How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks

How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World
12 ratings
Hurry! Only 1 copy left Sorry no back-orders
List Price: $35
SALE: $33.95
You Save: $1.05 (3% Off)
Available: Usually ships in 1-3 business days
Hardcover Book
sku:  BK 3111
on most orders of $50+
Brand New

Hardcover Book Details

  • 334 Pages
  • Hardcover
  • Heavily Illustrated In B&W and Full Color Photos
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 2010
  • Publisher: Stopsmiling Books



Description by

The vocoder, invented by Bell Labs in 1928, once guarded phones from eavesdroppers during World War II; by the Vietnam War, it was repurposed as a voice-altering tool for musicians, and is now the ubiquitous voice of popular music.

In How to Wreck a Nice Beach - from a mis-hearing of the vocoder-rendered phrase "how to recognize speech" - music journalist Dave Tompkins traces the history of electronic voices from Nazi research labs to Stalin's gulags, from the 1939 World's Fair to Hiroshima, from artificial larynges to Auto-Tune.

We see the vocoder brush up against FDR, JFK, Stanley Kubrick, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Kraftwerk, the Cylons, Henry Kissinger, and Winston Churchill, who boomed, when vocoderized on V-E Day, "We must go off!" And now vocoder technology is a cell phone standard, allowing a digital replica of your voice to sound human.

From T-Mobile to T-Pain, How to Wreck a Nice Beach is a riveting saga of technology and culture, illuminating the work of some of music's most provocative innovators.

Customers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 3.3
Based on 12 ratings.
Be the first Customer to write an online review of this product!

Product Info

  • ISBN: 1933633883
  • EAN: 9781933633886
  • International Shipping: 2 items

To place an order or for customer service, call toll-free 1-800-336-4627 or outside the United States, call 1-610-649-7565
Open Monday-Friday: 8am-10pm, Weekends: 10am-10pm (Eastern Time)
Se habla Español! Spanish-speaking representatives available, Monday-Friday: 9am-4pm (Eastern Time)