Friday, November 14, 2008

Object of Desire

On the front desk at Fopp records earlier in the week was the ultimate Christmas gift object of desire for these jaded times: a stylophone with MP3 connectivity. Its always interesting with such things to wonder how many were sold, and how few were actually used on records. Retro wise we had "Style" by Orbital, but that's about the best I can think of. I had a Casio VL-Tone, which was, to my knowledge, only ever used on "Da da da" by Trio and "The Man Whose Head Expanded" by the Fall, (even I never used it on my own songs!)

Makes one think: these iconic instruments are "iconic" not for their use, but for their uselessness. I'm wondering what is the most ubiquitous of electronic instruments (it would be too hard to do the same thing for guitars!) - the DX7? Roland Jupiter? Mini Moog? Or something unheralded, an every day workhorse drum machine that appears on 1 out of 2 records you'll hear in a particular year?

2 comments:

Doughboy said...

808 state are named after a Roland TR-808 drum machine and i'm sure there's other named after drum machines.

the drum machine has to be the most important (and 80s) piece of pop music electronica - because it gets rid of one of the humans from a band.
electronic singers have never caught on. and keyboards still need fingers

Bournemouth Runner said...

I'd say the 808 itself might have to be the numero uno electronic device, never mind drum machines. 808 + 303 + 101 now form a band comes to mind
http://www.discogs.com/release/67020
...and what's the new Kanye West album called but "808s and heartbreak" with 808 sounds on every track.. so good call!