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Music Thing: Jazz Mutant's Lemur

Peter Rojas

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Jazz Mutant Lemur
Each week Tom Whitwell of Music Thing highlights the best of the new music gear that's coming out these days. Last Saturday it was
Astrasound's Polyvox duophonic synth and ESCO-100 tape-delay unit, this week it's Jazz Mutant's Lemur:

It has a pungent whiff of vaporware hanging around it, but the most interesting thing I've seen this week is the appallingly named 'Lemur', from the really appallingly named French startup 'Jazz Mutant'. It's a 12-inch touchscreen monitor with an embedded CPU / graphics chip and an ethernet port. Plug the screen into a laptop and it becomes a control panel displaying movable faders, buttons and keyboards for live tweaking of music software. So far, so much like any design student's final year project. Then, you watch the video clips on the site. They're tiny and dark, and you can't hear the music that's being tweaked, but they're amazing. The interface looks great and seems really responsive. We can dream, right? Click to read on.

Jazz Mutant Lemur

So who are ?Mutant Jazz?? They?re three music geeks from Bordeaux, who work with Scrime, a music research lab attached to the University. The French can?t get enough of experimental music. Underneath the Pompidou Centre in Paris is IRCAM, a huge government-funded music research lab that?s been there since 1977. That?s where MAX/MSP, the music ultra-geek?s programming language of choice, was developed (it?s now used by Aphex Twin and Autechre). So, the Lemur looks interesting, but we?ll probably have to wait for Roland or Korg to steal the idea before it gets anywhere near Guitar Center.

[Thanks to Tommy Walker III for the tip]

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