Various Artists | Gizmo Variations
MP3 + AIFF | F.0019.0001
The 'Gizmo Variations' were initiated by Fällt in 2001 after Fällt co-founder Christopher Murphy stumbled across a childs' sound toy - the TOMY Drum Gizmo - at a child's birthday party…
His initial email to the .microsound list read as follows: "I'm not sure if any of you have seen this little marvel, but I just stole one from a four year old (with his mother's eager permission) at a childrens' birthday party I was at with my son this afternoon.
"In a nutshell it's a handheld childrens' drum machine - bright yellow and red - very simple. It features a 'MUSIC' button that triggers a basic drum loop when you press it. Nothing too special, but there's a fantastic little 'WARP' dial which shifts the pitch of the loop (much like the pitch bend dial on a synthesiser). Playing with this elicits all manner of weird and wonderful sounds.
"In addition the 'Drum Gizmo' features seven 'docks' which accommodate brightly coloured plastic plug-ins that, when pressed, produce a variety of sounds from simplistic percussive noises to old school beats + pieces to Autechre'esque stutters.
"Each of these in turn can be pitch bent, the result of which is a low-cost, hand-held device that can be coaxed to produce all manner of weird and wonderful sounds.
"For the musician bent on travelling light or just looking for some inspiration, this little gizmo is perfect.
"As soon as I heard it I wondered about putting together a compilation on Fällt which uses only sounds extracted from it - by whatever means - looped, played live, broken, whatever…"
Drum Gizmos were dispatched to: Stephan Mathieu, People Like Us, Klunk, kid606, Pita, Pimmon, Bovine Life and Øivind Idsø. Five took up the challenge and the result is the Gizmo Variations, warped child-like melodies wrenched from a childrens' toy.
Previously archived and unreleased, the 'Gizmo Variations' were retrieved from the Fällt archive by Christian Lange in 2006.