These modded scanners let you play techno using barcodes

Image: Electronicos Fantasticos

Every so often, a tweet goes viral showing someone making a beat by wielding two barcode scanners in front of a sheet of assorted line patterns. It’s like cyberpunk grocery checkout with a dash of Aphex Twin, and over the years, these videos have racked up millions of views, shared by the likes of artists like Shawn Wasabi and club culture tastemaker outlet Boiler Room. But I’m always shocked that the clips largely stay constrained to the circles of social media and Reddit.

The other week, another one of these videos went viral (it has 1.9 million views on Twitter at the time this article was published), and I gave in. I had to know two things: who is behind this barcode techno, and how do they make it work?

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