Watch A Computer Hardware Orchestra Play An ’80s Balearic Classic
Introducing The Floppotron.
After almost 40 years of painful acoustic and pub band covers of Toto’s “Africa”, there’s finally a rendition we can get behind. The Floppotron, an utterly bizarre retro hardware symphony comprised of scanners, floppy disks, hard disks and magnetic heads, has produced a stunning tribute to the LA band’s perverse ’80s hit.
The Floppotron programs music by driving motor heads at various speeds, creating a variety of pitches the faster or slower they spin. Each column of eight floppy disks is connected to a 8-channel controller to produce one voice of bit-crushed tones to emulate the track’s synth sounds. As for the voltage-controlled drumming coils: that’s just straight-up cute.
Hear the cover in full below and get ready to hold those lighters up. Scroll down further for an introduction to the machine. For more on how the computer orchestra works, head to the Floppotron’s website here.