Hello, pedal heads! I’ve been busy lately and I’ve got to say, I missed you more this time than any other time we’ve been apart. Every time I got a text, I thought it was you… Let’s not do that again! Let me make it up to you. Your pal, The Pedal File, is here once again to check in and provide you with knowledge about a new pedal that I think is pretty damn cool. There, feel better?
Since I started this here blog, it’s been only getting harder to keep up with all the new pedals and pedal companies and all the crazy new gear related things that are perpetually coming out like a hipster in college. That’s why I like to sacrifice my time for YOU to save YOU the trouble of sifting through all the clones and designs that have been done before to bring attention to only the coolest, tweakiest, most versatile pedals around. I could be playing with pedals right now, but I want you to be on the forefront of pedal knowledge so I’ll keep typing.
Robert Keeley is one of the pioneers of the boutique pedal game (along with his mod offerings), but only recently has he been making bigger waves for his original designs. Most of his pedals seem rather straight forward – boosts, fuzzes, a delay here or there, some compressors (although the Compressor Pro is quite an impressive piece of work), etc. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with his line of pedals. Up til now, they’ve just been pretty standard and not that weird.
You even get two finish options.
The Absolute Wurst is the pedal I want to talk about today. It goes way way beyond the aforementioned items of the mundane and was, perhaps, plucked from the board of a guitar player in a parallel universe where down is 6 and up is purple. Catch my drift? The short demo video teaser from Keeley (below) doesn’t really begin to showcase all the features, but judging from the descriptions it seems to me like the Absolute Wurst is going to be absolute tits. I admire the ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude that Keeley exudes with this pedal. Like he’s all, ‘Yea, what? It’s not another compressor or fuzz or whatever. What’s up, son? I do what I want!’ Kudos, Mr. Keeley. You have been awarded an extra point.
What really shrink wraps my baloney is the description of the pedal – a random harmony generator (like a Rainbow Machine?) with pitch up and down capabilities; a ‘broken-sounding’ pedal for ‘Experimentalists, Mathematical Atonal Nerds, and Noise-Scape Artists’. Robert Keeley, did you make this pedal just for me?? I’m still waiting for it to come in the mail… I also note that Keeley makes reference to the Gonkulator in the description, which if you’re not familiar was yet another ahead-of-its-time DOD pedal that combined distortion with ring modulation into absolute weird tones that everybody was scared to use when it came out. This caused the pedal to have a short life, only to be sought after now for it’s weirdness in this more enlightened golden age of pedals we live in. How much overlap does the Absolute Wurst have with the Gonkulator? Some? Not much? A lot? I don’t know! Geez, sometimes you can be pushy….but I’m sorry. Let’s not fight.
Tweakables – taken from Keeley’s wesbite
Random – Insane Random Harmony Generator – Pretty much unüsable. Enjoy! (I’d use it)
Pitch up – Cräzy Harmony Up. Air Guitarist on Acid (aka “Chorus”)
Pitch down – The Drünken Bäss Pläyer. Low synth sounds and other strange weirdness. Unexpected throbs (that’s what I get when I’m in a room filled with pedals, and it also happens to be the name of the band that the Pope started with some of his top Cardinals to ‘back up’ their favorite altar boys ).
Upper Left (knob) – Blend your original signal, dry to all the way wet. All the way SELFIE or PANORAMIC for you FB or IG peeps.
Upper Right (knob) – Speed (in Random Mode) — Pitch Range for Up and Down Modes.
Lower Left (knob)– Proximity – How close, or the Proximity to original note that the “harmony” is.
Lower Right (knob)– Gain – as in PutOut. (Otherwise known as your mother)
Bypass – It’s either On or… Off.
Battery Free – Shoe Gazing turns it on and stuff – Power Drain 60mA or greater.
Keeley Engineered – Days of experience and thoughtful design in the foolish and absurd. (And I thought I was the only one…)
3D Glasses – Not Required, but they do make the pedal sound better.
Perhaps I will get my hands on this guy someday and do a more in depth hands on review/demo. Until then, check www.keeleypedals.com for more info.
What do you think about The Absolute Wurst? Is there another pedal you really really want to hear me go on and on and on about? Leave me a comment, or if you have something to hide, hit me up on my Contact page!
Thanks for reading.
The Pedal File