8-Bit Operator – Various Artists

Post Author: Jason Randall Smith

There’s probably a school of thought that suggests that video game-based music (or “chiptunes”) shouldn’t be taken seriously. That same attitude was probably applied to Kraftwerk’s music when they first surfaced during the 1970s. In that regard, a covers compilation like this one makes all the sense in the world. Hearing Kraftwerk’s music replayed on 8-bit video game systems captures the playful aesthetic of the original songs, keeping things retro while interpreting them in a new way. Role Model’s take on “Showroom Dummies” is a great example, transforming the tune into moody, lo-fi goth/industrial. Covox goes electro-pop on “Computer Love” and the results are quite charming. Included versions of “Kristallo” and “Tanzmusik” almost sound like background music for an old school Nintendo game’s bonus screen. Perhaps the most memorable cover is gwEm and Counter Reset’s “The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine),” which drops drum and bass bit style. If you’re even slightly curious about the 8-bit scene, if you’ve ever owned a Commodore 64 or an Atari 800XL, or if you could make a quarter last an half hour in an arcade, then you need to check out this album.