Röyksopp's vocoder playlist: Transvolta, Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk and more

Among the group’s top five vocoder tracks are a Belgian disco stomp from the 70s, Anderson’s O Superman, Kraftwerk’s Robots, and a slice of fine Italodisco

Transvolta – Disco Computer

This Belgian disco number is a fine example of the vocoder’s primary usage in the 1970s – particularly in disco. Nothing says unearthly, futuristic and robot like the fine-tuned waveforms of a vocoder. Should you like this track, be sure to check out Dan Lacksman’s other, perhaps better-known project, Telex.

Listen to Disco Computer by Transvolta

Laurie Anderson – O Superman

This track is all about the vocoder. Laurie’s own voice is blended with that of the vocoder – which plays both melody and chords. And it is this combination that makes for a haunting, almost eerie yet beautiful atmosphere. Trainspotters will no doubt notice that the vocoder in question (Roland VP 330) also supplies the string sounds for this amazing composition.

Watch Laurie Anderson’s video for O Superman

Röyksopp – Thank You

Yes, we deserve a spot on this list. The vocoders are an integral part of our sound and they have been there ever since we first started making electronic music all the way back in 1988. We’re particularly fond of this track due to the vocoder’s clear diction and warmth.

Watch a video for Thank You by Röyksopp

Mr Flagio – Take a Chance

Italodisco at its finest! Making a vocoder sound as sexy as this is quite hard. But Mr Flagio pushed the right buttons (ah!) and said the right words, making this both a vocoder and Italo classic.

Listen to Mr Flagio’s Take a Chance

Kraftwerk – The Robots

No surprise, really. The embodiment of the vocoder. The conceptual ideas of Kraftwerk help to underline the notion that this is a robot singing. This blew our minds as kids – and although it’s become ubiquitous over the years, it has earned its status. It still does the trick.

Watch Kraftwerk’s video for The Robots
  • Röyksopp perform at London’s Bankside Vaults on Friday 25 November
Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Yo! Sissy playlist: Zhala, Mykki Blanco, Peaches and Anohni
Founders of the LGBT event in Berlin compile a playlist of spiritual electronica and ecstatic pop in praise of diversity, plus pure political poetry

Pansy and Scout

30, Jun, 2016 @10:53 AM

Article image
The month's best music: Fever Ray, Giggs, Linda Perhacs and more
From Errorsmith’s hyperactive take on Jamaican rhythm to Rina Sawayama’s shiny power balladry, here are 50 of the month’s best tracks

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Rachel Aroesti

06, Nov, 2017 @5:01 PM

Article image
The month's best music: Post Malone, Björk, Lorenzo Senni and more
From Charlotte Gainsbourg’s delicate minimalism to kick-ass indie-punk by Dream Wife – plus Somali disco and elegant techno – here are 50 of the month’s best tracks

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Rachel Aroesti

02, Oct, 2017 @11:29 AM

Article image
Bastille's A-team playlist: Anderson Paak, Anohni and more
The indie pop frontman chooses distinctive music from 2016 by artists whose names start with A

Dan Smith

02, Sep, 2016 @9:57 AM

Article image
HyperNormalisation playlist: Pye Corner Audio, worriedaboutsatan and more
Adam Curtis’s music supervisor, Gavin Miller, shares some the arpeggiated synths and creepy atmospherics that score Curtis’s latest documentary

Gavin Miller

21, Oct, 2016 @11:31 AM

Article image
Readers recommend playlist: songs that say hello
A reader welcomes you into a playlist with greetings from Gorillaz, Shonen Knife and Soft Cell

Richard T Clayton

18, May, 2017 @11:00 AM

Article image
Readers recommend playlist: songs with sudden changes
Artists such as Lorde, Sparks, the Moody Blues and Metallica bring changes of pace to a prog-heavy playlist with twists and turns


15, Mar, 2018 @12:00 PM

Article image
Peaches' playlist: Nicki Minaj, PJ Harvey and more
The electroclash star picks out six of her favourite tracks – from a Minaj masterpiece to Cyndi Lauper outdoing Prince on one of his own songs


16, May, 2016 @12:42 PM

Article image
Readers recommend playlist: the best of your 1980s 12-inch singles
A reader takes a journey of discovery through your favourite 12-inch singles and remixes. Classics from Grace Jones, New Order and Happy Mondays make the cut

Paul Hayes

19, Jan, 2017 @12:00 PM

Article image
The playlist: the best electronic music of 2014 with Joey Anderson, Miss Modular and more
It maybe wasn’t the best year for banger singles, but there still great electronic records made last year. Here are five of them …

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

01, Jan, 2015 @10:00 AM