October 16, 2021

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Off Topic: The pure pleasure of a classic Casio

Some people covet vintage Gibson guitars, pristine Roland drum machines or an original Fender amp handwired by Leo himself, but I’ve spent the past 18 months researching and collecting humble Casio keyboards – partly because they’re actually affordable, but mostly because they’re downright awesome.

There’s a parallel, I’m sure, with one of my favourite video game companies somewhere in there. Toshio Kashio, a younger brother in the family behind one of Japan’s most famous exports, repurposed the calculators he’d built to accommodate his amateur musicianship, making it possible to play simple melodies on them before they eventually blossomed into full-sized keyboards, just as Gunpei Yokoi once took those LCD displays and repurposed them for something more playful.

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