Metal Machine Music

New Orleans-based musician and inventor Quintron, best known for the performances and recordings he creates with his wife, as the duo Quintron and Ms. Pussycat, recently visited New York City to deliver a specially commissioned Quintronics Drum Buddy analog rhythm instrument to the studio of multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. Considering her 25-year career trajectory innovating upon digital performance tools, the acquisition signals something of a shift- or at least a nod- to hacker/DIY undercurrents. The Drum Buddy is a unique assemblage of quirkily-tuned oscillators which respond via photoresistors to hand motions upon a rotating, perforated coffee can, much like the way a DJ scratches a record. Quintron regularly implements the instrument in his DJ sets and live shows to show off the versatility of the instrument. The production of each Drum Buddy exacts enormous labor costs, thus, they are released in extremely limited editions. The invention's striking design and intuitive interface yields itself to performance, and it's no wonder that Anderson would want to add one to her collection. - Nick Hallett