Sometimes a pedal can read less like a contributor to your tonal landscape and more like a concept album. Such was the case when I first started reading about the 11:11 pedal by Dr. No Effects in conjunction with Alain Johannes. Dr. No Effects should ring a bell to anyone who is serious about crafting their tone – they have a bevy of killer effects in their line. If Alain Johannes is a bit of a mystery to you, that’s more your fault than it is his. He’s been a musician or producer for the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, PJ Harvey, Mark Lanegan, Chris Cornell and the Arctic Monkeys to name just a portion of his involvement over the years. He’s right up there in the top ten unsung guitar hero’s of the world, which, BTW, is a great reason to get your own signature pedal.
The 11:11 combines a set wah filter and low-gain fuzz, aiming to nail Alain’s distinctive cutting tone, but the design has a deep significance for the guitarist and is one of the reasons the pedal ventures off the path of standard effect and into the concept arena of noise as art. The palette of greens, browns and golds mixed with non-denominational symbols that actually bring to mind some-type of denomination are accented by 6 knobs of various design to bring about an aesthetic typically reserved for galleries on the upper-west side. There may not be just one of these made, but after you put it on your board everyone will think it is.
According to a release on MusicRadar, “The two bird skull knobs symbolize Alain and his late wife Natasha Shneider, and interact like a marriage: “some settings argue and some work very well as a couple”. Similarly, the larger coin knobs represent Alain’s date of birth (2 May 1962) and Chilean origin, and control fuzz and fuzz volume; the smaller coins nod to Natascha’s Russian heritage and 22 May 1956 birthday, and control balance and shape.
Dr. No originally released the 11:11, eleven months ago as 121 units for hardcore fans – 11 were sold every 11 months, ending on Alain’s birthday. Now, the 11:11 is available now from Dr. No Effects – each stompbox is hand-signed by Alain, who recorded his own demo of the tones available, entitled The Adventures of Dr. No in the 11th Dimension. If you get close to one of these pedals, please leave a review at Pedal Finder and here’s a demo of what to expect: