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How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, the Machine Speaksby Dave Tompkins
Synopses & Reviews
The history of the vocoder: how popular music hijacked the Pentagon's speech scrambling weapon
The vocoder, invented by Bell Labs in 1928, once guarded phones fromeavesdroppers during World War II; by the Vietnam War, it was repurposed as a voice-altering tool for musicians, and is now the ubiquitous voice of popular music.
In How to Wreck a NiceBeach-from a mis-hearing of the vocoder-rendered phrase how to recognize speech--music journalist Dave Tompkins traces the history of electronic voices from Nazi researchlabs to Stalin's gulags, from the 1939 World's Fair to Hiroshima, from artificial larynges to Auto-Tune.
We see the vocoder brush up against FDR, JFK, Stanley Kubrick, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Kraftwerk, the Cylons, Henry Kissinger, and Winston Churchill, who boomed, when vocoderized on V-E Day, We must go off And now vocoder technology is a cell phone standard, allowing adigital replica of your voice to sound human.
From T-Mobile to T-Pain, How to Wreck a Nice Beach is a riveting saga of technology and culture, illuminating the work of some ofmusic's most provocative innovators.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Electronic