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Fad Gadgets: tambourines, reel-to-reel and an electronic staff!

ARQ Aero RhythmTrak

The tambourine occupies a special place in the history of rock and pop: Jack Ashford’s precision work on Motown, Robert Plant prancing about waving one, Mr Tambourine Man… But now it’s gone digital. ARQ consists of a base unit which contains hundreds of percussion sounds, instruments and loops, and a ring festooned with flashing lights, which can be waggled about triumphantly to activate the accelerometer and trigger the sounds. It goes on sale in April for about £400.

Project R2R

Sales of vinyl are on the rise, with many buyers believing it offers the ultimate consumer listening experience. But not according to Horch House, a company located in a small lakeside town in Austria. “Audiophiles know that when it comes to analogue, tape sounds even better than vinyl,” they say. “No debate.” The realisation that no-one makes reel-to-reel tape machines any longer has prompted Horch to manufacture their own; as yet there is no picture (we chose this one randomly). It’s unveiling in May. What will you play on it? I’ve no idea.


If you’ve ever wanted to hold an instrument as if it were some kind of medieval staff and use it to generate electronic bleeps, the Kadabra might be right up your street. Described by Eat Static and former Ozrics drummer Merv Pepler as “something between Gandalf and Star Wars”, the Kadabra has been picking up a lot of attention from men with beards, if the 15-minute trailer produced by Tribal Tools is to be believed. It comes in three colours and is out later this year.

Natasha Scharf

Dark prog (and chocolate) fan Natasha has been a Prog regular since 2009. News Editor between 2014 and 2019, now Deputy Editor, she is the only member of the team to have appeared on Prog's cover.