The Minimal Wave founder looks at tracks that feature the iconic sampler and synthesizer, and finds music by Yello, Coil and Depeche Mode.
The story of the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) begins in 1975, in a basement in Sydney, with $400 of starting capital. Within the span of 15 years, the sampler and digital synth went from being a must-have tool for big-budget recording artists and engineers to becoming obsolete. The giant instrument, known for its green computer screen and light pen, has now found its rightful place in synthesizer history, for setting music production on the path toward software sequencing, sampling and sound editing. In this episode, Veronica Vasicka examines the retrospective musical futures of Depeche Mode, Art of Noise, Coil and Thomas Dolby, among others.