My ladyfriend knows I like old drum machines. And she knows I can, on occasion, be just a tad obsessive. And so, she pointed me in the direction of this post on The Rumpus, wherein I learned:

  • Moby has a massive collection of mostly analog drum machines, only some of which work.
  • The drum machine used for the well-known beat to Sly and the Family Stone’s “It’s a Family Affair” was called the Rhythm King.
  • Rick Moody wrote a piece that appeared, in part, in The Believer’s 2010 Music Issue, in which he apparently argues against the use of drum machines in contemporary music. This was interesting to me partly because of the topic of the essay, but mostly because I read that issue of The Believer and have no recollection whatsoever of such an essay. Reading retention is not my forte.
  • James Murphy hangs out at Moby’s house. (Well, at least the once.)

In my inevitable follow-up internet research, I read that Sly first used the Rhythm King on a record he produced by Little Sister (originally Sly and the Family Stone’s backup singers) that is seen by some as the first widely released record to feature a rhythm track created around a drum machine–their version of the Sly song Somebody’s Watching You:

Neat. And with that, I can head off to bed and sleep soundly, comforted by the thought that this guy’s watching me: