Check out the 2009 album that started it all for 8 Bit Instrumental, a group I have written about numerously in the past, but for some reason I never blogged about their debut effort.
Inafune Week comes to an end with music from 8 Bit Instrumental
Share some of your favorite tracks from The Mega Man series and other games Keiji Inafune helped create!
As most gamers my age, I am absolutely in love with nearly every aspect of the Square classic Chrono Trigger. The game originally launched on the SNES in 1995, and essentially decimated all competitors to the RPG throne. One of the reasons this game is so well regarded is the unbelievable breadth, style, and memorability of the soundtrack. Yasunori Mitsuda was the composer for Chrono Trigger, which was the first game he ever headed in such a major capacity.
The video above is a 2008 rendition of Wind Scene from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack by 8 Bit Instrumental, from their album The Number of the Bit. 8 Bit Instrumental is a group of Brazilian musicians who have spent years arranging amazing live renditions of classic video game themes. Relax and let the sounds of Chrono Trigger sooth you before that next big boss battle.
Youtube description of "8 Bit Instrumental - Wind Scene (Chrono Trigger)
Uploaded on Dec 16, 2008 ___ Música que faz parte do álbum "The Number of the Bit" (dez/2008). Essa versão foi gravada ao vivo. Baixe a versão do álbum no nosso site. ___ This song is part of the album "The Number of the Bit" (dec/2008). This version was recorded live. To download the album's version access our bandcamp.
Much of South America seems to have the same infatuation with Nintendo that their North American counterparts have (In fact, the spread of Nintendo and video games in general through South America is something I would like to know more about. If anyone cares to enlighten me, well, my email is on the right.) This proliferation of video games has lead to several great bands rising from the continent. The Brazilian band 8 Bit Instrumental is the first of these bands that I had the pleasure of hearing, and I am glad to say that they have been creating some very diverse content over the last several years.
The vibrant live sounds of 8 Bit Instrumental first reached my ears with the debut of the groups fourth release, Beat the 8 Super Robots with 8 Bit Instrumental, a collection of songs from the illustrious Mega Man II released back in 2008. Within forty-five minutes they turned Mega Man into disco, funk, dance, and more. The live instruments and strong recordings made this album an instant favorite of mine. I credit this collection of arrangements, especially the closing track, Vacation in Miranda's Beach? (Ending Theme), with introducing me to both 8 Bit Instrumental, as well as the standard of VGM that is Mega Man II. That album got plenty of plays, but when their next release hit the internet at the tail end of '08, I was quickly smitten with the direction they took this time around.
The group went in a more stripped down, and serene style for much of their follow up album, The Number of the Bit. That brings us to this article's track, an acoustic, rhythmic rendition of Frog's theme from Chrono Trigger. I could imagine watching a band performing this arrangement while I bet on a race or chug beers (I mean sodas) at the Millenial Fair itself. That same upbeat style is felt on several more Chrono Trigger pieces, as well as in tributes to Zelda, Bomberman, and to greatest effect in several rearrangements of music from Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka's Super Metroid soundtrack. (As an aside, I believe very few renditions of music by Hip Tanaka are done justice. Just remember, I consider Metroid Metal to have set the gold standard. If only there were a world where Grant Henry created Mother Metal, just to hear him recreate more Hip Tanaka songs. Sigh...) Though this album carries a more cohesive sound, a variety of styles that 8 Bit Instrumental has control over is still on display. Several tracks travel a great musical distance, as genres blend into arrangements of Alex Kidd and a powerful rendition of the title theme to the aforementioned game Chrono Trigger.
Yasunori Mitsuda found himself in the hospital during his time composing for Chrono Trigger. After toiling away as a sound engineer and programmer, Square handed composing duties of a brand new series to Mitsuda. Like that, Yasunori was composing his first game alongside such names as Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama of Dragon Quest fame. With artists as well known as these (at least in Japan), it could rattle the nerves of even a seasoned musician. Mitsuda poured himself into his work regardless, and proved to have a highly perfectionist nature as he worked intensely throughout the games creation. By the time Chrono Trigger neared the final leg of production, Mitsuda found himself diagnosed with stomach ulcers and confined to a hospital bed. This led to renowned Square composer Nobuo Uematsu stepping in to finish a remaining ten compositions to round out Chrono Trigger's epic soundtrack. A soundtrack that would end up spanning three discs in its initial CD release.
I don't expect every musician to put themselves in the hospital when they make a new album, but I would imagine it takes a similarly focused artist to ably rearrange the themes of the Super Nintendo classic Chrono Trigger. 8 Bit Instrumental is such a group of artists. A clear, thoughtful musicianship can be heard throughout this and their other albums. I'm also glad to say, that when I was researching The Number of the Bit, it would seem the album has gotten some cover art that may not have been there when the album was released. I mention this, because it is some nice album art that fits the music quite well I think.
Their longtime site seems to be down as of this writing, creating another broken link throughout the archives. Lucky for you, 8 Bit Instrumental have a new bandcamp page. You can plunder four of their full length albums for free there. Sadly, it seems like a few of the lesser known albums and EPs are not to be seen. The largest travesty of the groups site being down is the loss of a handful of straightforward rock renditions of classic Pokemon Red/Blue music for an upcoming (at the time) fan remake of the classic games. As an aside, 8 Bit Instrumental also has a side project known as Chiptots, a band surprisingly different from the one performing the vibrant sounds of Yasunori Mitsuda's classic debut, but I'll have to save their chiptune inspired sounds for a future article.
References. 1. Chris Kohler, Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life (Brady Games, 2004) p. 146-150 2. 8 Bit Instrumental artist page at VGMdb. vgmdb.net/artist/2689 Last accessed 7 October 2011. 3. 8 Bit Instrumental artist page at bandcamp. 8bitinstrumental.bandcamp.com Last accessed 7 October 2011.
Ever wonder why more VG rock bands don't cover music from games that never existed? Wait what? Well whether you have thought this or not, Brazilian rockers 8 Bit Instrumental have taken it upon themselves to do just that. Creating VG Rock songs in the style of classic video game music. The result is the impressive Extended Pixels- More Music From Lobei. The album is five chiptune rock tracks that cover the musical styles of various video game genres. As with anything that comes our way via 8BI this is definitely an album that should not be passed up. Catchy chip sounds along with the always impressive drums, bass, guitar and sometimes more that make 8 Bit Instrumental a stand out band both in Brazil and the world. Be sure to head over to their site and grab the album, free of course!
So for those who may not have heard, new video game site, The Start Screen has come out of Beta. The site is hosting a new layout and lots of fresh content. Why exactly is a website coming out of beta big news? Well because I am a contributor to some of that great content!
Indeed I am now a contributor to The Start Screen and will be continuing to spread the word about video game inspired music and art there. The articles on the site will be introductory style posts for different artists and their albums. Be sure to check out The Start Screen and sign up for the site. Also be sure to check out the articles I have written so far over there, and perhaps leave some comment love and let the folks there know that there are plenty of fans for articles about video game inspired music!
Here is a list of articles I have written so far for The Start Screen.
New chiptune rock band out of Brazil, Chiptots, has released their brand new debut EP. You can download the six track self titled EP dircetly through this link, 8bitinstrumental.com/stuff/Chiptots_EP.rar. You can also check out their tunes, read up on their song lyrics (in Portuguese) and download the album from their myspace page. I have definitely fallen in love with this EP as of late, and I definitely recommend it to anyone with an affinity for amazing music.
On another note you might also recognize these folks as the well known VG rock band 8 Bit Instrumental, who also released a new album not too long ago.
Always amazing band out of Brazil, 8 Bit Instrumental has released a brand new album entitled The Number of the Bit. This collection includes several amazing songs from the likes of Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid and more. You can download the album for free through this link! It is definitely worth your time! And while you are there pick up their fantastic Mega Man 2 tribute album as well!
I want to announce Mister B and I's new endeavor! A podcast dedicated to a diverse array of Video Game Inspired Music and Nerdcore!
This week is our inaugaral podcast! Episode 001. That's right, all those zero's mean we plan on doing over one hundred podcasts someday! Anyway, this week's podcast is one and a half hours, although the planned goal is 1 hour for future shows. We also plan on busting out more songs more often.
Anyway, in this episode, we discuss Voodoo invoking rappers, scandals that will make you drop your tea cup in horror, Mister B's girl advice, and even why I hate Scott McCloud. Not to mention all that wonderful Nerd music that our podcast is built around!
Tracks played this week.
Dan Plus Add - Wikiversity [EXCLUSIVE]
8 Bit Instrumental - Vacation in Miranda's Beach? (Ending Theme)
Emergency Pizza Party - Bottle Breakin
The Adventures of Duane and Brand0 - Duck Hunt
Stunt Junkies - Sperm Donor
Jay Tholen - Drift Downstream
Send podcast feedback, praise, suggestions, etc to lettersvsnumberspodcast AT gmail DOT com
Brazilian musician's 8 Bit Instrumental have released a devastatingly impressive full length tribute to Mega Man entitled Beat the 8 Super Robots With 8 Bit Instrumental. The album is available for free from their website (translated version at this link) and clicking through the "Mega Man Soundtrack 2" link on the left. The album is a lengthy 45 minutes and includes the following 14 tracks, along with a word from 8BI.
Mega Man 2 is for us one of the best soundtracks ever composed, so we decided to make our tribute to those wonderful songs. This album is fully produced by the band 8 Bit Instrumental from Brazil, and we hope everyone enjoy it.
1. Welcome to the Wily's Happy Party (Opening & Title Theme)
2. Select how to rock your bosses (Select Stage/Boss)
3. Funk Bubble (Bubble Man Stage)
4. Ordinary Man (Flash Man Stage)
5. The Voyager (Quick Man Stage)
6. Metal Disco (Metal Man Stage)
7. Cara de Pau (Wood Man Stage)
8. Hard Core Man (Air Man Stage)
9. Rush Hour? Crash Hour!(Crash Man Stage)
10. Fusion Toez (Heat Man Stage)
12. I Hate Blue Robots (Dr. Wily Stages 1-5)
13. Huge Bosses (Boss Battle Theme)
14. Vacation in Miranda's Beach? (Ending Theme)
Also, along with their newest release, they are having a contest to see who can design the best cover art for this impressive album! To find out more about the contest you can check out their website (again, translated version at this link) for all the info, or email them directly at 8bitvgm[at]gmail[dot]com. The winner will receive a prize package including the album, shirts, and more! So if you are an artist, try your hand at this contest, which ends February 15th, 2008.