Alvin And The Chipmunks — those of the annoying voice and improbable longevity and box office success — have built a career around their sped-up helium squeal, and Toronto-based musician Brian Borcherdt (most notably of Holy Fuck) has slowed them back down by playing some old Chipmunks cuts at 16 RPM and uploading them onto the internet. They make for some pretty good sludge pop, which makes sense considering they’re just songs that were considerably sped up and slowed back down again. Here’s how Borcherdt explained the project to Now:
Years ago when I first started playing with Holy Fuck, that turntable was one of the things we would bring around with us. Sometimes we’d play various records really deep and guttural and slow, and work that into the fabric of whatever we were building. It’s not meant to travel though, and it eventually took a spill and broke. I never got the chance to do a bunch of things that I wanted to do, one of which was this Alvin and the Chipmunks thing.
Why not? I really like it. I know it’s funny, but it’s also heavy, and it sounds beautiful. It makes you rethink the process involved, but there’s also just something poetic about it. Music is such an exploration of time, and it’s interesting the way you can manipulate that and change the intention. The vocals would have been recorded slow like that. That’s how the singer did them in a vocal booth in a studio, never to be heard in that original form.
Check it out below.
Here’s a sampling of the originals: