NAKED ELKA BEAUTY
June 28, 2020 § Leave a comment
What is this naked Elka Drummer One doing in my studio, rising like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Well, this half-century-old beauty started to develop a few scratchy pots, which is no surprise given the less than ideal conditions I had to keep it in for the first part of its life with me (damp ground-floor studio in San Sebastián, Spain). In my Barcelona home studio the dampness situation is better, but still not ideal, especially in the summer months, and I do need to open the windows to let fresh air in, which means I’m also letting in dampness :-(
The lovely folks at Soundgas, who sold me this very rare machine, sent me a special elixir of life, along with instructions on how to proceed with the maintenance operation myself. I was really nervous at first, as it was my first time ever opening *any* piece of gear, let alone a quasi-museum piece, and the phrase “Slide the Elka out of its case” conjured up images of a snake shedding its skin, but… I looooved it!!! I was floored by just how beautiful the inside was, and found it moving to think that the machine was made in Italy in the late 60s, was then mostly used by Krautrock bands in the late 60s-early 70s, is now 50 years later mostly being sold by Derbyshire-based Soundgas, and here I am, a French woman in Barcelona, using it in 2020 :-) I can’t help but wonder who this particular unit belonged to, and if they are still alive.
To open the case I used a screwdriver given to me by my dad some 25 years ago, and the tiny brown box on top of the PA speaker in which I kept the screws was made by my maternal grandfather, and it also felt so right to be using these. I will post more pics this week because it’s just so beautiful, and will tell you how it actually went (suspense).
Artwork on the wall is original egg tempera and oil painting by Iker Spozio for my album A flame my love, a frequency, on Thrill Jockey, 2017.