One of my favorite YouTube channels is Techmoan, which I’ve supported on Patreon since 2016. The creator is Mat Taylor, a Scot who mainly posts videos about obscure audiovisual technologies. One of his most interesting posts was in 2015 about the Tefifon, a tape cartridge player that didn’t use magnetic tape, but instead had a loop of plastic tape with grooves that were played with a stylus in what was a bizarre combination of phonograph and tape technology.
The Tefifon was inherently interesting, but a catchy song Mat played from it in the background during part of the video would become a staple of his channel, with him using it as background music for various puppet segments he used to include in his videos.
Mat used that recording of Cuba Baion because he doubted it would trigger a copyright content match. He later learned that it was safe to use since it was copyrighted in Germany and was by now public domain. If it had been copyrighted in the United States, it might not be safe to use until 2066!
Funly enough, internet nerds have given the song new life.
Here’s Mat’s original video:
The video caused such a commotion that Mat made a follow-up, which included the full song:
Here’s the isolated recording of Cuba Baion from Mat’s Tefifon:
Here’s the song from a long-playing record, with a slower speed and deeper tone:
Here’s a fellow who figured out how much the Tefifon playback was off, and applied some playback curves:
Here’s a MIDI version that Anders Enger Jensen created:
And topping these off is a version played on a Fata Morgana Dutch Street Organ for residents of the Gagelbosch care center in Eindhoven, The Netherlands:
That is delightful! There is now even sheet music for Cuba Baion prepared by Kaden Dayog, who was also inspired by Techmoan’s videos.
Kurt Drabek was a German accordionist and bandleader. He was born in 1912 and passed away in Berlin in 1995. More than 1,100 compositions are attributed to him.
If Techmoan might be your cup of tea, here is a sampling of his output in 2022.