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Tune-In Tuesdays #13: In the RP2A Over the Sea by Doctor Octoroc

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By: burgundy bug

In the RP2A Over the Sea cover

Source: In The RP2A Over The Sea: Neutral Milk Hotel Cover Album | Kickstarter

In the RP2A Over the Sea is the chiptune cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 album In the Airplane Over the Sea – talk about a double dose of nostalgia!

A Bit of Context…

In the Airplane Over the Sea cover

Source In the Aeroplane Over the Sea | GENIUS

In the Airplane Over the Sea is the second and final album released by the indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel.

The album itself is a cocktail of elements from rock, indie, and folk music.

Lyrically, In the Airplane Over the Sea is flowery, poetic, loving, absurd, existential, and laced with imagery.

You’d never expect it the album to be about Anne Frank.

“I spent two days reading [The Diary of Anne Franke] and completely flipped out,” said the singer-songwriter of Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Mangum, during an interview in 2003. “I spent about three days crying. It stuck with me for a long, long time.”

Mangum said he even had dreams about having a time machine and saving Anne Frank after reading through her diary.

“While I was reading the book, she was completely alive to me,” Mangum said. “I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But that’s the thing: you love people because you know their story.”

Although the album was inspired by The Diary of Anne Franke, Mangum said the album itself doesn’t necessarily take place in that time period. Rather, it’s a reflection of how he views it.

In the RP2A Over the Sea

In the RP2A Over the Sea

Source: In The RP2A Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel tribute on vinyl, played on a Nintendo! | DoctorOctoroc

In the RP2A Over the Sea was arranged by the musician Doctor Octoroc, who has been producing chiptune music for well over a decade, according to the FAQ for this album’s Kickstarter page.

“The wide variety of instruments used on In The Aeroplane Over The Sea offers a decades-spanning taste of musical culture while the audio processing unit on the NES is about as basic and dated as music can be,” Doctor Octoroc wrote in the FAQ on Kickstarter. “They simply aren’t compatible, superficially.”

And yet, Doctor Octoroc does the original album impeccable justice in spite of the NES’ limitations.

Each track utilizes every crack and pop of the nostalgic Nintendo sound bytes to encompass the diverse melodies across In the Airplane Over the Sea.

Whether you’re a diehard Neutral Milk Hotel fanatic or (lactose) intolerant to the grain and grit of the original album, In the RP2A Over the Sea is still an incredibly impressive musical feat and an absolute delight to listen to.

Doctor Octoroc also shared that he was driven to cover In the Airplane Over the Sea by his sentiment and personal connection with the album.

“While we are implored to remember the sorrow, we must also recall the joy,” Doctor Octoroc wrote. “This duality encompasses the complete experience of life and everything it has to offer and for me, much of the joy I gain through reflection pairs with the sorrow. The sorrow of losing my mother at a young age but the joy I remember experiencing when she discovered The Legend of Zelda and I did the same.”

Currently, In the RP2A Over the Sea can be purchased as a high-quality, digital download for just a $10 pledge on Kickstarter.

For a pledge of at least $45, you can get your hands on your very own vinyl copy of the chiptune arrangement.

In the RP2A Over the Sea on Kickstarter

Source: In The RP2A Over The Sea: Neutral Milk Hotel Cover Album | Kickstarter

“It should come as no surprise that I would choose to make music using a Nintendo when given the opportunity and that, upon deciding to cover In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, into which my own experiences mirror those expressed throughout,” Doctor Octoroc wrote. “Doing so using retro video game hardware would not only be fitting, but a fulfillment of everything the original album asks of us.”

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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