I have always loved electronic music. I am, after all, a child born in the 1970s that grew up in the 1980s. When I was still in the early years of primary school, The Human League – who are, to me, the epitome of home made UK electronica – were dominant in the pop charts.
Still, that often counts for little. Most of the people I knew as I grew up thought electronic music “wasn’t real”; it was made by computers and not by tough guys playing guitars. That opinion is rubbish. Unlike most guitar music, which simply borrows from previous bands from previous eras, electronic artists are often at the musical vanguard.
Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, The Human League, New Order and the like were followed in the 1990s by a bunch of ambient hipsters – such as Aphex Twin, Global Communication and Seefeel – that mixed sampling and electronica to create something epic and beautiful.
Now everything has gone full circle – electronic music is back in the charts and artists are busy making songs that either sound like 1980s pop or that simply sample New Romantic records. Still, I’m happy – anything is better than a bunch of indie bores recycling Rolling Stones and punk riffs.
Which brings me to the 8bitcollective – the online chiptunemedia community. Completely open, 8bc allows users to upload their take on classic pop. The rather brilliant collection of chiptunes are based on the music of 1980s gaming technology, the other sound of my early years – from the ZX Spectrum to the Nintendo Gameboy.
The following three tracks are the best I’ve found on the site as yet, but there’s probably other gems. If you like computer-based electronica, check it out. Sometimes, borrowing and re-interpreting the past really is the future:
- My Bloody Valentine – Loomer: A really beautiful version of a shoegazing classic
- The Smiths – William, It Was Really Nothing: Personally, I think this cover allows you to appreciate the brilliance of Jonny Marr’s chord changes…
- The Album Leaf – Another Day: Smashing take on a latter-day ambient track