We previously shared this album of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing pop hits, but slowed down to 16 RPM. I recently stumbled upon the project again, and also discovered Volume Two, along with some information about the artist behind these sonic wonders. So I decided I needed to share "chipmunkson16speed" again.
If you haven't heard Alvin and the Chipmunks slowed down to 16 RPM, this comment from a viewer on YouTube really sums up the whole vibe: "This entire album is like drinking NyQuil in the parking lot of an abandoned mall at 3 AM."
The genius behind what Now Toronto calls these "accidental sludge pop masterpieces" is Brian Borcherdt, a Toronto-based electronic musician whose other musical projects have included Holy Fuck, Dusted, LIDS, and By Divine Right. He found a bunch of old Chipmunks records and a suitcase record player with a 16 RPM setting, and the rest is history.
In an interview with Now Toronto, Borcherdt explains:
"Why not? I really like it. I know it's funny, but it's also heavy, and it sounds beautiful. It makes you rethink the process involved, but there's also just something poetic about it. Music is such an exploration of time, and it's interesting the way you can manipulate that and change the intention. The vocals would have been recorded slow like that. That's how the singer did them in a vocal booth in a studio, never to be heard in that original form."
AV Club calls the slowed-down Chipmunks "an amazing collision of pop vocals and sludge-filled doom metal instrumentals" and deems the music "brilliant and terrifying." And Now Toronto calls it "oddly compelling."
I truly, without irony, love this music. Both Volumes are full of brilliant songs, but my absolute favorite is "Chariots of Fire," which is the last song on Volume 2. I'm a huge fan of Laurie Anderson, and this slowed down Chipmunks version of "Chariots of Fire" reminds me of some kind of strangely distorted sludge metal version of "O Superman." I absolutely love it.
Volume 1 includes: Call Me; Walk Like an Egyptian; Heaven is a Place on Earth; My Sharona; You Keep Me Hanging On; Diamond Dolls; Bad; You Were Always on My Mind; Venus; Mony Mony; Made for Each Other; I Love a Rainy Night
Volume 2 includes: Heartbreaker; Refugee; Whip It; Bettie Davis Eyes; Jessie's Girl; Mr. Tambourine Man; This Diamond Ring; Eye of the Tiger; Fame; How Do I Make You; Good Girls Don't; Chariots of Fire