Archive for May, 2009

May 12, 2009

Stylophone makes any dull moment more exciting than a Snickers bar…

What is it with Rolf Harris and wacky instruments? If he’s not assaulting our ears with his wobble board, he’s blowing into his jumbo didgeridoo. And let’s not even talk about those weird ‘ahoo-aha-ha’ breathing noises. Let us instead talk about Rolf’s finest musical moment (yes, even finer than his recording of the smash hit Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport): his association with the legendary Stylophone. Why? Because the brilliantly bonkers Stylophone is back and it’s just as entertaining as you remember. p1902ex2

Classic Stylophone box!
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This “electronic organ in your pocket” was all the rage back in the 70s, and thanks to Rolf’s (over) enthusiast ad campaign, most of us assumed the beardy paint-chucker had actually invented it. He didn’t, but he should have because the Stylophone was as inexplicably enthralling as Rolf himself!

Original vibrato feature
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So what exactly is a Stylophone? Well, basically, this bizarre little battery-operated instrument is a box packed with transistors, resistors, diodes and other old-school electronic thingamajigs. The idea is to press the integral stylus against the various metal keys in order to close the circuit and emit a peculiar but unique squeal. Weeeeeeiii!

Control the volume, Change the sound, Plug in your mp3 player or headphones

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Tweak your wacky sounds even more!p1902ex1

This re-issued version is just the same as the original except you can now control the volume (phew!) and play along to your MP3 tracks (bizarre). There are even a couple of all-new Stylophone sounds and a vibrato knob. Bonus! And if you think the Stylophone is unfit for real musicians, think again. Luminaries as diverse as Bowie, Pulp, Kraftwerk and Marilyn Manson have all used the Stylophone to add a touch of whiny ethereal lunacy to their recordings. Whether you owned one as a kid and can’t remember where your mom hid it, or you’re a first time fiddler in need of an ironic retro fix, the Stylophone Original is guaranteed to bemuse, amuse, irritate and fascinate. Skweeeall!!!

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