This has to be one of the rarest and/or the most obscure instrument featured in Nostalgia.

"Elektronika" was the so-called brand name for any former Soviet electronic product made in any former Soviet factory more or less involved in the manufacturing of any electronic devices and there were a whole range of electronic products released in Russia (watches, TV sets, amps, speakers, tuners, and more) that used this 'trademark'. Bizarre but true!

Wherever it originated, the EM-25 was a polyphonic synth specialising in strings, organ and brass. Like other such instruments, it was of the 'divide-down' variety to give a totally polyphonic generator through a single filter, amp and envelope.

The strings section had mixable contrabass, cello and violins with variable attack and decay and the obligatory chorus unit for the rich ensemble effect.

The organ offered variable footages at 16', 8', 4' and 2' with variable attack and decay whilst the brass section offered trombone and trumpet. Of course, none of these sounds were 'realistic' but there were plenty of controls and facilities to coax some sonic mileage out of this trio of sounds.

There was an LFO that could be used to sweep the apparently fiercely resonant, self-oscillating filter and all the sections could be mixed and balanced - even split across the keyboard range - and so, in that respect, the EM-25 was not unlike the Moog Opus, Korg Trident and other such keyboards. To the left was a performance section with a pitchbend lever that appears to have been lifted directly from Roland's 'bender' design!

The outstanding sound from the sections was the strings and I am extremely lucky to have this donation from Piotr Salewski in Poland who has carefully multi-sampled his own EM-25.

These are long, generous samples taken at C and G of every octave and I am very grateful to Piotr for taking the time to supply samples from this exceptionally rare instrument.

If you want a fascinating insight into the surprisingly prolific Russian home-grown synth market, you must visit this Russian on-line synth museum here.