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Electro duo on their love for retro synths

Sasha Kojevin and Katya Tiger are hot Russian electro dance duo Tiger Cubes. They can’t live without their retro Soviet keyboards.

"Our secret weapon is an old Soviet Aelita synth,” says Sasha. “In the '90s when Russia was still pretty closed to imports, we used to play on Soviet retro instruments. That wasn't a tribute to fashion or some kind of an attitude, we even didn't like that outdated sound. We simply couldn't afford better instruments and had to use what was available.

“In 2001 my friend Peter who owned an Aelita synth asked me to swap it for a soundcard because he wanted to do computer-based music. Katya had an old Awe64 soundcard, so we made a deal. It was a fantastic deal — the soundcard devalued within a year to cost £1, but you’ll find Aelitas demanding up to £2500 on eBay today.

We got a great sound! When filters are open, it's a vicious beast, when closed, it becomes womanly and tender. The voice is recognizable and unique. It's a pleasure playing a melody on it. The three instruments, Aelita synth, Jolana Special guitar and Jolana Color bass is what I use to cook our disco sound."

"Sometimes we think, 'Why not sell it and buy two modern analog synths?'” Katya says. “No way, the Aelita has three oscillators, it is a crazy thing. When detuned slightly, the three unison voices of the synth start mixing into something mad! We'd better invest and build MIDI into it, it’s just too good.”