Phil Elverum, who goes by the musical name of Mount Eerie, has put one of his drum machines up for sale. Nothing unusual about that, you might think, until you discover that the instrument in question is a Chamberlin Rhythmate model 40, a rare version of one of the world’s first drum machines that’s on sale for around $9,500.
Elverum believes that only 10 of this particular model were made - Wikipedia states that it was produced between 1975 and 1980, but that the first Rhythmates were made in 1960. It’s built around 14 tape loops of a real drummer playing in various styles, there are three tracks, and you can move the tape head from loop to loop, sliding it on the loop to blend tracks.
Elverum inherited the machine from his uncle, and says that it’s been used on countless albums recorded at Dub Narcotic in Olympia, Washington. It remains in good working order.
Check out the sales listing on Reverb (opens in new tab), though bear in mind that the Rhythmate model 40 will set you back around $9,500, so it's probably not going to be an impulse buy.
The sale follows Moby’s decision to sell more than 100 items of studio gear on Reverb last month.