By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Once upon this time, a man called Mike Langlie has a solo project that involves making music with toy pianos, called Twink. He just released his eighth album of this so-called “toytronica” music under that name.
The other ingredient that concerns us here is Yellofier, a really neat live sound remix app that grabs sound from around you, slices it up, and lets you “play” it like an instrument — you know, sort of like Ferris Bueller of film fame did with his cough. In fact, the Yellofier app was made by the band Yello, whose most famous release was “Oh Yeah,” which plays at the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Twink’s Miniatures Volume One is an entire remix album of these toy piano songs, with all of the remixing done in Yellofier. Apparently, the idea of people sitting on a train making music on their iPhones is more than a tech journalism trope — it’s an actual thing:
What started as a way to pass time on a short train trip grew into a full mini album of audio experiments. The Yellofier app (developed by the band Yello, most famous for “Oh Yeah” from the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) is a perfect tool for the Twink workflow. It helps create complex tunes out of simple sounds and structures, mixing hi-fi technology with a certain wonky charm.
The creators of Yellofier told Evolver.fm in Berlin that they think music-making can be democratized the way that photography and video have, at least to an extent.
Making (or remixing) a song is more complicated than pointing a phone at a cat, but this Yellofier-remixed Twink album demonstrates that at least for people who already make music, the phenomenon of making new music on a smartphone while sitting on a train is real.