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4 bits good, 8 bits better

D’Log posted a Spotify playlist recently, of Kraftwerk tracks covered by 8-bit artists. I’d never heard these before, but really like them. Kraftwerk’s recent re-workings of their old tracks are fascinating, but these cover versions, in some ways, are truer to the spirit of the original versions.

The 8-bit style isn’t always successful (such as the irritating track by the otherwise ingeniously inventive Penguin Cafe Orchestra), but it’s fascinating to see other people interpret Kraftwerk, and I don’t just mean re-mixes. The Balanescue Quartet covered five Kraftwerk tracks on Possessed in their contemporary string quartet approach.

Talking of old fashioned drum machines and synthesisers – Au Revoir Simone played live on the Radcliffe and Marconie Show last Monday on Radio 2, described by Mark Radcliffe as having overtones of Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass and Steve Reich. So that’s why I like them? Fair enough, except that description omits any reference to their vocals, which is surely a huge part of their style. Anyway, their first album is much better than their second (IMHO).

Saturday, August 1st, 2009 music

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