Music-inspired LEGO sets are getting a lot of attention right now. While the recent announcement of this fall’s LEGO Art The Beatles set honors the Fab Four, Gorillaz are a more contemporary awesome foursome that is popular with LEGO fans. Legotruman designed Gorillaz as buildable figures. The British virtual band is one of legotruman’s latest virtual creations, following the stunning Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.
For over 30 years, music producers have been devoted to building beats using audio hardware to sequence their signature drum loops, or sample elements from vinyl records. Yet, no matter how much music is digitized through virtual studio programs, beatmakers still craft timeless hits through tapping buttons, turning knobs, and sliding faders. One of the latest LEGO creations from Arran Hearn honors one of music’s most iconic tools of the trade, the E-mu SP-1200.
Last week, Arran revealed the LP-1200 on Instagram, his biggest LEGO build yet, with over 2,000 parts. It includes the playable feature of a mini-floppy disk that can be inserted and ejected. The unit is well-branded through Hearn’s custom stickers representing the model LP-1200, the maker N-umo Systems, Inc., plus a sticker where machine’s digital screen displays data. The original drum machine studio staple is still used by hip-hop super producers like Pete Rock and Madlib (mentioned in his post). Arran’s LP-1200 was teased back in October 2018 with a photo of the internal elements. Previous creations included the MPC 2000 XL, the L-447 Turntable Cartridge, and the Technics 1200 + mixer setup. Hip-hop, you don’t stop!
Here is a detail highlighting some of Arran’s custom sticker work.
Well, not really. We think this fiendish-looking organ is pretty cool. But it sure is scary! There are pipe organs found in churches and then there’s this. LEGO builder [VB] says that his inspiration came from the “Hellmouth” of the middle ages. The unfaithful would perish within its fiery maw. Organs, while beautiful, often have a creepy sound to them, and we can only imagine what this would sound like. Wondering if that face (faces?) is what people of the 1300s were having nightmares about? Yep, this matches the Google images. Sweet dreams.
While you’re here, check out [VB]’s other creepy creations.
Last weekend, Timofey Tkachev went to see his babushka. There is no place like a countryside cottage to spend long summer evenings, sipping hot tea, and enjoying a slice of a berry pie. But one doesn’t simply go to babushka empty-handed. Being a very talented LEGO builder, Timofey designed something exceptional: a full-sized replica of a traditional balalaika, a Russian stringed instrument. The brick-built design looks wonderful in its simplicity. The iconic triangular shape became possible thanks to the clever use of regular slope pieces. And thanks to the hues of LEGO colors, this balalaika looks almost exactly like a real one.
Kudos to Vera Senyuta for joining the tea party and taking her camera with her. We always love to see custom LEGO creations shot in beautiful settings. For a musical instrument like this one, there is no better background than a couple of birches in the evening sun.
This little melocactus may have sleepy eyes, but he’s not entirely mellow! Check out those spines and muscular maraca-weilding arms! Carefully crafted in LEGO form, Jens Orndorf has shown how a part with seemingly few build possibilities could be transformed into something fun. What better way to use a marbled green sphere (2 11×11 hemispheres) than to wrap it in stem-covered ridged hose and make it a cactus? Even better: give it a mustache and the expression of a mariachi singer.
And now for some fun facts! The “melo” in melocactus refers to the melon shape of this cacti family. But the latin root of melo also means music, so this is meant to be! Another fun coincidence is that this type of cactus can be found in Cuba, the birthplace of salsa music!
LEGO and Universal Music Group (UMG) have announced a partnership to create a new lineup of music-based sets that seek to inspire children to express themselves musically and explore their creativity through interactivity. The music sets will be revealed later this year and are scheduled for launch in 2021.
Universal Music Group is separate from Universal Pictures which announced a five-year agreement to produce and distribute LEGO movies earlier this week. We also don’t know if the recent LEGO Ideas “Music to Our Ears” competition is at all related to this announcement, though LEGO is evaluating bringing some of the submissions to market as sets.
The full press release and a LEGO music equalizer announcement video are included after the jump.
Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni is one of the most renowned pieces of music in the world, and served as newcomer ArmoredBricks’ inspiration for this moving (and moving!) LEGO model.
What sets this rendered model apart to me is not only the masterful instrument recreations but the titular seasons represented by small vignettes each crafted in their own clean, colorful way. Each one is such a clear personification of a season of the year. My favorite season vignette is the crooked, budding tree representing the spring season:
Check out the video below to see the full model in action accompanied by a sampling of the Spring concerti.
King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is known all over the world for his unique style. From his outfits to his dancing to his unmistakable voice and catchy tunes. He was and still is an icon of popular culture. Today you’ll continue to find him all over the place, even in LEGO models. Taiwanese builder Vakaisme has paid tribute to the musician with one of his most famous dance moves. That moonwalk mechanism is indeed smooth!
This music box, built by Peter Carmichael, is currently one of my favorite LEGO creations. Its smooth edges, customizable cylinder, and colorful “comb” are all gravitating. As my very tactile partner would say, it’s one of those things you want to “see with your hands.”
Improvisational jazz — taking basic structures and guidelines and playing with them to make something beautiful. Exactly what LEGO 7 has done with the bricks in this fabulous Jazz Quartet. The instruments are brilliantly done — check out the shaping and details on the piano and the double-bass, and I love that pearl gold trumpet. However, it’s the figures which make this something particularly special. The poses are striking in their expressiveness, perfectly capturing the look and feel of the band taking their cues from the trumpet player’s solo. The natty styling of the musician’s clothing is the icing on the cake, with little details making the difference, like the white band on the drummer’s hat, and the slight angle to the trumpet player’s necktie. When this kind of virtuoso LEGO building performance is coupled with clean stylish photography, the result is simply stunning. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. But this? This is fully syncopated and super-cool.
The musically-inclined among us are probably struggling with the restrictions of social distancing. I have zero skill in that area, but I know that even the best internet streaming suffers from audio latency and lag. It’s got to be tough to make sweet music with your friends when everything is a half-beat out of sync or worse. But all is not lost! Adam Dodge offers a possible solution to harmonizing with their LEGO creation, One-Man Band.
Built for the Music to our ears! contest on LEGO Ideas, this peppy fellow has everything he needs to record that hot new demo track. The arms, neck, harmonica, and drum mallet are all articulated. Apparently so is the mustache. Because of important reasons, I’m sure.
I enjoy this character’s expressive face, and, yes, that includes the croissant mustache. I also like the use of quarter-circle tiles for ears and the 1×2 plate with pin for the nose. I do worry about how much money he’s going to be able to make from busking in today’s world. He might do better starting his own YouTube channel or something.