Monday, September 21, 2009

Kind of Bizarre...But I LIke It

Having, as I do, a bunch of friends who are hardcore gamers, I'm pretty sure that I already knew that there were people out there making music out of vintage video game system sounds. Chiptunes, they call them, or 8-bit music. But I didn't know that several artists, coordinated by Andy Baio of fame, had collaborated on a complete 8-bit remake of Miles Davis' classic Kind of Blue album. The result is called Kind of Bloop (heh), and it's actually pretty well-done. (You can hear samples of each track at the link or buy the whole thing for a mere five bucks.)

I actually bought the thing, and it is indeed clever. Purists will scoff, of course (isn't that part of a purist's job?), but I found the thing to be a reasonable interpretation of the music using that particular medium--certainly no more irreverent than the synthesizer reworkings of classical music by Isao Tomita that I listened to as a kid. There are only a few noticeable deviations from the spirit of the original (a note in Miles' "So What" solo is missed--hey, a guy who's transcribed that and assigned it to dozens of others over the years will catch stuff like that--and the intro to "All Blues" is done in 11/8, which makes me want to try the whole thing that way), but again, it comes off as much more of a tribute than a parody.

More information on the project can be found here, including a vigorous debate in the comments as to whether Miles would be spinning in his grave over this or not. (I"m the "Kev" who commented a few days ago, but you'd probably figure that out from reading what I wrote.)

(Hat tip: My webmaster, Nate, who didn't like it nearly as much as I did.)

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