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Open Thread: Compare and Contrast



Berkman may confess that playing Game Boys on stage is “inherently absurd,” but he’s deeply gratified that Anamanaguchi have earned respect and admiration within the 8-bit community, even as they’ve diverged from the purists. “I feel like it’s not like the Good Charlotte situation in punk where we’re, like, ruining it. It’s definitely more accessible than other 8-bit music, but I don’t think it sacrifices the core values of it. I think it’s more of, like, a Rancid than a Good Charlotte situation.”


Sabin does not take his cue from the capital’s burgeoning folk scene as one might suspect, however. “My music follows the aesthetic of chiptune: it’s a big influence but it’s not the whole story,” he offers. “I suppose you could call me 8-bit dance”. To the uninitiated, chiptune is the result of sampling old, bashed-in computer games to make high tempo dance music.

Do you feel the chipmusic meme bullies artists to tow a certain party line when it comes to speaking about how they approach their music? Is it a requirement to name check the demo scene and the hacking tradition in every contact you have with the media? At what point is an artist free to promote themselves, rather than worry about being a figurehead for the “scene”

10 comments to Open Thread: Compare and Contrast

  • I wish I had time to promote myself. I don’t even have the time to promote my site, – but the concept of what is ‘chip’ seems to be the ongoing plague. But I mean, really, chiptune isn’t a genre but a medium. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I was chip-only musician as I often compose hi-fi breakcore/idm/downbeat tracks.

    Anamanaguchi has a live NES on stage with them. That’s chip-core enough, right? Makes me look silly juggling .nsf files in two copies of winamp – at least I’ve got a live commodore vic20 with me. =D Anamanaguchi has also been part of the NYC chip scene for longer than I have been actually acquainted with it. The first Blip Fest was where I met Pete and it was a thrill to see him a month later on in an Mtv blip showing off his NES abilities with a tune he submitted to using a Donkey Kong 3 cart.

    I think it is important for people to know the difference between sampling and chip programming. The masses will most likely never grasp such a concept – the average person might not even know what sampling is. Who knows? For the uninitiated one might wonder what’s the appeal in the first place.

    I’m not a name dropper. But if someone asked me how I went about doing something I would try my best to give a concise story including those who developed the tools I used if I know them. I think it’s most important to know your chiptune lingo and hardware, repeating yourself while you talk in an interview so you don’t look like a total n00b to the ‘scene’. Figureheads are important to scene movement and so are ALL the people that help the scene function. But let’s face it, without the hardware where would we be?

  • i’m still active in the scene! northern dragons rule the americas =) respect to noerror for keeping tabs on contemporary scene + netlabel audio. eff tha pretenderz .\m/

  • The old sampling story? As far as I know, milky and piggy, as it was with amiga, are sample based trackers, but that’s not the case, right?

    I have not much voice to say about this question, but Anamanaguchi is active for a long time and respected. I don’t think there would be space for other bands like them in the scene now. Most people will say “GTFO here, anamanacopiers”, or something like that.

    And also, we all remember the Unicorn Kid drama. His problem, as far as I remember, wasn’t about his hardware, cause, c’mon, minusbaby is a fakebitter (lol at the pun) and everyone loves him (same with Disasterpeace and Derris-Kharlan).

    I find sad that people like Unicorn Kid and Superpowerless get more attention than Glomag and minusbaby. Well, just listen to the quality of them and compare it. It’s not even by the money question, but the recognition in the music scene as a whole.

  • Its not really a issue of sampling or real vs fake. Do people in the scene like minusbaby and the gooch more because they have better chip diplomacy.

  • glomag

    @ Peter
    No, it’s because their music is better. They both are doing something with a personal sound. This separates them from lots of others (chip hardware and laptop users alike) whose sound is just overly obvious and predictable.

    Personally, I do feel a responsibility to talk up the scene a bit in interviews. A little history and hopefully a shout out or two to a few people who influenced me. This is exactly the stuff that a TV producer will cut, of course. Print media only slightly less so.

  • Yea but there are tons of shitty acts on the other sides that seem to remain popular because they know how to say the right things :)

  • Someone please kill the idiot with the stupid hat. Please.

  • Final word

    Make good music, speak for yourself, die.

  • i think its important to point out that there is nothing new about this kinda music, that it has a rich 20+ year history.

    and i agree with akira!

    i hate all this attention seeking 8bit referencing pop/trance music like Unicorn Kid and Superpowerless.

    i can only hope that all this kinda stuff will get passed off as a gimmick by the media/mainstreem soon and all these attention seeking posers will just disappear.

  • velo

    Jellica and Akira pretty much summed up how I feel.