Roland continues their journey into uncharted waters – following the unexpected entry into categories like DIN sync, control voltage-manipulated analog, and Eurorack modular, the Japanese titan today teases something new it’s calling “Roland Boutique.”

The legacy is spelled out in the opening – Jupiter-8, JX-3P, and Juno-106 synth keyboards from the early 80s give way to three backlit boxes with just-visible faders with LEDs on them. And at least we see there’s no eye-blinding green LEDs (cough, AIRA).

So, this is pretty obvious: you get one box inspired by each of the earlier ones. Really, it’s the word ’boutique’ that’s confusing – is this a limited run? Another partnership with a smaller builder? Just marketing? Is it proof that at last evil, mustachioed hipsters somehow broken into Roland headquarters and are they now running the company? Will we never be able to buy a BOSS pedal again, but we will get a line of bespoke Roland gourmet pickles and craft beers, after they relocate to Oakland?

Let me give you a hint about what they are, though. If you ever want someone to disguise your identity, don’t let it be the people who light Roland teasers. Because I just adjusted my histogram, and… well, these are mini keyboards. (Hmmm, Yamaha, starting a trend here?) At least they have what appear to be loads of controls.



Also, I never expected Roland would be the first large maker to learn from the classic EDP-Wasp:


And yes, if I hadn’t done this, Roland, you know the forums would have.