12/14/2010

GRISTLEISM - Throbbing Gristle-Inspired Sound Toy/Looping Device!

Gristleism  (5.0 out of 5 stars)
"An Odd Thing, January 2, 2010
By C. Pilkington 'Music Enthusiast'" 
((Review found on Amazon.com)):

I've enjoyed ambient music for quite awhile, and artists like Brian Eno are truly inspiring; even more in present times. His philosophy is that good ambient music should be something that is poignant when both focused on, or placed in the background.

I stumbled on this little wonder after reading quite a bit about the Buddha Machines that FM3 introduced to the world several years ago. This is an offshoot of that product, and instead of containing blissful, soothing tones, Gristleism carries some very creepy and overall strange sounds originally created by Throbbing Gristle. For weird people like me, it's a very interesting little gadget.

Before I continue, I have the red Gristleism; there are at least two other color choices at the moment, I just happened to pick the red one. Every Gristleism has a very simple plastic design: it has a volume adjuster (which also doubles as an on/off switch), a loop selector button, and a pitch/tempo shifting wheel; all located on top of this small, square device. The speaker is located on the front of the unit, and takes up most of the front. The Gristleism runs on 2 AA batteries, and has a unique design that fills the back of the toy. Even the box it comes shipped in has an ornate, but effective, design. That's the whole thing in a nutshell! 

Now, how is this supposed to be interesting, you ask? Well, the Gristleism contains 13 loops; all ranging in length. You can use the pitch/tempo shifter and really bend each loop into something entirely different; thus, the lasting power of this toy seems to be quite large. You can play with it for just a few minutes, and get a good grasp on what the thing is capable of. But, if you dive into it over time, you'll realize that there's a lot you can do with it.

Now, when I get on the computer, sometimes I will just set up the Gristleism, and let it play in the background. It enhances your environment without being too much of a distraction (unless you set the volume really high). The Buddha Machines are obviously much better for this purpose, but I like the dark contrast the Gristleism has to the light of the Buddha Machines. If you have several devices, of either the Buddha or Gristleism variety, there's even more fun to be had.

5 comments:

Last Remaining Light said...

That's a really interesting little gadget... I've never heard of anything like that before. But two AA batteries? How is the sound quality?

Industrial::Music::Library said...

i beleive it's pretty tinny/low-fi (...not surprisingly, i guess)!

Industrial::Music::Library said...

but i have not heard it for myself, so i can't say for sure.

maybe you could leave an update here if you manage to check one out?

thx

Numantikon said...

Hej! I got myself a black one with the limited badge on it when the Gristelism was released. I'm just quite a fan of TG. The sound is just as it should be: mono-analog-industrial. But the sound is not "tiny"... my neighbors hate the thing! I think it is perfect, and a "better" sound would just destroy the analog feeling of it. there is a lot of fun to be had with this small gadget. Been playing this last days with it together with my Stylophone Beatbox. If you are able to do this there is a way to impove it the DIY-way ( http://www.gristleism.com/content/circuit-mods.php ). A pitty I don't have enough experience as a circuit bender to do this right now.
Take care!

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