96 Clocks

Who would have guessed that drum machines—those old clunky plastic boxes of preordained sound—would become fetishized a few decades down the line? It goes way beyond the likes of Ikue Mori and Micky T’s Drum Machine Museum. The whole electroclash scene would never have happened without those infamous synthesized beats, now would it? Time to add another artist to the TR-808 fan club. Meet Matt Davignon, known on the Bay Area’s improv scene for, you guessed it, twiddling drum machine knobs. If you’re not a Left Coast dweller, you can catch a glimpse of Davignon’s sound with this free MP3 download “96 Clocks.” Sampled from an album called Bwoo—meaningless onomatopoeia?—”96 Clocks” doesn’t suffer a bit from the over-slick sheen oozed by a lot of electronic music these days. In fact, the track resembles the sound Barbarella’s submarine might make while trudging through the matmos.

—RN