The Furby Organ


We’re cheating a little this week: The Furby Organ is an instrument, not a band. But it’s too awesome for us to ignore. And hey, from a Furby’s perspective, it’s a 44-member band, right? Just one in which the 44 members have been dissected and wired up to do one mad overlord’s bidding — “kinda like The Matrix, but without the bad sunglasses,” as the aforementioned mad overlord aptly puts it.

The overlord is Sam Battle, a London musician and analog synthesizer geek who goes by the handle Look Mum No Computer. He builds all sorts of cool contraptions, like a “mega drone synth” with 100 oscillators and a guitar synth made from a fidget spinner, but his crowning achievement is clearly the Furby Organ, which has justifiably been blowing up all over the internet since he announced the project’s completion with the video below this past Sunday. Some people have been calling it the stuff of nightmares, but we think it’s genius. Judge for yourself.

Keening Furbies aside, I think what I love best about the video is Battle’s infectious enthusiasm for the whole thing. It’s one thing to spend several years collecting Furbies and soldering them into a giant synthesizer, but to present it on YouTube like it’s the greatest invention since the ShamWow is a rare and remarkable talent, indeed.

If you want to support more of Sam Battle’s LMNC projects, we highly recommend supporting him via his Patreon page. He also says he’s collecting more Furbies for upcoming projects, so if you have any of the little critters stashed in a box somewhere in the back of your garage (and who doesn’t?), by all means dig them out and ship them off. Who knows what demented and delightful uses for Furbies he’s scheming up next.

As an added bonus, we’ll leave you with the “Furby Gurby,” another furby-powered analog gizmo that Battle says was the inspiration for the Furby Organ. Once you hear this thing, the Furby Organ sounds less like the stuff of nightmares and more like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of talking children’s toys.

P.S. Thanks to our friend and reader Tommy Salsa for first alerting us to the Furby Organ’s magical existence. As one of the guys who suffered through my attempt to create a Furby bike at Burning Man one year (to no one’s surprise except me, it became insufferably annoying after about 30 seconds), he correctly surmised that I would greet the arrival of the Furby Organ the way Steve Jobs cultists greet the release of a new iPhone.



Weird of the Day: Doris Norton, “Psychic Research”

Doris Norton

We first learned about the pioneering synthesizer work of Doris Norton when we did a post last month about the Italian esoteric prog-rock band Jacula, for whom she played keyboards in the early ’70s. Turns out she went on to create even weirder and more cutting-edge music as a solo artist, always testing the limits of the available technology to create never-before-heard sounds. She even got sponsored by Apple in the early ’80s to create some of the first music produced using personal computers.

Over the course of the ’80s, her music evolved into what we recognize today as synth-pop and early techno. But her first three solo albums, Underground (1980), Parapsycho (1981) and Raptus (1981), featured some of the craziest synth experiments of her time (or any time, for that matter). Among other things, she tinkered with translating biorhythms, brainwaves and “psychic energy” into synthesizer music—hence the title of the track below, “Psychic Research,” from Parapsycho. (It’s not the full track, but since Parapsycho was reissued last year, all unauthorized tracks from that album seem to have been pulled from YouTube.)

You can learn more about Doris Norton and her music on her website, And if you want to check out the rest of the reissued Parapsycho, it’s available on

Weird of the Day: The Sand Noise Device


Reason #1,386 why we should have gone to Moogfest: A bunch of students from Cal State presented a contraption called the Sand Noise Device that’s basically a sandbox for Brian Eno fans. Using a Microsoft Kinect, an overhead projector and a box of sand filled with movable lights, it sends out circles and traces of light that some custom software converts into various tones and drones, all of which alter their pitch based on the topography of the sand and the positioning of the little circular light objects. Translation: It’s a really fucking cool, tactile synthesizer.

You can read an interview with the Sand Noise Device’s inventors via Vice’s The Creators Project, and learn more about how it works via the official website. Or you can just watch the video below and go, “Wow! I wonder how they did that?”