8-Bit Operators – An 8-Bit Tribute to Kraftwerk
By Bob Gourley | Originally published in 2007
“8-Bit Operators – An 8-Bit Tribute to Kraftwerk” is a new collection of Kraftwerk covers created primarily on old computer equipment and gaming consoles. It was conceived/compiled by Jeremy Kolosine, who under the name Receptors contributed a rendition of “Trans-Europe Express” to the disc. In an email interview, Kolosine explained a bit about the release:
1) Kraftwerk are definitely a fitting subject for a release like this, but what specifically led to their music being chosen as the theme?
well the 1st thing that comes to my mind when i saw a gameboy show was Kraftwerk’s Computer World tour from 1981, where 4 of them played various handheld devices during pocket Calculator. plus it came up in print from a Glomag quote, and an 8-Bit Weapon April Fool’s joke that backfired.. 😉
2) What would you say the balance is between tracks specifically created for this release, versus Kraftwerk covers that artists had already done?
only one track was previously recorded before i asked, Role Model’s version of “Showroom Dummies”
3) Did any of the tracks particularly surprise you in terms of what was done with the Kraftwerk material, or the types of sounds that an artist got out of their low-bit instruments?
yes, i can think of an example this happening in every song.
4) Has there been any feedback on the project from Kraftwerk on the project?
because it was to be on Kraftwerk’s U.S. home label, we ran the finished tracks by them.
5) Besides covering Kraftwerk and the use of old gaming systems and/or 8-bit computers, was there any criteria that went into the selection of artists for the collection?
i wanted as many of the new wave of 21st century chipmusic/bitpop scene originators/inventors to take part.
6) Why do you think that this type of equipment wasn’t originally taken as seriously in terms of musical creation?
i believe it’s because at the time, the marketing approaches used for synths were still assuming that users wanted realistic emulation of traditional instruments, which may be true, but in that respect, lo-bit technology doesn’t excell so it may have failed because of that (talking synthesis and not sampling technology of course).
“8-Bit Operators – An 8-Bit Tribute to Kraftwerk” also features Bacalao, Glomag, Covox, Role Model, Nullsleep, David E. Sugar, Oliver Wittchow, 8-Bit Weapon, FirestARTer, Neotericz, Herbert Weixelbaum, Bubblyfish, Bit Shifter, GwEm And Counter Reset. It will be released by Astralwerks on February 6, 2007. There’s also a 12″ single/download release (out now) featuring a multi-artist mega-mix of “Pocket Calculator” and an exclusive version of “The Robots.”
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