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Music Thing: Messe Oddities

Evan Blass

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Each week Tom Whitwell of Music Thing highlights the best of the new music gear that's coming out, as well as noteworthy vintage equipment:

Human ingenuity has no limits. Walking through the vast halls of the Frankfurt Messe exhibition centre last week, I saw pretty much every musical instrument imaginable, and several things that I’d never imagined seeing…

Most kick drums don't rotate, so I'm not sure how the spinning starts on these things, but I guess the lead singer could casually give it a flick round every so often. No, there's no way that attaching a random bit of shiny, pointy aluminium to the front of your drum kit will make it sound better.

The acoustic guitar has been an expressive, versatile instrument for centuries, but it's always lacked even a basic selection of cheesy drum kits and auto-rhythms. Now engineers in the Czech Republic have taken an acoustic guitar, covered the wooden top with a plastic touch membrane, and put little switches all over the neck. The version of the Stones 'Honky Tonk Women' played on this monstrosity has to be heard to be believed.

Presumably, there's a lot of skill that goes into building and painting a violin which resembles a leg of fine Serrano Spanish ham, but the luthier who created this instrument is unable to answer one simple question. Why?

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