10 songs played on dot matrix printers
by Mark Teo
February 24, 2014
By now, recycling old media is, well, old news. While sales of vinyl (ahem, “vinyls”) continue to rise at astronomic rates, the cassette has seen a D.I.Y. resurgence, bands are releasing music on floppy discs, and the chiptune scene is making music using Gameboys. Indeed, what’s old is new again, and the ’90s are back in both music and aesthetic: Oneohtrix Point Never, for example, is banging out CD-ROM era tunes, while art collectives like Tough Guy Mountain are making music videos that resemble ‘97-vintage screensavers.
To our knowledge, though, no one’s yet revived the dot matrix printer, the uber-noisy, line-by-line printer that went extinct by roughly 1998. Until now, that is. Vimeo user MIDIDesaster has recently posted a series of songs played on the venerable printers. And you know what? They sound incredible. Listen for yourself.
Foo Fighters – “Everlong”
This Dave Grohl cover is less Probot, more robot.
Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger”
As it turns out, the Rocky theme’s galloping, mechanic rhythm is a perfect fit for a dot matrix cover.
The Benny Hill theme
Apparently, Neko Case once likened the Benny Hill theme—or “Yakety Sax,” for those in the know—to someone shitting in her ears. The dot matrix cover of the song ain’t any better.
Green Day – “Having a Blast”
Dookie turned 20 this year. We’re celebrating with this cover using a technology that was in full force in 1994, the year of its birth.
Muse – “Hysteria”
This noisy, chattery cover honestly sounds like something that Oneohtrix Point Never would create. That’s a credit to Muse, too.
The Duke Nukem theme
Since we’re on the topic of ’90s gaming, we’re hoping for a cover of the Commander Keith theme next. Leisure Suit Larry would suffice, too.
Mike Oldfield – “Moonlight Shadow”
An ’80s track, memorialized by the ultimate ’90s technology. We love it.
Wallace and Gromit theme
This British stop-motion animation series is still up and running—which can’t be said of most ancient printers, which now are likely floating around in the Pacific’s trash island.
Forrest Gump theme
Does anyone even remember the Forrest Gump theme? We sure as hell don’t.