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Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt and Malte Pelleter


Soundlectures on Travelling Drum Machines

The switch panel of my rhythm machine with labels like "Latin", "American", or "Traditional" is a display of the Black Atlantic – a post_colonial atlas, collecting the traumatic routes of slavery as well as the transnational present beats within a box-shaped ship, an ark. // The history of the drum machines is a history of the bootleg copy, a history of clones and of simulations of simulations. // During the 17th and 18th centuries, music boxes were very popular at the court of the Chinese emperor. They became a central element within missionary politics and of Western diplomacy. And, à propos 'Shanzai': The first forgers of music boxes were swiss Jesuits. // "Latin Rhythms" are an invention of Japanese electronical engineering during the 1960s. The rhythm machine is a tradition engraving machine. // "Drum machines have no soul!" was printed onto a sticker by John Wood in California, in order to rant against the suspected "dehumanziation of American Music". If properties like "American Music" are concerned, something like an ambiguous machine making music is unsettling. // The history of technical automata is a history of fascinated fear. Fascinating "other". Fear of the human/male replaceability. Fear of deceit.