Listen to a hypnotic a cappella rendition of the ‘Tetris’ theme

You've probably already tried this at home.

Mar 2, 2020, 2:59 pm*

Internet Culture


Miles Klee

May as well get this one out of your way, since it’s bound to show up in your news feeds a lot over the next couple days: YouTube sensation Smooth McGroove serves up a fiendishly precise, one-man, eight-part, a cappella cover of the iconic theme song from Tetris.

McGroove has a simple operation going—it’s just him, a microphone, some recording software and his black cat, who makes the occasional cameo. Oh, and his piercing falsetto, an essential element when you want to recreate an 8-bit video game soundtrack with just your voice.

Take a listen here, but be forewarned: there’s something incredibly frustrating about seeing a Tetris round played out when you have no control over what’s happening on the screen. Can you believe that’s where he put that L-piece? Madness.

McGroove’s Tetris cover might be the best-poised of any tracks in this nascent genre to find widespread acclaim, but did you know he’s got entire albums of this stuff? He does everything from Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Kart to Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger.

All in all, the dude’s got 46 a cappella YouTube videos under his belt, many with a few million views (not a bad way to make a living, is it); while Tetris can be considered an undisputed classic, others boast a higher degree of complexity and technical mastery. His scatting on a 12-part Pokémon song is especially impressive:

My personal favorite, though—for both its heavily stylized tone-bending and beatboxing, and for how it instantly transports me back to an arcade atmosphere that had seemed altogether remote—has to be McGroove’s take on the Guile theme from Streetfighter 2. It’s got more brio than you’ll know what to do with. Bet this would even work in one of the Rocky movies.

As for the Tetris music, he’s only done Type A, so perhaps we can expect a couple sequels.

Photo via Smooth McGroove/YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 5, 2013, 3:52 pm