Miles Davis’ modal-jazz masterpiece Kind of Blue turns 50 this month, an anniversary marked with ruminations about its greatness, scattered disagreement over its legacy and, of course, a pricey box set.
However, a different sort of tribute to the seminal LP has now made its way online, thanks to some artists in a lesser-known electronic music genre and a blogger willing to get behind their idea. Kind of Bloop takes the five tracks from the original record and reimagines them as “chiptunes” – musical tracks created using vintage 8-bit sound chips like those you’d find in, say, an original Nintendo or a Commodore 64. The result provides a multilayered, musically complex set of electronic covers that also invoke nostalgia for those who came of age in the Galaga–Arkanoid–Pole Position era.
Five different artists got together to create the covers, and fundraising/awareness for the project was spearheaded by journalist/programmer Andy Baio via his well-read blog at waxy.org and his new online fundraising project Kickstarter. The whole backstory of how the project came about and got funded, which is pretty interesting in its own right, can be found here; it’s an interesting look at the organic growth in popularity of a true niche genre, as well as a novel way to gather funding for art projects that might not otherwise see the light of day.
Beginning tomorrow, the full album can be downloaded for a small fee at kindofbloop.com.
Sample: Ast0r’s “So What”
Sample: Virt’s “Freddy Freeloader”