After Weezer lowered the bar for “Take On Me” covers as part of an album filled with new recordings of songs arranged in pretty much the exact same way as their original versions, just about any transformation of the A-ha classic is going to sound groundbreaking. That said, even the most unorthodox take on the track will forever pale in comparison to RamsesThePigeon’s approach, which sees him playing the song using samples generated from him slapping his own face in all kinds of different ways.
Without any preamble other than a warning not to try to replicate Ramses’ musical stylings at home, the video kicks off with five appropriately comic book-style panels that show how each noise in the cover was created. The solo slap-fight involves the YouTuber flicking his cheeks, tapping his teeth, and repeatedly hitting himself in different parts of his face for more than a minute straight.
In the video description, we learn that the song “was assembled by creating all of the sounds ... using the exact same methods seen in the footage.” After whaling on himself long enough to collect the samples, Ramses “linked them to a number of virtual instruments, then arranged a MIDI file that played pitch-adjusted notes with a bit of reverb on them.” He says “the melody was performed live” through several takes—which offers a great image of a man alone in front of his computer, repeatedly smacking himself in the face—”then overlaid with a MIDI track that gave the melodic component more prominence.” The final step was to mix the resulting face torment, throw in an air horn at the end, and call it a day.
This is inspiring stuff not just for would-be covers artists, but also for everyone out there who believes that not having the proper equipment is stopping them from achieving their musical dreams. If a guy who calls himself RamsesThePigeon can create music of this calibre by hitting himself in the face over and over again, not having a nice guitar doesn’t seem like much of an excuse for a lack of creativity anymore.
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