A couple months ago, a few hours before my birthday party, I made a joke that the only music I'd play all night would be by Maxime, a Parisian synth-pop artist who records covers of punk songs under the alias Digital Octopus. I put on other music at the party, obviously, but not many songs made me as happy as this retro-sounding cover of "What You Want," a song from Sheer Mag's first 7-inch. Digital Octopus's version trades the fuzzy guitars for giddy synths and a new wave bounce. The result is romantic and seamless, like maybe it could have always been that way.
According to an interview with an Australian punk fanzine, Digital Octopus started making covers to play at punk show after parties. "It's a joke and it always has been," he explained. "Punk can be so serious sometimes—people need a short break." Listen to highlights from his catalog of covers below, featuring tracks by contemporary underground acts like Crazy Spirit, plus street rock classics from The Misfits and Cock Sparrer and more.