Philip Glass’ score for 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi is deeply moving, sombre, arresting – but have you really even heard it until you’ve heard it performed by Alvin, Simon, Theodore?

No one asked for this; it coincided more fittingly with the 40th anniversary in 2022. But via the Hey Audio Student Facebook group (I’m practically a Boomer now using that social network and making Chipmunks references), you’re getting it anyway.


Original Meme: Cris Shapan
Music: Philip Glass
Changing Audio Tempo, Slight Tweaks in REAPER, Taking Joke Too Far: Elling Lien

Uh, yes, about the original, really you should check it out. As The Quietus wrote in 2022:

By capturing this beautiful mass of technology within the beastly, plundering the Earth’s resources to support life as we now know it, Reggio stresses the displacement of human beings in a story about the world they seem to dominate. Indeed, Koyaanisqatsi’s defiant rejection of the human-centric story and linear timelines common to the medium is there to capture the essence of the Anthropocene.

And again, if you really want to capture the essence of the Anthropocene, exploring transhuman species identity, bending gender and warping the very fabric of space, time, and uh, pitch, totally, the Chipmunks thing again. Right? I’ll stop.

Ways Of Seeing: Koyaanisqatsi At 40

If that is really not doing it for you, let me suggest the other direction. Starting with (actual) Chipmunks recordings and slowing them all the way down again, a Toronto-based producer has produced the most unintentionally sludgepop, post-rock music imaginable – dark and wonderful. “Walk Like An Egyptian?” “Keep Me Hangin’ On?” Genius.

Even if you refused to listen to the music, you need to read the comments:
Can’t over-recommend this timely reissue. For young Pharmakon fans who weren’t there in ’82 when Alvin threw a full bottle of cheap scotch onto the stage and then dove onto the broken glass, buy this album and learn where heavy music really comes from.

I’m sorry, I have to run to a Berlin tax office (seriously), which I think gives me time to listen to both of these … gems. See you.