Jarvis Cocker Evolves the Stylophone With The Fat White Family

We’ve had a double whammy of Jarvis Cocker stylophone action recently.

The ex-Pulp frontman uses the GEN X-1 on his latest track ‘Must I Evolve?’, with his new band Jarv Is.

Incidentally, this is a question we often ask at Dubreq HQ about our musical instruments – and the answer is always a resounding “YES!”

But while we’d love the song to not only include the GEN X-1 but also be totally ABOUT the GEN X-1, the lyrics are not about synthesisers.  In typical Jarvis style, he muses upon the ageing process, the miracle of creation and other stuff from inside his mind.

It’s a pretty epic song, and it includes the great line “Dragging my knuckles to Frankie Knuckles”.

In the process of making this track, Jarvis took a great photo of his “Stylophone Stack”, which featured the Gen X-1 mounted on top of 350S dual-stylus model. “Killer combination” he wrote, adding: “The results will be heard soon.’

Jarvis hasn’t stopped there, though…

He and DJ Parrot have recently remixed the single ‘Feet’ by the brilliantly chaotic The Fat White Family, the opener off their new album.

The track was an unusual disco-flavoured outing for the London band, something Mr Cocker has expanded upon for this remix, which has been embellished with, yes, the GEN X-1.

Have a listen/watch here.

[WARNING: the video includes a lot of moonwalking.]

https://youtu.be/TbwmvH4JeHc

A short history of Pulp and the Stylophone

Jarvis Cocker is no stranger to the Stylophone, of course, using it way back in 1992 on the B-side to Babies on a track called, appropriately, ‘Styloroc’.

In a 1994 interview with Record Collector magazine, he said: "’Styloroc’ was taken from demos we'd done earlier for Island. I tried to sing along with it, but it sounded like Whitesnake, so I recycled some lyrics from an old song that never got recorded, ‘Nights Of Suburbia’ and recited them over the top of this stylophone music.

You can check out the results here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOuH1gX0owU

He followed this up in 1993 with another dose of the Stylophone on a song called Stacks, the B-side to the single Razzmatazz.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMHcI7hZp74

It’s worth noting that Candida Doyle, Pulp’s keyboard/synth player, uses a Stylophone 350s. And undoubtedly the most famous Pulp track to include the Stylophone was ‘Common People’.

When the band realised they had written an anthemic song, they used all 48 tracks in the studio to produce the heck out of it, adding in instruments that included the stylophone.

So our Jarvis has evolved along with the Stylophone, over 27 years, and long may the process continue!

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The Stylophone Orchestra Hits the Stage Once Again

Why use one Stylophone when you can use many? In fact, why use any other instruments at all? A revolutionary idea, I know…..

But not for Dr Leah Kardos, musician, project Leader of the Visconti Studio and Senior Lecturer in Music at Kingston University.

She’s the brains behind ‘The Stylophone Orchestra’ a unique ensemble comprised of University students, staff, and members of the general public.

To generate their layers of sound, they use the full range of stylophone instruments including the S1, Gen X-1, S2 and 350s, (augmented with some Korg Volca syths, a Suzuki Omnichord, vocal synthesiser and Moog Theremin.

If you’re reading this blog post hot off the virtual press, then you might have time to catch them live this Saturday (6th July) at Kingston's historic Marketplace. They’re playing a rare show as part of the International Youth Arts Festival.

It’s totally free and they’re on stage at 12:30pm.

Click this link for details, maps and directions:  ‘The Stylophone Orchestra’ Live in Kingston

You can also check out, and follow, their Facebook for more details of future events:  Stylophone Orchestra Facebook Page

The Kingston gig is not the first live outing for The Stylophone Orchestra’.

They formed in January played their debut show at the Stanley Picker Gallery a few months ago. Here are some of the highlights:

Why use one Stylophone when you can use many?

In fact, why use any other instruments at all?

A revolutionary idea, I know…..

But not for Dr Leah Kardos, musician, project Leader of the Visconti Studio and Senior Lecturer in Music at Kingston University.

She’s the brains behind ‘The Stylophone Orchestra’ a unique ensemble comprised of University students, staff, and members of the general public.

To generate their layers of sound, they use the full range of stylophone instruments including the S1, Gen X-1, S2 and 350s, (augmented with some Korg Volca syths, a Suzuki Omnichord, vocal synthesiser and Moog Theremin.

If you’re reading this blog post hot off the virtual press, then you might have time to catch them live this Saturday (6th July) at Kingston's historic Marketplace. They’re playing a rare show as part of the International Youth Arts Festival.

It’s totally free and they’re on stage at 12:30pm.

Click this link for details, maps and directions:  ‘The Stylophone Orchestra’ Live in Kingston

You can also check out, and follow, their Facebook for more details of future events:  Stylophone Orchestra Facebook Page

The Kingston gig is not the first live outing for The Stylophone Orchestra’.

They formed in January played their debut show at the Stanley Picker Gallery a few months ago. Here are some of the highlights:

What’s fascinating about Leah Kardos is that she likes to set challenging limits on her music, for instance using a solo piano, using only spam email text as lyrics or, in this case, using mainly stylophones.

Anyway, we’ll keep an eye on the Orchestra and let you know of any future videos and events.

Oh, if you’ve not yet got a GEN X-1, our portable analogue synthesizer, you can – and probably should - order one from our shop here:

ORDER GEN X-1 HERE

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Dubreq announces pro analog synth Stylophone GEN R-8 with touch keyboard

The Stylophone GEN R-8 is a dual VCO British made boutique synthesizer with a fully analog signal path and a touch keyboard that you can play with your finger.

The VCOs have "divide-down analog" sub-oscillators (one octave down) and subsub oscillators (two octaves down) that all can be switched on at the same time for a total of six oscillators sounding at once.

The filter is a proprietary British design 12 dB state variable filter with Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass and Wide Notch modes.

An eight waveform LFO with dual outputs can be patched to all of the GEN R-8s CV inputs or external CV inputs on other instruments.

There's a patch panel with 19 3.5mm jack CV/Gate and audio patch points which makes it integrate nicely with Eurorack systems.

The traditional ADSR envelope has been augmented with a short hold stage at the Attack/Decay peak for a punchier sound.

An analog style Delay (based on the Princeton pt2399 chip) is nice and grungy and can be modulated with the Time CV input.

The mixer has a unity AUX input which allows external sound sources to be processed through the GEN R-8s Filter/Delay/Drive audio chain, where the Drive is a classic British silicon diode overdrive circuit with an added JFET booster stage.

A step sequencer with 8 banks and 16 steps per sequence can play the GEN R-8 synthesizer engine or external synthesizers through the CV/Gate or MIDI outputs.

The GEN R-8 also works as a MIDI controller keyboard (with Local ON/OFF) where the CV/Gate outputs on the sequencer doubles as keyboard CV/Gate when the sequencer is not running.

Finally, the 3-octave touch keyboard has two additional performance keys for momentary engagement of Glide and Modulation, and it's all enclosed in a heavy duty black powder coated steel casing.

More info and demo VIDEO here: Stylophone Gen R-8 – Preview – Dubreq
 
Price: £299 / $349 / €329
Availability: Late February 2019

Synthesize Me!

Synthesize Me! Hear @carouselartuk House Band explore technology and celebrate the work and techniques of pioneering British electronic musicians@daphneoram and @DeliaDDay

The band used household items to create sound samples which were arranged musically and manipulated using music software. Other sounds were created using accessible music apps and the legendary Stylophone pocket synthesizer.   We are really happy to have been able to make a donation of equipment to Synthesize Me! @carouselartuk

@YouthMusicNet @DookSam

https://network.youthmusic.org.uk/synthesize-me-sen-music-project-tracks-now-online


"This has just gotta be the most fun you can have for £60. Wowza"

Great Stylophone Gen X-1 review from Andertons

Jack and Ben get down and dirty with the Stylophone Gen-X-1

"This has just gotta be the most fun you can have for £60. Wowza!"

https://youtu.be/MGk0hC4xcSU

 


Stylophone Teardown With Tomorrow Lab

Tomorrow Lab Hardware Innovation Studio in New York City  take the beast that is the Stylophone apart for their ‘Teardown!’ and show exactly what’s in the magic box and how it makes the Stylophone sound. Check out the Stylophone schematics and Tomorrow Labs oscilloscope!

https://youtu.be/mlxew2-fhkE


Synthesize Me! Using the legendary Stylophone with learning disabled musicians

Synthesize Me! Another great music project with the Youth Music Network and Carousel.

Dubreq are pleased to be able to donate instruments to this fantastic organisation. Sam Dook said:

"Many thanks to Dubreq who have donated some of their Stylophone instruments to our project. As part of creating an original piece of music inspired by pioneering electronic musicans Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire we are looking at using some classic synthesizer sounds. Dubreq currently have three very affordable stylophone instruments available.

All of these instruments were used by our learning disabled band members in our last session and they found them to be very intuitive. The flat surface of the keyboard mean a glissando effect can be easily achieved by gliding the stylus sideways, this proved particularly popular. Being a small instrument but having the stylus means playing the instrument is not a fiddly task as you might imagine it to be considering the size of the instrument.

All three would make great additions to a music educators kit. They are easy to store, powered by batteries and have minijack/headphone outputs and inputs as well as inbuilt speakers, they can be fine tuned as well. The sound of the original stylophone is timeless in the way that it evokes a retro sci-fi feel and I think young musicans including those with learning disability would enjoy exploring it. "

For more information on this great organisation then visit them here:

Website:

www.carousel.org.uk

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/carouselartuk

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/carouselartuk

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/carouselartuk

 


Stylophone Beatbox Repackaged

Portable Electronic Beats Machine has been repackaged! The baby beats machine now comes in a eye popping, colourful box with newly designed instruction booklet to accompany it. Thanks Mel Simone Elliott for all your help with design!
The Stylophone Beatbox features 13 pads. Touch the stylus to the keypad to trigger electronic drum samples, vocal beatbox samples or synth bass line. Record and play in loop mode to create your own rhythm patterns and change the loop tempo as it plays back.
Available now! and also on Amazon.


Dubreq Stylophone and Rhythmix

Great to be involved with Rhythmix providing opportunities for music making to people in challenging circumstances. Really happy to help. https://rhythmixmusic.org.uk/about.html