What Would Toto’s ‘Africa’ Sound Like Played in an Empty Mall?
Thanks to the handiwork of an enterprising musician, the internet's collective love of dead malls (i.e., malls that are empty and/or going out of business) has crossed paths with another online obsession, Toto's "Africa."
A YouTube user by the name of Cecil posted a video of what "Africa" might sound like if it was being piped over the overhead of an empty mall. The song is recognizable, just bathed in foggy echo and rendered in a slightly less-than-perfect sonic fidelity.
A friend called it "chilling in a post-apocalyptic way," although it also invokes deep feelings of nostalgia (and maybe days spent browsing the new release racks at Sam Goody).
Cecil also gave the empty mall overhead treatment to Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure"; the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows"; and Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." All of these songs are similar to the vibe promoted by "Africa," although there's a sadness to them all that's rather touching.
You can listen to some of them below.
Queen and David Bowie, 'Under Pressure'
The Beach Boys, 'God Only Knows'
This conceit is the brainchild of a musician named Cecil Robert, who says on his Patreon page that his approach is editing songs as if they were being heard coming "from another room." (Robert also does original music, which can be found on SoundCloud.)
That's a broad description that's led to some other funny (and absurd) scenes.
There's Eagles' "Tequila Sunrise," as it might be heard under the din of a crowded, noisy bar. The resulting clip should be familiar to anyone who's spend raucous Friday nights hovering around the jukebox.
The Clash's indelible "Lost in the Supermarket," as it might be heard if you're (what else?) wandering around the supermarket, is also a perfect encapsulation of those times when you're strolling around just trying (with little success) to find that one item you need to buy.
Another fan requested that Robert do a video for the Who's "Baba O'Riley," but "it sounds like it's playing on a football field." Although the band technically did just that during their 2010 Super Bowl Halftime Show -- "Baba O'Riley" was the second song in the set list -- this take is a bit rawer, and more like an anything-goes '70s game.
And a cheeky video titled "Don't Dream it's Over LIVE (but tickets were sold out)" is hilarious and relatable. This clip features a live version of the Crowded House classic, which sounds like it's being played from a football field away.