Synthex is the recording alias of Holland’s Jeffrey. Jeffrey paints beautiful synthesiser watercolours, and has his debut album, Pythagorus, coming out at the end of this month.
Jeffrey is also 14.
We know, we know: it’s the age of the Internet, and kids are making music aged younger and younger, but this stuff is seriously impressive. We were tipped off to Synthex by Dutch synth king Legowelt, who posted a link to his website on Twitter today.
According to Synthax’s website, “It all started somewhere between 2004 and 2006. Two factors came together and turned out to be a perfect match: a second hand Casio MT-70 keyboard and a copy of Jean-Michel Jarre’s Aero album. Despite the young age, these black and white keys fascinated him. And not just of the Casio, but also the piano at the grandparents home, had the same effect. He ‘played’ on these black & whites any chance he got.
“Of course the first years it wasn’t really music. But it all layed the foundation for what was to come. Because throughout the years, you could hear a sound evolving. To support this growing need for keys, a bigger keyboard was brought in. A Yamaha YPT-200 keyboard. Larger, with more possibilities and sounds. Another aid in the development of a young musician.
“The turning point came, when he loaned a Yamaha CS1X. This brought many new possibilities. A whole summer vacation long Jeffrey could explor this instrument and he made his first steps on creating different sounds. An interesting phenomenon happened: when Jeffrey was listening to for example a song by Jean-Michel Jarre, it took him a few attempts and then he could play the basic melody of the song.
“After this wonderful summer vacation, it was clear that the Casio and Yamaha keyboards were too limited. Jeffrey had a strong desire to create more complex music and design his own sounds.
“So, a search began for a tool that would better suit teh needs and wishes of this young musician. Through Synthforum.nl, a few options were found. A Yamaha CS1X and a Roland XP80. We also got in touch with Ron Boots. Ron not only worked at a music store, where they sold synthesizers, but is also a musician himself. And on many occasions he gave good advice. So on his advice, the Roland XP80 was purchased. First with just some PC speakers, but later on a computer was added and some basic software was installed.”
“In the meantime Jeffrey also started taking piano lessons, as to work on his technical skills and learn to read notes. To be continued.”
Now, there’s a part of us that wondered if this was an elaborate back-story for a Legowelt alias, but Googling Jeffrey brings up videos of him performing Synthax tracks live, so it seems legit:
1. Pythagoras part 1 (10:07)
2. Pythagoras part 2 (13:59)
3. Samos (4:28)
4. Waves (6:17)
5. The Shadow (4:36)
6. Mechanical Dream (3:59)
7. View From Above (10:26)
8. Visages (4:19)
9. Metapontum (8:57)