Rho­dri Marsden on three of the lat­est must-have giz­mos cur­rently putting the prog in progress…

Prog - - Intro -


Much ef­fort has been made over the his­tory of rock to make peo­ple sound like ro­bots. There’s the vocoder, where the sound of the voice com­bines with a synth to get that Mr Blue Sky ef­fect, and the talk­box, which tra­di­tion­ally in­volves stick­ing a spe­cial rub­ber tube into the mouth of Peter Framp­ton or Roger Trout­man. Here’s a way of get­ting that talk­box ef­fect with a frac­tion of the saliva: the ESX1, which pops around your neck, rests against your vo­cal chords, takes a gui­tar cable in the back and, yes, makes you sound like a ro­bot. www.electrospit.com


I hereby reach out to fel­low in­som­ni­acs who worry about the state of the planet (or even the kitchen) at four am. Bose have de­signed some ear­buds to be worn overnight by the per­ma­nently anx­ious; light and un­ob­tru­sive, they pipe sound into your head in the dead of night via the magic of Blue­tooth. Hi­lar­i­ously, how­ever, you can only lis­ten to 10 spe­cial tracks de­signed to make you fall asleep, in­clud­ing Wa­ter­fall and Coun­try Night. At $249, that’s one hell of an ex­pen­sive LP, even if ear­buds are in­cluded. www.bose.com

The Bench

Many of us spent years get­ting our gui­tars look­ing just the right level of bat­tered by sub­ject­ing them to low-level abuse of var­i­ous kinds. A chap from

New York by the name of Keith, how­ever, has cre­ated a mag­nif­i­cent junk gui­tar as a labour of love, by util­is­ing old doors, work­bench tops, door hinges, rulers and old vinyl records. It won’t win any awards for pre­ci­sion engineering, but amaz­ingly, it works. If you like in­stru­ments that look as if they’ve been hauled out of a skip, few are as beau­ti­ful as this.


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