‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.’
John Bonham. Keith Moon. Ringo Starr. This guy. It is an unassailable fact, without exaggeration, that drummers are the coolest people in the entire world.
As with most traditions that are thousands of years old, exact dates are hard to pinpoint when it comes to the origins of percussion music, however this study of the Bronze Age in China contains a chapter about early drums, and by early we mean about 4,000 years old, so that’s a decent starting point.
So how has the march of modernity affected probably the oldest instrument in the world? How about by giving us a way of attaching it to your crotch!
If you don’t have forty six seconds to watch that video then what we’re looking at here is a young Japanese performer and ‘experimental pop music composer’ who goes by the name Kaoring Machine beating on the most sensitive part of a pair of trousers in order to make music, a device he has called, quite wonderfully ‘ElectricSexyDrum Pants’.
But how, you may ask, and indeed, why?
Well, like all of the very best indie underground projects, the assuredly detailed explanation is written in a language that we are not fluent in, and online translation services are generally a little shaky, meaning ‘ElectricSexyDrum Pants‘ will remain a mystery for now.
It turns out however, that this is merely the crotch of the iceberg, and for those not fluent in Japanese or indeed experimental pop music there’s a big budget American version called, simply, Drum Pants.
These babies work with wearable triggers or pads that you can attach to your clothes, or wherever else you feel and can be tuned to over a hundred scales and samples. A promo video, here, demos the tech via the traditional medium of filming a man beatbox, play a drum machine and wail on a cello at the same time.
For anyone that wants to bring the idea of the one-person band bang up to date, we can also point you in the direction of a nifty Converse trainer/wah paddle that indie legend J. Mascis is quite fond of and a frankly terrifying bra that doubles as a theremin, the early hands free electronic nightmare producer.
Hey, we didn’t say your wearable-tech one-person band would sound good.