How To Wreck a Nice Beach

How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks

The Vocoder started life as a phone scrambler for Churchill – five tons of valves and some self-destruct double decks, went on via late funk, early electro, Kubrick, Stalin and the Muppets…

The Vocoder started life as a phone scrambler for Churchill – five tons of valves and some self-destruct double decks, went on via late funk, early electro, Kubrick, Stalin and the Muppets – and ended up as the autotune chip that powers X-Factor and wibbles out of every sodcaster’s mobile. A fabulous story, but an exhausting read – as if in tribute to his subject Tompkins writes so obliquely you have to decode every sentence.

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