Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum is selling his Chamberlin Rhythmate, a rare early drum machine, on the Reverb online marketplace for $9,500. The machine has been used for the Microphones and Mount Eerie albums, among many others. “Early keyboard synthesizers grew directly from this technology, tape recordings being pyed and triggered by keys, Mellotron, etc,” he notes. “It’s very rare and sounds amazing but it’s time for me to get rid of it.”
Elverum shared a video of the Rhythmate on YouTube with this description:
This is my Chamberlin Rhythmate, model 40. It’s supposedly the first drum machine ever made, about ~100 of them were produced in California starting in 1965. The sounds come from 14 tape loops with 3 tracks each, all featuring an actual recording of a human playing the drums. The tempo is changed by a knob that moves a rubber roller to a different place on a disc. It also includes a tube amp. I inherited this from my great uncle in 1999 whose house was full of amazing weird things. Since then it has been used on many albums recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Wash. and The Unknown in Anacortes, Wash., especially The Microphones, Mount Eerie, etc.
Check out the listing here.