If you’ve ever spent any time looking for synth reviews, you will have hopefully come across the synth review general, the King of unofficial product demo’s, the guvnor of f’ing great programming – WC Olo Garb, aka Jexus, aka, some other unknown names.
This man reviews synths like no other and I managed to track him down for an exclusive nerd-on-nerd interview…
Hello you. Who are you today? WC, Jexus, Superman, AN Other??
Depends where I’m at or who I’m talking to. As long as I stay in the Internet and talk synth-related stuff, I guess I live out the Jexus character.
Can you tell us a little about your musical background?
My Mom took me to piano lessons but I refused to attend because I didn’t like the idea of sheet music and notation. My Dad played guitar in a rock band and tried to instill in me the love for this instrument and bands like Black Sabbath but I preferred Guns N Roses and Aerosmith at that time.
Then came The Downward Spiral, the Antichrist Superstar and The Fragile (Nine Inch Nails & Marilyn Manson albums – Ed) which embodied everything that I expected from music and the artist. My life and character were transformed and along the way I started to dabble in synthesizers, mostly by looking at retail brochures at the very beginning, gaping at the prohibitive prices. But there’s hardly any background.
I’m not musically trained and I’m not a connoisseur of any sort.
I just do what I like; listen to some songs, play by ear, press some keys and tweak some knobs.
Your synth demos are the stuff of legend (or should be). Can we expect more in the future and what are you likely to test?
Uhmmm, I’m afraid the amount of the demos I make is inversely proportional to the time axis. The more I buy, the less there is to buy, and I’ve bought pretty much. Right now I’ve got the A6 which is my last purchase, so I’m going to do a demo of it in (late) 2013, but I haven’t bought anything new after that. I don’t plan the future, I act rather spontaneously, so I can’t say much. Out of the new things I’d like to check out the Waldorf/Studiologic Sledge. But I don’t feel like moving my ass to actually buy it. In the meantime I’m going to post a new AN1x demo because the original one had terrible production.
How do you manage to create videos that look like they’ve been found at the bottom of a skip in the 70′s yet exude watchability? Where do you find all that crazy footage? Can you dish your secrets (please)?
Well, apart from being impressed by some epic sounds I’ve been also impressed by some epic images that I saw on the TV or in the movies, and the way those images influenced viewer’s emotions, so I bought myself some video hardware and software and arranged it into a little room which I use for making my videos. And I want these videos to be something more that just a succession of frames. There can be so many layers and messages in the audio-visual medium and I’m happy to make use of it. To entertain the viewer, to entertain myself, to vent my fury, I don’t know, it’s kind of an instinct.
If something is to be watched, it seems natural to me that it should be as watchable as possible. The greatest crime against my life would be to make mediocre things while my resources and life situation enable me to make better things.
So I just make the effort, follow my mind’s eye and I’m glad you like the results. As for the sources, I try to search for the footage in places where other people are least likely to search. But I can lift the curtain a bit at least for those living in Cracow; check out the large building on Rajska Street
What’s your current gear set up?
Oooh, just several synths, many cables and a computer. Plus some miscellany
What’s the worst synth you’ve reviewed?
I don’t know. I want to refrain from using that word as often as possible.
Even the most disappointing synth has a side to it that makes it, in some respect, better or more enjoyable than other synths. They’re like tools which are selected for specific tasks, so the words ‘best’ and ‘worst’ are not applicable.
But if you ask me about the least enjoyable synth experience I’ve had, I could point at the Roland SA-09 Saturn, if we can call it a synth at all.
Which one track should we promo for you and why?
Would you be willing to share a little selection of your patches for the allthegear readers?
Nope, it’s possible that I’ll make a video tutorial of my patches so I want to have everything under control. No spoilers allowed.
Quick fire round…Digital or analogue?
- Both. Whatever sounds cool is cool.
Roland or Korg?
- Both. An army needs grenades as much as it needs mortars.
Cats or dogs?
- Dogs. I see more depth in their eyes.
PC or Mac?
- PC. I got used to two buttons on the mouse and having one button is kinda lame.
UK or USA?
- The US. Had relatives there, and pretty much everything else.
Beatles or Stones?
- Both are unlistenable, although I think Charles Manson likes the Beetles more.
Facebook or Twitter?
- I don’t give a shit.
Desert island synth?
- Waldorf Q.
Many thanks to WC / Jexus for his time, talent and craziness.
Here’s some links you must go to RIGHT NOW!
His home on the web – http://syntezatory.prv.pl/
The Jexux YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/jexus