In 1995 I was living in Japan, as part of my Japanese degree. I befriended a student from the English class I used to teach at, a lovely lady by the name of Masako Inoue. One day, after a lesson at her home, she said “Oh, I have something that maybe you can use” and produced a Roland SH-101 monosynth from her attic.
Scenes like this are the stuff of clichéd legend, but its true. Boxed, absolutely mint condition. She had bought it in the 80s, but totally misunderstood what it was for (in fact she thought it would make a sound like a piano), so just put it away. I felt like the luckiest person in the world. I remember getting back to the student halls of residence, plugging it in and having a night of no sleep as I got totally carried away jamming on this ultra-funky little machine.
It is well known as a fat little bassline synth. Wonderfully flexible though. I used this machine for pretty much everything on the AIR tour of 2007, and it stood the pace well. It was used for some Theremin-type lines on Champagne Dividend and various other sonic mayhem.
Muchas gracias again to Pete Hampson for his amazing technical skills keeping it going.