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Teenage Engineering

Swedish company Teenage Engineering was founded in Stockholm in 2005. Their first product was the OP-1, a synthesizer, sampler and sequencer that looks more like something you'd find in a modern art museum gift store than a music studio (the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art literally has one in its permanent collection). Released in 2010, it features a careful balance of music production features and physical limitations designed to inspire creativity, and which make the OP-1 a very focussed instrument.

Even more focussed is Teenage Engineering's Pocket Operator range of synthesizers, the first of which was released in 2015. These ultra-portable devices strip away everything that makes synthesizers and samplers expensive, leaving only their pristine sound engines, button controls and Nintendo Game & Watch-inspired screens.

This same philosophy has been applied to the Pocket Operator Modular range, which takes the endlessly expensive and complex world of modular synthesis and boils it down to its essential elements. The innovative company has even designed a line of audio equipment products for IKEA, and helped to develop a hand-held videogame console called Playdate. Teenage Engineering are a company that reliably find that furtive intersection of nostalgia and inspiration.

Photo credit: Dennis Cortés

Teenage Engineering PO-20 lying on a table-top
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