From the moment I first laid eyes upon it’s seemingly infinite portal of symmetrically splayed buttons, the Monome has always seemed like the undisputed champion in the “Find a modern replacement for turntables to be used in electronic music performance” competition. You don’t even need to know how the thing works to comprehend the possibilities. An 8×8 matrix of buttons opens the door to millions of pushable combinations (take that, Dairy Queen combo menu), and as such, its inception had me pretty damn close to that no-turning-back point. Unfortunately, a gigantic majority of the artists who’ve picked up on the device thus far have succeeded in taking my initial excitement and squashing it into a dull, disappointed apathy. As I begun to understand the functionality implemented by these artists (who’s names shall not be mentioned here), I realized that their use of the Monome could easily be replaced by a much more primitive MIDI device, and that their decision to switch to it likely had a lot more to do with impressing their audience with flashing, traveling lights and seemingly incomprehensible complexity, and less to do with improving their sonic performance.
Today, however, I am proud to say that my disappointment has been all but relieved by a single act: Say hello to Edison, and as you watch this video, keep in mind that his Monome was handcrafted out of an old lunchbox. Yes.
Edison – Tonka Truck