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Top 5 Electropella Performers

March 17, 2009 // Posted in Audio Hardware, Audio Software, Culture  |  2 Comments

What is an Electropella performance? It’s a phrase I invented to describe the act of singing accapella while sampling one’s self and playing back recorded samples to synthesize a full orchestra of voices all singing simultaniously.

1. Reggie Watts – Live on POPTUB

This video was forwarded to me by Kris of As it turns out, I saw Reggie playing an improvised performance on an art car with a number of musicians in 2007. It rocked my world. I love that he seems to be flowing in some weird alien skat language. Check out the way he swings the microphone in front of his mouth to change the volume envelope of his voice. He also has a few moments in here that sound a lot like Prince.

2. Imogen Heap – Just For Now

Imogen Heap uses the Electrix Repeater in this stunning performance.

3. Jamie Lidell – Live at the Royal Festival

A few years ago my roommate got me tickets to see Jamie Lidell perform live. He has some of the best stage presence I’ve ever seen.

4. Kid Beyond

Kid Beyond has done a great job of popularizing the usage of samplers in vocal performance. In this video he gives a great demonstration of his process.

5. Lasse Gjertsen – Hyperactive

This video was an internet phenomenon. It seems like Lasse Gjertsen recorded the individual samples and retriggered them using midi. Hand editing this entire piece would’ve been ridiculous. Want to build your own piece like this? Check out for a great list of VJ software products.

Honorable Mention

Bobby McFerrin – Drive

This absolutely blew my mind. Not only does he sound like eight people singing together on his own, but he incorporates the many sounds of a car as instruments in this performance. A truly stellar accomplishment.