This Starsc- Infinity Shred album was great the first time, but I have come to find that it now contains eight bonus remixes. The good times have more than doubled!
My original album write up and a link to the free original release through here.
This Starsc- Infinity Shred album was great the first time, but I have come to find that it now contains eight bonus remixes. The good times have more than doubled!
My original album write up and a link to the free original release through here.
After having met at Blip Festival 2009, Coova and little-scale signed a treaty to merge their respective battalions and combine their unique combat styles in order to ward off evil enemy forces. Coova’s artillery of choice is the Nintendo Game Boy with the Nanoloop 1.5 ammo cartridge whilst little-scale’s war science research department has developed a weaponised strain of the SEGA Nomad. The result is an armed force to be reckoned with, ready to do battle on any audio playback system at high volumes.
We are going to be playing catch up quite a bit these days, but we will try not to leave anyone behind! Here's another great album that I missed during the sites recent dry spell. Coming our way by the folks over at 8bitpeoples, Two Warriors from Coova, and little-scale. Considering all the praise I heaped upon little-scale and his older releases, not to mention the oddity and grace that is Coova, who I have been an avid fan of since hearing the eclectic sounds of her 2009 release with Bud Melvin.
So to put it bluntly, there is no new music here, hence the "regifting." Let us revel in the holiday spirit though, and call these albums something of a tradition. Also, if anyone is feeling in an especially gift giving mood...well you see that contact link over there.
We kick things off with one of my personal favorites from a good pal. Let us all get reacquainted with Doctor Octoroc and his album 8-Bit Jesus.
Available through the album page on doctoroctoroc.com, 8 Bit Jesus is Doctor Octoroc's first foray into chiptunes, and the results are quite amazing. With over a dozen christmas inspired chiptunes. Personal favorites of mine are Have Yourself a Final Little Fantasy and Little Drummer Nemo, the latter of which you can get in the free nine song album sampler
Next up we can't forget the classic compilation from well known label 8bitpeoples.
The collection of 8 tracks which comprise The 8bits of Christmas include tracks from seminal artists like Nullsleep, Bitshifter, GOTO80, and several more. Well worth a download any time of the year in fact!
Finally we have a classic from the OverClocked Remix community.
Their tribute to the season is An OverClocked Christmas. This is ten tracks of ReMixed christmas tunes as only the OCR community can do it. Another great album worth checking out, and as with all OCR projects, completely free to download.
I would also like to point folks to the recently released 8 Bit Weapon/ComputeHer Christmas album It's a Chiptune Holiday. Or if you just want to relax with some great winter themed songs, head over to Slightly Dark's album list and scroll down to "S" to find all seven SlightlyDark Christmas Mix volumes, or check out the amazing Sea of Ice compilation released at the end of last winter on Pause.
We got two brand new and as always very epic releases from 8bitpeoples. Since Blip Festival 2009 is happening RIGHT NOW, I figured it would be a good time to point them out. Also a good time to mention that ZenAlbatross has written up his own Unnoficial Guide to Blip Festival so be sure to check that out as well! Now on to the releases! First up is Minusbaby, marking release 101 with the new EP Left.
The first time I listened to "Left" I was 6,000 feet above sea level being driven in a car navigating the winding roads of the Himalayas. The last time I listened to "Left" was a few minutes ago while watching some writers at the 5Pointz graffiti spot in Queens. Both times I was mentally transported to a place between those two extremes – the majestic and the everyday. Can something be both timeless and fresh? It can when the bass is the base and each snare truly ensnares.
Once again, minusbaby has shown us the proto-urban; an audio space where an imaginary city is built in the mind's eye from the rawest materials and yet still seems to be polished and eternal. Please, enjoy, as I do, the reductive/constructive paradox which is minusbaby's perpetual rhythm machine and sip and nibble from one of the most inconspicuously nuanced suppers ever to disguise itself as a snack. Simplicity was never so deceptive.
Second up is the amazing, not to mention sexy new EP from Saskrotch, I'll Have You Naked by the End of This ROM
In the early summer of 2007, the first demo from I'll Have You Naked By the End of this ROM, an 8 second loop from Mustard, was played for Nullsleep over tinny DS speakers. Thirty months of discarded demos, obsessive re-writes, and at least three mastering sessions later, one of the true innovators of chipbreak brings you 5 tracks of high speed guilt trips and over joyous ceremony. This is Raw. This Is Saskrotch.
It seems like just recently superstar netlabel 8bitpeoples was celebrating their momentous 50th album release, but lo and behold here we are at release 100! To celebrate this huge event, 8bitpeoples, with production from 2 Player Productions of REFORMAT THE PLANET fame have worked together to bring us the live double disc set Blip Festival 2008 compilation. 32 live tracks from artists all in attendance last year at the seminal Blip Festival which takes place in New York every year. The album is available for the price f $15 for the amazingly well done physical copy. You can also purchase it as well as hear it in it's entirety over at 2playerproductions.bandcamp.com.
This is another huge milestone not just for 8bitpeoples, but for the fans and chiptune community at large as well. These days it is just amazing step after step with chiptunes and I couldn't be more excited! Here is the official word from the 8bitpeoples site concerning the album, including full tracklisting and artists!
Official Blip Festival 2008 live performance double-CD compilation. Produced by 2 Player Productions, and featuring one track from each of the festival's 32 musical performers. Professionally recorded, mixed, and mastered; the phenomenon of live chipmusic has never before been so pristinely captured.
From the liner notes:
"For a scene and a subculture not known to put a great emphasis on the physicality of an album or an EP, a scene which thrives and prides itself on the free exchange of digital music, this is the right record to make tangible. Milestones should be marked by monuments, and this is the second time 8bitpeoples have done so: with the 2xCD 8BP50 CD after the first Blip Festival, and now with this; 8BP100 — so you can see just how far it's all come. Now take this artifact in your hands, press play on your system, inspect the pretty parcel it came in until you've unlocked its every secret, then turn up the volume, close your eyes, and picture yourself there."
- Nathaniel Adams
1. noteNdo: Spelling Numbers (Live)
2. Graffiti Monsters: Letter B (Live)
3. IAYD: Acute Monocular Beam (Live)
4. zabutom: Endroll (Live)
5. Tonylight: Happy End (Live)
6. M-.-n: Mangash (Live)
7. Sidabitball: Kids On Acid (Live)
8. Unicorn Dream Attack: 4l0n3 (Live)
9. Animal Style: 2 of 9 (Live)
10. Low-Gain: Summer Fun (Live)
11. Cheap Dinosaurs: Hot Plate (Live)
12. Role Model: Pop5 (Live)
13. glomag: 4shame (Live)
14. Bit Shifter: Easy Prey (Live)
15. minusbaby: Minha Caipirinha É Ótima (Very, Very) (Live)
16. Meneo: Fica La Figa (Live)
1. Jellica: Man Two (Waves Of Fear) (Live)
2. Mr. Spastic: FXLP (Live)
3. Bubblyfish: Metaphysical Dreams (Live)
4. Sulumi: Sweetly (Live)
5. Cow'p: Stush Boy (Live)
6. Nullsleep: Limit Break (Live)
7. STu: Singing Robot / mYMelody (Live)
8. Dubmood: Saturé Nights Part.1 (Live)
9. Starscream: Andrew Jackson (Live)
10. Lissajou: Blibdoolpoolp (Excerpt) (Live)
11. Syphus: Pennies / Fuelship (Live)
12. nordloef: The Ugliest Boy In The Class (Timebomb) (Live)
13. Ikuma: Jealous (Live)
14. Anamanaguchi: Dawn Metropolis (Live)
15. USK: Boot Up (Live)
16. Trash80: Missing You (Live)
seminal and ever impressive chiptune label 8bitpeoples are right on the cusp of their 100th album release. While we are all waiting to see what they have in store for us, we should take notice that their 99th release is definitely no slouch. Starscream makes his 8bitpeoples debut with the amazing Future, and it Doesn't Work EP. The album's concept is stated as the following.
"In the not so distant future awaits the election of the first third party candidate to the White House- they will hail from the Space Party, a political coalition founded by astrophysicists, former democrats and ex-NASA employees. In their 8bitpeoples debut EP, "Future, and It Doesn't Work", Starscream tell a tale of victory, science, and potentially catastrophic foreign policy."
The album definitely has an amazing space like quality to it akin to recent comptroller release. With the kick off track (and my personal favorite on the EP) Rise of Space, you can imagine the countdown to rocketing into orbit, which leads into the somber yet victorious Space Party Anthem. The third track, Gravity in Terms of Space-Time, sounds like the type of bold song you would see along with footage of the great accomplishments of the space party in this future scenario. From here we are taken to the more ominous sounds of Kepler's Star Catalog, which sounds like the background to some tough space decision making, and maybe even some shady backroom space deals.
This song coupled with Gravity bring the political edge of the album to the forefront by seemingly giving an audio account of both the good and bad of politics, whether in space or on earth. The final song of this five song EP is the title track, Future, and it Doesn't Work, which brings the album down on a serious but wise ending. The song starts with slow sad notes, but slowly builds to something more upbeat and nostalgic. This finally breaks into full rough and tumble breaks and crashes. The song reaches a spacey crescendo which breaks down again and leads into a tune that brings this ending song into what sounds like a new beginning. This picks up faster and faster as if to indicate that with one chapter of history closed we begin a new one. This is until it falls apart in a mess of static. And with that the album is brought to a close.
I have nothing but high praise for this album. All the songs definitely stand out and invoke both the space and political themes that Starscream seemed to be aiming for. Also should be noted that this album, along with all the other 8bp releases is now available to download in .ZIP files! Wooh! No more download managers for me!
Glitches, breaks, crazy samples, and wild effects define the new album from starPause. The AKID EP, as it's known, is available via the 8bitpeoples site. Free of course. The four song EP spans near 20 minutes of thumping tunes created in Piggy Tracker. This is one wild album, one for those who like their chips with a bit of wild experimentation and electronic funk.
8bitpeoples keeps cranking out the hits, whilst rapidly approaching catalogue number 100. Check out these three free releases if your ears are thirsting for some 8-bit refreshment.
Cornbeast delivers Chip Hero, five songs from the soundtrack of an imaginary future video game where players perform along with the chip music hits of tomorrow, using controllers resembling the gaming gear of yesterday. Post-modern musical sensibilities collide with pre-information-age hardware, not so much closing the loop as introducing something unconventional, unexpected, and occasionally upbeat.
As Roland walked on through the desolation, he was acutely aware that he had lost something intangible. His only clues came to him by way of the DMG in his pocket. The lamprey was willing, for the moment, to help him search the debris for the small cartridges that fit into the DMG, each one supplying a new, crucial piece of information. The hidden truth would be thus revealed to him slowly, in sequence.
"Claps and Leads" marks Mr. Spastic's triumphant return to the 8bitpeoples catalogue; five deft exercises in virtuoso programming, balancing intricate technical skill with a warmly organic sound, all delivered in his signature bold-yet-delicate tech-soul style. Jazz, deep funk, disco, R&B, and full-on techno inflections collide and merge into an astonishing stylistic cocktail, all topped off with a shimmering pro-grade production sensibility. Dazzling artwork by Ui completes the package, sealing the deal on a certain future classic.
Sadly I am not too familiar with the enigmatic artist known as Coova, but I am fully aware of chiptune/banjo musician Bud Melvin. Well I am getting better acquainted with both thanks to the amazing collaboration between them known as She's the DJ, He's the Rapper available from 8bitpeoples. Right from the first track we get some catchy glitched up beats, and an epic introduction to the artists. From there you get more catchy clicks and clacks along with Bud Melvin's signature banjo twangs and soulful vocals. I have had this album on repeat since I popped it into iTunes, and is certainly recommended listening, although I have always had an affinity for banjos, so I am definitely biased.
8bitpeoples have not only released the heavenly chip/banjo duet above but have also recently released the newest effort from 8GB, Pravda, a fine cut of fiery, straight up chippy sounds to dance the night away to.
So there you have it! two new amazing albums from 8bitpeoples, but would you really expect anything less by now?
Check out 8BP090, Disco Dust by M-.-n. The EP is a collection of older unreleased tracks (I remember playing one on the Gamewave Podcast aaages ago), but they all feature M-.-n's trademark dirty chiptune sound.
Dormant for too long in M-.-n's secret vault were some of his finest discodirt anthems. Once the prize possession of a happy few, they are now unleashed, ready to contaminate the world. Enjoy.
As usual, this EP is available to download for free!
8bitpeoples recently unveiled their new-look website, and it's pretty snazzy. Some new features such as an events calendar and shop have been added to the site, and other new content will be revealed within the next few weeks. And of course, awesome music is still available to download for free.
Finally we are getting around to our third in a five part series of interviews performed by Australian chiptune artist Dot.AY. Check these links to read up on prior interviews with 8 Bit Weapon and Sm0hm. This time Dot.AY spends some time with famed chiptunist BitShifter. Read up and found out about more of what makes BitShifter tick.
1. What equipment do you use to create your music?
-Does this differ between live and composing context?
I'm using the first generation Nintendo Game Boy (commonly called the "Classic" version), running one of two home-brew Game Boy musicmaking programs, either Nanoloop (developed by Oliver Wittchow) or Little Sound Dj (developed by Johan Kotlinski). The setup is basically the same during both composition and performance, a Game Boy running either a Nanoloop or an LSDj cartridge. Although occasionally I'll use two Game Boys running Nanoloop in live performance, synchronized via a GameLink cable.
2. Can you outline your compositional process?
- Does the technology used affect this?
The composition process is usually pretty spontaneous, it's rare for me to pick up the Game Boy with a preconceived notion of what I want the end result to be, although that occasionally happens. The process usually involves a combination of deliberate composition and exploration / exploitation of happy accidents -- for instance, entering a short melody or sequence of sounds, and then altering sound parameters to introduce an element of chance, changing the sound & behaviour of the notes in ways that can have unpredictable results. So it's pretty exploratory, in a lot of ways it's like collaborating with the program and hardware, there's a bit of back-and-forth between the device and the operator. So in that sense, the creative process is influenced and mediated by the technology. The hardware and software present certain creative avenues, and steers the user this way or that way -- like any musicmaking environment or instrument will. The two different programs I'm using each promote a slightly different musicmaking approach too, at least in my experience. LSDj is note-based, utilizing traditional note designations (C, C-sharp, D, D-sharp, etc.), and I find that most of the tracks I do in that program end up being more melodic, pop tracks. Nanoloop's interface is abstract and almost entirely graphical, using no traditional reference points for sound or pitch parameters. In my experience this is really liberating, it sort of triggers a different way of conceptualising and approaching music creatively. This allows me to sidestep the traditional methods of approaching music that I've always been entrenched in, and makes the whole experience much more about exploring sound, rather than melody. So those tracks end up sounding more abstract, and based around texture and rhythm, rather than overt melody. Both programs are versatile enough to serve in both roles (melodic vs. abstract), but as a musician it's been really interesting to see how the programs' different conceptual models lead to different creative results.
3. Do you post-produce, mix and master your own recordings?
I do, to the extent that I have any real qualifications to use any of those terms. So far I'm doing very little by way of post-production -- no outboard mixing (all adjustments of the individual channel levels are done within the Game Boy as part of the composition process), and my "mastering technique" is pretty amateurish and heavy-handed. But yes, I'm doing all of that myself.
It's mostly characterized by total pursuit of impulse and total disregard for discipline or practice. I took a few years of piano lessons when I was young, but that didn't last long. I picked up guitar in high school, mainly learning the instrument by playing along to various Beatles and hair-metal albums. I've been involved in a bunch of bands ever since, mostly in an ostensibly noisy, punky, melodic vein. I was a pretty avid hometaper / cassette four-tracker for a long time, which is a bit of a conceptual parallel to the Game Boy project in that I discovered that creatively, I work best when working under technical constraints and limitations.
5. Why do you think you compose chiptunes instead of some other form of music?
- Do you feel particular loyalty to the chiptune community?
I do feel a loyalty to the community, but making chiptunes has never been to the exclusion of also making other kinds of music. I still work with other types of music, so it's never really been a matter of exclusively choosing to make one type of music over another.
6. Do you feel there is a 'generation gap' between the demo/mod scene and new artists who don't program/hack?
- If you agree, what does this mean for the future of the scene?
It's a good question, but speaking as someone who was only distantly aware of the demoscene, and who has never done any hardware hacking, I don't really feel any particular gap. I definitely respect demosceners and hardware hackers though and secretly wish I could command that kind of cred.
7. Do you compose with the gameboy portably in public/irregular surroundings?
-How do you find surroundings effect composition?
I definitely make use of the Game Boy's portability. I do a lot of composing on subways, airplanes, park benches, toilets, and so on. The surroundings never really affect the process though -- it's a really immersive and inconspicuous activity, so I basically get absorbed in what I'm doing and my awareness of my surroundings is limited to just trying not to miss my subway stop.
8. What in your opinion makes a good chiptune?
I couldn't really say. I'm constantly amazed by the breadth of styles and the new ideas I hear in peoples' tracks, stuff that you could never predict and even if you could, you probably wouldn't think it would be a viable idea. So I couldn't cite anything specific. If anything, I'd say I really respond to anything that's fully-realized in terms of concept or artistic convictions. So one of Bud Melvin's left-field Game-Boy-and-banjo tracks, or one of Overthruster's evolving, generative pieces, or Trash Can Man's meticulous powerpop masterpieces -- the only real common attribute being that there's basically an obvious single-minded purpose at work, which comes through in the final product.
About the Artist: Bit Shifter aka Joshua Davis is a powerhouse in the Chiptune scene. His Gameboy music is hard frenetic and incredibly dance friendly as is his live show. Having performed over one hundred shows all over the world, being involved in large netlabel 8bitpeoples.com and having his name on many high quality chiptune releases it is no wonder he is a well-known legend within this genre.
This interview was performed by Alex Yabsley (Dot.AY) on 04/27/2007.
(live photo credit: Jamie Bruno)
Now that the Blip Festival is over, 8bitpeoples gets back to business, pumping out the biggest, baddest chipmusic around. GET CLICKING. Love, 8bitpeoples.
8BP081 Stu: GreateST HITs
Finally, here's your chance to enjoy Stu's hard hitting dancefloortracks from the comfort of your own home! Don Atari electro and YM Rocker Stu, member of the infamous drop da bomb collective delivers you a handful of YM2149 killer tracks made on the Atari ST. As the famous German writer Goethe wrote: "In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister," implying that limitation reveals the real mastery, and this is particulary true for Stu's ultra efficient electro and breakbeat flavoured music. A minimum of equipment with a maximum impact, in the creative hands of this Swiss maSTer.
Game Boy techno overload! LSDJ pop/trance conflict! 8bitpeoples proudly presents its first split release, an onslaught between two warring chiptune factions. Xinon provides five weapons-grade anthems, the bittersweet melodic prowess of "Attitude" setting up the bomb perfectly for the hard hitting "Vanishing Point," providing a critical blow to the enemy! Jetting hyperspeed into his adversary, Sabrepulse unloads a salvo of differing styles, with the ultrasweet pop dance party of "Hey Kate" at variance with the bass-laden sting of "Venom." This collection will open your ears to the realization that international chiptune relations are stronger than ever.
In Her Gentle Jaws, the second release from the amazing The Depreciation Guild, is now available. And even better, for free! This is likely to be one of the albums of 2007, even outside of 8-bit music, so check out the swish new site made for the release and then grab the .zip file.
Not one, but TWO new albums have been dropped like a bomb upon the masses by chiptunist Phlogiston.
The first album is being released by 8bitpeoples, and is a 6 track EP of Nintendo flavor chiptunes. This is Phlogiston's first release through 8bitpeoples and is billed as a "cyberpunk space oddysey". Head on over to 8bitpeoples.com to pick up the free download!
The second album is also free and can be downloaded at this link. The album is called Old Chips and contains 11 tracks of Phlogiston action clocking in at just under half an hour. Give both albums a download and enjoy these awesome chiptunes!
If you're into video game music you'll probably be familiar with the concept of netlabels. Netlabels are usually online music labels or catalogues which distribute and promote music, often for free. Some of the most prominent VGM netlabels are 8bitpeoples, Betamod and Mega Twerp. It can be hard to keep track of releases made by the multitude of netlabels, but a site called bleepwatch is willing to do this for you. Calling itself the netlabel blog, bleepwatch makes a post every time a new netlabel release is made. The site covers mainly electronic music, but there is a specific chiptune section. Check it out!
8 Bit Bandit has just released four new tracks for free download on his myspace site including tracks like Pogo and Keep the Salsa Fresh. Very good stuff. Also keep an eye out for his new collaboration with Dumfoundead The Super Barrio Bros. EP.
Two new albums coming our way from 8bitpeoples. Anamanaguchi’s new 7 track album Power Supply has come out recently. Also Vim’s Extended Loo Break also coming in at 7 tracks. Both are free downloads so check them out.
One more note, check out the events section, we just updated it today with some new shows! Also don’t forget VGL!
Chiptune group Anamanaguchi have announced that their newest EP, Helix Nebula will be coming out this August care of 8bitpeoples. The EP will span seven tracks and clock in at approximately 20 minutes.
NESMETAL have released a new song. Track 12 - “Star Stealing Girl” (from Chrono Cross) is the song. Head on over and have a listen.
Sadly, Year 200X has had their myspace page erased for absolutely no reason (sort of rings a bell over here at GM4A). Well head on over to their new page and add them if you haven’t they have a bit of catching up to do. As incentive they have posted a new demo of Metal Gear that they are currently working on.
Electronic Gaming Monthly have covered several VGM bands in their August issue, which should be hitting news racks soon. In the article EGM covers six bands, Totally Radd!!, The Protomen, Final Fantasy, 14 Year Old Girls, Futuristic Sex Robotz, and Cinemechanica. Thanks to the internet, you can also check out the article on EGM’s official site egm.1up.com.
Tons of videos, podcasts, and hilariously in depth articles about retrogaming and video game music.