“We want to be a guiding star for modern musical instruments”: Ableton and Teenage Engineering veterans launch new company, Forever 89, and tease first product

Two music technology veterans, Svante Stadler and Rikard Jönsson, have announced that they’re launching a new company, Forever 89, and are teasing their first product.

This is currently in beta and very much under wraps at the moment, but a teaser trailer points to it being related to drums and percussion, and we’re told that resynthesis is also “a big part of the core experience”. More broadly, we can expect "a new way to mold, fold, bend, blend, push, pull, make, break, shape and explore."

Forever 89 arrives with impeccable pedigree. Svante Stadler has previously worked for Teenage Engineering, Reason Studios, Auxy, XLN Audio, Mellotron, and Pacemaker. Some of his product credits include the OP-1, Auxy’s iOS app, and the XO VST/AU.

Rikard Jönsson was, for a time, Ableton’s sole Product Marketing Manager, helping to ensure the success of multiple Ableton Live campaigns. He went on to join Ableton subsidiary Cycling ‘74 as a Product Manager for, its latest product, RNBO, and prior to all of that he spent time at Spotify when it was still a start-up.

Forever 89

Rikard Jönsson (left) and Svante Stadler.  (Image credit: Forever 89)

Forever 89 is named in homage to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s era that Stadler and Jönsson say was characterised by “groundbreaking innovation”.

“It reflects the rapid transformation of the world during that time,” the duo say of their company moniker, “marked by milestones such as the emergence of the internet, breakthroughs in genetic engineering, the widespread availability of GPS systems, the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, and many other significant events, all taking place during the pivotal years around the transition from the ‘80s to the ‘90s.”

Drawing on the sprit of those times, Stadler and Jönsson say that they now want to support the next generation of musicians. "We want to be a source for both playful exploration and a reliable tool for musical results,” says Jönsson, with Stadler adding that "We both grew up in a time when technological advances made last year's innovations look outdated. Our vision is to create opportunities for similar progress again."

Stadler concludes by saying that "We looked at our own needs as musicians and based our first product on that. We want to be a guiding star for modern musical instruments and also believe it's important to contribute with innovation in our sector.”

Suffice to say, we’re very keen to find out more. You can sign up for newsletter updates on the Forever 89 website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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