Playing 'Blue Monday' with Obsolete 1930s Instruments

Friday June 08, 2018 Written by Smith

When New Order released Blue Monday back in 1983, it sounded like the Manchester band had captured the future in musical form – so alien were its darkly robotic beats and sequenced melodies. Now that we’re in the future, of course, the track sounds like a pure distillation of the ’80s. (What with all its darkly robotic beats and sequenced melodies.)

But what, you’ve probably wondered, would the song sound like if it had been made 50 years earlier?

Well, wonder no more: that very precise, totally reasonable question has been answered by a mysterious, masked band known only as Orkestra Obsolete. The septet, which specialises in playing obsolete instruments, has rearranged the dance hit to sound like it would have in 1933. Remarkably, the song sounds pretty similar to the original, thanks in large part to the array of weird instruments available in the electricity-loving era, which includes Theremins, musical saws, harmoniums and even singing glasses.

To learn more about the project, head over to the BBC. To travel back in time, hit play on the video above.