Winnipeg School of Communication

Echoes and Reflections on “Embedded Memories”

Jarrett Cole   /   October 31, 2019   /   Text

In Embedded Memories, Will Straw advances the argument that the Internet has strengthened the cultural weight of the past, very similar to other forms of new media. 1 By gathering together diverse forms of information on almost any subject imaginable, the Internet acts as an aggregate of cultural artifacts that give new life to the past. Through this remediation process we can re-experience the artifacts of the past within the context of the present. In this analysis of In this analysis of The AudioExMachina’s Echorec Bible we can find both echoes and reflections of archaic technology that to some extent have come to be fetishized via our access to the Internet’s deep memory banks. These collective memory banks then act as high-capacity storage mechanisms for the convergence of said artifacts breathing new life and interest into long forgotten commodities, objects, tools, and technologies.

The subject of AudioExMachina’s wordpress blog page The AudioExMachina’s Echorec Bible is, in fact, an archaic echo device from the 1960’s; the Binson Echorec. Made famous by the popular rock band Pink Floyd, the Binson Echorec is a musical device that produces an echo effect by electro-mechanical means for a variety of electronic musical instruments. In the case of Pink Floyd, the Binson Echorec was used extensively to add an echo effect to vocals, electric guitar, and keyboards. The use of echo in live and recorded musical performances produces an ethereal ambience that could be described as spacey in character. Without the extensive use of echo effects for ambience and space, it could be argued that Pink Floyd would not have achieved their global appeal as one of the world’s most pre-eminent psychedelic rock bands.

The website aggregates and collates a diverse amount of information on the various versions of the Binson Echorec and provides a well-researched timeline of the use of these devices by Pink Floyd. It is an exhausting source of information that would help one service and maintain vintage examples of this classic echo effect device for years to come. Straw writes, “new media diminish the fetishistic properties of the old.”2 In contrast, he also suggests “new media forms train us to make connections through which the coherence of historical styles comes to be recognized.” 3 Binson ceased production of the Echorec in 1982. With the rise of eBay and economic factors dictated by supply and demand, the Echorec has become an increasingly collectable, rare musical device, which is highly fetishized by modern musicians.


  1. Will Straw, “Embedded Memories,” in Residual Media, edited by Charles R. Acland (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, 2007), p. 4. ↩︎
  2. Ibid., p. 11. ↩︎
  3. Ibid. ↩︎