Monday, June 01, 2009

Unusual LA Band Dewanatron

Dewanatron's Melody Gin instrument.


Shine on, Dewanatron

By Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 1, 2009
If you've got a melody gin, it only takes two little musical tones to make a song, a really good party, or even a strange and ever-changing career as a musician. Sunday night at Ghettogloss gallery in Silver Lake, the duo known as Dewanatron made a rare appearance with their handmade instruments, pulled together a bunch of L.A.-based musicians and a birthday cake, and left the local hip-oisie gaping in wonder.

"Much like a cotton gin weaves together strands to make cloth, the melody gin weaves together a melody," explained Leon Dewan in between sets. One half of Dewanatron, Leon makes the "guts" of their handmade analogue electronic instruments, while his cousin Brian Dewan makes the cabinets. Leon's father was an inventor and worked with high-voltage equipment. "It's better to work with low-voltage, solid-state parts," nodded Leon, "and not risk death every day."

The Dewans' melody gins come in various sizes and shapes – some, like the Dual Primate Console, are too big to transport easily. Others are gallery installations or meant to hang on walls, where they generate tones on their own. Leon explained that the particular gin he was playing that night, which was about the size of an old reel-to-reel tape machine, generated sets of two toggling tones – up to sixteen total – that could then be modified with banks of knobs and dampening keys.

At full roar, the Dewanatron experience howled and warbled with demented mid-1960s fervor, all simple rhythms laced up with complex and freakish electronic wails, a retrofuturistic journey to the reinvention of the synthesizer.


Read the rest at HERE AT LAT.

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