Fad Gadgets: 53

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Marsden gives the scoop on the latest gadgets.

SKOOG

“Instruments can be tricky,” says the promotional video for Skoog, and anyone who’s ever tried to get a note out of a French horn will sympathise.Skoog is a digital musical instrument, but it’s more a cross between a squeezy toy and a MIDI controller (although it doesn’t use MIDI). Working in tandem with a laptop or tablet, you can squeeze it, stroke it, twist it and shake it to create and manipulate sound. It’s been a hit in schools and with those who have disabilities, but its potential feels far greater.

www.skoogmusic.com

UKELATION

It’s safe to say the ukulele isn’t a loud instrument. People who think it’s an infuriating toy that’s overused in TV advertising might see that as a blessing, but the uke gets a rough ride – it’s a fantastic beginners’ instrument and it gets people singing – nothing wrong with that. The Ukelation is a beautiful wooden uke with a powerful integrated speaker and effects. It’s loud, bold, highly strummable and all powered by batteries. A snip at $1,999. How much?

www.ukelation.com

CASSETTE FETISHISM

It’s outside the remit of this column to recommend clothing options – not least because my grasp of fashion is feeble… pathetically feeble, like a poorly stick insect. But Tapewear’s T-shirts are beautiful objects. The site is dedicated to saluting the majesty of the cassette tape, from the functional red Maxell UR60 and the see-through 80s stylings of Memorex to the golden sheen of the TDK SA-X90. What better way to provoke nostalgia than having one of these beauties plastered across your chest?

www.tapedeck.org