Venezuelan award-winning producer Federico Ágreda Álvarez, best known as his stage name Zardonic, has released today a video with a teaser demo track created with sounds designed with the Reissue of the legendary vintage Soviet synthesizer Formanta Polivoks, and is giving away a royalty-free samplepack for all producers and enthusiasts to enjoy and create music with.
"The creation of Electronic Music is one of the first steps towards Transhumanism.", says Ágreda, "Being able to take any idea into sound with inputs from machines overcomes the fundamental human limitation of not knowing how to play an instrument. I was blessed with learning the Piano as a child and it obviously translates very well into any keyboard which transmits CV or MIDI, but the fact that anyone could do it disregards the importance of being a good player, because your ideas matter more than your skills. I was discussing this with my manager James Jeda, CEO of Rocktagon Worldwide. He considers himself a transhuman too, because his body functions thanks to a Pacemaker implant. Think about it, if our bodies are slowly replaced with robotic parts, we will become one with the machine. We will not even have to turn knobs or play keyboards anymore. We will only have to think, and then it will be so. Sounds almost like the idea of a god-like power. It's fascinating!"
Carefully captured and sequenced with FL Studio, the samplepack contains dry sounds used in the track as recorded from the Polivoks Reissue, as well as a few other with applied effects and bonus samples taken from his previously owned soviet vintage Polivoks.
"It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen and heard. The sound palette it adds to my studio is amazing! There is a certain romance in having the original unit, but having to pay the extra money to mod it and repair it after the airline you travel with throws it around and renders it useless is not worth it. It's a piece for a museum that requires a lot of love and care, but with this reissue they've done an amazing job. It's literally what everyone was hoping for!", he mentioned.
Only 100 units of the Reissue were manufactured, with owners including Zardonic as well as Christian Lorenz of Rammstein and jazz legend Sergey Letov. For more information on how to get the samplepack and if you're looking to buy one of the last few remaining units, check out www.polivoks.pro and you might still get it in time!
It's impossible to study the history of electronic music without understanding the genius of Lev Sergeyevich Termen, inventor of the first mass-produced electronic instrument, the Theremin, as early as 1920 and merely three years after the establishment of the Russian SFSR, just before the establishment of the Soviet Union. He also invented the world's first drum machine, the Rhythmicon, and even burglar alarms and covert listening devices used by the USSR for espionage which preceded RFID technology used to this day in our credit and debit cards. It comes as no surprise then, that the USSR saw the birth of visionaries like Vladimir Kuzmin, who created the first voltage controlled analog synthesizer of his country: the Polivoks. From 1982 to 1990, a total of 100,000 units of the instrument were manufactured in the Formanta Radio Plant in Kachkanar, 127 miles (205km) north of Yekaterinburg, making it one of the most popular vintage synthesizers to date due to its unique sound, history and extraordinary industrial design.
But the curtain dividing the East and the West was not lifted until the early nineties, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Eastern bloc and the end of the Cold War. Before then, Moog had no idea they had a Russian contender ready to take over the vintage instrument market, especially considering the poor management and marketing that led the legendary Dr. Bob Moog to leave his own company before it was forced to bankruptcy and ceased to operate. It seemed like the perfect timing for a rare synth of this calibre to catch the attention of Western artists. To this day, the Polivoks remains one of the most sought-after vintage instruments and an essential part in recordings by Franz Ferdinand, Rammstein, Goldfrapp, Coil and Exile, not without having played its role in the Synthpop, Euro Disco and Eurodance movements and even making it into the Doom 2016 game soundtrack composed by Mick Gordon.
However, it is not only difficult to find and own one of these units in mint condition, but also painful to ship, carry, service and maintain if you do. There is also the voltage difference factor, the lack of MIDI which is a standard in any modern studio environment (back then, the technology was barely making its entry in the synthesizer market in December of 1982 thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dave Smith, but for previously mentioned reasons it was not yet available in the USSR), the DIN audio inputs and outputs (as opposed to standard 1/4" audio jack cables), and the parameters being all in Russian and Cyrillic script.
These limitations led to several hardware recreations by Eurorack synthesizer manufacturers. Given the high demand of the Polivoks sound, visionary engineers Alexey Taber and Alex Pleninger joined Vladimir Kuzmin in 2016 to recreate the unit in a compact, light Desktop format which lowers the weight from 45lbs (20kg) to less than 7lbs (3kg), with MIDI input and output, allowing integration with MIDI controllers and modern DAWs. It also includes standard 1/4" jack inputs and outputs, CV/gate inputs for several parameters, ring modulation and pulse width modulation, vastly expanding its possibilities.
An icon, a globetrotter, an innovator and an outstanding performer, Federico Ágreda Álvarez is a multi-talented award-winning keyboardist, DJ, composer, producer and remixer, best known for his Rock infused Electronic Dance Music one-man-DJ project Zardonic, seamlessly encompassing Glitch Hop, Breakbeat, Electro House, Dubstep, Drum & Bass and Hardcore Techno with shredding Metal guitars and commanding vocals. Donning one of the Top 10 Best DJ Masks in the World, Zardonic has peaked at #1 on Beatport Drum & Bass, and Amazon's Hard Rock & Metal Bestsellers, with original releases in Skrillex's own OWSLA imprint, Dieselboy's Planet Human, AK1200's Big Riddim Recordings, and now exclusively signed with multiplatinum label eOne Music and released in Japan through JVC Kenwood Victor Entertainment Corporation.
Having remixed crème de la crème Industrial rock pioneers Nine Inch Nails, Billboard top charters Pop Evil, Norwegian black metallers Gorgoroth, Ukranian pop rockers Semargl, Japanese metalcore revelation Crossfaith, award winning producer Celldweller and UK electronic rock pioneers The Qemists, while getting remix treatments from Heavygrinder, Black Sun Empire, Neonlight, State Of Mind, Evol Intent, Counterstrike, The Outside Agency, and producing the debut album Freakshow by New Jersey shock rockers American Grim as well as the comeback album of the legendary New York metallers Eve To Adam, Ágreda represents an undeniable genre-defying force that relentlessly pushes all boundaries and standards of the mainstream and the underground scene, never settling for any rules, and pioneering the sound that is now predicted by the curators as the future of music.
Together with the voice of Mikey Rukus, he created the single "Bring It On" as the official theme for NBCSN World Series Of Fighting, and appeared live on national television during WSOF 22 at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Resort and during the Combate Americas event at The D Casino in Las Vegas on September 17, 2015. Not content with that, Zardonic is also featured in the video game Warlocks Vs Shadows, placing him among the exclusive ranks of such musicians turned game characters as Michael Jackson, KISS, Queen, 50 Cent, Iron Maiden, Journey, Britney Spears, Savant. His single, "Bring Back The Glory", garnering millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify, was recently featured in the film 11 Minutes by award winning Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski.
Since 2001, Ágreda has been awarded in his homeland Venezuela as a Best Keyboardist at the Metal Hecho En Venezuela Awards 2002-2003, Best Metal Act at the DistorXión Awards 2013, Best DJ at the Unión Rock Show Awards 2015 and Artist Of The Year at the Unión Rock Show Awards 2016. His tour history includes headlining events in 37 countries from his native country to the United States, México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Russia, Sri Lanka and Japan, with an incredibly loyal and enthusiastic fan base, calling themselves Zealots, that continues to grow to this day together with hundreds of millions of plays on YouTube including the more than 100,000 fan uploads from all over the world. His highly anticipated album Antihero, which released September 18th 2015, has seen the most amount of sales in his career, placing him in the Top lists of Tower Records Japan together with the likes of Simple Plan, Megadeth, and Dream Theater, which led him to perform on the Main Stage at the legendary Japanese Metal Festival Loud Park held at the 35000 capacity Saitama Super Arena, together with the likes of Scorpions, Whitesnake, Nightwish, Shinedown, Sixx A.M and Dokken. At the moment, his prolific genius continues to craft banger after banger as with the release of several new remixes and the production of his next album for a 2017 release.
Transhumanism: a movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
FL Studio: formerly known as FruityLoops. Industry standard DAW developed by Belgian company Image-Line for Windows, OSX, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Notable users include Martin Garrix, Mike Will Made It (producer for Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne), Avicii, deadmau5, Brian Transeau, Zardonic, Porter Robinson and several others.
DAW: A digital audio workstation or DAW is an electronic device or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files such as songs, musical pieces, human speech or sound effects.
Russian SFSR: the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, was a sovereign state in 1917–22, the largest, most populous, and most economically developed republic of the Soviet Union in 1922–91 and a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with its own legislation in 1990–91.
USSR / Soviet Union: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and included the current territories of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
RFID: Radio-frequency identification technology uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects, livestock, pets, credit cards and electronic toll collectors.
Berlin Wall: a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989 in West Germany and East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.
CV/Gate: Control Voltage/Gate. An analog method of controlling synthesizers, drum machines and other similar equipment with external sequencers. The control voltage typically controls pitch and the gate signal controls note on-off.
Moog: American-based electronic instrument manufacturer. Creators of the Moog Modular and the Minimoog.
Synthpop: musical movement that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument.
Eurodance: a genre of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) that originated in the late 1980s in Europe. It combines many elements of techno, house music and Euro disco.
Euro disco: variety of European forms of EDM that evolved from disco in the later 1970s; incorporating elements of pop, new wave and rock into a disco-like continuous dance atmosphere.
Dave Smith: engineer and musician responsible for the first polyphonic and microprocessor-controlled synthesizer, the Prophet 5, and later the multitimbral synthesizer. He is also referred to as the "Father of MIDI" for his role in the development of MIDI, now a standard interface protocol for electronic instruments and recording/pro audio equipment.
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a technical standard that describes a protocol, digital interface and connectors and allows a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers and other related devices to connect and communicate with one another.
Cyrillic script: a writing system used for various alphabets across eastern Europe and north and central Asia.