March 15, 2019

Artist Crowdfunds Chiptune Version of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea


Philadephia-based artist Levi Buffum, aka Doctor Octoroc, is known for his Nintendo-inspired takes on various pop culture staples, including a series of 8-bit film parodies and an imagined video-game version of Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

As a musician, Buffum creates chiptune renditions of his favorite music, from traditional Irish tunes to Christmas classics. Now, he's tackling an Athens staple: Neutral Milk Hotel's landmark 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Dubbed In the RP2A Over the Sea—in an homage to the NES audio processor with which the music was created—Buffum's tribute to Jeff Mangum's masterpiece is finished and will be pressed to vinyl, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

A message on the page reads in part:

Any fan of "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" will agree that there is no better way to listen to the album than on vinyl and I wholeheartedly agree. I also believe that the combination of the raw NES sound and vinyl offers a similarly unique listening experience[.]

No word yet what the secretive Mangum thinks about the project, though Buffum notes that he has "spoken directly with [his] lawyer in order to get approval of the content on the album," adding that royalty payments will be made in advance of the record's pressing.

Last year, for In the Aeroplane Over the Sea's 20th birthday, we asked members of the local music comumnity, including some who were involved with the album's creation, to reflect on what it means to them.

Hear In the RP2A Over the Sea's title track below: