The history of Drum Machines is a story of piracy, of clones, and of the simulation of simulations. // Music boxes were very popular in the Chinese Emperor’s court over the 17th and 18th centuries. They became a very important element of missionary politics and Western diplomacy. // Swiss Jesuits created the first “fake” music boxes. // The preset switchboard of the music box named Maestro Rhythm King, which has buttons such as "Latin,” "American,” and "Traditional", is a display of the Black Atlantic – a post-colonial atlas // "Latin Rhythms" are also an invention of Japanese electronic engineers in the 60s. The rhythm machine is a tradition-engraving machine // “Drum Machines have no soul!" – reads a sticker created by John Wood in California. It was his attempt to counteract his fear of the “Dehumanization of American Music.” // The ambiguity created by a music-making machine can surely unsettle people interested in strict realities and fixed identities such as that of "American Music.” // The history of technical automata is a history of fear and of fascination. Of a fascination with the Other. Of a fear of humans being replaced by machines. Of a fear of deceit.
ARK (Arkestrated Rhythmachine Complexities) is a changing association of musicians, producers, writers, scientists, and electronic MusickingThings, who*which perform heterochronicity and multi-track knowledge, looking for post-representative sound formats. It consists, among other, of Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt, Sebastian Kunas, Malte Pelleter, the Maestro Rhythm King, Sarah-Indriyati Hardjowirogo, Ole Schwabe, and the Wurlitzer Side Man. In 2018 its installations and sound lecture performances were presented f.e. at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, and at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
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