Harlan's Reviews > How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks

How to Wreck a Nice Beach by Dave Tompkins
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Feb 28, 12

Read in November, 2010

What the funk? This is a brilliant concept for a book, turned into an unedited collection of incomprehensible (unless you already know a lot about funk and early hip hop, not to mention a lot about voice synthesis!) vignettes, gonzo recollections, interviews, and histories. There's a lot of great stuff in here, and Tompkins had incredible sources and insights into how the encryption tool turned into a pop music tool. But I think that this would make a vastly better film documentary, or interactive web site, than book, particularly for an audience that's not nearly as culture-aware as Tompkins is.
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