Blue Monday, And The Bizarre History Of That Awesomely Weird Choir Sound

It’s ‘Blue Monday’, aka the most depressing day of the year – according to some pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo made up by a UK travel company in 2005.

What better day could there be to look at the story of New Order’s 1983 dance music classic, Blue Monday, and that awesomely weird choir sound? That’s exactly the rabbit hole Mylar Melodies goes down in his new video, embedded above.

The video looks at how New Order used the unique sound of a choir that was transformed through a reported 13 generations of copying, taking it the sound from audio tape to optical sample disc to audio tape to vinyl to digital and back around again. A rat’s nest of generation loss gives the iconic choir sound the artifacts of most of the audio recording formats of the 20th century.

Ready to go in search of rare vintage sample playback keyboards? Check out the video and share your thoughts in the comments!

Topics covered:

00:00 Now, How do you Feel?
01:08 THAT Choir Sound: Sampling Kraftwerk
03:46 Meet The Mellotron
05:00 Meet The Vako Orchestron
06:00 Meet the Optigan
07:37 Another Legendary Kraftwerk Sound
08:40 Recreating Blue Monday!
13:08 The Pea Hicks Tape Story
17:11 Discovering the Secret
19:18 A Contextual Story from Dave
20:23 Mapping the Rabbit’s Journey

via Peter Kirn