Archive: Retro Disco 1

In a few days, I will announce the second instalment of my Retro Disco, so it’s probably a good time to revisit what the first one was like and what you can expect from the next one.

I had the idea of the Retro Disco a while ago, and while I was browsing Bandcamp at some point the idea took a new form and I started gathering songs. Instead of explaining my reasoning, I will just tell you what happened at the first event.

I added an invitation to my Discord, and also sent a few mails with a similar invitation to a select group of my friends (because the first instalment was just a test of the format). Here’s the invitation:

Hi, welcome to the first Retro Disco!

The show will begin on Saturday, 18 March, at 9 pm CET (8 pm UTC/3 pm EST/12 pm PST), doors open at 8 pm CET. At that time, the Retro disco voice chat will be opened to everybody.

There are no rules, but a few things to say: first of all, feel free to turn on your camera, but don’t feel obligated in any way. Secondly, please use the chat for the Retro disco channel (when you point at the voice channel, you will see a small “Open Chat” icon that turns on the chat area). Thirdly, remember that you can set the volume of other people, including Retro Rick (the music bot), by right-clicking their name.
While the music is playing, all participants except for Retro Rick will be muted, so I hope for more text chat activity. I will provide some background for each song as it starts playing, but sometimes I will also give you some time for guessing what you’re listening to. The event will end at 10 pm, but if anyone wants to hang around, I will, too.

The playlist for this first Retro Disco is fixed. This might change in future events, but this time I will just let Retro Rick do his thing. (All music persons can still control Retro Rick, and I’m asking you nicely not to do that for the event.)

The invite code for this server (and this channel) is <Link> – feel free to send this to people you think might be interested.

Some of the announced things (like turning on and off the mics) didn’t work out too well – or at all –, so we found alternative ways, which was part of the fun. There was an overarching topic, which will always be the case. This time it was “indie rock/hip hop”. The playlist ran for almost exactly one hour and included the following songs:

During the show, I copied-and-pasted prepared short blurbs about the songs. There was also some discussion and talk on the text chat, but I will not reproduce that here.

Let’s start with a bit of punk rock.
Superd​ö​ner (Marseille) – TV-Gamer in the Jungle

I love this song so much! I’m just not sure why it’s called “Computer Games” at all, it could be a religious allegory or just a song about a shy love affair. But I like the idea that it’s about an adventure game the protagonist plays in his mind.
Dummy (London) – Computer Games

Ok, this is probably the best-known artist today. But what game is he singing about? (First mention wins.)
MC Frontalot (New York) – It Is Pitch Dark

One of my all-time favourite games. Though I’m not sure they remember it quite right.
Tough Guy Soda (Philadelphia) – Lode Runner

More hip hop apparently – but wait a few seconds for it to turn into electro punk.
Remark (UK) – Space Invaders

Now this is the real thing: they are (mostly) unironically celebrating retrogaming!
the British IBM (Cambridge, UK) – Jet Set Willy

Everybody will know the original of this – but who can name it first?
The Gaming Muso/James Marsh (UK) – Duke Nukem Theme

Another cover version. Again, everybody will know this – but how long do you need to recognise it?
Moby Stick (Salzburg, Austria) – Monkey Island Dub

An instrumental. Not much more to say here.
ropsten (Cornuda, Italy) – Grandma’s Computer Games

The first true love song today.
shoeless thunder (Massachusetts) – New High Score!

Great intro, and I’m a big fan of the Spanish vocals!
BCore Disc (Barcelona) – Vic 20

I’m in love with the French pronunciation of “High Score”.
Imatur/Sabri (Brussels) – High Score

Yet another cover version. It took me a long while to identify it myself. (It’s in the title, but I wasn’t sure if it was a tribute or a cover version.) Who will beat me?
NecroPolo (Hungary) – Bionic Commando

Fusion jazz, who would have thought?
Kukubh (New Delhi) – Pac-Man

And a real (quite ambitious!) hip hop song to wrap it up. Only vaguely video game-related, though.
HPBLK (London) – Extra Life

Ok, so for the last dance we return to more normal game music remixes. A C64 classic. Name the composer and the game!
mAf/Benoît Charcosset (France) – Nemesis the Warlock Remix
After including the song – which I think is a great remix! – I learned that the artist died last September at 43 years. All the more reason to play his songs! Rest in peace, Benoît!

That’s it for today! I hope everybody had fun (even if I had to end it on a low note)! Thanks for joining me! If you like, stay after this song ends, then we can turn the mics on again.

The next Retro Disco will have a different topic, so keep your eyes peeled for more info.

(The featured image uses a Photo by KoolShooters.)