Axel Hartmann has been the go-to designer in the music industry for over 30 years.

Hartmann has lived and breathed synths, in particular, The Rhodes for a near on three decades. His very first Mark 1, which was bought by his grandfather, had such an influence on the then 16-year-old, it sparked a love affair that would last a lifetime.

A musician in his own right, his passion and interest in electronic music led him to work with German synth company Waldorf, where he made his mark with the iconic wave ‘uber synth’.  From there, he made incredible contributions to Moog, and Arturia, and perhaps what may well be the apple of every synth-loving fan’s eye, his namesake, the Hartmann Neuron synthesizer.

He is responsible for the design and ergonomics of notable products that include some of the most remarkable electronic musical instruments of modern times.

Axel’s latest project sees him credited with the external design of the Mark 8. Approached by Dan Goldman, who Axel was inadvertently a fan of, having watched him play on Youtube. The design of the Mark 8, was 2 years in the making.

We spoke with Axel giving us an exclusive behind-the-scenes chat about the development of the Rhodes MK8.

Interview by Radi Safi