Peter Ducharme, better known as Master Cylinder, is a DJ based out of Massachussetts.

He's best known for "Jung@Heart", the soundtrack to VW Jetta's ad Synchronicity-- the one where the well-dressed tourist couple is driving through New Orleans in the rain, observing in childlike wonder the rhythmic street scene beyond their windshield.

A little about the commercial:

Ducharme recorded "Jung@Heart" specifially for Volkswagen, after being given the video footage to work with by ad agency Arnold Communications. Since there was not yet music to work with during filming, a 94 bpm click track was blared onto the set, to keep the actors in sync with what creative director Alan Pafenbach calls "the cadence of a brisk walk." Master Cylinder was paid $25,000 for the 4-minute piece, which currently is available for download, but not in stores. Volkswagen dealerships retain the only hard copies for use in test drives of the Jetta, in an attempt to recreate the mesmerizing groove of the Synchronicity ad for potential drivers. Each newly purchased car comes with a tape of the song the driver gets too keep for her very own. Needless to say, VW Jetta sales have skyrocketed since the debut of the commercial
Master Cylinder has also created advertising soundtracks for Converse and Red Bull, and according to USA Today, is talking to ad agencies that want music for Coca-Cola, Fuji and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter commercials.

He's done more than sell out, though. Ducharme is also half of the duo Junior Communist Club, his partner being Space 67 producer and musician John Dragonetti, the funky, crunchy pop-guitarist and frenzied sound-sampler to compliment Duchame's swirlingly ambient syncopated stylings of hellacious bassbeat. Junior Communist Club also has associations and shares members with the alt-pop band Jack Drag.

Master Cylinder works frequently in production with the band Star Ghost Dog and produced their 1998 debut album, Happylove and 2000's The Great Indoors, both on Boston-based Catapult Records. He was, until 1998, a member of the New Prime Numbers, another synyth-ey groove band that played almost exclusively in the hipper areas of Cambridge, MA.

For his current soundmastering projects, Duchame uses a Power Macintosh equipped with Pro Tools and Avid software. Apple Computer informs us he just bought a shiny new tangerine iMac, and it's all he's ever needed. However, Boards Magazine quotes:

Using traditional instruments and sounds as his musical foundation, DuCharme brings eclectic favorites like a theremin or a modular synth (his Korg MS10) into his work whenever it isn't excessive. He recently purchased a vocoder (the gizmo responsible for robotizing a human voice), and generally uses vintage electronic instruments; as such, he avoids using samplers, often the modern composer's best friend. The methodology for his compositions is simple; he sits with a synthesizer or guitar and plays along while watching the visuals.
Another pie Google tells me Peter DuCharme has his fingers in is a Graphic/Web Design dot com called Titler, creating music in this vein also.
On an entirely unrelated note, I found a cached article from the Boston Globe about how marijuana is destroying the minds of our youth that quotes a Peter Ducharme from Massachussetts. I can't say if it's actually Master Cylinder or not, that would be libel. But I'll share:

Peter Ducharme, 18, of the South End recalls how casual his introduction to marijuana was at a party with teenagers seven years ago.
''It was just there,'' he says. ''It wasn't planned. It was just something people did and didn't have a problem with.''
Ducharme began dealing drugs to classmates to support his marijuana habit, and he says that at its worst, it amounted to $200 a day. He is now in court-ordered substance abuse counseling program and has been off drugs for eight months.
Ducharme, who has been in trouble with the law more than once because of substance abuse, say his drug use might have been averted had there been more to keep him occupied after school.

Master Cylinder or not, it would certainly wouldn't surprise me. The music is trancey, lighthearted, head bobbing stuff.

Go download now at

The term Master Cylinder seems to be fairly common in the automotive field. I know less about cars than I do about astrophysics, so I'm not going to discuss that. I'm here to discuss the robot from Felix the Cat instead.

In 1958 Felix the Cat migrated to television and aquired his magic bag of tricks, a new personality, some new friends, and a new foe. The Master Cylinder doesn't get much press online, often dismissed as "an evil, cylindrical robot" or "the sinister Master Cylinder" ("often" purely because everyone is stealing the same Felix information).

However one site mentions him being Master Cylinder - The King Of The Moon. Then another site says he lived on Mars, but that's just one mention so it's either wrong or another example of the great continuity of classic television.

The Master Cylinder is a cylinder with either three wheels or two feet (images are a little unclear, and I remember him rolling!), eyes in a green panel which is presumably a screen, and two metal claws on arms. He also has eyebrows. Going off one of the episode titles he had an Atomic Drive but it presumably exploded. The Master Cylinder was apparently once taught by the Professor. Below the eye panel are two buttons, and above the eye panel is the speaker so he can talk.

For some reason he has a red eyepanel!

The evil of the Master Cylinder knows no bounds, with such deviant schemes as kidnapping Felix's friend Poindexter or making off with the Super Robot Formula surely only the tip of the iceberg.

Episodes I can Tell Master Cylinder was in from the title

  • Master Cylinder - King of the Moon
  • Master Cylinder Captures Poindexter
  • Venus and the Master Cylinder
  • Atomic Drive Explosion of Master Cylinder
  • The Master Cylinder's Spacegram
  • I recall the 1991 film Felix the Cat: The Movie containing an army of Master Cylinder clone robots but they had no character and worked for some evil guy on another planet. mkb informs me there was a cameo appearance by the Master Cylinder, however neither of us wants to watch it again to double check.


    • oh look, Felix has two skateboarding nephews. ASSHOLES! LEAVE IT ALONE!

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