• The debut issue of Synapse

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded just how fast technology is actually moving, and this morning I got a big nudge. I’d never heard of the short-lived music magazine Synapse, which published just 12 issues between 1976 and 1979, focusing on nonacademic electronic music. Most of the features focused on major figures in pop, rock, and jazz who embraced synthesizers, including Devo, Brian Eno, Herbie Hancock, Jan Hammer, Tangerine Dream, and Frank Zappa, and there was also an emphasis on gear and systems. These days, when so much music is made using relatively cheap home computers, it’s kind of mind-boggling to remember that just a few decades ago synthesizers were outrageously expensive, usually cumbersome, and often starkly limited in function.