Blip Festival 2009 Event Schedule finalized, Gaijin/Robotube video game design Battle of the Brands

Blip Festival 2009 logo

With only a few weeks left before Blip Festival, possibly the largest gathering of chiptune performers from all over the globe, the organizers of said event have finally released the full schedule of concerts and events that will be taking place from December 17th-19th at the bell house in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are available with full three day tickets at $40 and one day passes for $15. There will be several great workships as well throughout the event, with prices ranging from free for movies and chiptune making tutorials to a $65 A_SID Synth Workshop that will have you going home with your very own "working usb controllable breadboard A_SID Synth, and the knowledge to begin using it."

Battle of the Brands Not only this, but also good pals at Gaijin Games have announced that they, alongside fellow chiptune loving game developers Robotube Games are having the first ever Battle of the Brands! A collaborative battle to the death to release a brand new game in one day during Blipfest! Throughout the day of the battle both companies will be constantly updating their sites, facebooks, twitters, etc to keep everyone on top of the latest happenings.

Why are they doing this? Well Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games states, "We can do whatever we want!  It’s our freakin’ deal, so shut up if you feel like it!" Oh, and the rules? There are no rules! Well except these ones.

1. Try to make a game in one day while at Blip Festival 2009 all the way over in New York City 2. Drink lots of coffee 3. Release the end product to the public, even if we fail miserably

Of course, the main reason to be at Blipfest is the tons of amazing artists and visualists that are just far too numerous to mention. But if you head past the break or go over to blipfestival.org you can check out the entire list of scheduled events and concerts taking place. Concert Schedule

Dec 17 Thursday 8:00 Silent Requiem With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 8:40 failotron With visuals by Paris 9:20 Leeni With visuals by VBLANK 10:00 minusbaby With visuals by Enso 10:40 Chromix With visuals by The C-Men 11:20 Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours With visuals by NO CARRIER 12:00 Albino Ghost Monkey With visuals by outpt 12:40 Eat Rabbit With visuals by Rosa Menkman

Dec 18 Friday 8:00 Disasterpeace With visuals by Enso 8:40 Starscream With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 9:20 Fighter X With visuals by outpt 10:00 little-scale With visuals by Rosa Menkman 10:40 I, Cactus With visuals by VBLANK 11:20 Nullsleep With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Paris 12:00 Rainbowdragoneyes With visuals by The C-Men 12:40 Patric C With visuals by NO CARRIER

Dec19 Saturday 8:00 The J. Arthur Keenes Band With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Enso 8:40 tRash cAn maN With visuals by Jean Y. Kim & Paris 9:20 Bubblyfish With visuals by NO CARRIER & outpt 10:00 The Hunters 10:40 glomag With visuals by The C-Men & VBLANK 11:20 Bit Shifter With visuals by outpt & Enso 12:00 David Sugar With visuals by NO CARRIER & VBLANK 12:40 Psilodump With visuals by Paris & The C-Men

Workshops & Daytime Events

Film Screening - Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 1pm-3pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: $5 at the door

A_SID Synth Workshop: A usb/serial controllable chip based C64 SID chip emulator * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 2pm-5pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: $65 (includes materials & necessary tools)

Film Screening - Reformat the Planet 1.5 and Curated Music Videos from 2 Player Productions * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 1pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: Free

From Classic Sound Chips to Virtual Instruments with David Viens of Plogue * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 2pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

Open source solutions for live visuals - presented by Don Miller / NO CARRIER * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 3pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

8 Bit Operators - Wanna Hld Yr Handheld, Vol. 1 Beatles tribute release


As I wrote about last month, 8 Bit Operators have announced their years in the making tribute to the one and only The Beatles. Well at last the album is finally out and available to download! If you head over to 8bitops.com right now you will be taken to the Band Camp page where you can download the full album for $10. The album includes a cavalcade of phenomenal artists bringing their own chipped out interpretations of both famous and more obscure Beatles tunes.

Well worth a download and most definitely worth a listen, this album follows in the steps of other great recent releases like Kind of Bloop and Weezer - The 8-Bit Album. Check out the full collection of tracks and artists below!

01. 8-Bit Operators "Tomorrow Never Knows Megamix" 04:50
02. 8 Bit Weapon with ComputeHer "Eleanor Rigby" 02:13
03. glomag "h3lt3r_sk3lt3r" 03:16
04. Bacalao "Blackbird" 02:39
05. Burnkit2600 "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" 02:56
06. Saskrotch "Paperback Writer" 02:09
07. Psilodump "All You Need Is Love" 02:44
08. minusbaby "Flying [El Barrio Mix]" 07:02
09. Anamanaguchi "I Will" 01:00
10. The Depreciation Guild "Because" 03:43
11. Aonami "Back in the U.S.S.R." 02:16
12. Bubblyfish "Piggies" 02:01
13. poke-1,170 "When I'm 64" 01:54
14. GOTO80 "Come Together" 04:00
15. Sloopygoop "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" 01:54
16. Herbert Weixelbaum "Sie liebt dich" 02:18

8-Bit Operators announce all star chiptune Beatles tribute: Wanna Hld Yr Handheld


We just heard the efforts of the incredible roster of musicians who recreated the world changing sounds of Miles Davis with Kind of Bloop. We heard a huge roster of chiptuners pay tribute to the mainstream nerdiness of Weezer on Weezer: The 8 Bit Album, and here we are again. This time we return with folks that are no strangers to the land of rearranging and covering classic tunes.

The 8 Bit Operators, who are comprised of a stable of impressive musicians including Bud Melvin, 8 Bit Weapon, and Anamanaguchi to name just a few. Well these folks who have once brought us the chipped out sounds of Kraftwerk are now hard at work once again for another grand undertaking. This time we are talking about another globe changing band, of course, I speak of paying tribute to The Beatles in 8 bit form with the upcoming Wanna Hld Yr Handheld chiptune compilation.

A tough endeavor to say the least, but these folks have been working on this project for well around two years according to their website, and it definitely shows. As of 09/09/09 Astralworks and the 8-bit Operators have decided to grace us with nine preview tracks of the upcoming project via the Wanna Hld Yr Handheld myspace page. Also be sure to keep an eye on the Official website because, on 10/09/09, in celebration of John Lennon's birthday we will be treated to the announcement of the albums full list of tracks and artists!

Press release and preview track listing below.

Almost 2 full years in the making, the 8-Bit Operators "WANNA HLD YR HANDHELD" Beatles Tribute focuses on the glorious avante-garde/ electronic side of the fab 4, with over 20 of the biggest international names in 8-bit chiptune music, all utilizing re-tooled classic GameBoys, Ataris, Apple II, Commodore 64 and Nintendo Entertainment Systems! The upcoming release will include tracks from 8-Bit Weapon w ComputeHer, Bacalao, Anamanaguchi, Bud Melvin, Burnkit 2600, Depreciation Guild, Glomag, Herbert Weixelbaum, Neotericz w Naku, Bubblyfish, Poke-1,170, Shrimps w Robert J Smith, gwEm & Counter Reset, goto80, Receptors, Psilodump, Cheap Dinosaurs, Saskrotch, Minusbaby, Rabato and Aonami!

Here's the 1st batch of 9 tracks:
1.8-Bit Operators - Tommorrow Never Knows(Bacalao Megamix w Burnkit 2600,Glomag,Herbert Weixelbaum,Neotericz w Naku,Psilodump,Receptors and Shrimps w Robert J Smith)
2.Anamanaguchi - I Will
3.Glomag - h3lt3r_sk3lt3r
4.8-Bit Weapon w ComputeHer - Eleanor Rigby
5. Bacalao - Blackbird
6. Burnkit 2600 - Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite
7. The Depreciation Guild - Because
8. Bubblyfish - Piggies
9. Poke-1,170 - When I'm 64

8bitpeoples 100th album - Blip Festival 2008 compilation release


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

Tracklisting:
Disc 01:
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)

Disc 02:
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)

3 new 8bitpeoples releases

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.

Chip Hero by Cornbeast


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.

DaMaGe by glomag


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 by Mr. Spastic


"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.

Jay Tholen - Epidemic album review

The best way to describe this album is with the following highly scientific mathematical equation: (War of the Worlds + Dawn of the Dead)+ Chiptunes = Epidemic by Jay Tholen

After Shnabubula raised the bar for chiptune composers everywhere with his recent release, out of nowhere Jay Tholen comes and reaches that same inhumanly high standard with his newest album release Epidemic! The artwork is amazing, the songs evoke all the right feelings, and the news reports help build the atmosphere beautifully! You can purchase the album at Jay Tholen's myspace blog, and I highly suggest you do so!

So let's start with the first track, which, isn't really a track at all. another amazing artist, Glomag, appears in a new capacity, as Michael Helman, radio news reporter. the album kicks off with News Bulletin - 5:34 PM, which sets up the story line for the whole album. I won't get into the news report tracks too much, but will say that Glomag plays the reporter part brilliantly. and the sound effects used during the reports are amazingly done. bringing back the spirit of classic radio dramas. The first news bulletin fades right into the first track proper. Twilight Invasion, this track evokes memories of games like Castlevania, and Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but also classic horror films like Night of the Living Dead, and radio dramas like War of the Worlds. This track sets up beautifully the feeling of an epidemic suddenly bursting forth as one night is drawing to a close. He uses sound effects to good use, but doesn't overdo it, in fact, if not paying attention, you might even miss the sound effects as they transition so seamlessly with the music. The track ends with an eerie fadeout, as if the scene was left unfinished. which leads to the next News Bulletin, News Bulletin - 7:42 PM, this time, with reports of a more dire situation.

The beat on the following song, Suburban Sprawl, is grittier and less foreboding than the song that preceded it. It conveys a sound as if, it's time the humans band together and fight back. This song certainly seems to have a bit more fight in it, which contrasts very well with the opening track. This leads to the third song, Metropolis Down, which seems to be a song about the zombies hitting the first heavily populated area. The intro effects are very amazing for this track, and really make the track feel full. This track is another one filled with dread and panic. With a great riff running through the track, this one stands out as one of my favorites on the album. This song filters out with radio static, until we find ourselves once again with our faithful news reporter for News Bulletin - 12:05 AM.

Now we are at what I like to consider the rescue song. It is named Rooftop Prayer, and like the other songs which can evoke feelings of loss and fear, this one is able to evoke emotions of hope. This song feels a little slower, and sans sound effects gives a simpler feeling as well. The riff that comes in just after two minutes, is also beautiful, and stands out as one of my favorite parts of the album. Once again we dive right into the next track, which starts with some helicopters, indicating that those rooftop prayers have been answered for now. This song, Escape, seems to be filled with more tension, as if the fight against this epidemic continues, but with much lost hope. As if fighting a battle you may be doomed to lose. This track ends with a pretty tough and quick ending, finished off with more helicopter effects, News Bulletin - 8:20 AM explains why. This is the final news bulletin on the album, and with this one, they are able to really show how the radio drama style can be done to great effect. You can really feel for the news reporter in his final farewell.

This brings us to our final song. Also my favorite song on the album. Drift Downstream is a very somber song, as if looking back on all the events of this one terrible night for humanity. At around the two minute mark, the track starts to build up with a riff that grows stronger as the song progresses. Then we hit a beautiful build which helps put more power into the song. This breaks back down into more of the looking back feel that the track started with. This slowly fades out, while an amazingly used sound effect is brought in to end the track. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say this is possibly the best ending to any chiptune album I have ever heard.

One person survived.

This album needs to be purchased to understand the full range of abilities and emotions that can be revealed through the art of chiptune music. I feel kind of weird going on and on about Pixelh8's album, then Shnabubula's EP, and now this highly brilliant piece of work by Jay Tholen. But what can I say? this year is already seen chiptunes step up their game to an insane degree, and there is no denying that.

I feel like this album, with it's concept, it's art, and it's execution, should definitely be a cult classic of chiptunes. With a release like this, I can only see Jay Tholen become a common name to chiptune fans VERY soon.

Jay Tholen - Epidemic album release


I just downloaded and unzipped this album today and I am HOOKED. this new album by Jay Tholen is quite amazing! combining my love for the War of the Worlds radio drama, zombies, and chiptunes into one amazing package! it has 6 amazing songs along with news reports brought to you by another awesome artist Glomag. 10 tracks in total, that display a wide and vivid range of style setting up the exact feel of being in a zombie struggle.

Well anyway, I have to save something for my upcoming review of this epic chiptunes album, so basically, head over to his myspace page blog, and purchase this album, you will not regret it!

Also, be sure to check out his Virb page for a listen to the album in it's entirety, as well as heading over to his website to download all his wonderful free EP's he has made over the years for you fine listeners.

Updated Band Listing 7/19/2007

Finally we have a small update to the band list here at GM4A. Just four bands have been added but great bands none the less. Check them out below!

Anne Amelie - Electronic/Low-Tech MIDI - Fayetteville, AR, US http://myspace.com/anneamelie

environmental sound collapse - Experimental/Electronica - Schaumburg, Illinois, US http://www.soundcollapse.org/esc.htm

Glomag - 8 Bit/Pop/Chiptune - New York, NY http://www.glomag.com/

Shirobon- Chiptune/electro - London, United Kingdom, England http://www.myspace.com/shirobonmusic

Also, ultra apologies (or ultrapologies) to Tanooki Rebirth for not updating his info sooner!