A few posts back, I wrote about someone sending me a link to a YouTube page that had a bunch of rock and classic songs redone in 8-Bit style. But after that, I received a couple different emails telling me about some other pages that you can subscribe to, So I felt it would be right to talk about some of them in a post. So I bring you “Now Hear This.”
[ah kuh–pel–uh; Italian ah kahp-pel-lah]
What do you get when you have one guy with extremely long hair, a really long beard, a hat, a cat and a microphone? You get one of the most original interpretations of 8 and 16 bit music. Smooth McGroove, yes that’s the name he uses for the YouTube channel, takes the task of taking one song based on older video games and splits it into several components. But in the end, each component is his own. Every instrument and tone and beat is based out his own mouth. With the video itself, he will break the screen into different squares to represent each musical “instrument” for the song. This is a concept that has been done several times with other artists who create an a cappella or regular singing video of a song. Believe me when I say there are way too many videos to mention.
But McGroove, who loves to play video games, and is a student and also a drum instructor, takes time to find songs based on the video games and does the same thing with his voice in every musical elementl. The end result is something incredible. What seems like something that is done with flawless execution is done with incredible precision to be exact. Here is just a list of a few games that he covers.
Contra, Punch Out, F-Zero, Megalovania, Mega Man, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Street Fighter II and even Legend of Zelda. Some of ways that he uses this voices for the composition end up sounding like the music is taken directly from the game, But the other side to this talent is that some of the music is so hauntingly smooth and beautiful that it really does take your breath away. But if you are looking for a comparison of what type of music this is, just think about Bobby McFerrin, but just with a few extra Bobbys on the screen. And he happens to be one of my favorites from the 80s.
On a side note of his video game repertoire, take a listen to “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” originally by Radiohead but redone by McGroove. I am not really a Radiohead fan, again, not saying that the band is bad. It is a good band but not my type of music. But this compilation is just incredible. It does make me want to turn around and start listening to Radiohead. In the end, it really puts you at a loss of words.
McGrooves page now has over 2 million subscribers with over 150 videos and over 344,693,994 views. His following is incredibly strong and growing. He has released several albums on iTunes that feature the drawings and pictures of his cat Charl, who if you watch the videos closely, you will be able to see a guest appearance from him. And no matter how many emails he has received in his lifetime on YouTube, Charl does not do any of the singing.
McGrooves YouTube channel was started in 2012 and he just recently released a few new tracks, including the one mentioned above. However, he was away from the YouTube scene for approximately eight months for personal reasons. He does have a video on his channel that explains what happened within that time frame. I suggest listening to him talk about it. The video is about 27 minutes but the message is powerful. It is not religious or political, it is a powerful message about bettering yourself.
For more information about Smooth McGroove, visit: Facebook