaxcorp.com