How to Wreck a Nice Beach The Vocoder from World War 2 to Hip Hop the Machine Speaks
This is the fascinating and wonderfully quirky story of how a military device became the voice of hip hop and pop music. Though the vocoder - invented by Bell Labs in 1928 - was designed to guard phones from eavesdroppers, it is now widely used as a voice-altering tool for musicians. How To Wreck A Nice Beach is born from a mis-hearing of the vocoder-rendered phrase 'how to recognise speech.' Music journalist Dave Tompkins traces the history of electronic voices from Nazi research labs to Stalin's gulags, from the 1939 World's Fair to Hiroshima, from nightclubs to Muppets.