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Jarvis Cocker Evolves the Stylophone With The Fat White Family

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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.]

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:

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

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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