Telekom Electronic Beats

This Is The Synth That Inspired Aphex Twin's Cheetah EP

The Cheetah MS800 is considered to be one of the most annoyingly complicated instruments on the planet.

Cheetah was a British company that mostly produced computer peripherals in the 1980s. Their main claim to fame is creating the disaster that became known as the MS800 synthesizer.

The synth is so horrible to program that nearly everyone who has ever used one has given up on it. Nobody bought it when it was introduced. And even now, at the height of retro-hardware-mania, it’s totally worthless. It’s just a super complicated and annoying machine.

But doesn’t that sound like the perfect toy for Richard D. James? He seems to think so. His latest EP is named after the unfathomably user-unfriendly machine.

The announcement for Aphex Twin’s Cheetah EP—which will be released on July 8 on Warp Records—is even taken from the original User Manual, which you can read here.

Have a listen to what the Cheetah sounds like below, or listen back to an interview with a 20-year-old Richard D. James here.



UPDATE: As Fabio Sinapsya Di Mauro points out in the Facebook comments, the design for the Cheetah EP is based on the Cheetah Sweet Talker, a program for the Spectrum. Whoa! Have a look:



(soundfile and info via moxie, picture via matrixsynth)