Orkestra Obsolete Performs ‘Blue Monday’, 1933 Style

New Order’s electronic classic Blue Monday was released #onthisday in 1983.

In this cover performance, Orkestra Obsolete performs it as might have, if it had been made 50 years earlier, using instruments available in the 30’s. 

Orkestra Obsolete’s instruments include the theremin, musical saw, harmonium, prepared piano and then some unusual instruments, too.

More information on the instruments used in this performances is available at the BBC site.

18 thoughts on “Orkestra Obsolete Performs ‘Blue Monday’, 1933 Style

  1. Arrangement is the key not progress in a technical way. New Order in bloom. Revolutionary song!
    I promise the crowd in the past would have danced their minds away. Very hypnotic.

  2. Yes revolutionary song.As I was 21 in 1983 and studying in Manchester ,going to the Hacienda, and struggling to build DIY mono synths “Blue Monday” takes me back .The very good thing about Orchestra Obsolete is that they are using old stuff , and yet come across as creative and individual.Its a reminder that whilst technology can be great, -it can easily become a preset solution unto itself and less of tool that the artist /Musician uses to express their individual ART.This was a reminder for me that a major part of the enjoyment of Music was getting your hands dirty and having to work to get something out the Hardware.Such processes are what makes individuality,

    1. You can actually find sounds like this in the Acoustica Mixcraft loopkits as one of their sound developers is from Red Light District who are like a 1930’s band as well but if you had industrial sounds too. I have heard terms like Electro Swing and Steam Punk but it is maybe something like a side genre if that makes sense. Maybe Parov Stelar and Neubauten with a hint of a Danny Elfman / Tim Burton.

  3. Bravo ! I have the original CD (who doesn’t 🙂 ) . This is as good if not better than the original ! Bravo ! Fantastic ! Why no one uses the instruments like this in 1933 ? Go figure.,,,,

  4. Sorry, I just don’t see this as being truly “authentic” to 1933.
    Ribbon mikes would have been used, as would those small, alternately tuned Selmer saxophones, and the bass would have been held down by a tuba. The melody would have been maintained by a string section. The electronic effects (by a decidedly non-RCA theremin, it must be said) and the more exotic percussion would not have been in evidence.
    Finally – for this critique, anyway – the vocal performance was not of a kind contemporary with 1933. It would have been stiff and croony, and full of rolled r’s.
    If Orkestra Obsolete wanted to arrange it this way, fine, but please don’t call it what it clearly isn’t.

    1. “Sorry, I just don’t see this as being truly “authentic” to 1933.”

      Sorry, but your first hint that they aren’t going for an authentic performance is that IT’S DUDES IN BATMAN MASKS PLAYING BLUE MONDAY ON OLD-SCHOOL INSTRUMENTS.

      Enjoy it for what it is – an interesting cover of Blue Monday that sounds a bit like if New Order went back in time and tried to play it with what they had available.

    2. talk about nit picking… this video wouldn’t be on the internet if it was 100% “authentic” since internet didnt exist back then. how about we just appreciate the unique cover…

  5. Excellant! I absolutely loved everything about it. Love the old technology.
    I want to hear more. How do I find more of you guys??
    Keep up the outstanding work.

  6. Watched it twice! Such enthusiastic satire I’ve rarely seen. But it strongly reminds me of Devo. This is art!
    I loved the Musical Saw, the Theremin, Mixed Percussion and the Diddly Bow, The Singing Glasses were wonderful too, as were the Zither, Harmonium, Dulcitone, Hammered Dulcimer, Prepped Piano and Slit Drum.
    The vocals were appropriately ironic. It’s not supposed to sound musically perfect, it’s supposed to sound a little strained, with an air of tongue-in-cheek seriousness. The masks give that away. Such fun!!

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