In Soviet times almost all consumer electronics were by-products of the Soviet military-industrial complex. Supposedly engineers were forced to make them by the government, so they weren't very enthusiastic about them and as a result weren't very high quality. I, of course, can not confirm or deny this. But weather or not it's true, this particular model: The Electronika EM 25 is still intriguing to me. You can probably guess why! It has a wonderful, early 80's Roland-style design.
It's a polyphonic synthesizer specialising in organ, string and brass sounds. Like the Roland RS-09 (and many other polyphonic/string synths at the time) it utilized divide-down technology, which means it had a single filter, amplifier and envelope that it's oscillators went through. Some find this approach appalling and unusable even. The thought is that "all string synths need to have an envelope that starts and finishes it's cycle for each note pressed"*. I don't think this is true. Perhaps it isn't emulating the perfect string sound, but it is a wonderful sound that's all it's own and in my experience sits very comfortably in any mix. Anyway, back to the EM 25! Each section could be mixed and balanced or split across the keyboard range. Brings to mind the functions of the Korg Trident, does it not?
* It's Full of Stars; Roland Goofed; April 23rd 2010
This is Misha, the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Designed by children's books illustrator Victor Chizhikov.