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the James Soame collection of badboy kickdrums

The son of wealthy land-owners, James Soame worked as an architect and engineer, designing buildings and transport systems for the burgeoning colonies of the 19th century British empire.

Soame was also a keen collector. Amongst other things, he sent many exotic plant and animal specimens to the young Charles Darwin, and James is mentioned several times in the notebooks from which Darwin was to write Origin of Species. But it is for his collection of hard-assed techno kickdrums that Soame is best remembered: they rock the fucking hut.

This online exhibition gives an idea of the instruments' sound, but equally importanly it also gives an impression of the sheer range of Soame's collection, which at the time was unique in the world.

Exhibits are organised into the same broad categories that Soame defined, and as per the 1863 exhibition, a "case" has been assembled for each category.

Case 1 - 909 kickdrums and their descendants

Case 2 - Exotic kickdrums of Europe and the Americas

Case 3 - Kickdrums from random 80s drum machines
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