Kero Kero Bonito are responsible for some of the most entertaining moments of this year. The fast half of their name - “kero kero” - is the suffix used in Japanese to indicate that the animal or person speaking is a frog. Of course. From bonkers being-yourself anthem ‘Flamingo’, to various band members getting up on stage during Bo En’s DIY Presents set to perform on his remix of ‘My Party it’s been non-stop fun watching them do their thing.
The band have a massive sound-system (biggest in the world), and in addition, they’ve also got an encyclopaedic knowledge of GeoCities - a web hosting service that currently only works in Japan. They’ve delved deep into an archived MIDI library formed by a brave band of volunteers who raced to save the contents of GeoCities when Yahoo shut it down in 2009, and they’ve picked out the best Christmas MIDI files known to internet-kind. It’s the most batshit crazy festive mix you’ll ever hear.
All these hidden treasures can be downloaded here, courtesy of Kero Kero Bonito, and you can delve further into the cavernous depths of Geocities’ collection of salvaged MIDI files right here. A quick disclaimer: it contains 51,000 rescued songs, so maybe set aside a few days.
First thing’s first, though, pour some mulled wine, and hit play on Kero Kero Bonito’s Christmas MIDI-mix, created exclusively for DIY. Then scroll down for a guide to all 15 picks written by the band’s own Gus Lobban.
“178xmas” (last modified: 23/12/1997 20:21)
Highly effective use of GM patch 54 (“Voice Oohs” duh).
“christmasmedley2” (last modified: 14/03/1999 02:59)
Screw medleys right? V. tight drum programming though.
“christmassong” (last modified: 15/11/2000 20:15)
As the rain pours down, you slide into the next bar. You pull up to the stool opposite the barman, and ask for a whiskey. Without taking your soaking raincoat off, you stare at the bottom of the glass, and think about your sweetie – how could they leave you so soon before Christmas? A single tear rolls down your cheek, and the band begin to play.
“deck_the_halls” (last modified: 12/05/1997 00:10)
A rockin’ rendition of a yuletide banger.
“have_yourself_a_merry_little_christmas2” (last modified: 04/01/1998 03:42)
The king of Christmas MIDI files. Possibly what Maxo was up to seventeen years ago.
“JINGBELL” (last modified: 05/12/1998 03:23)
It’s a salsa arrangement of “Jingle Bells”. Are you OK with that?
“LetItSnow” (last modified: 21/11/1998 16:07)
Did Maxo spend his entire childhood writing jazz arrangements of Christmas songs?
“rockingaround” (last modified: 09/11/1999 23:41)
“rudolph” (last modified: 23/08/1998 15:12)
A fairly loose performance of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’.
“santaclausiscomingtotown2” (last modified: 02/12/1996 00:42)
Seriously what’s going on here? Max this is so good for a six-year-old.
“silent-8” (last modified: 14/12/1999 09:23)
An Italo-disco vibe w/ great sound fx. Also check the very clever bit with quotes from other Christmas songs.
“sleigh33” (last modified: 18/12/1999 06:28)
Repurposes “Sleigh Ride” as a “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”/”Run Run Rudolph”-style Xmas rocker. Essential business.
“winter_wonderland” (last modified: 12/05/1997 00:20)
Very very very emotional.
“xmasremix” (last modified: 05/03/1999 02:36)
Bowser stages a band rehearsal at his castle on Boxing Day but Mario ISN’T around to save the day.
“xmastree” (last modified: 18/07/1999 03:46)
B/c any Christmas song sounds better with the Analog Kit.