Feelers On The Dealers
Project Electronic Music
The Man surfaces in Middlesex, home of Project Electronics Music. En garde!
"Er... see you after lunch then."
On the whole a quick feel can be made to last at least a whole morning, and sometimes even a day.
"Hmmmmm... no, I'll see you back here at 12."
And if the editor's around maybe a lot less. Still, a trip to glorious Hounslow for a couple of hours is better than nothing, so off I went...
You notice one thing a long time before you reach Project Music, and that's that it takes a sod of a long time to get there. Having arrived in sunny Hounslow West I found that getting to Project Music involved about a mile walk and nobody seemed quite sure how to get there. But I persevered (well got a taxi actually) and within the hour, now about 12 o'clock, I was standing inside the door of a fairly small but impressively stocked shop. And then the punting began in earnest.
I was greeted by a friendly kind of chap whom I was lying to within a matter of minutes. Yes, yes, yes, — of course I wanted to buy a drum machine and I've got about five hundred quid to spend and I don't know the first thing about them. I mean, if they don't feel inclined to exploit you after being told that they've got a comparatively rich moron on their hands they never will. But they didn't. Firstly I was asked what I needed the machine for and when I told them I was steered towards a Roland TR505. Now at first sight it looked like any other drum machine but after 15 minutes the very helpful people who were serving had shown me how to program it. Could I program strings of patterns for songs? Yes of course I could, and they spent quite some time showing me how to do just that. In fact they spent almost a whole hour demonstrating it and chatting about its ins and outs. I was given helpful and very welcome advice on using it in live and recording situations. Damn, yet again, I must admit defeat in the first round as the opposing team chalk up the most impressive score so far. Still, the first blow of round two was bound to catch 'em out. Er... is there anything that it can't do?
Now I don't know about you but if I had just spent an hour explaining the workings of a product to a potential buyer I would not tell him what its faults were. They obviously have a lot more scruples than your average punter because they then pointed out the few faults that the TR505 has. I was impressed. Well, as there was no way I was going to catch them out on the TR505 I enquired about its upmarket brother, the TR707. Same reaction though not at such great lengths, and I was given some leaflets to have a look at, mumbling with great appreciation at the gibberish/technical specification at the bottom of the page.
Glancing at my watch and remembering the hallowed words of the editor my heart stopped beating for a couple of minutes as I realised that I had been in the shop for over an hour. I could visualise Mr Horkins' face as he passes me my enforced resignation. Still, time for one parting shot.
Was there anything I should see at the BMF? Well they didn't think so, but I was advised to go along and check it out just in case. Bastards! I hadn't found one bad point in over an hour! Their parting shot, however, made mine look like a feeble effort. As it was a really long walk back to the station, very hot and I was late I decided to get a taxi so I asked where the nearest taxi rank was. No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I had been offered a lift!
I really can't overstate how helpful the chaps there were. This was one of the best places that has been felt in a while and is highly recommended. They do HP and all that sort of thing too, which is always a help. So if you're looking for something and want to have a play before buying without an 'orrible spotty shop assistant trying to relieve you of your wallet every two minutes this is a good place to check out.
Oh yeah, I didn't get the sack.
Project Electronic Music (Contact Details)
Feature by Billy Punter
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