The Clocktave, underestimated?

Not just your everyday clock...

Not just your everyday clock...

One thing I have always found a bit strange is that there hasn’t been that much buzz as I would have expected about the Clocktave. This is a very innovative concept by DJ Sjam where the ‘Clocktave record’ can be used to actually play melodies.

Personally I think it’s a brilliant idea, executing it, and the skills needed, is a different thing as always. In any case, Kypski (Producer of the Clocktave) has put numerous clips on youtube demonstrating the power of the Clocktave.

Ladies & Gentlemen…

Introducting the Clocktave, Kypski clocktaving the Beatles:

Above example is more of a lead instrument. Naturally it also works for hooks and basslines. This is how Kyspki demonstrates that with the Rappers Delight Theme:

The Blurb

The intro blurb from their label Supertracks:
“The Clocktave is a turntablist scratch tool, specifically designed for melodic scratching with the newest types of analog and digital turntables.

It’s a scratch tool based on a simple, but smart concept. In april 2004 Sjam told Kypski about his idea of pressing notes, ascending notescales to be exact, on a vinyl record. But not just that, the octaves of the scales had to be divided exactly between one rotation of a record. This way you’d remember the position of every note. You could play melodies while scratching, scratch while playing melodies… scratch melodies…well basically play melodies using your turntable. And all this while keeping the natural sound of the instruments in every single note, without having to move your scratching hand away from the platter to change pitch.

Kypski liked this idea so much that he decided to introduce this concept briefly on Mazturbation Tool, and after that create a whole scratch record entirely around this concept. They named the concept ‘Clocktave’ (Clock – Octave) because the note markers can be read as a clock: every note has its fixed position, regardless of wether it’s in a high or low octave. You could compare it to Q-Bert’s ‘Y Record’, but with musical notes instead of stabs & beats and with way, way more positionings.

And here it is. Superb musicians were hired to play scales and chords on acoustic and electric instruments like electric bass, upright bass, guitars, synth leads, rhodes, clavinet, horns and more…. All in the clocktave fashion. Skipless. In C-minor. Sounding FATASS.”

Tracklisting and where to get it

The record itself is available from Discogs. Here’s the tracklisting:

A1 Tuning Tone “C”
A2 Bass Section
A3 Synthleads Section
A4 Chords Section 1
A5 Electric Guitar Section
B1 Tuning Tone “C”
B2 Strings Section
B3 Horns & Woodwinds Section
B4 Chords Section 2
B5 FX Misc. Section

If you call yourself a turntablist, you have to try this thing out!

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