The rapid induction of DJing and dance culture into the public domain has taken a groundbreaking new form now that the Dutch design company Yalp has taken the DJ booth from the club to your own street, playground and town square.
Yalp’s latest invention, ‘Fono’, is a public DJ booth that let’s you play, mix and FX tracks in the simplest way possible. All you need to do is place your smartphone on the wireless dock to connect your music library to the Fono and you’re good to go. The DJ booth is solar-powered which makes it both sustainable and ready to be placed literally anywhere one would like.
The creators are mainly focused on younger users, and envision Fono to be used at schoolyards and playgrounds. Yalp: “[Fono is] made to dare minors and teens to explore their musical creativity, to let them make, rearrange and share music with their mobile phone and to create a social meeting place for them”. Being outdoor-based, Fono comes in different varieties, like one edition that a roof attached to the booth, making it ready to use in all weather conditions.
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One downside of Fono is that it doesn’t have actual pitch slides to beatmatch two different tunes manually, nor are there any EQ knobs present. What users can do, however, is automatically sync tracks and cue/prelisten to your mix-in track over your headphones. The effects that can be used are: loop, delay, crush, scratch, filter and more.
All in all Fono does look like a very promising concept that’s not only a lot of fun for kids (and adults) to play with, but will hopefully encourage those who are interested to know more about the art of DJing and explore other, more challenging ways of mixing.