8-bit: The Punk of Electronic Music
By Chris Gayomali
Quick confession: when I was a kid, I eventually wanted to grow up to be one of two things: 1. a pro wrestler, or 2. a videogame programmer. Suffice it to say I became neither, although my absurdly large muscles might be telling of otherwise.
My brothers and I (three boys) owned the Nintendo systems. My cousins (also three boys) owned the Sega systems. This made for nice variety when going over to eachother’s houses, and a handful of my absolute favorite childhood memories involved verbal barbs and tears shed over the likes of Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, Goldeneye, or Wrestlemania 2000.
We grappled over how many lives we were entitled to waste in Mega Man X and Star Fox, and argued which ending was worth going for when time jumping in Chrono Trigger.
It was wonderful.
Naturally, 8-bit (or chiptune or chipbreak) was an easy addition to the library. Hands down the nerdiest and most polarizing of all the branches of electronic music, it’s less douchey than electro and, well, less douchey than trance, too. Its effortlessness makes it enjoyable; its ability to piss off Tiesto fans, fierce.
Simply put, “8-bit is the punk of electronic music.” (Anamanaguchi)
In December I had the pleasure of attending The Blip Festival in Brooklyn (during a snowstorm, no less), and had a really great time. Some artists who performed included Bit Shifter, the Hunters, and Bubbyfish. Everyone danced. Everyone had fun.
Above I posted my favorite song, from now until forever. Sabrepulse‘s Horizons (remix) sounds like an acid trip through a planet inhabited by all your favorite childhood memories. Then sped up, spun in a circle, and manually fed heroin from beginning to end.
I really enjoy 8-bit. I hope you do too.
Here’s some other good stuff worth looking into:
- Bit Shifter – March of the Nucleotides
- Breakbeat Heartbeat – Hearbeats (The Knife Cover)
- Sabrepulse – Famicom Connection
- Bubblyfish – Kite (links out)