Music

VIDEO: Adrian Younge Creates The Selene Keyboard

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Forget making a beat, how many of y’all have your own keyboard?

When I saw Adrian Younge at SXSW this past year, I was fascinated by his contraption of a keyboard that I’ve never seen before. This thing was a monster, and it produced sounds that were sonically different from the Korgs that most people tour with. After a few months of research I found out that it’s not even an instrument you can get on the market. The Selene was created by Jack Waterson, Michael Wait, and Luke Jones along with Younge, and was based around the old school Mellotron.

The Mellotron is still one of my favorite instruments and one of the first “samplers” in musical history. When you play a mellotron the keys press play on a tape recorder, which would producing the sound of several woodwind instruments. When the key was depressed, the tape would quickly rewind to the beginning. The setup was overly complicated for the 60s, but it produced some beautiful music. Check the beginning of The Beatles Strawberry Fields for reference.

The Selene takes that Mellotron concept to the next level. Instead of woodwinds, Young recorded a few instruments he used in the production of the Black Dynamite Soundtrack and recorded it onto analog tape. The result is that Younge (the master of many instruments) can play several instruments through the keys, rendering the soundtrack the way it’s meant to be heard.

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Read more about Younge in an interview at The Revivalist.