Polish Engineer Brings Obsolete Technology Back From the Dead to Play Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'

Michele Debczak
Paweł Zadrożniak, YouTube
Paweł Zadrożniak, YouTube / Paweł Zadrożniak, YouTube

Polish engineer Paweł Zadrożniak is known around the world for building the floppotron—an instrument that creates music out of the grating sounds of old computer hardware. In what may be the best use of the technology yet, Zadrożniak has now found a way to play Michael Jackson's spooky single "Thriller" on the Frankenstein-esque contraption, as Gizmodo spotted.

To bring classic tunes to life, Zadrożniak translates MIDI music files into code that controls the now-obsolete devices that together make up the floppotron. The result is an orchestra of revving floppy drives, purring motors, and melodic scanners. In the video below, the retro sounds are accompanied by a fog machine for an extra spooky effect.

Given that the floppotron is a zombified version of old computer parts, "Thriller" seems like an appropriate song choice. But the instrument is good for more than recreating songs about things that go bump in the night. You can listen to floppotron covers of "Take On Me," "The Final Countdown," and "Video Killed the Radio Star" here.

[h/t Gizmodo]