Tag Archives: Wonder Stevie

stevie, roger and the vocoder book

Dave Tompkins has a vocoder blog ànd he’s just published a book on the vocoder: “How To Wreck A Nice Beach – The Vocoder From World War II To Hip Hop – The Machine Speaks” (Chicago: Stop Smiling 2010). Do not confuse a vocoder and a talk box, however … the former is a lot more hygienic, and the latter a lot more funky! Indeed, Mr. Tompkins also wrote a superb article on the talk box and those who used it (tank pilots, Alvino Rey, Doug Forbes, Pete Drake, Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton, Roger Troutman, Florian Schneider, dj Quik et al.) for Wax Poetics magazine (issue #35), but sadly there’s no trace of it on his blog. [Hopefully, there is in his book … There used to be a pdf of the article online but I can’t remember / trace back where that was.] In any case, Stevie Wonder was the first to give the talk box wide visibility, when he put on his tube on the tube, for a 1973 broadcast of Sesame Street … which Roger Troutman witnessed over at a cousin’s house, and the rest is history … so there. Meanwhile, here’s how to make your own talk box (be sure to have strong teeth + do buy some antiseptic mouth wash as well to avoid weird stomach viruses) + more on the talk box here (5′ into the interview) or via the links below … (We miss you Roger!)



Animated gif (2008-02-02) + Marseillaise by Anne LaplantineNote that Anne (interviewed here) is not Alain …Tout ceci par ici via vous voici!

tonto & the loan arrangers

Received opinion has it that “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts” (Brian Eno – David Byrne, 1981) was the first album to mix electronica and samples from ethnic music (and tv preachers, etc.), and that only “Persian love” (1979) by Holger Czukay – http://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/review/1717/ – predated its unique vision. Indeed, “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts” was groundbreaking, pioneering, (multiple) era defining. It’s a landmark album in popular culture. See also:





Well, “Riversong” by Robert Margouleff & Malcolm Cecil, off their lp “Tonto’s Expanding Head Band” (1971, aka “Zero Time” by Tonto’s Expanding Head Band) is another track which predated Byrne & Eno’s vision. Obviously, one can always find an earlier track that bears resemblance or pioneers one detail or other. Nitpicking is not the name of the game here. But what you can hear here clearly sets the scene … even if the vocals aren’t sampled.



More on Cecil, Margouleff and Tonto here; do check their work with Stevie Wonder!









#1: the back catalogue (aka ISSN 13773828)

[uzine] used to be a music e-zine between 1999 and 2006, run by a threesome and then some (from the mid to end nineties, it was a webzine called ultra – hence the u -, run by (kf) & (hs) a.o. ). The e-zine (now defunct, don’t dream of sending stuff for review) had about 3000 subscribers and even more dedicated readers. We did interviews and reviews and provided the playlists of our radio shows (expect those here later on as well) plus a lot of links, favelists, best of the year overviews, etc. … annexed is the the whole shebang in a 2,6 MB zip featuring txt files and a contents pdf …

Incidentally, everything here is “for demonstration & (internet) conversation purposes”. This here blog will not be making any media files downloadable; such are our settings on this here Posterous platform. If they are presented here, the purpose is to promote artists by providing tangible examples of their art & craft, and to have you, o dear readership, become equally enthusiastic about the art on display, perhaps even tempting you to purchase it legally. As the financial crisis of 2008 has shown, we’re living in a consumer society (and a services economy, and an attention economy, and a spectacle society), so everyone has to be aware of and do what it takes to keep the wheels going (without harming the planet). Also, it is our intent to always provide direct links to artist or label sites, and to the sources we got our information or data from … as well as other relevant and informative links, cf. this site’s subtitle. Conversely (vice versa, mutatis mutandis), we hope to be quoted whenever material of ours is used, including all stuff from the issues of [uzine] contained in this here zip containing our own writings. Do contact us if you have issues or questions …

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Update: since the switch from Posterous to WordPress, it’s no longer possible to offer a zip. Here’s the contents table instead, and an example issue. When there’s time, we’ll make a separate blogpost of each e-zine.