Finalmente è online l’articolo che Mark Fell (immischiato in mille progetti, tra cui gli strabilianti SND) ha scritto per la serie Collateral Damage di The Wire. Attraverso una serie di ricostruzioni e aneddoti, descrive come la limitazione tecnologica insita nell’apparecchiatura musicale non deve essere vista come una limitazione ma, al contrario, come uno stimolo alla creatività. Se così non fosse, molti dei suoni che oggi ascoltiamo non sarebbero mai stati prodotti. Come, ad esempio, il classico timbro dell’Acid House:
Let’s skip forward a few years to 1987, to the arrival of Acid House, and another interview on British TV, which tells a very different story. Here, Earl Smith Junior (aka Spanky) and Nathaniel Pierre Jones (aka DJ Pierre), collectively known as Phuture, describe the making of “Acid Tracks”, widely regarded as the first Acid House record. The story goes that neither of them knew how to use the Roland TB303, which was in those days a more or less ignored little synthesizer known for its astonishingly bad imitation of the bass guitar. Pierre explains how he couldn’t figure out how to work the 303 – it didn’t come with a manual – so he just started to turn the knobs.
The result became the sonic signature of Acid House – not just the familiar squelchy Acid sound (which often steals the limelight in the Acid House story) but also to the repeating musical sequence, the use of accents, portamento and varying note lengths. When Pierre talks about “not being able to figure out the thing”, I think he’s referring primarily to the 303’s convoluted step time sequencer, which is much less familiar than the filter and envelope controls common to many synths of that era.